Melissa Fischer. wild in Michigan. naturalist

I spent most of the night on my knees

….watching and photographing several monarch’s split their skin.

I set up shop in the front hallway to capture some of  the action (luxuriously leaving my crap strewn about, blocking the way to the bathroom and stairs, since my kids were gone for the night.) I didn’t realize our cable and phone were out for the glorious 24 hours I was kid-less.

Finally one of the monarchs chose to hang from the grape vine.

I put the grape vine guy in my terrarium until it hatches. Summer terrarium bling- now there’s bling that excites me.

This caterpillar jumped around to a pot of violets and then started to hang upside down from a milkweed leaf at the last minute. Normally the caterpillars choose a spot that allows them to hang freely with enough room to make a large circle while they gyrate their skin off their bodies. The leaf is barely strong enough to hold the hanging caterpillar without collapsing AND it chose a spot where it couldn’t hang freely and was wedged against the side of the leaf.

I finally took pity on the creature and used a hair pin to support it in a hanging position so it could dance its skin off.

During my caterpillar watch it rained for a few minutes….

I fed the Rose-breasted Grosbeak with a jacked up beak….

Brushed my foot against a raccoon while writing on the back deck…. (so soft and scary)

and watched some bees do their thing….

…and a fly do its thing


23 responses

  1. louisva

    Lisa, if a raccoon brushed against me, that would be the last time on the deck. Around these parts coons, foxes, and skunks are the primary carriers of rabies. Oh, once again she has a provocative title. Do you know whether that is increasing your visitors?

    July 7, 2012 at 11:06 am

    • melissakoski

      Most of my visitors who accidentally come across my site are searching “breasts” “boobs” and “poop”. (:

      July 7, 2012 at 11:10 am

      • louisva

        Wow, I mean I love breasts/boobs as much as any hetero male but POOP?

        July 7, 2012 at 11:14 am

        • melissakoski

          Poop is by far the most popular. Who knew right? Some of the poop searched are legit and non-fetish though… poop is an important part of hunting and tracking!

          July 7, 2012 at 11:30 am

          • louisva

            I actually had not thought of hunters which is crazy as my area is a hunter’s paradise – DUH!!!!!!!

            July 7, 2012 at 12:44 pm

  2. louisva

    Forgot to say what great pics these are after my panic attack over your encounter with the coon. Besides, raccoons are usually nocturnal animals – when seen during the day that’s abnormal behavior and many times that means they are rabid. I have to either duct tape or bungee down my garbage can lids to keep those pests out of my garbage cans.

    July 7, 2012 at 11:11 am

    • melissakoski

      I just used duct tape to close my potato chips Louis….handy stiff isn’t it? We should get Rev. some for a going away present. (:

      July 10, 2012 at 11:14 pm

  3. I’m going to keep it ‘clean’, Melissa and just say what amazing experiences you are able to have. Wow, doing all of that stuff, then have a cute Raccoon wander so near. I am soooo envious of you. :-) Have a wonderful day. :-)

    July 7, 2012 at 11:30 am

    • melissakoski

      Thanks Bob. (: It’s a good little life I’ve got cookin’ over here. xo

      July 7, 2012 at 11:31 am

  4. What Bob Z. said, Melissa. It’s a pleasure to visit here. I will add, though, that you’re the third I’ve seen in the past few days with such a zinger of a suggestive title that was, of course, not at all inappropriate. I think the heat is affecting bloggers’, mm, creativity…

    July 7, 2012 at 5:27 pm

    • melissakoski

      Thank you so much Sid for visiting. I try to be as tricky as those whacky sensational internet headlines… barely accurate.

      July 10, 2012 at 11:16 pm

  5. Fantastic photographs, amazing encounters, very jealous.

    July 8, 2012 at 4:26 am

    • melissakoski

      Thank you. I had a friend a few years ago share a chrysalis with me and show me how to find the eggs and raise them. She’s a beautiful friend in so many ways; a real treasure.

      July 10, 2012 at 11:17 pm

      • It must be lovely to share your passion for nature with a friend, so often people don’t have a feeling for animals unless they have four legs and are furry.

        July 11, 2012 at 1:43 am

  6. keekeepod

    Really truly hoping that I’m wrong- the monarch chrysalis with facemask still attached may result in a deformed butterfly.

    Better raccoon than a skunk :)

    July 8, 2012 at 9:50 am

    • melissakoski

      Ah I also couldn’t bare to watch the skin cling to the hardening chrysalis, wandering if it would get stuck and create a hole in the protective cover. I first carefully lifted the skin with the end of a pin and it dropped off shortly after. (thank goodness!) It flew off today perfectly perfect!
      I like the raccoons, but sense I’m the only one around here that feels that way!

      July 10, 2012 at 11:19 pm

  7. sandy

    Wow, what a great series of photos!

    July 8, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    • melissakoski

      Thank you Sandy!

      July 10, 2012 at 11:20 pm

  8. You’re title crack me up, very creative ;) Great job with the caterpillar pictures.

    July 8, 2012 at 1:11 pm

    • melissakoski

      Thank you. I always get excited when I think of a good title as I’m taking pictures. YOU’RE the one that has had some creative comments remember? (:

      July 10, 2012 at 11:21 pm

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  10. Wonderful photographs and words – your comments are entertaining as well!

    July 10, 2012 at 9:25 pm

    • melissakoski

      Thanks Jules. My Mom says the comments are sometimes the best bits. (:

      July 10, 2012 at 11:22 pm


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