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Sheila Fitzgerald

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About Sheila Fitzgerald

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    _ On the densest planet in the Solar System

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  1. Sari, I know you've been working with the caterpillars for years, so you have a lot more experience. I don't expect to get many sales from the images, but they're still fun to create. And I can use them for my greeting cards. Next time I'll have to work on getting photos of the process since I have a good clip from the first one. One of the five I have now is in the process of enclosing into his chrysalis. Not enough light to do a time lapse of that. It takes so long for them to complete the process. He's been thinking about it for several hours now, but it's finally upside down hanging from it's bum, so I know it's not just digesting food getting ready to eat more Sebastian is going nuts over squirrels lately. We've had quite a few running on the fence and he won't stop barking. Had a bark collar on him that vibrates when he barks, but it doesn't seem to phase him and I don't want to use a shock collar, but the barking is really an issue. Thinking I'll go get a squirt bottle. He really hates the hose. All I have to do is point it in his direction when I'm working in the yard and he runs inside the house.
  2. @Sari ONeal you were spot on with the time table for the monarch emerging from the chrysalis. It was about 8:20AM when it came out. I had just set up the video at 8AM and was going to go adjust it when I realized it was already starting to come out so I just left it running. So amazing something so big can come out of something so small! I just released it about an hour ago. it kept flying around my studio when I was trying to photograph it so I figured the few images I got was enough. The others should start enclosing soon so I'll have more subjects to work with in a week or so anyway. Also picked up a mama cat with two kittens. Giving her a few days to adjust before I try to play with the babies. She seems pretty laid back. Nice change from the last few moms we've fostered.
  3. That's funny, I guess he decided he wanted the bug enough to ignore your hand. LOL. I should've taken photos of the chrysalis when it was still all green, but I lack a good macro lens for my Nikon. I did several views with it tonight and merged them all together so it shows both sides and the front. That just got reviewed and accepted a minute or so ago, so it'll likely take awhile before it's up in my port. Hoping to be able to catch it emerging tomorrow. I'll set an alarm so I'm up bright and early Usually, the dog wakes me up by 8AM, but sometimes he sleeps and doesn't bug me til after 9. I put it in the mesh container JIC it does come out before I get up so the cats at least won't have access to it. the other caterpillars, several of them are quite fat so they should start to enclose soon. With five of them in there, I'm having to collect leaves about every four hours.
  4. The first butterfly the chrysalis is finially becoming transluscent. I thought it was turning black but then I put it under some light to see more clearly and I can definitely see the monarch colors through it.
  5. I don't know why I didn't think of putting paper towels on the bottom. That's so basic I feel kind of stupid for not thinking of that one 😕 The smallest caterpillar somehow escaped the enclosure. I'm thinking it went through the air vents in the top because it was so small. So I'll have to keep that in mind not to put the smaller ones in the larger enclosure in the future. Kind of bummed because it's obviously going do die if it hasn't already. I looked around for it, but never did find it. Then I found a huge fat one on my milkweed when I went out to water and get leaves for the ones inside. I knew there had to be one out there because the leaves are disappearing quite rapidly on some of the plants. He's much fatter than the ones I have inside.
  6. Great action video Sari! I'd have freaked out if it had jumped on my hand like that! LOL. I don't mind watching spiders, but no touchie I put a dowel rod across the inside of the enclosure I have for the caterpillars and I'm using cloths pins to hold the milkweed leaves up for them not so they can eat in a more normal position climbing the leaves. They went right for it. It should make cleaning the bottom of the container much easier too as I won't need to reposition them to clean. I don't know why I didn't think to do that earlier.
  7. I didn't realize they had those stages. that makes more sense as one of the others started getting darker too. The two smaller ones are still pretty light. Of course the smallest one is because it's not even half an inch long yet. And the chrysalis is getting much lighter, but it's not transparent yet. Today was day 7 since it enclosed. I googled it and they showed two stage four side by side and one was tiny and the other fat and huge. Mine never got fat and huge so I'm glad to see that's not abnormal either. The chrysalis is only barely an inch or so in length, so it's not going to be a very large butterfly.
  8. Thanks. I went ahead and separated them just to be on the safe side. Originally I wasn't sure if the males and females were strikingly different, but my google search says you can only tell them apart by dissection, so I figured it has to be that something is wrong with them Here's a quick image showing the striking difference. Two of them, the black rows are much fatter totally covering the white for the most part.
  9. Sari, my daughter's friend gave us a handful of caterpillars because they have so many that they've basically eaten all the milkweed they have in their yard so they were going to die. Took a day before they decided my milkweed was ok to eat (she has narrow leaf and I don't) but they're eating it now. However, two of the caterpillars are incredibly black compared to the other three. I thought maybe they were a different butterfly entirely but I don't recall them being that dark when she brought them here on Saturday. I looked online and it says that when monarch caterpillars get sick, they turn black. Should i separate them from the other three caterpillars JIC they have something that is contagious? have you ever seen this with the monarchs you've hand raised?
  10. I've submitted multiple small batches over the last few days without any issues. It hasn't limited my submissions so far.
  11. Congrats Patrick and family! I didn't understand what the reference was to either. I just didn't take time to ask for clarification
  12. Finally got around to moving the chrysalis from the top of the small bug box to a curved stick in a container so I can easily relocate it for photos when the time comes (if I catch it in action). The caterpillar was quite busy as there was at least an inch and a half of silk on the top once I got it all extracted so I was easily able to just wrap it around the stick without having to use any kind of glue adhesive at all. It's a lighter shade of green than it was originally, but still green.
  13. Sorry, that came out larger than I thought it would be for just a screen shot. Ooops
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