Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Lions and Tigers and Bears, oh my!

A fun-filled day with a yummy picnic, animals, rides, treats and the company of a favorite cousin!

Butterflies and Best Friends

This summer our family educational project has been raising Monarch butterflies.  We've had an abundance of Monarch caterpillars in the garden this year munching on whorled milkweed plants so we fixed up a caterpillar "house" from a wire pet carrier (thanks, neighbor!) :o) and tulle netting.  Then we filled it with milkweed plants and caterpillars.  Within a couple of weeks each caterpillar began turning into a chrysalis.  We were able to track the progress of their transformation over the next couple of weeks by watching the color of their chrysalis turn from a light green with beautiful gold "jewels" on it to black and orange as the wings became visible inside.  As each butterfly began to emerge, we would give them a day for their wings to dry and then release them back into the wild for destinations unknown. 

Some fun facts that we've learned during this project:

>A Monarch egg hatches within 3-8 days and is no bigger than the head of a pin.
>The only food Monarchs eat is the milkweed plant.
>They remain in the caterpillar form for 7-17 days.
>During their caterpillar stage they will grow up to 2,000 times it's size.
>They form a chrysalis and remain in this stage for 8-15 days.  The day before it emerges the chrysalis   becomes transparent and you can see its black and orange wings.
>Monarchs born in the spring and early summer live for only 2-6 weeks.  Monarchs born in late summer migrate to Mexico for the winter and may live up to 8 months or longer.
>The male monarch has a spot on each lower wing, the females do not have this spot.

These are some of the photos from the final butterflies that we released.  Happy migrating, Monarchs!

Monday, August 23, 2010


When I arrived to photograph Riley, she was full of energy, "talking" to me and bouncing around, eager to get started.  (well, maybe not!)  We started outside to let her run off some of that energy, and then took a moment to bask in the sun.  Once back inside with a few treats in hand, she settled down like a pro, and we got a lot of great shots!  :)  Here are some of my favorites from the day.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

3 month cutie

I got the chance to work with this sweet little girl again yesterday.  She was full of smiles and giggles for me this time around!  Enjoy your sneek peek, L family!  :)

Monday, August 9, 2010

My NEW art website is being launched TODAY!

I am excited to announce that I am launching my NEW art website today! Check it out at www.frompenciltopaper.com. Some parts are still under construction so check back often for updates. Share the link with others! Send me an email at juli@frompenciltopaper.com letting me know you visited and one lucky winner will receive a commissioned miniature drawing FREE! Drawing will be held Tuesday, August 31st, so visit soon!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Joys of Summer

Caterpillars, dandelions and grass between your toes.  How wonderful summertime is when you're little!  And always remember to take time to smell the roses, but apparently not the coneflowers!  Ew!