Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Falling into Fall


We are all ready for fall aren't we? Welcome to the Fall Tablescape Blog Hop sponsored by Chloe Crabtree @ Celebrate and Decorate. Hopefully, this week of fall tablescapes will jump start your creative juices for your fall decor. Join all the talented tablescapers listed at the bottom of this post for a week of fall tablescapes.

I've been wanting to use these hand woven baskets made by local artisans so a fall tablescape was a perfect time to use them. The detailing inside the baskets are so pretty as is the handle which you can't see on the basket with the flowers. 

Flowers are my passion so it was fun to challenge myself to find grocery store flowers  and it not look  like a florist arrangement. I bought three bundles of alstromeria, gerber daises and roses for $12 and added limelights and acuba from my garden. I had envisioned adding some fresh goldenrod also, but it is a little early for it in south Alabama and I couldn't find any. It is a delight to have fresh flowers in the house. They have held up in an oasis longer then I thought they would. 

I'm featuring some borrowed antique pieces that are lovely. The barley twist candlesticks, majolica pitchers, and copper tankards are from my friend, Sarah's antique business. She makes several trips yearly to England buying antiques. You can find Sarah at Scott's Antique market in Atlanta monthly. All of these items are for sale. 

Copper adds a texture of warmth for fall and pars well with the traditional burnished fall tones. I love the shape of this tankard. It is from England and dates in  the early 1800's. 

Can you visualize men gathered at pubs having a "pint"? Sarah said she has had monogrammed tankards before. In the olden days men would leave their mugs hanging on a peg at the pub.

There is also a "quart" size. This one is brass and copper.

I've always liked barley twist candlesticks and topped them with beeswax candles for added texture.

The burlap runner was bought a few years ago. I can't remember where I bought it but wish I had bought two. If anyone sees this anywhere please let me know.
Wouldn't it look great to have some horn ribbed flatware on this table! Just image some vintage horn ribbed cutlery on this table and it would be the table I pictured in my mind.

The napkins are from the 70's. Remember those colors? I also borrowed the straw chargers from my friend, Charlotte. Girls, I'm running out of room for dishes so when my friends offer their things for my tablescapes I'm delighted.

Join a great group of tablescapers
 on the schedule below for fall inspiration.


Have a wonderful week.
Joining: Gardens GaloreMetamorphosis Monday   Botanic Bleu  Show and Share  The Scoop  Celebrate and Decorate  Inspire Me Tuesday  Wow Us Wednesday  Tablescape Thursday  Share Your Style Party ,Share Your CupThoughts of Home  Foodie Friday  Feathered Nest Friday  Dishing It & Digging It   Calypso in the CountrySunday's At Home

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Decorating Updates

Do you take pictures and not post them? I made a few changes the end of May and forgot about them. I swapped the upholstered coffee table here for my glass top coffee table and accessorized with shells for a summer touch. Now, that school has started the rush to decorate for fall is here and I am just posting my summer pics. lol! 
Also, purchased the green pillows from Wisteria! I just loved the color and liked them with the leopard. Added a throw with blue tones to repeat the color and  connect the other blues in the room. I also added shells in a glass container and in the bowl for summer. 

That's my small decorating update even though it is late.

I don't know about you but the summer flew by. 
Did your summer fly by?

Have a wonderful week.
Joining: Gardens GaloreMetamorphosis Monday   Botanic Bleu  Show and Share  The Scoop  Celebrate and Decorate  Inspire Me Tuesday  Wow Us Wednesday  Tablescape Thursday  Share Your Style Party ,Share Your CupThoughts of Home  Foodie Friday  Feathered Nest Friday  Dishing It & Digging It   Calypso in the CountrySunday's At Home

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Finally, I'm a beautiful butterfly!

