Wednesday, May 31, 2017

The Butterfly Love Shack

As mentioned in my last blog post, I received a butterfly garden to raise my own butterflies through the miraculous wonder of metamorphosis.  I'm happy to report that three of the five butterflies made it out and released to the world on Memorial Day - celebrating the land of the free!

I received my cup of caterpillars on May 10 and released them on May 29.  That means in just 19 days I saw this transformation first hand.  To say I enjoyed it would be an understatement.  Aside from my 8-year-old tendencies at times, this seemed to satisfy my longing for a pet (even though you can't cuddle a caterpillar or butterfly) and was low maintenance.  Plus, I feel like I contributed to nature by releasing them to do what they do for perfect balance in the way God created them.

Once the butterflies emerge from the cocoon, you have four days to nurture them and feed them sugar water, which is about the easiest thing to provide.  I was so glad that all this happened over a long weekend because that meant I could watch them flutter in their habitat and feed them more often.  After this experience, I think I'm going to do this all summer and just order more caterpillars.  I'm not becoming old and a cat lady but old and a lepidopterist.  

One small surprise during this process occurred Sunday evening.  I went to refill the sugar water feeder and found a butterfly clung to the top of the habitat.  Normally when I unzip it, they fly to the bottom.  This time, they didn't.  And I was missing a butterfly when I counted.  I first thought this poor butterfly clinging to the roof of the netted habitat was dead.  And then I looked closer.  It appeared two butterflies had become one.  And, were mating.  Yep.  Seriously.  My butterfly garden had turned into the Love Shack.  I googled "Butterflies mating" to ensure my guess was correct.  And it was.  I had already planned to release them the next day, but I really needed to do it the next day now because the next step in that parade is the female butterfly nesting and laying her 100 eggs.  I enjoy raising butterflies...but not 100.  

Not only have I become a lover of raising butterflies, I've become a butterfly matchmaker.  My insects are getting more action than I am.  

Monday, May 15, 2017

Musings of the Week: Butterflies, PhDs, and Summertime!

Butterflies - I received a butterfly garden from Amazon last week to take my first stab at raising butterflies.  Yes, I'm way beyond the age range on the package, but I've watched YouTube families do this and found it so fascinating I wanted to try it myself.  For just $27, you get everything you need (including caterpillars) to raise Painted Lady Butterflies.  After 3-4 weeks, when they are ready for release, the habitat and feeding tray can be used again and again....all I need to do is buy the cup 'o caterpillars.  I decided to do this for a couple of reasons...ok three, if you count YOLO.  First, this time of year brings back memories of my Dad's passing (May 4), and my Mom's passing with Mother's Day also in May.  On the flip side, May 12 is the day I decided to follow Christ 43 years ago.  With loss of life comes new life.  Wanting to celebrate life, I thought what better way than to watch life in the making.  Second, I've contemplated having a dog.  I don't have the time nor am I home enough to care for a dog, but butterflies, oh yeah!  Plus, I've kept a succulent alive since the end of March, so surely I can do this.  

PhD - During the last class of my MBA, the professor of my capstone class asked me if I ever considered getting my PhD.  She commented on this due to my final capstone research paper.  The answer to that question is, "of course," but the thought of doing it makes my stomach turn.  My friend, Paige, has always told me I'd get my PhD eventually and I normally smile and change the subject.  I'd love to "retire" in to teaching, but given I haven't taught at the college level yet to determine if I'd like it, I'm hesitant to invest in something that would only benefit me in academia.  Last week, said professor contacted me that my Alma mater, Campbellsville, is being accredited for a PhD program in Management, to start in Fall 2017 or January 2018.  In my life, there are more dreams I want to chase than there is time or resources.  I told my professor I'd pray about it.  Nothing like a random offering like that to get your mind whirling.  

Summertime! - You gotta say that word with an exclamation point!  I love summertime, even though I'm working and not a student any more - or teacher -  that gets to enjoy three months of leisure time.  As part of my online book club, we get a first look at the Modern Mrs. Darcy Summer Reading Guide.  Think the summer reading program at the library for kids, but someone has already read a ton of books and selected 30 for the summer.  We received it last night - the rest of the world gets it on Wednesday - and I was reminded of those days when school was out and I couldn't wait to get to the library to sign up for the summer reading program.  Ah, summer.  Sipping on a Coke Zero, or Frappucchino and reading in the summer breeze.  People, that is Heaven on earth.