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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Our 31st & 32nd Weeks ~ 2014

Brace yourself for two weeks worth of photos since I totally missed last week.  We had such a fun and busy week that blogging just didn't happen.  :)  

Still participating in Fat Mum Slim's photo a day challenge ... and thoroughly enjoying it!  For July I challenged myself to not only photograph something for the prompt, but I included at least one family member in each of my photos.  Even if it was just fingers or toes.  For August I'm back to just interpreting the prompt.

{July 27 - Ten}
July 27: Ten
Ten Monarch chrysalides ready to be moved to a different enclosure. I had too many containers taking up too much space on my counter, so Keira helped me get these ones moved to a cage that Doug helped me make. They are now hanging from a branch inside the cage. Can't wait for butterflies! 

{July 28 - Cool}
July 28: Cool
July 28 Photo a Day: Cool. I think it is really cool that we are raising Monarchs again this summer. I also think it is cool that I found this big guy this morning along with 4 eggs.

{July 29 - Repeat}
July 29: Repeat
July 29 Photo a Day: Repeat. Lather ... rinse ... repeat if necessary. Does anyone actually repeat?  :)

{July 30 - Lost}
July 30: Lost
July 30 Photo a Day: Lost. We may have lost a caterpillar, but we gained a butterfly. (Yeah, it is a stretch, but I needed to show off the beautiful lady that joined us today! We kept her overnight due to chilly temps and torrential downpours.)

{July 31 - Rise}
July 31: Rise
July 31 Photo a Day: Rise.

A butterfly hovers closely
And then quickly moves away,
Swiftly going wheresoever
Her heart may freely say.

A butterfly lowers and *rises*
With the wind’s gusty breath,
As if coupled within a dance
Of a loving tenderness.

The butterfly only knows
How it feels to have wings,
To kiss the petals of flowers
In such elegant flitterings.

To have but one moment
Of such an exquisite flight,
Would be like a dream
Where all seems so right.
{Author Unknown}

We set our first girl free this morning. She sat on my finger for a few minutes, taking it all in, pondering what to do. We walked up to the garden in our back yard where she took flight and I cheered her on with tears in my eyes. This is always the hardest part about raising Monarchs - letting them go to live their lives. But I thought - how cool it would be if I am able to raise some of her babies? I'll never know, of course, but still.  :)

And that concludes the month of July.

{August 1 - Landscape}
August 1: Landscape
The view I see when I walk out my front door in the evenings. I just love our neighbors' mulberry tree. I think it has so much character.

{August 2 - Lunch}
August 2: Lunch
Monarch caterpillars eat milkweed for lunch ... and breakfast ... and dinner.  :)

{August 3 - "S" is for ... }
August 3: "S" is for
"S" is for ... sharing. This swallowtail butterfly and these bees seemed to be sharing this milk thistle pretty well.

{August 4 - In the middle}
August 4: In the middle
In the middle of these Monarch butterflies is a gorgeous female. 

{August 5 - Pile}
August 5: Pile
We decided to pile in the car and spend the day at Idlewild. We had a blast! We took a pile of "ride selfies" with Doug's little pocket camera. This one of myself and Nick on the Tilt-a-Whirl (one of the few rides he will ride) was among them.

{August 6 - Grateful for}
August 6: Grateful for
I am grateful for many things. My savior Jesus, my family, my friends, my health, etc. But as far as what I have taken pictures of today :) I am thankful for this handsome fellow. He is one of five Monarch butterflies I was able to release today. Four males and one female. Today's count: 18 butterflies, 18 in chrysalis, 102 caterpillars in various stages, and 9 eggs. What a summer!

{August 7 - Spot}
August 7: Spot
Monarch butterflies have many spots on their bodies. Which is interesting to me since the caterpillar is striped.

{August 8 - Pet peeve}
August 8: Pet peeve
While Pennsylvania has many strengths - rolling hills, beautiful farms, the opportunity to enjoy all four seasons (sometimes all in one week :) ) - it is a pet peeve of mine that it is difficult to find a good spot to take silhouette photos. We are surrounded by trees and almost always the trees end up as part of the silhouette. Even when laying on the ground with the camera.   (This photo was actually take on Thursday at the small family wedding I had the honor of photographing.)

{August 9 - Mix}
August 9: Mix
Such a mix of emotions on your wedding day. Excitement, anxiety, anticipation, nervousness. Even with all that, this bride handled everything so well. She was such a pleasure to work with. I wish her and her new husband all the best!  (From Saturday's wedding.  It was a long, tiring day but we had a blast!)

Just a quick recap of the last two weeks (more for me than for you :)) ...
Hung out with an artist friend and learned some graphic design
Shopped with another friend
Visited a new-to-us state park about an hour's drive away with the kids.  We plan to go back when we have more time.
Went to a play with Keira - A Midsummer Night's Dream.  It was an outside, moving play where we had to move from location to location to watch each act.  LOVED IT!  My friend, Rainey, was part of the production.  We honestly didn't understand most of it but we got the basic concept of the story.  And it was funny!  I really hope that production group does more of that type of play!
Had a family date to our local semi-pro baseball team's game.  They lost but it was still a lot of fun.  Wishing we had gone sooner in the season, because we are already talking about going next year.  Several times.
Spent the day at Idlewild.  FUN!
Had another family date at our local farm show.  (So much family togetherness this week!)
Then started my busy photography schedule - which is why we crammed in so much fun earlier in the week.  
Thursday - wedding at a local lake.
Friday - 50th anniversary party for a wonderful couple.
Saturday - wedding at a park; reception at a banquet hall.  Long, tiring but fun day!

If you made it this far, kudos to you!  Thanks for stopping by!  Have a great week!


Mersad said...

All of your close ups are magnificent. So much beauty!

Mersad Donko Photography

Tamar SB said...

All the monarchs are just stunning, wow. You are amazing for caring for so many!

Rainey said...

Lovely, as always. :-)

Laura Delegal - Leroy Photography said...

It's always so much fun to see your caterpillars and butterflies. Such wonders of nature--of God.