Thirteen Shades of Orange!

Baby

One of the G.F. (Gulf Fritillary) cats (caterpillars) is now a chrysalis. It is Friday, May 22, 2015. While counting the rest of the cats, I find a second chrysalis with no idea when it formed. It seems to have appeared out of the magical unseen. There are a total of nine C & C (cats and chrysalides) I’m keeping track of with a mark on the calendar on when to expect a butterfly to emerge in great hope I can see the miracle.

Chrysalis

On Saturday, May 23, 2015, I find another G.F. in the head down ‘J’ position in early morning. My photo shows another cat in the background. By late morning the ‘J’ cat is almost a complete chrysalis. I can still see his caterpillariness as he moves and twists. These cats have done a number on the passion vine. I will need to take cuttings and start more plants as this population boom continues.

J

I read about using a large pickle jar as a temporary incubator so I can see the butterfly emerge without having to move leaves and stand on my head. On second thought, I would prefer a net enclosure like the ones that display the cats and chrysalides and butterflies so beautifully at The Butterfly Estates. Their setup is topnotch and they explain information in a way that encourages everyone who visits to want to try creating a habitat at home. I check a few stores and find exactly what I’m looking for! I would have preferred white, but it’s navy blue, as close to perfect as I can get.

I really like how the butterfly cage has a zippered top and zippered side which allow me to trim a branch with a cat, or use a small potted host plant with a cat, put both in the net enclosure until he forms his chrysalis. I can release the butterfly within a few hours of emerging and have the pleasure to watch him fly. It’s sort of selfish, but since they don’t seem to be on my schedule and I’m not on theirs, we compromise.

A small plastic puddling dish with rocks and sand is now buried near the nectar plants. Eventually I’d like to get something more like a birdbath dish to give the flying wanderers a place to rest their weary wings and puddle together. It would be fun to see their antics.

Sunday, May 24, 2015, One of the cats didn’t make it. I notice a very thick silk attachment and just the molted ‘skin’ of the cat. I did not see him there before now. The evidence is down low in the plant near the soil. Usually they don’t get that close to the soil. The fourth G.F. is in J mode. I account for all five cats and the other three chrysalides, not counting the deceased one. The cats are eating ravenously and from their size, about two inches long, will most likely form their chrysalides tomorrow. As I look over the damage to the poor passion vine, I discover four new cats! Thirteen total, and I’m certain I have not found them all.

Baby 2

Copyright Patricia Westbrook All Rights Reserved

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The Exact Right Place and Time

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I wake up at 4:30 a.m. Saturday morning, too early to see without artificial light. I write and read until a little after sunrise and step outside to find two emerged Zebra Longwings! I quickly grab my lawn chair and water and settle in to take photos and videos, and embrace the moment. With one eye on the third chrysalis Continue reading

Quote from ‘Burnout’

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Is this what burnout looks like to you? It is certainly how I have felt before…

This is actually a monk seal resting (they hunt at night) on the beach in Kauai, Hawaii. If I were to be burned out again, Kauai would be a nice place for it.

