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Swallowtail Sleepover

This story about mining in India, in some ways, reminds me of the novel I just finished reading, Serena.  Now you already know how much I love Ron Rash, but I'm warning you, if you read anything by him, get ready for some action. Reading one of his novels, or even his short stories for that matter, is like watching a train wreck--you know it's going to be bad, just how bad, time will tell. Jennifer Lawrence, of recent Oscar fame is playing Serena in the movie and I can't imagine how she will do it. If ever there were a fictional female character who is mean, well, that word hardly does her justice, Serena is it.

The story concerns a logging empire in the mountains of western North Carolina during the depression. Men work, despite nearly daily disasters, because they had no other options. It is hard for me to believe nearly these same conditions exist in our world today, however, according to the linked article above, much the same goes on in the mines, except there are children involved! Very sad indeed.

Yesterday, as I mentioned, was not a good weather day. My energy level goes way down when the skies are leaden. Nonetheless, I did accomplish a few things, like making cookies for Friday night. Generally, when I buy a new product, I tend to use the manufacturer's recipe on the back of the package. So in keeping with that, when I made the oatmeal cookies with cinnamon chips, I expected the recipe to work. I figure they have a whole team of people testing those recipes, even more so than say those from a cookbook. Did it work very well? Not so much. For one thing I think the oven temperature as stated was too low. Who bakes cookies at 350 degrees? They just wouldn't brown at that temp. Raising it to 375 worked only slightly better. Eventually I got some to bake properly, and although they taste pretty good,  are they ever unattractive! We'll see what my FAVO guests think. I'll report back on this one.

The day was quickly turning to dusk when I went out to get the mail, noticing, as I did, a black swallowtail butterfly flitting about the porch. Quick go get the camera!
Eventually, said beautiful butterfly settled on one of the tomato plant leaves and stayed put. This is an entirely new phenomenon to me.....I have hardly ever seen one stay still long enough for a photograph.
I took a gazillion photos, most of which did not turn out very well due to the waning light, going so far as to get my macro lens. All the while the butterfly didn't budge. Amazing really. I tried every angle in the book!
Look! A fuzzy yellow body. And how about those incredibly spindly legs??? And the eyes! I'll tell you this much, I am not good with the macro lens, one of the few photography purchases that I might have been better of not having made. Mostly it is because I'm too lazy to get my tripod out which is the recommended method.

You know what happened when the lights went out? The wings fold up for the night and aren't they gorgeous?
The blue is just killer! Before I went to bed I turned on the porch light, and there was the butterfly just chilling. Same thing when I got up before daylight. As I type at 10 in the morning pretty boy is still hanging out only now his wings are flattened once again.
My friend Sue tells me she had one stay for three days! Wonder what it all means? Any ideas?

Guess what else is back? A silly question I realize....
Recently Bruce told me he wondered why anyone would buy an orchid. When he gets back from his trip, I'll show him why. Year after year they just keep coming back. Don't you just love nature?

As they days lengthen, the sunrise is finally getting earlier, a fact for which I'm grateful. Because I missed my ride yesterday due to the blustery weather, I made up for it this morning. Along the way these cloud formations caught my eye.
Despite looking up the types of clouds on Wikipedia, like the unscientific person that I am, I can't really decide what kind they are. Cumulus perhaps?

In non-nature related news, Jonathan and Alissa have finally set a wedding date. Maybe I should call it a "getting hitched" date because it will occur in the Austin courthouse with nary a family member present. The following day, June 29, they will begin a long journey to Tokyo, a life-long dream for Jonathan. Alissa is happy to be going to Japan as well because she, like me, loves to take photos. This has been a long time coming and we are so thrilled for them. Another girl in the family!

The sun is finally shining again, for how long is anyone's guess. I'm taking a few things over to FAVO just now and I can't wait to see more of the bunnies in person. There's even one someone did in the "Steampunk" style! Don't know what that is? Neither do I!
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