A Site of Beef by Ann-S-Thesia
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10/29/2000 - 11/04/2000
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12/02/2001 - 12/08/2001
12/09/2001 - 12/15/2001
12/16/2001 - 12/22/2001
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Saturday, August 18, 2001

Dream: was with Stan and Tim. It was winter, and we were entering some park that was fenced off. There was a wolf in the park, but it couldn't get at us because we were behind a fence. But somehow a gate got open and the wolf got in and started to jump on us. I was saying, "nice wolf" but I could tell it was vicious (wouldn't a wolf be more scared than attacking?) and was afraid it would bit me. I was climbing on the chain link fence to get away from it, and suddenly the setting changed into some sort of room and I was jumping on tables and chairs to get away from it. I know I had a lot more in my dream than just that, but it was rather jumbled up and this is all I could remember.
posted by Ann-S-Thesia at 9:44 AM || link it email me



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Friday, August 17, 2001

We placed her on a hibiscus flower. Since then, she's moved off toward a bud which is probably easier to hang on to and less slippery. Note how different all the spots look on all the females. She has yellow crescents above the blue and red eye spots...the others didn't have that. Today we bought an Audobon Butterfly field guide. They say the chrysalises can be leaf green or forest brown, but that's all they say, they don't say *why* the variation in color occurs.

swallowfemale4open.jpg

posted by Ann-S-Thesia at 6:55 PM || link it email me


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Here she is pumping her wings up more while she moves toward the branch in the cage. Beneath her is her chrysalis shell, and beneath that is the shell of the one that hatched before her. To the left is a green chrysalis that will hatch any time now, the last of our Black Swallowtails.

swallowfemale4hatch2.jpg

posted by Ann-S-Thesia at 6:43 PM || link it email me


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As we were bringing out the cage of chrysalises to release Swallowtail #4 (aka Female #3 and brown chrysalis #2), the last brown chrysalis started to hatch right as Stan was carrying the cage. I tried to get a picture of it while it was still in its chrysalis, but we weren't fast enough for it. This is the first picture I got, right as it climbed out of its chrysalis below it. It's another female. Notice how small the wings are. The butterfly will need to pump it full of fluid (which is now in its overly enlarged abdomen) before the wings are normal size and before it can fly.

swallowfemale4hatch1.jpg

posted by Ann-S-Thesia at 6:36 PM || link it email me


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We put her in the fennel. Shortly after, she disappeared, hopefully having flown away healthy.

swallowfemale3closed.jpg

posted by Ann-S-Thesia at 6:28 PM || link it email me


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After Stan and I returned from grocery shopping, we found another brown Swallowtail chrysalis had hatched another female. Get a load of that blue.

swallowfemale3open.jpg

posted by Ann-S-Thesia at 6:19 PM || link it email me


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Not a butterfly, but this cicada was so cute I just had to take a picture. Stan saw it on the cement steps out back. I tried to take a pic with it on him, but it flew away. If Pug dogs were insects...they'd be cicadas (you know...with eyes on the side of their heads like that).
posted by Ann-S-Thesia at 1:28 PM || link it email me


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Below is the third Black Swallowtail to hatch, the 2nd female (I think) and the first from a brown chrysalis. The chrysalis difference thing must be a subspecies as opposed to a recessive trait. Oh heck, I don't know what it means. But the markings on this one look different than the one on the other female. This one I wasn't able to get pictures of the wings closed...just open...before it flew away.

swallowfemale2open.jpg

posted by Ann-S-Thesia at 1:18 PM || link it email me


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If you are happening upon this bug journal late, I start it on this page, and it continues here and here. You can also check out my archives. (archEYEves)

Still puzzled about the color difference of the Swallowtail chrysalises in what appears to be the same species. Maybe they're recessive/dominant characteristics, but we had three of each color. Maybe the differences in color exist to offer more protection. If they happen to chrysalize on something green that later turns brown, then the brown ones will be more camouflaged...if the plant material doesn't turn brown, then the green ones will be camouflaged. Ensures that at least some of the species will survive under various conditions? Who knows...I'm not an entomologist. Want to get ahold of a really good field guide, but can't find one. We found one for the western part of North America (west of the Missouri River) but not its counterpart for the eastern part of the continent....twice...at two different bookstores. Silly people ordering it didn't stop to think that a field guide for the eastern half of the continent would be more popular in Wisconsin, hmmm?
posted by Ann-S-Thesia at 10:02 AM || link it email me


