June 16, 2011

We've had an awesomely cool week with lows in the 50s and highs in the 80s.  This is totally unusual for June in NC.  But we're loving it!  Supposed to get hot again tomorrow.

Henry's team, the Orange County Efland Angels, won their season championship!!!! GO ANGELS!!!!  It was a fun season for Henry.  He caught a game winning ball in mid season.  Good job Henry :o)

Blackberry the calf is, indeed, living in our yard.  That's been fun.  And one of our chickens went broody on a wooden egg.  So Riley and I got a fertile egg from Woodcrest for her.  She's been sitting over week now.  Good Mama!

We've been watching three Black Swallowtail caterpillars eating on our dill for a couple of weeks now.  Today Henry and noticed the last one was gone, after leaving a pile of frass (caterpillar poop) on the Corsican mint growing under the dill.  Moments later we found the fat green stripey fellow crawling for China.  We picked him up on a stick about 10 seconds before a chicken got to him.  He opened his osmeterium (I do hope you are all impressed with these caterpillar related words) and shot out a stinky cheese smell.  At first I thought we'd put him in a dirty milk jar.  (Imagine my HORROR that one of milk jars would be so dirty!)   Then we thought the stick he was on was old and stinky.  Nope, smell the work of the osmeterium.   Apparently they drop a big load of frass (check) and start a lot of climbing and crawling (check) and are about 1.5 inches long (check) about 24 hours before they form a chrysalis.  So we put lil'stinky in a good clean jar and will await a butterfly hopefully in about 1-2 weeks.

All this caterpillar research happened while Riley was across the street playing with Emma.  She had a super fun day.  Details for that, perhaps, to follow on her blog?  (hint hint)

Osmeterium are unique to Swallowtails:

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