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My caterpillar raising journey continues, informed by last year’s experiences, but also encountering plenty of new discoveries and challenges. So far it looks like I will have a lot more caterpillars (and hopefully butterflies) this year, probably because I’m more aware of them out in the world, and now know their chances of survival out there are low, so I collect more to raise at home. The current count is 7, with 3 eggs waiting to hatch, and 2 quite large caterpillars about to pupate. A few caterpillars also died, and there seems to be a bit more of that this year for whatever reason (hopefully not something I’m doing wrong). But overall things are going well, and I always appreciate having them to observe and enjoy. They’re odd but surprisingly endearing “pets”, and it’s hard to argue with the end results!
Note btw, in the first photo below, you can see a tiny and very young anise swallowtail (probably 2nd instar) crawling over a much more mature one (though still not at its final caterpillar growth stage, I think). The size difference is remarkable!
After many recommendations from friends, I finally started watching The Good Place, and this past week I finished Season 1. I’ve been enjoying it well enough, some episodes more than others. But there was always a little confusion or even frustration at the seeming contradictions in some characters’ behavior (vanity, self-serving, etc.) given the fact that they’re all supposed to be “good”. So the twist at the end made the whole thing much better to me, even though that moment itself seemed a little clumsily handled perhaps. I’m now looking forward to starting Season 2 with a better sense of how they might keep evolving things.
I made some more progress this week in talking to and working on community building efforts for various small software teams and small businesses, which is an exciting step that follows a journey of some months. This is something of a new passion for me, which really started with the implementation of The Productivists forum which I co-developed last year. I’ve been really diving into both the theory and practice of it since then, reading quite a number of articles and reviews, testing numerous systems (Circle, Discourse, Discord, Slack, Zulip, Matrix, CrowdStack and many others), reading newsletters like Rosieland, and of course connecting with various people who actually need community development help (mostly on the tech side). I hope to be able to talk more about the new communities I’m involved with soon!
In addition to my “Life Time Line” that I mentioned last week, I have also been slowly going through my old logs (begun in 2011) to try to summarize each month, which I then process into a yearly summary. It’s slow going, reading through an entire month of logs can be time consuming, but typically I can do so in a little over an hour. My most recent focus, December 2013, was a particularly challenging one however. It was a tumultuous time early in my last major relationship, and I wrote a lot of (emotional) notes. So it not only took more time but was also a bit emotional to go through. But good at the same time, I think, providing perspective, reflection, etc. now many years later. I can see how far I’ve come, and what I still have to work on. I’m hoping January 2014 will be a little easier though.
Speaking of progress and last week’s update, I also brought up a potential revamp of my “Now” category here and how I handle updates. It was not long after that update that I decided to actually do so. I’ve renamed the category to “Now (and Then)” and it’s now a combination of life journal and “now page”. I can update the “now page” weekly or less often as needed, and do weekly journaling as more reflection and externalizing my life. I also enabled public viewing of edit histories! Which feels a bit vulnerable, but is hopefully of interest to someone reading at some point. This to me is a unique though not necessarily vital part of digital gardening itself, seeing not just the outcome of someone’s writing process, but the process itself, at least to some degree.
Finally, I was able to make some nice progress in my garden, a bit late than I hoped to be putting things in the ground, but better late than never and all that. I’ll be growing tomatoes and cucumbers again this year, along with dill which I loved having last year. But an exciting new addition are various types of dianthus (which includes the more familiar carnations), inspired by learning recently that “grenadine” may not have originally been a pomegranate-based syrup, it may in fact have had a decidedly different, clove-y, spicy flavor made from “clove pink” dianthus! So I’m hoping to experiment with that when these get flowering soon. Yes, even my gardening is often informed or driven by cocktail considerations.