Forks In the Road

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    We are all different people with varied histories traveling along the same roads in life. We meet new aquaintances and friends along the way, share the road for a while and veer off in a new direction.
    When we care about someone and they begin taking a path that does not quite mesh with our value system, or vice versa, separation on some level naturally occurs.
    We have a choice. Most of our differences fall into one of two categories. We can either learn to accept or at least leave room for openness and exchange of opinions and ideas. That’s where we grow.
    Differences are what help us evolve as humans and come to a deeper understanding of each other. We form our own values from this place of understanding. Communication is a back and forth exchange of ideas.
    What can happen too easily is we begin to shut down or turn away from each other. We might even slip down the icy slope and land in a muddy snowbank of intolerance. It’s a very dark place.
    Communication can too easily break down entirely. I certainly am not the best communicator. I am working on improving that aspect of my personality. It can be challenging, but it is in our challenges where we find the deepest learning and growth.
    Occasionally we find ourselves in an awkward position of either surrendering our own power to please another, or having to protect ourselves from further attempted control by severing all ties.
    I’ve been on both sides of that fence and have learned that giving my power away is not a solution to anything. Ever. It creates deep resentment and anger, usually with both parties.
    True resolution takes patience, effort and a willingness to meet somewhere in the middle to find common ground. This is where the deeper challenge comes in. Our truths are never the same.
    Sometimes they’re so disconnected, it’s hard to find a starting point. We all interpret everything in the world differently, based on our life experiences and what we’re born with: the nature and nurture thing.
    Miscommunication, including dodging an issue and avoiding confrontation are just a few of the obstacles we learn to maneuver through in the race toward understanding. Some people are just better runners than others. It’s easy to trip over the hurdles and crash land into the unforgiving gravel of separation.
    I have been told by more than one person that I am difficult to live with. It’s true. I’m OK with that, but I am working on becoming a better me. I wouldn’t expect more than the same effort from anyone.
    Isn’t that the point? Expecting someone else to change isn’t going to solve a thing for me. My focus needs to be on self-improvement, not other-improvement. Just think for a moment what our world would look like if we all shared this one habit for a day.
    Traveling in different directions from others is not a bad thing. Sometimes we need to walk along the path alone, at least for a little while. It allows our innermost beliefs to emerge and light the way toward choosing the fork in the road that fits our own needs.
    The fork we choose is our soul’s journey. It is on this journey where we can find the nature and reflection of our true selves. We bring that best self to our world to share and help create a level of better understanding and ideally, peace. Yes, I am a dreamer. It’s the fork I chose.

Backstory

fly high up in the sky

fly high up in the sky

My blog is all about delving into the backstory of my poems. There is always a history behind the words that helps bring them to life. When You Look Up: Selection of Poems Vol. 1 will be published soon. In my free time I have written and rewritten my poems, covering a span of several years. Some of the poems are deep, some a little dark and some just for fun.

Writing is a process which sometimes easily morphs into a perfect complete piece and other times it just doesn’t seem to fit. I end up putting a poem aside for weeks, tweaking a few words here and there and repeating the process, many, many times.
Much like lather, rinse, repeat, poetry doesn’t feel right until the soul becomes squeaky clean again. A poem culminates in a great sense of satisfaction when the words flow perfectly through the pen, onto the page and off the tongue.

Like all things in our universe, words are energy. They contain a certain vibration. I became fascinated with energy and electrons and waves. In the 60s I read about Marie Curie and radioactivity. Since that time, I have learned from many wise writers.

Wayne Dyer shared with me how to, “Stop being offended.” Louise Hay informed me in her book, “You Can Heal Your Life.” I have learned from Robert Maurer how to take, “One Small Step.” I have learned from Byron Katie how to do, “The Work” of self-inquiry.

Mike Dooley showed me that, “Thoughts Become Things.” I have learned from Diane Zimberoff how to, “Break Free From the Victim Trap.” These are just a few of the most important messages in my life, all received through the written word. Words are energy.

In the 70s I read Carlos Castaneda and a book about crystal energy. In the 80s I learned how to meditate with Transcendental Meditation. In the 90s my world turned sideways. I learned that my choices would hold a potential for consequences beyond my limited understanding and reasoning.

Now I know if it were not for everything I have learned and done in my life, I would not be right here now, writing this. I would not be a published author. I do not wish to change a thing about my past. I’m happy to have traveled it and come away smiling.

In 2001 I learned that my country was no longer the safety net I had believed it was. Like most other Americans, I reeled in anguish for the lost souls in New York City.

In 2009 I attended an I Can Do It seminar in Tampa, Florida. Robert Holden took the stage. During his talk, he looked right at me when he said, “Your heart did not break. It was your ego.” My mouth dropped as the realization of truth took hold of me. I soon began to notice my writing journals taking a turn in a new direction: one of contentment and joy. I placed quotes on my mirror reminding me that I could do it.

In 2013 I became an Infinite Possibilities Trainer. I intended for many years, perhaps most of my life when I think back now, on becoming a writer. Now I am and I want to share what I have learned with others.

Poetry is ultimately for the reader, not the writer. Like art, many differing interpretations take place when you allow your mind the time necessary to read slowly, your body room to breathe in the words and your soul to ponder them deliberately. Reading poetry is like a slow dance: it must not be hurried, but instead savored through a certain rhythm that matches the beat of the music within the words.

Each blog post will cover the essence in each of my poems, in sequential order.
I enjoy sharing insights and ideas either on this public blog or in private email.