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September 06, 2009


I hope you're not too late with the milkweed. Look for LARGE caterpillars or, more likely, chrysalises. According to migrationwatch.org, the midpoint of monarch migration at your latitude peaks between 29 August - 10 September. And of course the butterflies will be nectaring not on milkweed - which is well past flowering - but on goldenrod, asters, etc. I don't think you can still find tussock moth caterpillars on milkweed, either, but you should still be finding milkweed bugs. Otherwise, remember, milkweed is a bonanza primarily during flowering time; few creatures can eat the leaves.

It sounds as if one of the main benefits of having a studio space is it will force you to get out at least twice a day. I could use a kick in the pants like that, too.

Sorry, I meant to delete "the midpoint of" in my previous comment.

There is a monarch festival in a small town near us which is a main stop on monarch migration. The pictures are beautiful. I think I'll go this year to see the spectacle. I saw a monarch in our yard today. It was the first one I've seen this year.

Wow, are you sure? (I'm sure you know.)I've always found more caterpillars toward the end of the season. But this inspires me to go out and comb the railroad edges looking for chrysalises. Oddly, compared to Vermont, where we always saw a lot of migrating monarchs, I haven't seen any here (not that Ive been looking hard). In Vermont and New York, I think of it as something that goes along with fall football games - we'd stand there and watch the monarchs floating obliviously southward, along the field.

Last summer, in Manley Hot Springs in the Alaska interior, I was astonished one day to find the air filled with monarchs. They were all over the place for a few weeks, then gone. Like everything else in Alaska they do their thing fast. I had no idea they got so far north.

Hi Beth,
Our studio is a short walk from the house, a walk I do many times a day. But the powerbooks go back and forth too. We are enjoying our NH autumn beginning. The tomatoes were a disaster this year but I had a huge onion crop and plenty of potatoes.
We just got back from an unbelievable two weeks in France with over a thousand photos. I will start posting some. It was really really fun to try speaking French and it is my number one recommendation for anyone going to France. Just showing that you were learning the language brought smiles and opened doors. We had a fantastic time. I loved it.

Wow - I am a little envious and so glad you had a wonderful trip to France! I'm anxious to see some of the photos. Hope the glow of your trip lasts well into the winter...Just had a conversation with friends who always make gallons of tomato sauce - same deal here in Quebec - they said the tomatoes were mostly water and the boiling-down took almost twice as much time as usual!

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Who was Cassandra?

  • In the Iliad, she is described as the loveliest of the daughters of Priam (King of Troy), and gifted with prophecy. The god Apollo loved her, but she spurned him. As a punishment, he decreed that no one would ever believe her. So when she told her fellow Trojans that the Greeks were hiding inside the wooden horse...well, you know what happened.