Thursday, June 17, 2010

What the Silkmoths and I are up to. . .

A few dozen of the silkmoths are still wandering around their box, done laying eggs, wondering what to do with the rest of their lives. I can sympathize a little. Most have passed on, and around 15 cocoons still haven't hatched yet. Is hatched the right word? It feels like the right word, but it's not quite the same as an egg. The cocoon has hatched: the silkmoth has emerged. That's the terminology that sounds good to me.

Anyhow, of the cocoons that haven't hatched yet, 4 of them look like bad cocoons to me, and I'm suspicious that they may not ever do anything. By 'bad' I mean, they don't look like the other cocoons: they're shaped strange, or feel soft instead of hard, and then there's that one that is see through as it was never completed.

I'm not really sure how long to wait on these last cocoons before deciding that the moths will never emerge from them, but I suppose there's no downside to waiting it out a little longer. After a nice long wait, if there are still several unhatched cocoons, I may try the silk reeling method used when the cocoons are stifled (that's the nice way of saying the larva is killed.) Once I'm sure no moth will ever come out, I'll give that method a try, but not just yet. So many of the caterpillars started spinning late, I feel better giving them a little more time.

In my research about silkmoth lifespan, I found two estimates: 3 to 5 days, and up to a week. From our little group, I'd agree more with the second. From the time our first silkmoths began emerging from their cocoons, to the first dead moth I found, it was a week at the very least. I sort of expected them to not last more then a day or so after egg laying, but they've all hung around quite awhile. I'm not real happy with the box I'm housing them in. They've kinda beaten themselves up flapping around and trying to hook up into pairs. Wormspit.com recommends separating them into pairs, then isolating the pairs and that's what I'm going to do next year. Hopefully they'll not bang themselves up so much that way, and the eggs should be easier to clean up.

That's what the silkmoths are up to, as for me, I've started a new short story. I felt a little guilty about it since I still haven't worked much on my novel, but I got an idea that I was excited about. I'm doing way more writing on it than I was on my novel, so it's hard to argue with progress. I'm toying with the idea of taking a writing class, probably online, but trying to decide what type of class I'd like the best (and when I'm going to fit it into my schedule).

My sewing machine is sitting covered, and hasn't seen the light in months, although I have almost as many projects I want to sew as I have story ideas. Last month I thought that when summer came, I'd have all this free time to do my writing and sewing. Why isn't that working out?

1 comment:

Amanda Borenstadt said...

Don't feel bad about writing the short story instead of working on your novel. You don't even want to know how many works in progress I have on my computer. I just poke at whatever one calls to me.