Sunday, August 5, 2007

Sunday-August 5th

The rain had stopped by the time we got up this morning. Rain total for the last 24 hours was 2.09 inches. That was a good amount and just enough to turn my birdfeeders into a wet, stinky mess. I grabbed a pair of rubber gloves, a big spatula, a screwdriver, and a garbage bag and spent approximately 90 minutes cleaning all of the wet, yucky seed out of 13 seed feeders. I also mixed up a new batch of nectar for my hummingbird feeders. Now everything is nice and clean again and the birds are happy.

The monarch butterfly emerged this morning just as I had hoped. Unfortunately, I missed the moments immediately after coming out of the cocoon. Here's a picture probably about 30 minutes after emerging.

I allowed the butterfly a few hours in the ranch to strengthen its wings and get used to the big, new world, and then I took it outside and set it on one of my Joe Pye weed plants.

Side View

Full View (it's a male--you can tell because of the thin vein pigmentation and larger dots on the hindwings)


While I was searching for more caterpillar eggs, I happened upon this cute little guy.

A lot of personality in one little handful.....no, I didn't kiss him!

He got a safe release underneath the deck where hopefully he can find lots of slugs and other good stuff to eat.

16 comments:

Larry said...

Cute little bugger!-Beautiful butterfly photos too!-Hope we get rain soon.

RuthieJ said...

Hi Larry,
I hope you get rain soon also. Even though the sun only came out for a few minutes today, I could already see green grass starting to show up in the brown areas.

MOM said...

Beautiful monarch, but an even cuter toad. Wasn't the rain wonderful, we never saw the sun today, not even a hint, but it was nice and warm, a good day to turn the air off.
MOM

RuthieJ said...

Hi Mom,
I thought the toad was pretty cute to. We saw the sun for a few minutes this afternon, it was nice to have the windows open all day and hear all the goldfinches singing.

KGMom said...

Very cute toad--but I commend you for your restraint on the kissing thing.
And great that you got a good amount of rain, especially since you had remarked about your drought. Hope it soaked into the ground.

ABQ-B-Fly Guy said...

Great pic of the monarch on the joe pye weed. Just excellent color contrast. Thanks for sharing. Wait, you have 13 seed feeders!!! Wow...that is crazy. You need to snap some pics like Larry did of them. Did you get them all while you worked at WBU?

Ron

LauraHinNJ said...

Isn't that just the neatest thing?

Thanks for sharing!

RuthieJ said...

Hi Donna,
It was an extremely cute toady face and I figured if I didn't put that comment in there, my mom would ask if I kissed him!

Hi Ron,
I liked the way the color contrasts turned out also--and it wasn't even a sunny day.
Some of the bird feeders I already had before I started at WBU, but that employee discount just encouraged me to buy more. It was good to experiment with different feeders, seeds and locations and share my results with customers (that's how I justified it anyway!)

Hi Laura,
The monarchs are pretty neat, but not as neat as a little black puppy!

Robin (Bumblebee) said...

13 bird feeders!?! Good grief! You need a part-time job just to keep them filled!

We finally got some rain last night. I was so happy, I opened all the windows, which prompted my husband to complain that I was "letting all the air out of the house." (What?)

I'm not sure the total rainfall, since it's still misting. Perhaps less than 1/2". I don't think my little froggie rain gauge is partiularly accurate.

--Robin (Bumblebee)

RuthieJ said...

Hi Robin,
I've tried to cut back on the number of birdfeeders, but I just can't (yes, I believe it's an addiction).

I'm so glad you finally got some rain...even a half-inch is better than nothing!

Dorothy said...

Hi Ruthie,

Poppin' over from Mary's View to check out your blog! Your Monarch Ranch is so neat! And that little toad is precious!
I'll be back for more visits!

Lynne said...

I don't think we got the rain you did over the weekend, but then I worked nights and slept the rest of the time so I might just have missed it all! Glad you got the soaking though. Your monarch pictures are perfectly lovely. You've convinced me that I have to try a ranch next summer!

Mary said...

Hi Ruthie! Remember me?

Glad to see you are with butterflies and toads! And I'm jealous of your rain. I'd like to try a Monarch ranch next year, too. What fun!

RuthieJ said...

Hi Dorothy,
Thanks for visiting my blog. My pictures and stories aren't quite as exciting and varied as Mary's View, but she and the other bloggers inspire me and I'm having fun learning new things and meeting other bloggers--like you!

Hi Lynne,
I heard we got more rain than The Cities also, so you guys are still in the severe drought classification. Hopefully there's more coming your way this week.
Do your shifts change alot? Does your internal clock have a hard time adjusting to the changes?

Hi Mary,
I knew you were still around there somewhere...welcome back!
I recommend Monarch ranching to everyone. The hardest part is harvesting milkweed leaves for feeding time--especially when you have 4 or 5 big, hungry caterpillars in there.

mon@rch said...

Those are such amazing photos of these monarchs! I love the colors of the monarch with the Joe Pye Weed!

Jayne said...

Beautiful, beautiful butterflies! Congratulations Ruthie!