Friday, February 10, 2012

Monarch Butterflies Update Again

Yesterday, two more Monarch's came out of their chrysalis (hatched doesn't seem the right word but I am sure someone will tell me what is).

These were both outside and when I noticed them in the afternoon one was in distress on the ground.  I lifted it up and put it on a leaf - on checking later I noticed a Praying Mantis on it.  On further investigation I discovered it only had one leg.

I despatched it to end its' suffering (assuming butterflies do suffer) and have realised that the Mantis did the damage.

This morning there was one more butterfly that had emerged - I left it for a short while and when I went back a Praying Mantis was close by so I removed the leaf complete with butterfly and put it on the outside table.  It has since flown away.

I think there are another four chrysalises (could be more) so will watch them carefully.  I have always rescued any Praying Mantis that has been in the wrong place but, in future, they will be disposed of.

It is a cruel, hard world out there.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Whangarei Growers' Market and Firewood

On our previous 5 acre property we had a good vegetable garden - this is a small part of it with the citrus orchard in the background.  We grew a large variety of vegies.

Here in Kamo, on the outskirts of Whangarei, I only have a very small area.  At present there are some leeks, onions, lettuce, brocolli, silver beet (swiss kale) and  climbing beans that are yet to flower.

Anyway, yesterday morning we went to the Whangarei Growers Market.  I really only went for the sweetcorn and garlic.  I blanch the corn and then remove it from the cobs before freezing it in cupful lots to use over winter.

This is what I came home with  (actually a lot less than usual).

 I  had eight cobs of corn - I always buy it from the same stall and it is picked the previous evening.  The other four cobs were blanching.  The eggs are free range pullet eggs.  I got the corn blanched and frozen. I find that eight are the maximum I like to do at one time so hope to get back next weekend for some more.

Later in the day the 2 cubic metres of firewood I had ordered was delivered and I got it stacked while cooking our evening meal.  I am very much an amateur at wood stacking but it feels secure.  This is most of it but some went elsewhere as I didn't want to overdo the stack.

I also managed to get some weeding done and was very pleased with my day's work.  A bit quieter today although I have done more weeding and almost filled the wheelie bin as well as done some baking.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Getting ready to fly away

This morning on checking the chrysalis I discovered a still very wrinkled butterfly getting ready to unfold its wings.  The photo of this looks very blurred - I expect I should have had my trusty Kodak on a different setting as the butterfly was shaking.

I have taken a few photos during the afternoon the last as it was opening and closing its wings and looking as though it was getting ready for flight.  I have reluctantly put it outside, reluctantly because there is quite a cool breeze blowing.

Isn't it beautiful.