DP-1, Pupa

My current pet project is the butterfly larva I adopted a few weeks ago, named DP-1 (click here).  A couple days ago, after growing to approx. 1 1/2″ long, it climbed to the top of it’s new home, gallon jar, and wrapped itself in a protective green shell.

It is now in its final stage, pupa or chrysalis, before emerging as a beautiful Monarch.  The pupa is only about 3/4″ long and hanging precariously from the edge of its plastic home.  It chose the corner of the jar so good pictures are difficult; the white strands are similar to spider’s silk which it used to attach itself.

In about a week, I will be the expectant father pacing outside the delivery room.

Thought for the DayDoubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd.                                                          Voltaire

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Back to School


Nebraska schools open in mid-August now, even the colleges are starting before Labor Day anymore.  In Europe, however, September 1st is the “standard” opening day of school.

September 1st is almost like a national holiday.  Kids dress up, families dress up for formal pictures and escort their kids to school.  Flowers are presented to the teachers.  We were in Tallin, Estonia last year on September 1st, and found it quite festive.

This mother and daughter wait their turn for a professional photographer taking family pictures on the steps of this official-looking building.

Thought for the Day:  Why fit in when you were born to stand out.         Dr. Seuss


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happy kids

Webster’s definition of happiness is: 1: good fortune: prosperity  2: a: a state of well-being and contentment: joy b: pleasurable satisfaction.

The first definition, “good fortune: prosperity” contradicts everything I was taught as a child; i.e. money doesn’t bring happiness.  The second definition more aptly matches my value system; i.e. contentment and well-being come from being loved, wanted, valued, trusted and respected, along with basic needs of food, clothing and shelter.

The people I met in Tanzania are not prosperous by any definition, but they are indeed happy in terms of contentment and well-being.  They have very little but are thankful for it and willingly share it.

Thought for the DayHappiness is a place between too much and too little.                                                                                                                                     Finnish Proverb

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Stare Down

Eye Contact

Grimy window glass and poor light makes this classic photo look like it was taken in the 50’s, especially with the outfit and hairdo of the little girl.  Gorillas and monkeys seem to be a big hit with all ages.

The zoo provides countless photo opportunities of both animals and people.  Shooting conditions are challenging, but, good or bad, it’s still better than a day in the office.

Thought for the Day:  Things turn out best for people who make the best of the way things turn out.                                                          John Wooden

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About a week ago, my daughter gave me a Monarch caterpillar she found in my milkweed garden.  She has been raising Monarchs for 3-4 years so I thought I might give it a go.

I started a journal and gave it a name, DP-1, which comes from the Monarch’s scientific name, Danaus plexippups.  It–no idea what gender–is about 1/2″ long in this picture and currently lives in a plastic sandwich box.  A fresh leaf every other day keeps it fed, but daily cleaning of its “dorm room” is required — yes, even caterpillars need a diaper change.

Geez, lots of responsibility, like raising kids; when do they smile?

Thought for the Day:  Trust yourself, you know more than you think you do.                                                                                                                                            Dr. Benjamin Spock

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