Je suis enfin un beau papillon! Finally, I am a beautiful butterfly!
 I hope you read my last post about the first three stages of a butterfly metamorphosis. Today, you will see the final stage when the butterfly emerges. I was determined to arrange my life to view this miracle first hand. To see the butterfly emerge from the pupa was a thrill! I knew the pupa stage was about ten days so I planned to get up early since I had read they usually emerge early in the morning. For three days, I watched this process and each time I understood more and was  continually moved at the wonder and amazement of this miracle of new life unveiling before my eyes.
This is the darkened pupa ready to emerge. I made this picture at 6:49 and by 7:17 it had emerged. All these pics were made with my iPhone so the time and date was recorded which made it helpful to remember how long it took.
You can see a little of the orange coloring on his hind wings through the pupa. Note how much the leaves on the parsley have grown since the caterpillar went into the pupa stage. There were no leaves on the parsley so in 9-10 days it has grown back. The caterpillars had stripped all the leaves. More on that later, because as you are watching the unfolding of the pupa stage on the same container of parsley all the other stages of the butterfly are happening all over again, too.
Newly emerged from the pupa the butterfly is wet and crinkled. It attaches to the stem and waits to dry.
As they dry, they slowly open their wings to pump blood into their wings so they will be able to fly. 

Here you can tell this one is less wet and crinkled because he has been drying longer. He is still hanging on becoming stronger opening his wings every now and then. It  took two hours for this butterfly to be ready to fly away. 

Viola! My beautiful swallowtail butterfly makes his or her debut!  What a blessing to watch this process from beginning to the last phase. Following the metamorphosis from the egg, to the caterpillar, to the pupa or chrysalis and finally to the adult butterfly was fascinating.
 So as Paul Harvey said,"And now you know the rest of the story." 
However, I have more to show you that I think you'll be interested in.
 This is a small birdbath I observed at a local nursery. It was in their butterfly house. Butterflies assemble around puddles and soak up minerals they need. Butterflies drink by "puddling". They sip at shallow puddles of water in mud or sand instead of landing in large open water areas. I was able to purchase it. You can purchase butterfly pudding stones to invite butterflies to your garden on line at Gardeners.com, UncommonGoods and Etsy. I also read butterflies like stale beer! I should try that. So far, I haven't seen any land in my butterfly puddler!
Much to my surprise and delight look at what was attached underneath! Yes, it is a monarch chrysalis or pupa! You can tell their pupas are different from the swallowtail butterflies. I told the lady that checked out my purchases if it hatched and I had a monarch butterfly she would hear me screaming 40 miles away!

I made this picture of a beautiful monarch in the same butterfly house back in May. The monarchs mated, laid eggs and several generations of monarchs began. Somewhere along the way, a pupa attached under the birdbath. Sadly, I found out my pupa is dead. Next year, I am going to order some monarch eggs or pupas. It is too late this year because the companies that supply them do not ship if the temperature is over 80 degrees. 

And just to show you how obsessive I became with viewing the metamorphosis the day the last pupa emerged all wet it had just started to rain. I was sitting in the chair holding a small umbrella while making pictures and called my husband to bring another umbrella and he rigged this set up. I was afraid the poor little butterfly wouldn't make it through a downpour. Nature doesn't need my help but I really wanted to watch the process. It took five hours for this one to fly away. 
I know this is getting lengthy but I was also able to observe the extruding of ostermeria! Ostermeria happens when a caterpillar feels threatened. When danger is detected, they quickly puff up, rear back, and eject bright orange ostermeria from their heads. Do you see the ostermeria on the top caterpillar?
I was able to provoke this one( I couldn't resist poking him slightly with a stick to see this first hand.)These organs spray a foul smell also. It was a slight odor but having read about it I was intrigued when I observed this.
This is a picture  of a black swallowtail extruding osmeteria from the book, Butterflies of Alabama, from Gosse Nature Guides, photography by Sara Blight and text by Paulette Ogard. I would love to meet these two ladies. This book was published in 2010 by the University of Alabama Press. 
Is ostermeria a new phenomenon for you? It was for me.
So, to sum up. How exciting it is to witness the life cycle of butterflies as God's creation first hand. I hope you have learned something from this post about the last stage of metamorphosis as well as the other three stages in my former post. Maybe you have been intrigued to witness this wonderful beauty first hand yourself. There are ways to experience and witness these stages for yourself. Many people raise butterflies inside their home( butterfly cases available at Hobby Lobby) or school classrooms. Kits are available on line. You can plant host plants in your own backyard and watch this amazing process for yourself. You can encourage butterflies  in your garden by planting nectar plants, host plants, and puddling stones. I promise it is rewarding. 
As I mentioned many swallowtail butterfly generations have been visible in one urn in my backyard. I'm still blown away with the complexity of it all!