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Below: The Black Swallowtail with closed wingspan on some fennel. I just checked on him a minute ago and he is not on the butterfly bush anymore. I hope he flew away and is healthy.

swallowmale1closed.jpg

posted by Ann-S-Thesia at 9:33 AM || link it email me


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Below: The Black Swallowtail male still in the jar.

swallowmale1open.jpg

posted by Ann-S-Thesia at 9:25 AM || link it email me


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Below: Me with the Monarch perched on my finger before I moved it to the butterfly bush. I don't have a picture of the Monarch with open wingspan...maybe another time.

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posted by Ann-S-Thesia at 9:20 AM || link it email me


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Below: Stan holds the lid of the aquarium with the chrysalises and our first-hatched Monarch.

monarch1wchrys.jpg

posted by Ann-S-Thesia at 9:14 AM || link it email me


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Below: Our first Black Swallowtail female, closed wingspan.

swallowfemale1closed.jpg

posted by Ann-S-Thesia at 9:06 AM || link it email me


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Below: Our first Black Swallowtail to hatch, a female, with open wingspan.

swallowfemale1open.jpg

posted by Ann-S-Thesia at 9:03 AM || link it email me


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Horrible dream last night. I dreamt a bunch of chrysalises hatched, but the butterflies' wings were torn and I couldn't tell what species they were, although I could tell they were different species. I also dreamt some friends of ours from Boulder were visiting, I dreamt of stairways to basements (this reocurring dream staircase that's nothing like our staircase to our basement in our hourse)...and I had this weird segment where I was sitting in my parent's living room with Stan and a "friend" from graduate school (one of those people who disappear from your life after you graduate...), George, and he was trying on my mom's shoes (she's about a size five and a half) and complaining in an ironic way, "these shoes don't fit." I was really mad because if my mom found out he was playing around with her shoes which are equipped with orthodic supports, she'd get really mad. I thought it very immature of him, and not even funny.

Bug Journal, Day 17

Yesterday and today have been quite the days. Around noon I looked in the Swallowtail aquarium and noticed one had hatched from a green chrysalis. It was a black swallowtail, mostly black with blue around the base of the bottom wings. I put it outside on some fennel, but it wasn't ready to fly away and I got paranoid so I put it back in a jar until Stan came home. A Monarch, male, I believe (they're the ones with thinner veins and black scent dots) also hatched. And then another Swallowtail hatched from another green chrysalis, but this butterfly looked different. It had yellow spots where the first one didn't. This was a male; the first was a female. This means that the two different colors of chrysalis are not a gender difference as Stan suggested; they are as I first thought, two different species or subspecies.

When Stan came home, we released the female black swallowtail and it flew away. We placed the Monarch on a butterfly bush, and the newer (male) Swallowtail on some fennel. In the late evening, the Monarch had flown away, but the Swallowtail was still there. I got paranoid again, and feared leaving it out like that at night so we put it in a large jar and kept it inside for the night. The whole night I couldn't sleep well, fearing for the Swallowtail's wellbeing. When I woke up, it was alive, so we released it outside in the morning. It is now sitting on a butterfly bush, where it has been for an hour. I am hoping it is ok and just trying to warm up before it flies away. I worry so much about these things as a couple years ago we had a Monarch we released later in the day. It never left the bush we released it on, and found it dead there the following morning. I do not know what went wrong, and worry about releasing them either too late or too early.

Just now, one of the brown butterflies hatched, but the butterfly looks identical to the female that hatched out of the green chrysalis. I do not understand...is this the same species with recessive/dominant traits like chrysalis color? Bizarre. We'll release it later in the day. Photograph forthcoming.
posted by Ann-S-Thesia at 8:47 AM || link it email me



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Thursday, August 16, 2001

Below are the 14 chrysalises (chrysalii?) I discussed below. The red arrow is the one that just changed. Note how it appears yellower than the rest. The yellow arrow is the one that is about to hatch. If you look carefully, you can see wing patterns.

