Tag Archives: nature

Meet Cinderella Alexandra

22 Feb

“I think she might be sick,” Aaron said to Hannah, whilst giving me a knowing look  “We’ll see how she goes today, and if she hasn’t moved by the time I get home from work, we’ll have to put her back outside so she can get better.”

And by sick, he meant dead.  She’d been lying in the same spot for almost 24 hours.

“Ok.” Hannah said, head down, her voice reflecting sadness.

“We’ll see how she is today, Mommy.  I bet she’ll move.  She’s just having rest.  It’s nap time.” Hannah told me, believing every word as she said it.

We’d only had her for a day.  We found her the day before under Hannah’s pillow.  Yes, under Hannah’s pillow, a very strange place, if you’re a caterpillar.

“She crawled all the way under my pillow because she loves me!!” Hannah said excitedly.  “She loves me so much!”

I got a plastic takeaway container, poked holes in it, and gave it to Aaron to put the black caterpillar in.

“What are you going to name it?” Aaron asked her.

She thought about it a little bit.  “Cinderella.  No, she’s going to have two names.  Cinderella Alexandra.”

We read up on how to take care of caterpillars, and I bought one of those plastic animal containers with slits all through the roof to be made into her new home (for under $2, I might add!). Hannah and I put dirt on the bottom, some sticks for her to climb, leaves to eat, and a cotton ball full of water to keep everything fresh and hydrated.  Plus a little scrunched up wad of paper to use as a ball so she can “use her nose to kick it around her cage because she wants to play.”

Hannah carried Cinderella around with her for the rest of the day, despite the fact that Cinderella hadn’t moved in hours.

Hannah and her caterpillar helping me cook

Hannah and her caterpillar helping me cook

Aaron and I were going to lightly poke her with a stick to see if she moved after Hannah went to bed, but Hannah came out of her room to get her.  Hannah wanted Cinderella to sleep on the little dresser next to her bed so she wouldn’t be lonely.

The morning didn’t bring any movement.  Cinderella was still in the exact same spot she’d been in since the afternoon before.

“Goodbye Cinderella,” Hannah told the caterpillar as we went out for the morning, “I love you!”

“I missed you so much!!!” Hannah told her when we got home.

She still hadn’t moved.

A few hours later, we were going out again and I checked to see if Cinderella had moved.  Aaron was only a few hours from returning home from work, and the chances of having to put her outside because she was “sick” were becoming very high.

Until I saw this:


At first glance, I nearly dropped the cage because I thought there was a cockroach in there.  Then my brain started functioning and I realised that a cockroach of that size would have no way to actually get inside the cage.  Plus there are no legs.

But hang on, isn’t that Cinderella curled up in a ball right next to the thing that has to be a cocoon? I thought that too, but closer inspection revealed that the ball of fluff is just that, a ball of fluff.  There is not enough mass there to be Cinderella.  Unless she suddenly shrank to less than half of her original size.  She somehow just shed all of her hair and is now in the cocoon.  That’s what we’re hoping at least.  Otherwise, we’re going to have a very disappointed little girl.

UPDATE: Click here to read the rest of the Cinderella story.

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Australia is out to get you

7 Feb

I’m pretty sure Australia is trying to eat us.  Maybe we’re good for the soil.  Maybe it thinks that if it devours us all, the hole in the o-zone layer will close up and it can be lush and green once again.

You’re not safe in the house.  Spiders in Australia are lurking about, hiding in the corner, waiting to bite you.  These aren’t your average spiders either, these spiders can kill you.

Photo courtesy of hubpages.com

In a crazy heatwave like we just had, the power grid can’t cope with all the electricity running all the air conditioners and thousands of houses find themselves in complete black out.  Yeah, the houses are trying to give you heat stroke.

You go outside.  Ugh, it’s like 45 degrees celsius out here.  It’s like stepping into a furnace.  Or a disgustingly hot sauna right after someone has poured a copious amount of water on the rocks.  If you stay out here long enough, you might possibly die, fried right there on the cement like an egg. Ouch!  Oh crap, what was that?  You look down.  The grass seems to have grown little sharp things to assault your feet.

Photo courtesy of Yates Australia

You move a few feet (fine, meters, whatever) away.  OUCH!  There is something stuck in your foot.  It’s really sharp!  It’s even smaller than the bindii.  The grass isn’t finished with you yet.  These little things are like ninjas, you don’t see them coming at all!  Darn you burrs!

A bird dive bombs your head.  It comes back for another go.  Seriously bird?  Really?  Sometimes they get you so hard, they actually draw blood.

Magpie - photo courtesy of Wikipedia

Snakes are lurking in the grass.  They are extremely venomous and enjoy biting you, sending said venom into your blood stream and nervous system.  Sometimes they hide in the toilet.

If you go for a walk in the bush, a wombat could charge you.  They may seem cuddly (ok, not from the photo below), but they’re not.  Seriously, they’re not, don’t try it.

Photo courtesy of Humanimal Kingdom

And what about those black panthers that allegedly roam the Blue Mountains.  There have been sightings, poo findings, tracks….

Watch out for those drop bears, they are particularly ferocious and have the added advantage of attacking from above.

Photo courtesy of aussieschoolbooks.com.au

A cyclone has just demolished entire towns.

Rain is flooding an entire state.

Ok, so dry land is going to eat you.  Maybe you should go for a swim.

Before you even get to the water, OUCH!  What?  You look down.  You’re standing on something long and blue, and rather condom like.  It’s dead, but darn it, it still stings!  They are everywhere!

Blue bottle jellyfish - photo courtesy of dryadmusings.com

Once you get into the water, you’re not safe.  There are more jellyfish.  Box jellyfish, Irikanji jellyfish, wasp jellyfish, more bluebottles, alive ones.

Uh-oh, there are sharks.  Great white sharks, bull sharks, tiger sharks.  Sharks that can leave you severely dismembered, or even dead.  Sharks with big huge teeth just waiting to bite you.

Photo courtesy of wikipedia

But then there are the not-so-scary-but-can-still-kill-you marine wildlife. What about stingrays?  People always forget about stingrays, but if Steve Irwin the Crocodile Hunter can be killed by one, then it could happen to anyone.

Even the water tries to eat you.  Rips pull you out to sea and watch you struggle, flailing as you desperately try to get the attention of lifeguards.  You could, of course, swim parallel to the shore until you’re out of the rip, but a lot of people, mostly tourists, don’t know that.

Don’t think you’re safe in rivers either.  Sometimes sharks swim up river and wreak havoc along the way.

The water hole looks rather inviting.  It’s a hot day.  The water looks calm and still.  You get in.  Suddenly, you realise you are not alone.  The river is filled with giant crocs, stalking you, waiting for just the right moment.

Photo courtesy of wikipedia

So everything is trying to eat you in Australia, but you know what?  I still love it here.  Maybe I’m crazy.

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