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Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: Favorite Hobby and Why

It’s that time again. The Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge hosted by Long and Short Reviews. Today’s topic is: Favorite Hobby and Why
I’ll be honest, this one is tough as it’s morphed over the years. I used to LOVE cross-stitch, but I can’t do it any more because I can’t see well enough (getting old sucks). Anyone want a BUNCH of cross-stitch supplies?
I also used to LOVE scrapbooking, but when I got busy with the businesses (and writing), it fell to the wayside. I haven’t scrapbooked in years. I love looking back on my old ones and wish I had time to do new, but … it’s just not a priority anymore.
With my last dog, Dakota, I used to do dog agility. I LOVE agility! It’s so much fun! But when she hurt her shoulder, we stopped (we thought temporarily). And then she had her aneurysm and passed away so young, and so unexpectedly,Β and the joy left a little. We started again with Kenzie, and it was a lot of fun, but then summer came, and we got busy with other things and just never started up again. It’s on the “to-do” list though.
I also love gardening, and I still do this some. I used to have a huge veggie garden and I’d happily spend my time planting and watering and weeding and harvesting…but then we got our summer camp, and we spent so much time there, and so little time at home that my gardens languished. So I’ve been working on switching everything over to perennials that need very little care, and I buy my produce from a local farm.
The one thing I still do, though? Raise butterflies. πŸ™‚ This is somewhat reliant on nature to give me babies to raise (we had a few years with NONE which was, honestly, a little terrifying), but I’m a believer if “if you plant it, they will come”. I have a TON of milkweed in my yard. You know what happens when you plant milkweed? You get these:

Actually, I typically start with eggs, but last year there were SO MANY I kept missing some. Anyway, I put the eggs (or pillars) into these:

And eventually they do this:

And then those become these:

And you let them go to fly to Mexico… and eventually, their grand-butterbabies come back here and lay eggs on my milkweed, and we start all over again.
I am very, very busy with this from about July 1 – our first freeze.
Really, I suppose this is the only hobby I really have right now. But considering Monarchs are borderline endangered, I feel like I’m making a difference.
As a side note, in August every year I have a TON of common milkweed seeds I’m happy to mail to anyone who wants to plant it and help out the butterflies. You don’t have to raise them, but they can really use all the help we can give them. If not milkweed, then plant flowering plants. Lots of them. Food helps them on their migration no matter where you live. And if you want to have fun, learn and track the monarchs on their migrations, you can go here:Β  The Journey NorthΒ — also you can report any sightings you have of caterpillar or butterflies to help them out.
What’s one of your hobbies?

This Post Has 18 Comments

    1. It’s pretty awesome to do. Nature fascinates me, and this brings us so close to it!

    1. We had a few years recently where we had NO caterpillars, so you weren’t missing anything. This past year, though, made up for it in spades. I’m probably going to document 2019 on the blog again, so keep an eye out πŸ™‚

  1. Raising butterflies is such a cool hobby. Do you keep the eggs indoors to prevent predators from eating them? Have you ever named any of your butterflies?
    There’s a flock of pigeons that spends a great deal of the daylight hours on my block. I greet them every time I go outside. I can’t tell them apart yet, but I’d give some of them names if I could. They’re nice birds. πŸ™‚

    1. We go on egg hunts daily when the ‘pillar season starts. Still, I have a ridiculous amount of milkweed and can’t get them all. We raised about 200 butterflies last year inside, and I found another couple dozen chrysalis’s outside that we watched carefully (at that stage, it’s tough to move them safely). Honestly, I probably could have raised three times that many. 2018 was nuts for caterpillars. And, we actually name all the ones we bring inside (this year after the first 100 or so, I got lazy and started numbering them instead).

    1. I started doing it on a whim–I homeschooled my daughter and the first year, we accidentally stumbled across some black swallowtail caterpillars on our rue and brought them in as a science project. It’s just escalated from there!

  2. I think this is the best hobby I’ve seen! And on the up side, my younger kid wants to plant some flowers this year, so we’ll do that. I’ll also look for milkweed seeds when I’m at Lowe’s next time.
    My post

    1. You probably won’t find milkweed seeds at Lowes (or anywhere else) because they are considered weeds. However, Monarch Watch ( has it, or you can wait until the late summer and I’ll send you all you want for free. Good butterfly attractants are coneflower (Echinacea) and liatris, but I’m not sure how they do in the desert. You’ll be seeing California monarchs, and honestly they’ve had a HUGE death toll this past year due to the fires and floods, so any help you can give is wonderful. Let me know about the milkweed. I have WAY more than I can ever use…

      1. Ah, gotcha. Growing up in the desert, I’m not very flower-forward. Hahaha. I will have to look and see what seeds I picked up and let you know. I’m sure that the California monarchs got hit hard, like so much other wildlife lately. Will let you know on the milkweed though!

    1. I still have the blue and yellow quilt you made me πŸ™‚ and I still love it!

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