Step Into My Office

My kids confined in boxes but being fed well and they get a daily cleaning.
My kids confined in boxes but being fed well and they get a daily cleaning.

I don’t believe I’ve given you a peephole into my world over here.  I now have a zero minute commute to work which is great!  I open my front door and there I am! No more traffic, lights, groggy people or parking lots.  Above is the lab I go into first thing in the morning to check on the larvae, eggs and pupa that are growing in those boxes and cups.  The table is where I clean boxes, change out food, transfer new kids to their respective boxes or remove pupae for hanging.

The lab i live in for a few hours a day
The lab I live in for a few hours a day

So when I get up and walk out my door, work awaits me.

My house
My house

Here are the grounds:

Looking toward my house from the yard
Looking toward my house from the yard
Casita where the goodies get made during the day
Casita where the goodies get made during the day
Side of the flight house and into the driveway with mountains in the background
Side of the flight house and into the driveway with mountains in the background
Walking in from the parking lot, cafe on left, Flight house on right
Walking in from the parking lot, cafe on left, Flight house on right
View of the mountains from the parking lot
View of the mountains from the parking lot

It’s a big yard, takes a while to water and tend to.  But I saw a cute iguana today by the gate all fat and happy.

Out watering today I saw this little fatty iguana in a tree!  He must've been reall famous because he got down and tried to sneak away from the paparazzi that was me.
Out watering today I saw this little fatty iguana in a tree! He must’ve been real famous because he got down and tried to sneak away from the paparazzi that was me.

Then Fred, our dog, decided to hang out all day.  We often find him at the bar or hanging on main street around the action.  Although we never really SEE him in action, he seems to thrive in chaos.  He is typically horizontal and has really bloodshot eyes.  I saw him trying to pee against a pole the other day and he just stumbled over and didn’t even try.  We’re convinced he has a beer habit.  Or worse.

This is how he looks at any given moment of the day.
This is how he looks at any given moment of the day.

He’s spoiled now (he was a street dog) since I gave up part of my foam mattress topper.  Now his shoulders don’t hurt as bad as laying on hard ground!

Our overly relaxed dog.  We're pretty sure he's an alcoholic.
Our overly relaxed dog. I said we should name him Bed or Dead, not Fred.

Looks comfy, huh?  Spoiled boy.

Speaking of being spoiled, I’m starting to delve into making gelato.  The Sicilian type uses cornstarch which is kind of like eating frozen hot fudge.  Wow…it’s good.  Very creamy texture…silky, almost.  Then I made some the normal way with egg yolks and I did a couple things wrong in the cooling process.  I could feel the ice crystals in it so I’m being FORCED to make it again.  DARN!!!  I did make some mango yogurt popsicles tonight which tasted good in the un frozen form.  We’re hoping these things will sell better than the baked goods.

Mix Mix Stir Stir Married Young It's All a Blur.  These are espresso coffee grinds with the cream, milk and sugar.
Mix Mix Stir Stir Married Young It’s All a Blur. These are espresso coffee grinds with the cream, milk and sugar.
Add that yummy chocolate
Add that yummy chocolate
Mmmm chocolate espresso gelato.  My newest adventure.
Mmmm chocolate espresso gelato. My newest adventure.
Put it in an ice bath minus the ice because i didn't have much of anything
I put it in an ice bath minus the ice because I forgot to make some, so it was just cold water.

You have to mix it up every 45 min or so to keep ice crystals from forming.  I don’t think I mixed it enough times and it didn’t cool down quickly enough,  Lesson learned…next time I’ll do better!

Speaking of chocolate, I’m SUPER excited because I noticed our cacao tree has little flower blooms on the trunk!  That means cacao (chocolate) pods!!  How awesome would that be!?!  Now we’re talking organic chocolate making.  I think I’ve found my calling.  ha!

OOOO we have blooms on our cacao tree which could mean cacao pods one day!!  It's better to fall in chocolate than in love.
OOOO we have blooms on our cacao tree which could mean cacao pods one day!! It’s better to fall in chocolate than in love.
Cutest little flowers EVER
Cutest little flowers EVER

And since we’re already in the flight house, might as well show you what’s going on there too!

I was collecting larvae on the senna and didn’t even notice the two Sulfur’s sitting right in front of me.  Man, nature is freaky.  They really blend into that leaf.  Their babies are a bright yellow then turn green later on.

Sulfer's blending in well on the senna.
Sulfer blending in well on the senna.

Our little morpho’s are growing still:

baby morpho larvae
baby morpho larvae
Me moving the baby caligo larvae to the banana plant with Orlando, the tour guide.
Me moving the baby caligo larvae to the banana plant with Orlando, the tour guide.

Here I am in action moving some baby caligo larvae out into the real world.  We ended up moving them again though because the wind was too rough on them.

So at the end of the day, this is what I see before going into my house:

Whispy clouds with high winds
Whispy clouds with high winds
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7 thoughts on “Step Into My Office

  1. Alex De La Garza February 24, 2014 / 10:50 pm

    Your funny little larvae remind me of those nasty hellgrammites I used for bait on the Shenandoah river. Those suckers had some nasty pincers on them.

    • StephieD February 25, 2014 / 6:58 am

      Ha! Someone wrote me the other day and said they reminded her of fishing bait too!

  2. Camille February 25, 2014 / 6:22 am

    Bed, Dead or Fred! You are hysterical!

  3. Andrea February 25, 2014 / 7:35 am

    Excellent post! I have a much better feel now for where you are and what you are doing.

    • StephieD February 25, 2014 / 9:41 am

      Thanks! I guess it was about time to show where I live, huh?!

  4. Lynn February 25, 2014 / 2:13 pm

    I have been so interested in all you have written. From now on I will have to check all my leaves for larva. Butterflies, iguanas, dogs, chocolate gelato and warm too. You have fallen into an awesome position. I love it all. Thanks for sharing. Lynn

    • StephieD February 25, 2014 / 2:17 pm

      Awe thanks, Lynn! I’m glad you’re still following and also happy to know I’m educating people!!

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