Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Aftermath

It's January 17th, my birthday on the 12th has come and gone and the cold has been gone for several days - although we're getting another minor cold front tonight and tomorrow night.  The front that is coming is supposed to get no colder than the mid to low 50's -my plants can stand that - especially if it lasts only 2 nights.

Now I have a case of the flu or something - achy all over, low fever, very tired and draggy - no sore throat or head congestion, so I'm not sure what it is, but I won't be taking any pictures of the back yard until I feel better.

I believe all my plants made it through the longest and most severe cold snap in 70 years, but that was because every night my husband and I were throwing sheets and blankets all over the most delicate plants.  Even so, there is lots of leaf drop on a few of my trees, my pea vine is partly shriveled, but already new growth is coming and new blue flowers.  My lipstick plant took the worst blow - everything withered, leaves and long red tassels - but I see buds, so I know it will come back.  I was out yesterday trimming some of the dead stuff off here and there, but conservatively, since these plants have already taken a shock and don't need anymore.

I have only seen 2 butterflies in a few days where before we had at least 30 a day flying over and around our yard.  I brought two caterpillars in during the cold days and provided them with pieces of milkweed to eat.  They have now made their chrysalli (plural???) and will come out in about a week, if all goes well.

Today - finally - my husband planted the last of the butterfly flowers and bushes we purchased at Butterfly Gardens on New Year's Eve.  I had planted 3 or 4 of them (we had a total of 10) and he did the rest today.  They look great and we will keep them watered and - of course - covered - if the temps go too low, which I dearly hope they do not.  This is NOT North Dakota after all - enough!!

Now all we need are the poor butterflies to come back.  Yesterday I saw a Monarch and a Gulf Fritillary - that was it.  I hope they didn't have a huge die-off, but I'm afraid with 2 or 3 nights in the mid 30's, they did indeed die, like the poor Monarch I found on the 2nd day of the cold blast - perfectly formed and lying dead on the ground.  He now adorns my bookcase, but I would have been much happier if he had had the butterfly life he was supposed to have....

I am watching what is happening in Haiti and praying.  My husband and I made a donation to Samaritan's Purse, which I know was one of the first to have a plane on the ground with supplies after the quake.  It's too much for my mind to grasp - the level of suffering, the pure horror - and prayer is all I can do at this point. 

Now I'm going to sip my Chamomile tea and lay back, hoping to feel better soon!

No comments: