Have you Ever…

…watched a butterfly emerge?

Audrey has been raising butterflies again this year and we were able to video tape a butterfly emerging.  This year she has raised 15 butterflies and has three more to go.

holdingAfter the butterflies emerge, she releases them in a field where they will find food and milkweed.  She hopes that they stay nearby. We have seen one or two Monarchs after releasing them.

She is hoping to raise more Monarchs this year, but it is already better than her worst year of only being able to find three all summer.  Her best year was raising around 100 butterflies! Audrey has not been able to find any eggs or caterpillars for the last few weeks, so we think it may be another slow year.

Blackberries

BlackberriesAccording to Megan, the “strawberries” are ripe!  This year is promising to be a great year for blackberries, not enough to pick and freeze, but plenty for everyone to pick a handful of berries for themselves.  They are a wonderful after breakfast treat!

Learning

MomandbabyTwo days ago, the neighbor’s alpaca had a cria.  Luke is an adorable little guy! He was looking great and doing all he was supposed to do.

Last night though, they discovered that he is not eating.  He went to the vets and had a check up.  The neighbors are now feeding Luke a goat’s milk and yogurt meal until he learns to nurse properly.

I believe that God enjoys listening and helping his children when they need help.  I don’t think that he thinks anything is too silly to ask about.  Would you please pray with us about the new cria?

He needs to learn to eat and he needs to start growing.  The kids already love him.  I know that they are learning a lot watching him be sick.  They will learn more as they learn to bottle feed him and take care of him to help the neighbors.  Please pray for them through this lesson!  Pray too for the neighbors as they take care of the little guy.

 

 

Greer Spring and Blue Spring

Greer Spring

Blue SpringsSince Sickie was feeling slightly better, we decided to go exploring a little before heading home from Missouri.

We hiked down into Greer Spring.  The woods we walked through were beautiful.  Then we drove a little way and tried hiking to a few different springs along the same trail.  We stopped at Blue Spring and tried to walk further, but decided that the ticks won this time and we returned to the car. Even though we checked and double checked everyone before leaving, we still discovered a few on our way home.

The trip home was uneventful.  We stopped at a few places to stretch and the kids slept or read most of the trip home. We finished reading all but two chapters of Tom Saywer.

Once we got home, we started the fun job of cleaning everything!  We put our waterlogged camera in a bowl of rice.  Within a week, it had dried out enough to start working properly again!

Ready…Set…Go!

A few years ago, Allan found an article about a canoe trip down the Eleven Point River in Missouri.  He cut it out, thinking it sounded like a great idea.  When we starting talking about what to do for vacation this year, he remembered the article and we started researching it more.

The kids thought canoing sounded like fun.  Allan and I knew it would also be challenging.  Five days on canoes with everything we needed in backpacks.  We would need to filter all our water.  Bathrooms would be scarce. We would sleep in tentsSet up PackingSmoresno matter the weather.  There would be bugs and “scary” animals.

We planned for months.  We dehydrated meals.  We made gorp and biltong.  We got the kids ready the best we could.

The day arrived, it was time to go.  Allan got off work early and we left as soon as we could.  The next day we got up and drove some more.

Finally we arrived!  We spent the night at our chosen outfitters.  We double checked our supplies and repacked our bags.  We asked more questions.

After a good night sleep, we loaded all of our needs into a van.  We were driven to our chosen starting point and then dropped off.  It was time to officially start our canoing trip!

Tents

 

Butterfly

For the last few years, we have been raising butterflies.  We started out with some Painted Ladies that we had ordered. They were fun, but the caterpillar’s food was premade and they were supposed to stay in the little container they came in until they formed chrysalises.

We learned how to raise monarchs and have raised them from eggs for years. Some years we have raised over a hundred while last year we only raised a few because we could not find eggs or caterpillars.

Audrey decided it was time to do more.  Last year she collected any caterpillar she could find and learned what she could about it.  She discovered the Eastern Black Swallowtail.

Butterfly on daffadilWe learned more than expected.  Ichneumon Wasps will lay their eggs in the caterpillar.  They are parasites and will feed on the caterpillar.  You will not discover the problem until you have a wasp emerge instead of a butterfly from the chrysalis.

A much more fun lesson is that these butterflies overwinter. If put in a safe place during the winter, they will emerge in early spring.  Audrey put some in the garage this winter. After bringing them inside in April, they are starting to emerge!

 

 

Scavenger Hunt

We have been on the lookout for spring flowers.  We find most of them in the woods, but we found a few in our yard and a neighbor’s yard. Our goal was to discover and name as many different types of flowers that we could.

I did not take photographs of all the flowers we found. We have also discovered tulips, Narcissuss, assorted colored violets plus others we did not know the names of.

How many of these have you discovered this spring?

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