Friday, July 25, 2014

Brainstorming with Butterflies

I've got some news.

The kind that came into my head just a second ago, it seems.

And it's still so fresh that I really shouldn't be saying anything about it, probably, until I've thought it through....

But when my head explodes with an idea, it helps me to write about it. And when I write, it helps me to write to YOU. Because you help me think straight....

This idea exploded in my head over the weekend, and since then all the dry tinder in my brain has caught fire. And after talking to you about it here I was originally going to ask for your opinion and support, but y'know what? Although you're welcome to weigh in (and I'll be monumentally appreciative if you do), in the end it's not going to matter one way or the other. Because I still want to explore this and see where I can take it....

That being said, here we go:

Generation 1 of this year's monarch herd here at Tumbledown has fledged, and we're already up to our necks in Generation 2.

Last year seemed to start late for us. If I remember correctly, Tumbledown saw nary an egg, caterpillar, or butterfly until late June or early July (don't know where my records are at the moment, so I could be wrong, although that seems accurate), and our final fledgling count was only in the 30-somethings....

A far cry from the nearly 300 that we'd raised just a short couple years prior!

But this season has so far exceeded my expectations. We've already surpassed last year's 30-something with Generation 1. And now there's twice that in my kitchen as Generation 2 gets underway.

Granted, I've gone above-and-beyond this year (in my opinion) to make sure we at least beat last year's numbers. I've haunted all dang sorts of swampy locales and lone milkweed patches in the search for eggs and larvae, and I've got the mosquito bites to prove it! I even frantically ran ahead of the City's municipal mowers recently as they prepared to coif the verges of my area's little walking path, the one that goes by Postage Stamp Pond at the end of my neighborhood. I've gotten GOOD at spotting caterpillar 'eatage' from three yards away, even without my specs!, and I returned home with another collection of eggs and hatchlings. Rescued from the blades of death! I felt proud of myself. :)

Individually feeding 60+ caterpillars takes time. For one person it's like a part-time job. I grumble about it, especially when I stumble out of bed in the morning and fumble for the kettle only to see an army of plastic beer cups full of caterpillars and caterpillar poop, and not a milkweed crumb in sight. In my head I imagine them raised up on their back halves, pointing to their gaping maws like Simon's Cat.... And then the kettle's forgotten as I step outside in my jammies to pick leaves and get to work.

I'm passionate about my monarchs. I always have been. And even more so now that their population is dwindling and they're in danger of future extinction.... I keep thinking I can do more!

And then over the weekend it hit me.

I can do LOTS more.

I can give them not only my time and my attention and the bulk of my kitchen. I can give them my ideas and my imagination and my art skills as well.

And I can start NOW.

Fest is just a few short weeks away, and I might not be prepared with everything that I've been brainstorming since the weekend's slap upside the head. But if you could only see what I'm imagining! -- products and artwork and seed packets, oh my; the sales of which will benefit the butterflies! The potential is EPIC.

And even if I eventually do a typical 'delayne' -- that thing of dipping my wings in the water before seeing the next big shiny Idea and moving on -- THIS is burning in my heart right now. And I need something burning in my heart again, dammit....

So that's it. My big idea. My news. It feels right. And I'm excited to explore it!

And I think I've got this guy's vote. :)


Thursday, July 24, 2014

Still Here

I've been far from the keyboard lately, up to my neck in the busy-ness that is summer here at Tumbledown.

There have been big blissful grandbug moments and hot sunny days plucked from a Calvin-and-Hobbes strip. And, of course, I'm still trying to digest my recent Trip of a Lifetime, put my impressions in order, make wonderful magickal sense of it all.

It's butterfly season, too, and all is in full swing here. Stacks of caterpillar-filled plastic beer cups line my kitchen countertops right now -- a MUCH better season this year than in the recent past. My days start and end with milkweed as I try to save the world one monarch butterfly at a time. It's not much in the grand scheme of things, I know, but I like to think I'm making a difference somehow.

Plus, the Renaissance Festival is just a few short weeks away. So much to do and prepare for, set up and consider! I see it in my head and feel both anxious and eager.

So much on my plate right now. And then there's YOU-- in my thoughts every day.

The last time I wrote was a while ago, wasn't it? A whole month has passed without a post.... I was in a mood then. And after pressing the 'publish' button I backed away from the keyboard and had a hard time returning to it.


As you know, the post was all about 'losing friends and negatively influencing people,' and I was feeling somewhat unloved....

But as one awesome Facebook friend would later put it, "...if some people come and go, be grateful for those who will always stay!" So I know now that my focus was in the wrong place, on the wrong people. There are folks here who are devoted, constant, steadfast, willing to take my bad with my good (bless you!; I'm so grateful that you're here that I want to go there and give you a big hug), and they're the ones I should be focusing on.

Wonderful people.

Like you.

I heart you, my friend; I hope you know that.... And plan to hear from me again soon, OK? Because lots has happened. And I have lots to tell you.