Who? Who? Doesn’t love an owl butterfly? 

  
I’m sure I can guess what you’re thinking. What exactly is an owl butterfly and why is it named so? Well above you’ll see one of my pictures of this big and beautiful butterfly. The owl part of the name is because of that gorgeous owl eye they have on their wings. What is the purpose of this eyespot? Well, it’s to either scare off predators that might eat it and it has the double advantage of directing their attention if they do attack away from their main body. If they are attacked they can still escape and live another day.

These butterflies are especially fascinating because they are crepuscular which basically means they come out in the twilight hours of dawn and dusk as opposed to being diurnal like most. This fascinated me because I’ve been studying butterflies since I was a little girl and actually worked at a butterfly garden when I was twelve years old. I’ve never come across any with that adaption and was wondering why when I came across them before that they were resting while the other species were feeding and breeding.

The movements when they fly will make you smile or even laugh, they flap their wings heavy and sound like a bat instead of light and soundless like most. I have never seen any move quite like them with the clearly audible beating of their wings. They will chase each other for short distances and then end up on a leaf where they stay motionless.  Their camouflage is so perfect especially if they are on a tree that they melt into the color of the bark except for their owl eye. 
Now here is an amazing picture I was able to take of the Owl and the more popular and well known blue morpho. They are related to each other but as I was discussing with an entymotologist that they are more ‘kissing cousins’ with their relation. The blue morpho is that stunning butterfly with blue irredescent wings that refract the light to produce the metallic blue we see.

I kept asking at the special event why their behavior is so different from other butterflies. Moths are generally nocturnal though there are some who bend the rules in this. The consensus was it might be an adaption to predators to evade being eaten. When I did some digging online it turns out that they are from one of the oldest genera on earth, Brassolis. Yet again their fascinating crepuscular/nocturnal behavior wasn’t explained so I guess it’s a secret the Owls will keep.

Predator vs. Prey in my apartment

As you all may know, cats are predators and bunnies are generally prey animals. I woke up today thinking about the cat and I ran downstairs to check on it. It isn’t feeling the best because it’s stomach is a mess and it left a stinky present for me. I forgot when cats stomachs aren’t feeling well how bad their poop can be so I shook my head at the alley cat rolling around looking to play.

This cat acts more like a dog than a cat. Everything I did it followed me around like a dog. It just wanted to say by me and it ended up in our apartment while our bunny was in our pen. The cat followed me everywhere in the apartment and stayed glued to my side.

I always loved discovery channel where you would watch the predator vs. prey and I wondered how our bunny would handle the intruder. I kept trying to introduce them while our bunny was locked up in her pen and she stood her ground and stared at the cat.

My favorite thing about predator vs. prey was the prey getting away, but even better is when the prey stands down its opponent. When that prey animal turns around, charges, and scares off the predator trying to make a meal out of it. It’s a rarity on those programs, so I always got a kick out of it. And, as a kid I would rather watch discovery channel than cartoons any day.

Our bunny owns our apartment, I know that she knows it’s her space, but also she isn’t scared of anything. Our girl has been raised since 5 weeks with us so she knows a bigger animal won’t hurt her. The only thing that scares her is when I set off the fire alarms in the kitchen when I’m cooking. She was raised in a pet shop so she’s used to the sounds of dogs, cats, and is a pretty damn fearless little bunny,

So, here I am, real life in the flesh predator vs. prey showdown. The cat sees our bunny and flexes its claws, ramming it’s head against the bars to get closer. Our girl just watches, and then pokes her head out to sniff the cat. The cat jumps back in surprise, looking at me like, “what is going on here, it wants to sniff me?” I kind of laugh because I could have guessed this would happen, our bunny would stand her ground and not run away. The cat goes back in and my little bunny does something I’ve never seen her do before.

She stomps her back feet! It’s a loud thumping noise and scares the cat again. She stomps her feet once more and stares down that cat, like she is literally saying in her own words, “this is my home fur ball, get out!” I step in as the human reinforcement and pick up the furry lemur tailed cat so our bunny doesn’t have to charge or do anything else to state her opinion.

I have gotten myself in a straight up mess now and I don’t know what to do. This is a lovely, sweet cat but we can’t keep it. My husband can’t breathe and my bunny basically said without words get out of my place intruder. If I was back where we used to live I’d know what shelters to go to but now I don’t, and I’m lost, and a total mess. What I get for being nice, right?

When a stray walks into your life

It is amazing how you think you know that you have everything you may have, like just one pet, and then another one almost gets run over in front of your eyes. All I could see was this long, fluffed up, furry tail almost get run over by a car and it darting underneath a stationary car for cover. I love cats, always have, and I don’t know what compelled me to come over to where the cat was hiding and offer it my hand with a, “here, kitty, kitty!”

