Spicebush Swallowtail Caterpillar

This is an amazing looking little thing. It is so colorful that it looks painted. Very cool.


Spicebush Swallowtail Caterpillar (Papilio troilus) #1

I spotted this Spicebush Swallowtail Caterpillar (Papilio troilus) today on the bird bath. More than likely it fell out of the close-by Sassafras tree. I’m guessing this one is pretty close to pupating; but in the final instar of the Spicebush Swallowtail, it turns a bright yellow. According to Wikipedia:

“The entire development process from egg to adult takes about a month. Once they have reached the adult stage, Papilio troilus can live anywhere from two days to two weeks dependent on resource availability and predator avoidance.”

Spicebush Swallowtail Caterpillar (Papilio troilus) #2

I’ll be searching the entire summer for an adult butterfly to photograph, now. I saw one the other day in the yard; however, to my disappointment, I didn’t have my camera outdoors with me at the time. Hopefully, the opportunity will arise again.

By the way, for anyone interested, I recently began exploring Instagram and posting a few shots over…

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Sometimes Like the Wind


The rain falls softly at first

It alerts us to nature outside of our window

The rain falls violently

It alerts us to the vulnerability of our humanity

The wind blows smoothly

It reminds us that nature can be strong

The wind turns into a furious rampage

It reminds us of our own emotions and thoughts

Someone calls to us from inside the house…

It enlightens us to the fact that we are conscious

Of both the outer and the inner worlds we live in

We live in both worlds…

the one of our outer environment

and the one of our inner chatter…

…or silence

Sometimes like the wind

Our minds can be still

For a time

Perhaps long enough

to find peace

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Rain and Chronic Pain / Arthritis and Bone Diseas

I  can tell that it is getting ready to, or is currently raining here. My chronic pain problems are flared up to an extreme.

I could hardly move out of the bed, but I had to get up and feed the bunny who was ringing his bell for me. He is so smart and sweet.

The degenerative disc disease causes certain bulging discs to slide out of place and that is painful and makes it harder to move.

The cervical spine area is the worst, but I also have pain and stiffness in the thoracic and lower lumbar areas. There is some stenosis in the middle of my back, which makes certain movements difficult.

annie pic cas 2

The lower back is always painful in the mornings.  When I got up to feed the bunny, I put some more air in this airbed. It was getting too soft which always causes worse pain to sleep on it, if it is sagging in at my hips.

One day I will be able to buy a real mattress and that should be better for my bad back.

I took my usual pain medications and am waiting to see what happens.  It might be a day I have to take extra.

But I have to drive to STS to have them help me with something in a little while. I cant take too many extra pain meds till I am done driving.  I just need this round to kick in.

I have two tall flights of steps to go down, to get out of the house. I have been using a cane on the steps because the arthritis in my knees had gotten so bad, I can hardly tolerate the extreme pain in my knees on the steps.


The cane helps a little but the pain is still torturous. So I am trapped in the house until the pain meds work…if the choose to work well today.

Chronic pain is terrorizing.  The other people that suffer from chronic pain know what I mean when I say it can cause depression.

I might be able to do some slow yoga in an hour or rwo. But not right now.

Otherwise I love the rain. I always have. It seems sad to have to dread something that you love.

Blessings for a peaceful day,



Are Ponies Real?


My 18 year old daughter relayed this funny story to me today. She was spending time with her little 7 year old cousin. This is my niece, who is a very cute little girl.

My daughter recently was hired at her first job. She will be starting this coming week and of course is very excited. She was telling my little niece that when she got paid, she would be able to buy her a little gift, with her first paycheck.

My daughter was being silly with her and said  “I can get you something you will like, but not a ferris wheel or a pony.”

The little one looked at her and said, “I do not want a ferris wheel and ponies are not even real ! “

My daughter was kind of stunned and said to her  “You don’t think ponies are real?”

The little one said, “NO…

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Drink Me In….


Drink me in

Inhale my scent

Blend with my spirit

Step on into my mind

It is familiar and kind

It is strange and sad

It is hopeful




Listen to me

I have a lot of thoughts to tell you

A lot of feelings to share with you

Touch me

I have a lot of tenderness to give you

A lot of strength with which  to save you

Feel my heart

I have a lot of hope to send you

A lot of compassion to connect with you

Love me

I have a heart that needs protecting

A soul that craves connecting

Support me

I have a voice that needs to be heard

Experience that needs to be learned from

Forgive me

I have mistakes that haunt me nightly

Shame that darkens my spirit

A flame for someone to hear it

Believe in me

so that I…

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Singular Passion

Shall we walk upon the sand
Telling tales while holding hands
Shall we kiss like lovers do
Making promises sweet and true

Shall we lay in each other’s arms
Living for the moment’s pleasurable charms
Believing that we can hold on
with all our might
To keep the passion
of the night