Monarch Update: Two and Counting

We had maybe seven caterpillars at one point; of those at least five got to the size to pupate. The fate of three of those is unknown. Hopefully they just wandered off to become chrysalides in a nearby bush or other hidden corner. At the moment we have two green gems of chrysalides on the mostly eaten milkweed, a couple days in to what’s generally 10-14 days to butterflies.

It’s likely to lean more towards ten. Saturday hit near 80 F here. Yes, in February. Such is life on the Gulf Coast, and why the zone is officially 8a instead of straight 8 or 9. Some years the month is warm, other years you get bridges frozen so solid no one can move for two days straight. All depends on if the wind blows from the north or the south.

Warmer weather is not without its own hazards, specifically the occasional pea-soup fog that makes driving… more interesting, perhaps, than anyone would want it to be. There are reasons I memorize my way around by landmarks. Fog is one, torrential downpours another. It can rain so hard that wipers can’t possibly keep up, and all you see it blurs of light if other drivers have been sensible enough to put their lights on. They aren’t always.

For the torrents, if you can find a driveway to pull off in, seriously consider doing just that. Typically the hard rain only lasts ten to twenty minutes before lightening up into something drivable.

And this is something a lot of people miss, in fiction and real life. You have to adjust your usual routine to account for local, current conditions. Or wind up a spectacle on the evening news, of the “four killed when truck overturned” variety. Something to consider when writing stories; throw weather at your characters at critical moments!

For now, it’s hazy, the roses are budding, and we may have butterflies soon.


6 thoughts on “Monarch Update: Two and Counting

  1. Huh, that’d be an interesting thing to throw into a story. Definitely don’t want that to happen to the end BBEG, but having one of the early/mid bosses actually killed by having an accident while driving in that sort of weather, while the protagonists stopped chasing the badguy to pull off and wait for the weather to settle, would be interesting. If it was the BBEG, it’d be a bit of a letdown, but if it was an earlier one it could even be used to throw in a complication of “now we can’t interrogate him for clues/might not find out there is another badguy behind him until something hits us by surprise” sort.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oooh, bonding chance!

      Have the heroes argue about if they should go or not, maybe have someone that never stands up for themeselves or anything REALLY put down a foot– and then they find the crash with the body of the guy they were chasing.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. It can rain so hard that wipers can’t possibly keep up, and all you see it blurs of light if other drivers have been sensible enough to put their lights on.

    I’ve had times when the wipers were just Not Working enough, so I rolled down teh window…no, the wipers were fine.


    Best one was walking through just-ahead-of-typhoon in Japan, with my umbrella, and I couldn’t see anything past the edge of the umbrella. It was really like in a cartoon where there’s just a WALL of water!

    (I looked at the sidewalk edge and went along with that. Lightened up by the time I got to the crosswalk off base.)

    Liked by 2 people

  3. LOL for a bit of writing fodder re: headlights…

    My first car had -terrible- headlights. As in, other people who drove the car claimed they made no difference. However, I had learned to drive on that car and didn’t really have any other reference to go by, and I got along with it just fine.

    …Turns out the lights were indeed terrible, and spending 3+ years only driving at night in that car in any and all conditions gave me freakishly good night vision. So now when driving at night I don’t always realize my headlights aren’t on.

    So if you need a way for someone to develop vision-based superpowers…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. To be fair, vision is a (relatively) easy sense to get “superpowers” in, simply because _so much of its normal potential is wasted_. Theoretically, the vertical limits of your vision are almost as good as the horizontal limits, so that if you stare straight ahead you should be seeing everything within an only very slightly flattened cone… in practice, my experience with other people seeing or not-seeing stuff is that most of them literally don’t “see” (that is, “consciously process the sensory input as existing”) anything above or below the level they’re on, unless they’re specifically looking for it (and even then, frequently miss it). This is so bad with many people, that even in a case like a multi-story mall, where there’s an open courtyard in the middle and balconies around the courtyard, most people standing on one side of the courtyard looking at the other side will miss what’s happening on the floor above or below the one they’re on, unless it’s either blatantly trying to get their attention or they are specifically looking (and then they’ll miss stuff on the floors other than that one). Even people with pretty good horizontal peripheral vision have this problem, because apparently training horizontal peripheral vision is separate from training vertical peripheral vision.

      And that’s just one of the most basic ways vision “superpowers” can be easily acquired by training, because of actually just being a matter of “we don’t use most of what we’ve got” with that sense.

      Liked by 4 people

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