Well, I've survived my first week back at work, after 2 solid, wonderful weeks off that went WAY too fast. I tried to consciously hold onto each day, but they slipped away anyway - darn time.
In other news, it has been record cold here in South Florida. It has been in the low 40's and mid to high 30's for way too many nights now. My butterfly garden in the back yard looks ok, but as the weeks go by, I'll probably see some leaf drop, although they appear to have survived so far. In the morning, when the sun first comes up, there are bees that sluggishly fly to the flowers - they seem to be a bit befuddled. I have a hummingbird feeder and, although I've seen a hummingbird on occasion in my Cape Honeysuckle, never have I seen one at the feeder. What the feeder collects is bees. When I take it down to refill it, there are usually several bees trying to suck the last drops of sugar water from the little holes where hummingbird beaks are supposed to fit. Poor babies - in this cold, I don't begrudge any creature anything. I've been making sure there is seed out there every day and that the feeders are filled. I just have fantasies of making it warm for them, too. Fantasies like a heated roof on my house, so all the birds and critters could just stand on the roof and at least have warm feet and legs. Or a heated backyard somehow - enough heaters and heat lamps to make it much warmer for whoever chooses to spend the night in my yard. Unfortunately, I looked up heat lamps and they are WAY too expensive for little old me. So I have to just put out extra food and hope for the best. I'm worried about the parrots down here. We have several species, all escapes from homes over the last 60 years or more. The Monk Parakeeet lives in a birdie "condo" - literally, a huge stick nest with several rooms in it that many birds live in - so they can survive even in Chicago and New York - they have been reported up there. The rest of the parrots are Macaws, Nanday Conures - whatever parrots breeds you can imagine that people keep as pets. The only species I haven't seen much of, if ever, is Cockatoos. I even saw a Lorikeet once in a parking lot tree. These are the birds that don't have defenses against the cold and the ones I wish I had a barn for or a heated back yard. As I enjoy the brisk temperatures myself - I love the cold - I worry about my beautiful plants and the birds and butterflies.
I did find a perfectly formed Monarch butterfly in the grass in my back yard yesterday. It had evidently gotten too cold for him/her. I brought him inside and put him on my bookcase, since he is perfect and beautiful - just dead. Then I got the idea of looking for caterpillars on the host plants. I found only 2 Monarch caterpillars who wouldn't move. I brought them in with some of their host plant and they are residing in a net butterfly "cage" in my computer room. Once they warmed up, they revived.
Saturday here is supposed to get no warmer than the low 50's even in the middle of the day. AND it's supposed to be overcast and rainy. Then, after dark the lows are to be in the low to mid 30's again. Sigh.
On New Year's Eve my husband and I went to Butterfly Garden in Coconut Creek - it was beautiful, as always. This was my Christmas present - and, in addition to the visit, I could purchase some more plants for our garden. I bought 10 plants - yes, 10, that have been residing on my back porch, watered each day and covered with blankets at night. The first available day to plant them, when the temperature will be livable, will be on this upcoming Tuesday. It should stay warm enough for at least 4 days after that, so I'll plant them at that time.
So - at the risk of being redundant, since everyone else is saying the same thing - uh......what was that about Global Warming???