Black swallowtail chrysalis 

Time to clean the veggie yard. This dude was sheltering underneath the dead cucumber vines.

It’s probably Papilio polyxenes. You can call it a black swallowtail if it’s an adult, or a parsley worm if it’s a larva.  Apparently the color of the chrysalis is highly variable, allowing some of the caterpillars to survive regardless of what they’re overwintering on. It’ll reappear as an adult in the spring. Adults have a high degree of sexual dimorphism: Boys have larger yellow spots on a field of black while girls have some prominent blue patches at the bottom of the hind wing. It’ll be easy to tell once it emerges. This individual spent a month or so munching on a carrot. The carrot suffered, but there were other carrots, so it’s all good. Enough carrots for everybody. And next year, cool butterflies.

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Violets look sorta weird

Take a good look at the seedpod on this common blue violet, Viola sororia.

Here’s a close up.

Sorta alien lookin‘, aren’t they?

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Bee vs. fly

 

 

Here’s a bee. ———->

 

 

 

<——— And here’s a fly.

 

So, what’s the difference?

Bees: fluffy, long antenna, four wings.

Flies: not fluffy, short antenna, two wings.

Not a perfect distinction, but a good starting point. Except for the wing thing. That always works. Flies only ever got two.

Got it?

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That’s better

The needlepoint is slightly lacking. Look at this:



The highlight lacks subtly.

This second leaf is much better———->

 

So…rather than tearing the whole thing out and redoing, if a thread of of the darker blue is stitched randomly on top of the highlight, it might even it out a bit. And hey, it did. See? Much better. 

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Stitching leaves 

Highlights


Lowlights


Midtowns


And done.

 

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Plant sales

New plant friends

Many good things about anticipating an annual plant sale.  It reduces the purchase of plants as a form of immediate gratification. A plant could be thought about, researched, mentally transplanted, and finally rejected after it is realized that it actually pretty damn ugly. No digging or money is involved, just a lot of daydreaming. Also the plants available are cooler. And they are more likely to survive transplanting, since the weather has become much more reasonable AND they don’t have the pressure of putting out flowers until next year. So they’re much happier.

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The end of tiny sweaters

Finally! They is done. 24 tiny sweaters, ready for gifting, each unique. Okay, mostly unique. And here they are:


The tiny sweaters fit quite nicely on obnoxiously pink Barbie doll hangers, although they may require painting. The hangers, not the sweaters. Don’t paint your sweaters. Adding a turtleneck makes it hard to hang them, so that can be a thing to consider. But don’t omit the hangers; they are useful if you want to hide something within the sweaters, say a piece of chocolate, which could be taped in or attached to the hanger with a safety pin. Also, the yarn stash has been greatly reduced, which is always a plus.

So the end is that a passel of tiny sweaters is rather enjoyable to make and will use up a bunch of yarn. Now back to the regularly scheduled needlepoint and frog observations.

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