Tuesday, October 09, 2007

While I am waiting for news...

Well, while I am waiting for news on the betas (doc's office phones don't normally come off the service until 10 am...so no point in calling before then), I figured I would post about a couple of other things...

First, I wanted to thank DMarie for the IF awareness bracelet! It came in the mail a little over a week ago (and, honestly, I lost track of it) - it is LOVELY! Much nicer than I could have done myself. Funny thing is, I had DH put it on for me shortly after receiving it (of course, I am not that nimble to put it on myself)...and when he did, it kept coming off. The knot he created to hold it on just wouldn't stay. Now, of course, it could just be him - although, you would think a former Boy Scout might know how to knot things... I have to ask my mom to put it on me this week.

Back in September 2006, I wrote a post on Why do Butterflies follow me?

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It seemed at that time that every walk I took was accompanied by Monarch butterflies, in a specific pattern of play each time (three playing together in one spot, two in another and then one by itself). For a while this year, I have not really seen the Monarch's - only those small white ones, and an occasional (and very beautiful) yellow Swallowtail.

The butterflies are finally back again, but not in the groups the once were. They have been in singles - every day - no matter if I am walking during lunch, or driving my car. Did you ever have a Monarch butterfly play dodge-ball with your windshield on a major highway? I never saw that before, until the last couple of weeks... It is unnerving, thinking you are killing something with your car. But, looking back in my rear-view mirror, the butterflies are just fine, flying happily along.

...It feels as if someone or something is sending a message.

Sunday morning, we took Chris to a street fair a few towns over - met up with my friend K from college (since her DH is a fireman in town and would be with the truck at the fair). We spent about two hours there, and then left for Chris to take his nap. Hubby put Chris down for his nap - I went to the supermarket to pick up some things. When I got home, I put everything away and headed out to the back yard to pick the last of the tomatoes that are coming in the garden.

As I was going through what is left of the garden, I started hearing this strange buzzing, kind of like a Cicada. I looked over, and there was what I thought was two Monarchs mating in the breeze. Now, of course I don't know how butterflies mate...

I turned back to my tomato picking, and I looked over again to where the butterflies were and saw they had landed under a metal chair....and there was a freakin' cat ready to pounce on them! I went screaming at the cat, scaring it off so it wouldn't get at the butterflies.

When I looked again at the butterflies, it turns out they were not two butterflies mating - but one with a badly broken wing.

So, I call my MIL and ask her what I should do - I couldn't just leave the poor thing to be cat-chow to one of at least eight outdoor cats my neighbor's "adopted" and I find sleeping (err, peeing and ruining) in my garden on a daily basis.

Let me add the caveat that I am NOT a cat hater - I am allergic to some (specifically long-haired cats), so to a certain extent, I can't be around them. I adore Zia's cat (Buddy - or, Buddy-Bud-Bud), and had one in my house in college (before the allergy started). What I have the problem with is the neighbors allowing two female cats to have several litters of kittens between them under their back porch - then they feed them, but do not feel they need to spay/neuter them, get them their shots, etc., etc. So, they run rampant, ruining my garden, my MIL's garden and more.

Anyways, getting back to the real story here, my MIL goes on Google and finds out that you can trim a butterfly's wings (not more than 30% of each wing) to remove the injured part and even out both sets of wings to allow it to fly again. She prints out what she found and walked around to my house, while I collected the injured butterfly in a container (adding in a few marigolds so it could eat) and awaited her to get there.

While I was waiting for my MIL to arrive, I saw another Monarch come over...and wondered if I should just release the one I had to it's friend. But, I felt there was just no way this injured butterfly could survive - it could barely fly above the surface of the grass. So, I held on to it.

As per the instructions she found, we put the butterfly in the refrigerator for about 5 minutes to slow its metabolism a little bit, take it out of the refrigerator and bring it outside so we could see where the injury was - the entire top of the left wing was hanging off, as if it had been previously attacked by something with claws (AKA, a cat). So, we trimmed that part off, so the top white spots were no long there - and then put the two wings together and trimmed off the other wing to make the two wings even (the instructions stressed that the wings HAD to be as close to even as possible to create the best ballast for the butterfly to adjust to).

We put it back in the container, to see if the wings were even enough (and so Chris could see it up close - he woke up in the middle of the butterfly drama, and I thought it might be a good learning experience for him) - when we did that, it flew a little bit to the front of our neighbor's house and landed on the Creeping Myrtle. It sat there for a while, flapping its wings, but not attempting to fly. My MIL picked it up again so we could look at it, and we noticed the wings were not totally even. We had to trim the good wing a little more. After doing that, my MIL had it on her finger....and it flew off, perfectly, to the tree across the street. I think it needed to get over the chill from the refrigerator, and get adjusted to its new wing span.

We sat on our front stairs, watching it fly as if it gained a new life. It was actually so fulfilling, helping out a little creature - especially one that has been very dear to me for a while now - who needed a little protection.

Thanks, Google, for allowing us to help it not be cat-chow.

I saved the part of the wing we had to trim off to help it...kind of a reminder of the miracles that surround us every day, and to give me a little bit of hope that maybe this PG might work out.

Here's hoping for some good news over the next few hours....


dmarie said...

Thanks for posting about receiving your bracelet. Glad you got it!

What a sweet thing you did for the butterfly. Great story.

And most of all...CONGRATS!! I need to go see your psychics :)

Rachel said...

I'm glad you saved the butterfly.

I hope the new betas are OK.

Our neighbor's cat kept peeing behind our bushes and when we left the window open, our house had that "nice" urine smell. I sprinkled cayenne pepper in the spot and never had a problem since.