14chrysalii.jpg

posted by Ann-S-Thesia at 9:38 AM || link it email me


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Weird dream last night...let's see if I can remember it: I think I was downtown near the University late at night with Stan and some younger female friends of Tim (people I have a hard time feeling much affinity toward). We were sitting on top of some architectural feature like steps by a fountain or something. We were very high up and could see for miles. It was nearly midnight, but there was a strange daylight/twilight outside and it was sort of chilly (were we in Norway? Alaska?) After that, Stan and I went into some house where there were a bunch of people. I don't know why we were there. Some generic woman (looked a little like Laura Dern, but it wasn't) I made up for the dream who I supposedly went to graduate school with started asking me what sort of art I was doing lately. I told her I wasn't able to paint much anymore and was mostly doing digital art. She started asking me about computers and I told her I could only answer her question if it was a Mac question, but it wasn't and she was expecting me to answer it anyway. Then there was an influx of children in the room and I was pushed aside and couldn't talk to her anymore. I was walking around the house, which was Victorian-era and very long but very narrow. Lots of nice furniture. Then badhouseguestguy (don't want to say his name here) enters the house and I get a sinking feeling. He says hi to me and I walk away and tell him I have to use the bathroom and can't talk now. I enter this bathroom area, but it's not enclosed really, and I have to secure it off with curtains and pieces of furniture. I hear him muttering something insane like "I'm not going back to Virginia, that's for sure," which was totally in-character for this person. I look at him and he's really ugly...uglier than usual.

Was Virginia the state or a woman? Badhouseguestguy is seriously demented, and I'm afraid this dream is a foreshadowing of something.

--

Bug Journal, Day 17

The first Monarch to turn chrysalis is now dark and ready to hatch. Last night I could see the coloration of the wings inside it. We moved that aquarium to the back room so it would be easy for me to release them outside as the times come. There's one about to chrysalize right next to it...I hope that their chrysalizing/hatching don't coincide at the same time...that might not be good for either if they bump into eachother. Funny how they have the whole screen to chrysalize on (it's a ten gallon aquarium), but 14 of them are on a little 5x5 inch square, the plastic-slide opening cover, and only four are on the rest of the (mesh-area) screen. Two of the green-colored Swallowtail chrysalises are turning dark too...hatching time must be close for them as well.
posted by Ann-S-Thesia at 7:57 AM || link it email me



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Wednesday, August 15, 2001

Damn phone lines keep staticizing and it's hard to keep an internet connection. I hate Ameritech (our local phone company, not my internet provider), but its competitors sure don't give much information on their websites about what they offer and their terms.

Bug Journal, Day 15

We now have 17 chrysalises and one that's about to turn any hour now. We have an unfortunate caterpillar that we isolated in a jar that is showing the sign of tachnid fly problems, i.e., it's hanging upside down as if chrysalizing yet it is too young. This was one of the ones we found at an intermediate size outside this past Saturday...perhaps the one in the previous picture that I'm holding on a stick. It is very sad and heartbreaking. More proof the ones harvested from our yard as intermediate or larger-size caterpillars are subject to that damn fly. Eggs, or those harvested when very small--hatchlings--are very unlikely to have this problem as the caterpillar has to have some mass to it for the fly to lay its eggs in/on it. I'm still uncertain whether the eggs are laid in or on it. How horrible, regardless. My goodness, had we not been diligent and harvested early and often, there might not be any surviving caterpillars from our yard at all. We didn't have this problem the previous years, even though we didn't have nearly as many caterpillars the previous years. I wonder what happened. I'm just glad we're catching a lot of them before the flies get to them.

We've now put the screen top with the 17 chrysalises and the one about to change onto the empty cage with twigs. This is where they will stay until they hatch into butterflies. After a butterfly hatches and has time to pump up its wings, we will release it outside.
posted by Ann-S-Thesia at 12:39 PM || link it email me



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Monday, August 13, 2001

Bug Journal, Day 13

I am now officially classifying the questionable chrysalis as dead. It looks mummified now. I don't think it's a maggot thing; they would've hatched by now. It's just something that apparently went wrong in the transformation from caterpillar to chrysalis as it never really looked like the others from day one.

