Sunday, July 19, 2015


Another month quickly they do go.

The last month has pretty much been in pursuit of the same old, same old.  Working at my restoration site battling invasive species.  Working on my garden battling rabbits that are eating everything.  Working at work, butterfly monitoring and generally doing nothing spectacular.

I got a chance to visit with Caroll Martin when she was in from Seattle a couple weeks ago.  Had hoped to spend a little more time with her but it was not to be.  Had lunch with Rick Hannah last week.  Rick came to the house and I honestly could not remember the last time he was here.  We had a nice chat and he took home some car models I had to build.

As noted, I have been fighting rabbits in the garden all this season and have given up.  The rabbits ate my snow peas, snap peas, and now the green beans that I tried to plant.  Where I have always had rabbits hanging around, they never did much damage.  This year has been totally different as they have eaten just about everything in sight from the vegetable garden, to the milkweeds I planted to the new plants I bought at the native plant sale.  Next spring I will have to cage the plantings in the garden off.  I just don't feel like bothering for this year as it is already July.

I have also been raising and photographing monarch caterpillars.  Where I have not found as many caterpillars as some years past, I have had some extraordinary experiences in this endeavor and several firsts.  This was the first year I have raised a caterpillar from an egg and got to photograph that.  For the first time I also got to photograph the shed skin of the caterpillar going from one instar to another. 

I also had a lot of caterpillar death that I am not used to.  I never really had caterpillars die, this year I lost quite a few to parasites and for unknown reasons.  Very disheartening.

I attended the Bartlett Parade this year as the weather wasn't too terrible in the way of heat.  It was a day in the low 80's which is tolerable for that parade in the middle of the day.  I wore my "summer Jedi" and still was sweating pretty bad by the end of the parade.  The Jedi boots I wear with that costume do make things a lot easier on the feet.  All in all I enjoyed the day visiting with some of the Star Wars folks that I have not seen much this year and was glad I did the parade.

I have been working also on a new Jedi costume that I hope to make into two Jedi costumes.  Using 10 yards of a dark brown linen/cotton blend, I made the traditional Jedi tunic set first.  Next, I hope to have enough fabric to make the sleeveless version too.  The nice thing is that I will be able to use the tabarads and obi from the traditional version to wear with the sleeveless version so that will save a LOT of fabric.  I am just finishing that up and only have to hem the sleeves and the tabards on the first version.  It came out pretty good.  The one thing I can't understand is that I have certainly gained weight since the Jedi pattern I used was made, and I have cut the pattern down in some places a couple years back, but the finished costume still seems too large on me.

Thursday after work I had a reporter from the Tribune here do interview me on a piece he is doing for the Trib on Star Wars.  He has interviewed a bunch of different people for different reasons.  The reason he wanted to interview me? segment will be "growing old with Star Wars".  In other words, what someone a LOT older than most thinks about the Star Wars franchise.  It was interesting and there is supposed to be a photographer sent over here maybe next week.

I ordered some new quarter panels for the Jeep this week....sigh...I really thought that when I replaced them the last time that they would last a LOT longer than they did.  I am not happy about the job done by the Body Shop and before these new panels go on, I am going to think a whole lot about my options.