Much to my surprise the kitty came with a pathetic meow and it came over to rub on my leg. This wasn’t a feral cat, he was too sweet as he immediately started purring when I was petting him. The cat followed me as I walked around and I went into our apartment office to ask if he was lost or what I should do. When I came back out the cat leapt out of the bushes as if he was waiting for me and came straight over.

It broke my heart, to tell you to honest truth, to see this friendly, affectionate, sweet, and curious little cat out wandering around in the street basically waiting to be run over. I swear that it was a house cat and it reminded me of our family cat we came across the same way. He was a stray running through a parking lot and my family brought him home after he was nearly run over by a car.

I reasoned in my head why I couldn’t save the cat, and why I had to ignore him. We have our little bunny at home, my husband is extremely allergic to cats, and I kept telling myself he wouldn’t be okay with it. When I told my husband over the phone how worried I was about the wandering stray he told me it was alright if I wanted to track it down and bring it in.

So, I went back outside, calling out “kitty, kitty!” and secretly hoping I’d find the cat, and at the same time hoping I wouldn’t because I didn’t know what I would do. I walked back and forth and got some weird looks as I paced frantically where I saw the cat last and calling out to it. My husband went on the quest once he got home from work and when it seemed like I wouldn’t find him he said maybe someone picked the cat up. Finally, right at when I was going to give up the fluffy long tailed lemur cat came bounding out and running in my direction.

Then, came the problem of getting a stray into our garage. It was pretty hilarious when my husband brought out a box and told the cat to get in it, and the cat actually did climb right in it! But, when my husband started walking with the cat in the box it ended up crawling out onto his shoulder. It was adorable, and I decided to try my luck with picking up and carrying the stray. He seemed to like being held, which solidified for me that this cat used to being in a home, and he definitely wasn’t scared of people.

We now have this adorable, affectionate, sweet cat downstairs with some of my old clothes, food, water, and some boxes to sleep in. I don’t know what we’re going to do and I know I did the right thing… I just don’t know where to go next. My husband is allergic to cats and I have a bunny who I don’t think would take kindly to a cat sharing her space.

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A different kind of bang

Since the move I’ve taken more of a ‘why not?’ outlook on life with trying new things. I think to myself how can it hurt? This is why I tried handgun shooting with my husband, something I could never see myself doing. I tried it and it wasn’t for me or my husband. Which is why when we recently went skeet shooting I was a little apprehensive and maybe a tid bit scared.

The sound of multiple shot guns going off for the first time in my life combined with the empty shells that flew at you from all sides was like stimulus overload. Holding a gun didn’t feel right, trying to figure out how to shoot it without hurting myself was a lot more complicated than I thought.

We went to a skeet shooting range seeming to be abandoned except for a man and his son. The shotgun was much bigger, heavier, with huge bullet shells. I put in my ear plugs expecting the noise to be just as loud as the indoor handgun shooting range but it wasn’t. The sounds of shots being fired echoed outside with the skeet shooting and didn’t put my nerves on edge as much. Of course, my husband went first and I got to control the clay pigeons coming out of the brick house.

It seemed simple enough to arm, and even simple enough to put the safety on. I’m guessing my husband was prepared for me not to want to shoot but I did. He loaded up the gun for me, and I shouted out pull! He’d ask me high or low, which basically meant left or right, but I said whatever way because I wasn’t going to hit those fast moving clay pigeons. I started to really get into it and didn’t even mind the kick back of the gun hitting my shoulder.

I loved trying to hit the flying targets and immediately got how to put the safety on even with no bullets left. It was just such a difference between my first time with handgun shooting indoors and outdoor skeet shooting. The rifle is definitely a powerful weapon but it was really a great experience for me and my husband and I’m glad I gave it a try.

I hope that we can find more new things to try out and enjoy. I will be doing my very first byob painting class this weekend and I’m excited about that too. There’s so much to experience in life and the only thing that can hold me back is myself, so I definitely say bring it on and try it out.

What is it about this place?

There is quite a lot of elements that need to fall into place when you move to someplace new. This is even more true when that place you’ve moved to is completely different from what you’re used to and miles away from what you call home. I definitely think it is much easier to get into the swing of things when you have a job, a daily routine, to throw yourself into.

It works even better if this job is ready for you when you move and you can trick your mind into memorizing this new job in a new place. But, when you’re like me and finding it difficult to find jobs that aren’t listed as ‘No experience necessary body rub girls wanted’ or that straight out say you should be attractive that you are left to your own devices to get used to stuff.

Where I used to live was rather pretty and had a really awesome city you could visit. Visiting the major city here is nice but, of course, doesn’t compare. What I do find quite stunning is what happens near nighttime here.

