They are both on nuts, corn, antler, fruit, bread and water now. Hickory nuts! Chinese horse chestnuts! peanuts!
Today two adult Monarch butterflies were flitting about in the field where all the larvae were. Visiting their natal area? No larvae have been seen since Sunday, one on that day, which was finishing up a leaf on a Milkweed , stripping it down to the center rib.
Two flocks of geese went over, eyeing the newly shorn corn field. They saw Hawthorne snuffing in the field and opted not to land. I had concealed myself in the hedge row hoping they would.
A smallish red pepper heisted from someone’s garden turned out to be hot. I cut it up and put it in a pan of turkey garlic soup. Raw it seemed fine and not at all hot. But in the soup? I almost choked! And now, hours later, the fingertips of my right hand, which held the pepper while it was diced, tingle and burn as if they are being slowly broiled over a very small flame.
Sunday was the pumpkin harvest.
And the gourd harvest. A smaller someone seemed tonight to appreciate the ones that came home:
This morning Earl drank about 11 ml of cream mix. Merle? Pshaw! He has not lowered himself to milk products in a couple days. He is eating nuts and drinking water, thank you very much.
Merle is also thinner than he was. Not unusual.
They are both starting to jump and are much quicker. They run and leap now.
Sunday Ellie and I spun flax in the fiber to cloth booth at Judy’s Day. We both wore linen. Another man spun wool on a walking wheel.
Kathy had spent a long time planning the activities children were able to do: breaking, scutching and heckling flax. The breaking board was so loud we removed a tent wall behind us so alleviate some of the noise.
We had an almost constant stream of watchers who asked all sorts of questions. It was surprising to me how many people did not know that linen was made from flax.
And that the process of spinning is what changes flax into linen. As the flax leaves the distaff, goes through my fingers, and is wound onto the bobbin, it becomes linen thread.
Over four hours of spinning. The resultant thread weight: 24 grams. Thank God for the industrial revolution. It measured 308 yards.
That is about 2912 yards per pound, plied.
PS: Earl and Merl are doing very well. They are living in the bunny hutch and are drinking milk from a pipette only once a day. Eating nuts, some fruit, corn, veggies on their own. Pictures tomorrow.
Isabelle discovered a large nest of yellow jacket waps in the ground while she was shoveling manure this summer. Jay killed a colony dug in the blueberries.
Then this week we went down to see the gigantic nest made by the white-faced hornets in a maple tree behind Cherry’s shed. We call them white-faced hornets. Their real name is Bald-faced hornets.
While gathering maple seeds from a different tree for the squirrels, behold, another large nest:
Those photos, though poor quality, are an indication of my increased lemming-like-ness. They were taken with a phone. And I actually was able to download the photos to the computer.
Banner’s old home box was well loved and used up. Jay moved it to the large white spruce this spring because the starlings were using it as a nest box and he could shoot them coming out of it easier there. But it had seen its best days: the roof and corners had been chewed; it no longer kept out all the wet.
So last night jay finished up a new box for the Earl and Merle Squirrel. Then we rearranged their cage. They slept in their tissue box on top of the wood box last night. We want to see if they will move their things into the box on their own.
Yesterday morning we took a spin together.
And this morning 11 new Monarch larvae were seen. I walked in areas of the field I have not before. How happy seeing each new one made me. 32 + 11 = 43. At least.
with flowers and Monarch larvae. A variegated Physostegia, also called Obedient plant because supposedly it will stay where you carefully bend its stem in a bouquet.
A few Monarch larvae:
It has been in the high 4o’s F the past few mornings. Jay told me it will only get in the high 60′s later this week. The flannel sheets are back on the beds.
The Sweet Autumn Clematis and fall Cyclamen are both in bloom also.
Earl and Merle are weaning themselves. They only wanted milk twice today, between 4 and six ml. apiece. They each weighed about 150 grams this morning. About 5 ounces. They are becoming more vocal. And have personalities. Jay made them a box.
That day I was listening to the nine o’clock news before beginning school with the children, then ages five and ten. The radio announcer was telling about the first plane hitting the north tower of the Trade Center when the second plane hit. He started crying. So did I.
As it became apparent that these were not accidents, as new came in of the attack on the Pentagon, I called a close friend in California. She thought I was joking until she turned on her TV.
We prayed. I cried. We prayed some more.
We went over to Mom M’s and spent a good portion of the day there watching the TV.
My daughter remembers nothing of this. As we were discussing what happened that day the depth of her incomprehension is becoming clearer to me.
She has grown up in a post-911 world. She could not conceive how we could have “let” people on board a plane take over and fly them into a building.