New Dawn, New Day

Guess what time it is, guys!? YEAH, MONARCH TIME!

Kinda funny that I'd jusssst complained about my milkweed not doing so well over the winter, and that I hadn't seen any new cats in soooo long - like literally THAT DAY I glanced out the window to see a monarch fly by <3 Checking the garden I found a couple teensy cats on the scraggly ass milkweed, and so I set off to the nursery intending to replenish my plants with big new healthy ones. WELL. The nursery was OUT! they seriously had ONE MILKWEED PLANT left and I grabbed that pot up like it was a container fulla gold! The weekend (being of the sunny lovely springtime type in Florida) had cleared them right out, so in fact I was really lucky to score that one. And it must have been for a reason, because ...


newly laid monarch egg on underside of milkweed leaf

newly laid monarch egg on underside of milkweed leaf

munch munch munch - 3rd instar&nbsp;eating all that milkweed

munch munch munch - 3rd instar eating all that milkweed

making a "J" - getting settled in to pupate

making a "J" - getting settled in to pupate

pupa case complete! check back in 7-10 days to see who comes out

pupa case complete! check back in 7-10 days to see who comes out

Pretty and pretty gosh-darn awesome, right? All the pics are of the same monarch caterpillar EXCEPT the first one of the egg - that was either one that came attached to the new plant I bought, or was quickly laid there by a mama monarch that came by the afternoon I put the plant in the yard :) But the other three images are of the first cat I'd seen in the garden - and if we've read the "signs" correctly - we've determined it's gonna be a girl! >> Sexing a Monarch Pupa

So, I will be keeping tabs and will be back in about a week to letcha know what we get!

Spring Has Sprung!

Happy 1st day of Spring!

(though here in Florida it's felt like a mix of spring and summer for weeks now)

The the breeze is blowing, the buds are blooming, the bumbles are buzzing, the chimes are chinging, the birds are chirping and busy building nests, and it's gone from rain showers this morning to what looks like it's going to be a clear sunny day. We planted some flowering vines and bushes in the side yard last night just in time to get them a good soaking today ... The kids and I are going to seed-plant some sunflowers and TRY our hand at some zinnias in that plot as well. Will get pics of it and updates along the way ...

The beautiful blossom above is actually a peach colored hibiscus from the front entrance, but the image summed up my feelings for this first day of sweet, sweet springtime ... I actually managed to carve out a scrap of time today to get my art on, which has been slim pickin's for quite some time now. And I intend to


in it! So you enjoy your day too, whatever it brings you!

~ gem ~