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A Slow Start

One of the few eggs I have found at my house.

Here it is, mid-July, and I have 4 caterpillars. Part of it is the busy-ness of life keeping me from going out and looking for them. Part of it is the terrible milkweed quality I seem to have this year, which may be from the extremely hot and dry early summer we had. Aphids abound, and ants are eagerly farming them. Last year in one day in early July I had found 50 eggs on the plants in my tiny backyard garden alone!

One of the 4 tiny caterpillars my daughter found.

I am also trying to hold back for my family's sake. I tend to be an all-or-nothing person and have never been able to moderate myself when it comes to art or raising caterpillars. If I have only 4, I forget about them (my 10 year old has decided she wants to be in charge of them thank goodness). If I have 100 I focus intensely on it and the caterpillars thrive but I neglect to do things around the house. Sigh.

An earwige and a milkweed bug

Earwigs, as pictured above, eat smaller insects. I let this one stay and I hope he at lots of ants and aphids!!

COVID-19 has also sucked a lot of joy from life. I find myself withdrawing and staying indoors, not out of fear but out of resignation. I praise God for the days that I wake up forgetting that our world has been turned upside down. That sweet hour or 2 of ignorance is a blessing.

Anyway, I will continue to plant and take care of wildflowers, assist my daughter in tending to a smaller herd, and when possible, find artful ways to photograph the results.

Elisabeth Finstad



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