Flit Flying Away (Pic. by KDTD)The Tiede’s are on Staycation. That’s right. We are on vacation and staying home. Well, not exactly staying home. We are sleeping here and eating most meals, but we are planning many mini-outings for the next week and a half. We are affectionately calling each outing a “daycation.”

While we have a long list of things to do, which we don’t typically get to do or don’t take the time to do, I thought I’d add something to the list … blogging. Our summer has not been very conducive to consistent blogging, so (with my family’s permission) I am taking you all along on the 2008 Tiede Staycation. Each night we are going to give you a glimpse into the daycation we enjoyed that day. I am twisting my family members’ arms and asking them to co-blog with me each night. We’ll see how that goes. So, tune in for pictures and stories from our Staycation!

Tonight we kicked off our tour of local attractions by attending a Monarch Butterfly tagging and release at the Quarry Hill Nature Center. Twelve years ago, The JokerKadi and I participated in a similar event and Kadi’s picture was on the front page of the Post Bulletin. She was 8 months old at the time. We learned some fascinating things about Monarchs tonight and even though we’ve studied them before we all learned new things.

 

The most beautiful thing to me is that when the Monarchs migrate to Mexico, they congregate in a tiny area that is only 80 miles wide at the widest point. They perch on Oyamel fir trees. The scientific name for the Oyamel is Abies religiosa which means sacred sanctuary. The name has nothing to do with the fact that it is a sanctuary for millions upon millions of Monarch butterflies, but because the tip of the branch is shaped like a Christian cross. Think about that. Countless spectacular butterflies, which symbolize the new life of a Believer in Christ, are divinely created to be drawn to the cross. My friends, the implications of that leave me with goose bumps up and down my arms. Oh, that we would be drawn to the cross again and again. That it would be instinctive. That our radar would point to Him and that we would let nothing deter our pilgrimage to the cross. (Check out Journey North for more information)

On a slightly less spiritual note, as we tagged our Monarchs I noted that we were releasing many more males than females. (Yes, I know how to tell the difference now! It’s not what you think. :)) I asked the gentleman helping us and he said it’s because he’s lazy and doesn’t go out to catch the butterflies until the afternoon. For whatever reason, he said, the females come out early in the day and then disappear, and the males are out and about in the afternoon. Hmmmm. There might be some similarities between the species there too, but we won’t go there tonight.

And now (drum roll, please), my guest blogger tonight is Kadi (nearly 13) …

LepidopterophobiaOkay, so please excuse my first ever blog entry tonight, I went to bed at 12:30 last night and had to wake up at 5am! I spent the whole day at the MN state Fair with some friends. I can’t say that I was necessarily excited about releasing butterflies, and I won’t say it thrilled me, but it wasn’t terrible. When it was my turn to tag the Monarch and release it, I was nervous! Coming from a person who has spiderphobia, ( which I found out today is really called arachnaphobia, which you all already knew) holding a butterfly and then having it crawl all over me, like scared me to death! ( I thoroughly dislike anyhing that crawls on me.) I held the thingy, and was disappointed that it was a guy, cuz I wanted a girl, but yeah, it just kinda flew away and yeah … I got to see some friends that came to the butterfly thing, and I got to take some nice pictures of Ben and Caleb with the butterflies.

 

Ben seemed really energetic. He had a lot of questions and everything. I tried to get some good pictures of him, but he smiles really weird when you tell him to smile. Like really weird. Smiley

 

Caleb was kinda shy and nervous, but I think he had a lot of fun too. I think Dad had the most fun though, he laughs at everything. I think he really enjoys learning things about nature and history. Mom liked it too, but she was just really interested in blogging ideas and everything. Overall, I think it was fun for Ben and Caleb, and I would do it again for them. BTW, I got my ears pierced the other day and thought you would maybe want to know. I’ll have more to say when we go to the Mall of America! KDTD:)!