Monday, May 25, 2015

Black Swallowtail

A few days ago as I was cleaning up a patch of the garden this beautiful swallowtail swooped right in and around me, landing on and off of what remains of my parsley. Luckily I had my camera hanging around my neck so I tried to grab a few shots.
 Once uploaded onto my computer I could see that it was a she and she was a black swallowtail. I was thrilled because I had never seen a black swallowtail, at least not that I know of. I should have because we've had lots of dill and carrot plants.
 I went back out and tried to find the eggs but didn't see any. I wondered if they had already been eaten by one of the many predators in the garden. But two days ago I spotted several tiny caterpillars.
 These little ones were in their first or second instar, indicated by the white around their middle section.
Yesterday I could only find two left but they had grown some and must have moved into their third instar. This is a photo taken this morning. I hope there's enough parsley for them and even more important I hope they stay safe out there in the jungle. I'm hoping for more black swallowtails!

Friday, May 8, 2015

Last Run, Maybe?

 I just did my first bisque and glaze loads since December! I never thought I'd give up my Skutt and downsize but when there was a good kiln sale going on just as I was thinking I'm not doing as much clay work as I used to do and I'd like to fill a smaller kiln more quickly, doing more experimental work, I decided it was time to downsize. I ordered a smaller L&L which should make changing elements easy (which I was not looking forward to as my Skutt gets closer to needing new elements plus at the same time I would replace some bricks that had been damaged through it's last move). Bonus: I won't have to stand on my toes or head to reach the very bottom of the kiln!
First photo is loading the bisque then some of the glazed work after unloading earlier this week.

Now to decide, what to do with my Skutt... wish I had a larger garage so I could keep it for those times I really want to make something taller than 18". Guess when that happens I'll just work out ways to put my work together post-firing.

My new kiln should be delivered today!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Gelli Printing Fun

 Our OT group got together this week! To see what E and J have been doing check out our post here.