Around dusk you are treated to the most breathtaking sunsets you’ve ever seen. I’ve seen Sunsets in the Florida keys, and all around the world, but every sunset I seem to catch has the most amazing colors and it is just beautiful. I feel so grateful to catch them and even recently made my husband pull off into a gas station so I could get some pictures of a gorgeous sunset.

I will grow a green thumb… somehow

I can take good pictures of flowers, but growing them is a whole other story!

Whenever I think of plants and flowers I tend to think of my grandmother.  She is amazing with plants and can grown about anything. She grows orchids in her house and all sorts of flowers outside in her garden. One of my favorites was the moon flowers which bloomed during a full moon, or so I was told. I tried my hand at growing things because I found it was just so neat to see something grow from a sprout into a plant but I never got past the sprout stage. I killed everything green I touched, and if I didn’t kill the little seedlings, our cats would get into my room and eat the heads off my plants.

I’ve never seen a plant flower, I’ve never grown it past the small little sprout stage. Yet, my grandma had a huge garden where everything thrived and there wasn’t a dead plant in sight. Me and my grandma had our differences but I always admired her for being able to grow everything and how much pride she had in it. Plus, she’s about as bullheaded and stubborn as they come.

Currently I’m amazed that the hubby called me up a few days ago and said he was bringing home a plant. I swear this man is allergic to everything, and some days I think he might just be allergic to me too. So, with the news of him bringing home something green I was pretty pumped that we could have something in the house I could take care of. It’s a really pretty plant and we even got a cute little purple vase for it too. I try to water it, and to not over water it, but I’m afraid my black thumb may end up killing it. I noticed a leaf that was dying on it, yet besides that it isn’t drooping or turning brown. I really want some more in our house, it cheers up the space, and I like taking care of it because he is also allergic to animals and we can’t have any pets.

He doesn’t seem to have an allergic reaction to this plant and overall since we’ve moved his allergies seem to be better than they were. There were some days his allergies were so bad they were pretty much debilitating, so I find it amazing to have a plant in our apartment and he can breathe okay and it doesn’t seem to be affecting him at all. I wanted to get quite a few plants from Ikea when we went there but he said we’d see how taking care of what we have pans out and then I can be a crazy plant lady with the black thumb of death.

I’d also love to have a little critter around the apartment. I’ve always found it so calming to have a little warm body next to me on the couch and I really miss my family’s cat even though he is quite passive to everyone. He likes to randomly attack my mother but strangely seemed to like having me around so I’d go out and try to get him next to me on the couch when I had my lunch. I miss it and have always been a pet person so not having one is both strange and kind of lonely too when the hubby is out working.

Why a nature filled wedding is a no-no

Nature even is beautiful on a stormy day

I love nature, and I have loved nature since before I could talk, walk, or remember. I have always been that odd-ball little girl who chased after ants, crickets, bees, butterflies, anything that could run away from me. When I get put into nature suddenly I take on both my mother and brother’s ADD that they seem to have in every situation. They can’t calm down, or relax, they always need to be doing a million things at once and can’t relax even when they are out in the pool sunning. They need to go in the pool, back on the chase lounge, in the hot tub, in the sauna, back in the pool, and repeat and recycle. They want me to follow them going in, out, and back on but all I want to do is just lay there and relax.

When you get me out in nature and there are insects, mainly butterflies, I suddenly chase after them and can’t be calmed until you put me back in the car. It stimulates me when there’s things I can find and explore. This isn’t to say I can’t find nature relaxing, which I do, but if there’s some miniature wonder to found or weird insect to be seen I will find it.

And then, I will stare, be tempted to prod it, and everything around me will disappear as I concentrate on that one tiny thing.

I’ve thought about a nature wedding for a while now because of my passion I have for nature. But knowing me and my ADD-ness when it comes to being outside someplace beautiful I can’t help but to explore it. And if a butterfly happens to cross my path, you have totally lost me. Or, god forbid I find a caterpillar and now I will probably holding onto it and putting it into anything I can transport it in.

The place I want to be married in is stunning, beautiful, but also in the city. The city tends to mean to me ‘go-go-go’ and I’m not as secure in it. I find the building that will be doing the wedding is quiet, and has this… old history quality to it that I love too. You can feel the history in it, from the walls, to the stained glass ceiling. My mother keeps on trying to push me away from it (though she was the one to tell me about it) because we can’t schedule the wedding until the last second. They will only give out dates so far in advance, and she wants to know right away so she can get time off.

Uh… yeah, you and me both, mom. I have to be patient with it, but if the man ends up getting the one job, we will be moving up my possible wedding date of around April to any time they will give to us. I want April because it’s always felt like the perfect date, yet if he has to move away I want us to be married before he leaves.