We now have fourteen "live" (green...not dead-looking) Monarch chrysalises. We only have four more caterpillars from the "first batch" that need to change, and two are now up on the screen. It won't be long before the very first one that transformed hatches into a butterfly (I'm giving it about three days or so), as I see the dark veins that Monarchs have on their wings starting to show very subtley inside the green.

After Stan came home from work this afternoon, we changed some jars (easier and less odorous than changing diapers!), added some leaves and examined all the little "baby" ones that are too small to add to the aquarium (they're sooooo cute!). We noticed one of the upside down caterpillars on the screen convulsing a lot, as they do before they chrysalize. We decided "what the heck...let's go for it." So we decided to take time out of our busy schedule, me with reorganizing my website, Stan with his car repairs, and take time just to slack and watch the caterpillar change. We've never seen the Monarchs actually shed their skin before...we've only seen them in the before and after, but not during.

As it changed, the body rippled like an accordion. The caterpillar skin seemed to take on a transparent quality so that the white, black and yellow striped body looked more green and black striped, showing the green chrysalis beneath. It looked very dead, yet it wasn't...just the skin was. Its body pumped and pumped, wriggling to break free of its childhood skin. Finally the skin split by the head, and the green chrysalis became visible underneath. The skin pushed upward to the top of the screen until it was just a little brown empty compressed shell of its former self. It wriggled until the skin fell to the bottom of the aquarium. At this point, the chrysalis looked very alien, and dare I say, phallic. Well, maybe more phallic if you were a Martian, but phallic nonetheless. It was still long like a caterpillar, but green, with a ripply base where the abdomen is, and a larger area where the head and the beginnings of wings are. The abdomen was covered with this wet-looking slime or gel...there was yellow coloration that would disappear within a few minutes. It wriggled more, pumping the abdomen into a smaller compressed conical area at the base, while filling out the head/wing area. It's quite amazing, actually, and I'm glad I finally got to see one transform. The process from head-splitting to completely formed chrysallis probably takes about 20 minutes, but I didn't time it.

There is no gold on the chrysalis at this point, just some bumps that will turn gold in a day or so. As one who utilizes metallic in both digital and physical art, I find the gold remarkable. I forget which butterfly or moth it was, but we visited a few enclosed butterfly gardens (one permanent one in Broomfield, CO and the other a temporary exhibit at the Natural History Museum in Milwaukee) and have seen pupas of some species that are completely gold. It's breathtaking...they're like little jewels. I do not know how this color can exist on an organic being...metals are inorganic...how can they be found on animals? It's amazing. What's even more amazing is that the metal even looked tarnished.

Now I'm steadfastly against genetic engineering on so many levels...but deep down I admit it would be totally cool to have the genetics to be able to make my entire body metallic gold.
posted by Ann-S-Thesia at 4:53 PM || link it email me



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Sunday, August 12, 2001


Eleven chrysalises including the questionable brown-colored one. One caterpillar in a "J" form about to chrysalize, one on the top of the screen getting ready to spin his filament attachment, and only six left still eating in the aquarium. Five of those will chrysalize within the next few days, at which point I will transfer the screen to an empty aquarium with just twigs for the newly-hatched butterflies to rest on as they pump fluid into their wings. I have small caterpillars in jars waiting to go into the aquarium when they get larger and after this current brood is in the butterfly-in-waiting aquarium.
posted by Ann-S-Thesia at 12:05 PM || link it email me


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Last night I dreamt that Stan and I were trying to give a hypodermic injection to a small rodent. It kept squirming, and I was trying to hold it, but I was afraid it was going to bite me once Stan gave it the shot. I was afraid of holding it too tight for fear of squishing it to death. Stan decided the shot wouldn't work, and that we would need to drill a hole in it first, but that didn't solve the problem I was having.

?!?!?!?!?
posted by Ann-S-Thesia at 9:56 AM || link it email me




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Copyright 1996-2001 Ann Stretton. All Rights Reserved. No part of this web log may be copied or reproduced, however text may be quoted if a link is given in return. Permission is not given under any circumstances to use any of the graphics or art on this site, however If you ask first, I may grant permission at my discretion. Please check the link above to my Ann-S-Thesia site for web graphics if that is what you need.