Monday, September 12, 2011

They Grow Each Time You Tell The Story

 Many asked me if I had forecasts for the winter by looking at these wooly bears. Many settlers used to offer a thought when they saw them. If they were a sign of what is ahead, I might step on them to change the winter's cold. Actually, coloration with a wooly bear is changed with age. I hate seeing my first one, knowing fall is near and the summer season will soon change. I plan on hitting the beach today, the water may be a bit brisk, but I need to get all the beach time in I can before the cool comes back to stay. My last swim last year was October and I had a bit of voice change while doing that.
These little caterpillars are Monarchs, I spent my afternoon this last Saturday tagging the butterflies with a tiny sticker as part of a migration project carried on by the U of Kansas. The butterflies migrate into Mexico over the winter before returning back to North America in the spring.

 If you look close you can see the tiny sticker with three letter and three numbers to identify our group and area we caught and released these butterflies. Part of the fun is inviting the public to join, it is real nice to see families getting a chance to enjoy the beauty of the prairie. I enjoy seeing future naturalists in the making catch and of course release these beautiful butterflies.

 We record the sex and date and it is added to data  from many who join in on this research.

 This bee is turning purple from the pollen of this thistle.

 A tiny Cardinal feather hidden in the prairie blooms.

 A new day begins with the sun  melting off the fog on the water.

Hey, this guy is making sounds at me.
I woke up seeing a bit of light lighting up my tent as the sun edged up over a ridge.I wasn't sure of the time, but fishing is best at first light, and this was a sign to wake a friend who was going to join me. The weather being a lot cooler had produced a light fog all around the campground and out across the lake, lifting up in gentle swirls. I quickly showered and dressed and took my dog alarm back over to the tent, letting her in with the command of ,"kiss, kiss, kiss." This is a sure way to wake up someone, especially if they don't like dogs to lick them. "I heard you," muttered a sleepy friend. " Maybe you want to go ahead and I will catch up," said the sleepy camper rolling over and hiding under covers from an impulsive dog. That would not happen and I kept giving the kiss command until they were up and out of the tent. Lily had worked her charm and we headed off to a favorite spot on the lake. I had pastries, fruit and juice to get the blood moving and offered some extra clothing to stay warm. I had wished I hadn't taken some lightweight gloves out of my car in June, it was time to put them back in for mornings like this. My first cast brought in a nice catfish, but my friend just sat shivering. I baited her pole and she cast out, bringing in another catfish, perhaps bigger than mine. That got the energy going and a day of fishing began. Walking up to grab some more worms, I fixed a monster sandwich and brought it down to share, Little dogs sat up begging, it was going to be a three way share she felt. When we used all the bait we washed up in the lake and headed into town to get more pastries for the later part of the day.We had a picture of each good sized fish and stories to share. A tiny dog curled up on my lap, happy to be back in the warm, and content to be part of the fun.


  1. The catch and release project with the monarchs looks like fun! I agree- it must be inspiring to see the young 'uns take such an interest in nature. I would love to find a cardinal feather! With so many of them frequenting my yard, I'm surprised I've never found one.

  2. We had a lot od mikweed growing for a couple of years and one day I sat out watching a monarch caterpillar change into it's chrysalis. Took less than 15 minutes.

  3. I never see "Wooly Bears" But that is because I don't go outside a lot. It's amazing how far those Monarchs travel. Lovely photos. And sounds like you had a nice, peaceful fishing trip.

  4. I'll have to wake the kids up with that tomorrow! I could just open their doors and call out, "kiss, kiss, kiss"! :D hehe

  5. Monarchs migrate by the millions through the Gulf States in October. I remember seeing clouds of them drifting over the causeway from Apalachicola out to St George Island- Miss Betsy

  6. How interesting with the sticker on the butterfly. I'm assuming it's no ordinary sticker otherwise it would never stay on.
    I laughed at the dog alarm, too funny

  7. I didn't know what the monarch caterpillar looked like, so I learned something. You've got some great pictures here. I especially liked the butterfly and bee on the thistle and the cardinal feather.

  8. Hahaaa...kisskisskiss...meany!Hahaaa...
    I Always thought if you touched a butterflys wings and rubbed the powder off, they could no longer fly! Not true??

  9. What a neat Butterfly idea!
    And everyone does love a good Fish Story:D

  10. I love the wooly bears and I never thought of pollen as being anything but yellow so I learned something too. I didn't know anyone did that with butterflies that's great. I agree better enjoy all the outdoors you can.

  11. see i never thought about sexing the butterflies! i don't know they should have thought me that in highschool, i just can't remember and am a little blown away by it!

    gonna regroup now but i'll be back! ;-)

  12. Steve, the dog alarm story was very cute as was your friend's reaction. I have seen monarch tagging before and it is really interesting to learn how far these butterflies travel. Interesting about the bee changing color because of the flower color.

  13. I think I saw my first woolly bear about two weeks ago... not a good sign. Are you ready for the cold weather coming tomorrow? Yikes -- it will be a real wake up call.

    Loved your description of your camping trip -- fun!

  14. Hello Steve!
    I do not like when the end of summer arrives. This is my favorite season.
    No question of taking a last swim in the pool, the water is too cold now, because the nights are cool.
    Interesting tracking butterflies!

  15. I loved reading about (and seeing the photos of) the Monarch tracking. I imagine it would be lovely to be part of such an endeavor. The cardinal feather touches me. I tend to keep most solitary feather I come across.


Keep it positive and informative,I enjoy hearing from you!