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After the storm

August 14th, 2016 at 07:47 am

Last night we had thunderstorms. It brought temps down a few degrees but today's forecast calls for another day of it feeling like 110 degrees.

Early this morning I went outside to check on the caterpillars. There was less than a quarter inch of water in the bottom of the aquarium, but I imagine it could be enough to drown a young caterpillar. I took a dry paper towel to soak up water and then wrung it out about 15 times.

All 6 caterpillars were accounted for.

One of the smaller ones.

As seen through the glass.

The aquarium I scored for $8 on Craig's List and the flimsy cover I made by staple gunning screening (roll, $6.49 at hardware store) to 2 wood yardsticks ($1.40 each) I cut up. It all should have worked just fine but inexplicably, the staples only went into the wood of the yardsticks about halfway, making the whole thing very flimsy. I hadn't thought yardstick wood would be that hard, but it is. I covered the cover with the black duct tape so I wouldn't cut myself on all the half inserted staples. Luckily I don't need this long term so I'll just be careful handling the cover, although I could see myself enjoying the whole butterfly thing enough to get lots more parsley next spring to attract more butterflies to raise. I might end up getting the cover at some point down the road at Pet Choice on Federal Road ($15). Normally wouldn't think twice about buying it but harder to justify discretionary expenses like this when I'm not working.

I got my severance money deposited in my checking account. How disappointing to see $12,000-something gross whittled down to just $7,700 net after taxes.

With this insane heat and humidity, I haven't done ANYTHING the last few days except create my butterfly home and read my Steve Jobs biography. I cancelled a get-together tomorrow to put mom's art in another shop simply becus when I'm dripping sweat I just don't have the energy to clean and gather together and list the art I'm bringing over there. I haven't heard back from her but I'm sure it will be ok to defer my visit for another week when more moderate weather comes.

I think I'll brave the outdoors to cut some queen anne's lace for the caterpillars. An excellent online resource for raising caterpillars, "Berkeley swallowtails," said even organic store-bought can kill caterpillars if traces of pesticides were carried over to the plant by wind. They also said an empty toilet paper roll is appealing as a place to form the chrysalis because it sort of mimics the underside of a leaf.

Another interesting factoid: the caterpillar purges (ie, throws up) a lot of liquid right before it forms the chrysalis. It's part of the process of preparing for its metamorphosis.

And after it becomes a butterfly, it will only live for 2 to 4 weeks.

6 Responses to “After the storm”

  1. rob62521 Says:

    Nice looking set up for a reasonable price.

    I'm with you on the heat and humidity. It finally got cooler yesterday, but we still have some humidity so if you do too much, you still sweat. I know I don't like snow and ice and cold, but this isn't a whole lot of fun either.

    It's very depressing to see how much taxes get taken out, isn't it?

  2. Jenn Says:

    Were you given the option to direct any of your severance pay to the 401k? I'm not suggesting that you should have - it's just something I've always been curious about.

  3. PatientSaver Says:

    No, they just took the taxes out, Jenn.

  4. VS_ozgirl Says:

    That's such a huge portion of tax to take out, it just seems wrong to take that much out of severance pay - this is what you're supposed to live off until you land your next job. Ugh.

  5. PatientSaver Says:

    VS Oz, that's exactly how i feel. But I guess since it's considered income, it must be taxed.

  6. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    I didn't know that about butterflies only living for a few weeks. Interesting.

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