Friday, November 24, 2006

Moving On

For the past few of weeks, I've been spending most of my free time working on a backyard project that's been going on and off for some time now. It's getting pretty cold lately, so I'm here blogging instead. I usually work on it after a major exam, or when I'm fighting with Tu Anh.... you would think I'd be done by now hehe.... Digging in the dirt gives me an opportunity to relax my mind from the myriad of drugs, treatments, physiological and pathophysiological mechanisms, biochemical reactions, physical examination techniques, arrgghhhh etc...that I need to know. I have been able to contemplate less pressing issues lately, and it feels great. The effect of such contemplation is that I have something to blog about.....
photo © NC Wildlife Resources Commission
While working outside, I saw many Canada geese fly overhead in their characteristic migrating V pattern. I haven't seen any of them lately, so I suppose winter is very near when the geese have already moved on. But seeing them made me think of another winged creature that migrates south for the winter..... The monarch butterfly, Danaus plexippus. These little things are amazing. Like the geese, they've already moved on to warmer climes, but I recalled flocks of them over the summer. I used to see some gliding by the window from as high up as the 4th floor.

On a recent study break with my study group, we decided to go for a walk in a nearby park. It reminded me of ecological surveys during my undergraduate days, and re-kindled my love of biodiversity, so lets take a brief look at this interesting species..... About one month ago the first monarchs were sited in their wintering grounds in Mexico. There, millions of monarchs will stay, surviving on the energy reserves they built up over the summer until around March. Then they will make the journey north in search of Asclepias plants (wilkweed or butterfly weed). A single female will begin her journey with about 400 eggs. She would have been born in Southern Ontario last August and will only have several weeks to lay her eggs before she dies. Her offspring will be born in Texas or another southern state, and they will continue their mother's journey north. The first monarchs are sighted in Southern Ontario by May. They will search for wilkweed and lay their eggs. The grandchildren of our matriarch will probably complete their grandmother's journey back to Mexico in the fall; 3000 miles away, to a place they have never seen before, guided by instinct alone.

Photobucket
(last 2 pics taken from: http://www.learner.org/jnorth/)

The sex-life of the monarch is no less interesting. When a male spots a female he will dive at her to direct her flight downward to the vegetation. He may even hold on to her body and glide down with her. When she has landed, he will join his abdomen to hers and they will proceed to do the nasty. Still connected in a frenzy of copulatory lust the two may fly up together to as high up as 75 feet. With the female suspended beneath the male, he may fly them up a tree where they will remain joined for as long as an hour. Whew.... kinky....

Pondering the lepidoptera made me think of a charming Native North American legend that I learned of in, of all places, the Philippines. It goes something like this: when the Great Spirit created the butterfly He gave them all the colours of the rainbow but no voice. If you catch a butterfly, tell it your wish and release it. It will keep your wish secret and take it to the Great Spirit, who alone will hear it. I learned of this because, as I've mentioned before, I almost got married in what seems like an eternity ago. Butterfly release during weddings was quite popular then. When I realized that I needed to move on from that relationship, I sent her a box of live butterflies to release on her own. A symbolic "I release you" but "I wish you well". Remembering this reminded me of how lucky I was in not getting married, like the geese and monarchs, I too have moved on and know that I am exactly where I need to be. I was reminded however, of my friends who were there for me during that painful episode, and having been blogging about nostalgia, it made me miss them. So here's to....

Kim (who's catching butterflies with me here)...








Chuck.....












Joy and Steve (and Bambi)....












and Neil....













Cheers guys!











I think I've finally decided to move on from my Friendster blog, so if there are no objections..... I didn't think so...... this will be the last time I post there.

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24 comments:

Leah said...

great info about the butterflies and I like the story about the great spirit.

Time heals all wounds and Moving on is a great way to start or finish off.

ghee said...

Hi Angelo,,
Im really looking forward to seeing the finishing of your bridge.:)

yeah,its getting colder everyday.
I love butterflies,you know,and i had a good read and touched by their stories..i also remember my childhood days when we used to catch butterflies..but i had no idea bout the great spirit.i let them go without wishing anything..and im amazed to realize that now...move on..moving on..
great story Angelo..

Cheers!!Lets enjoy life Angelo!
and enjoy the weekend,too :)

Angelo de los Angeles said...

Hi Leah, tru dat.... everytime you visit my blog, I was actually reminded of these little guys too ;)

Angelo de los Angeles said...

Hey Ghee, don't worry, you'll be the first to see when its finally done :) Thanks also, everytime I visited your blog your butterfly kept reminding me of these little guys too, and that I should blog about them somehow.... Cheers!

ben said...

This is a very facinating post on butterflies. They indeed are an interesting insect that one can really spend a lifetime studying. I'll check back for more of your interesting posts. thanks

Angelo de los Angeles said...

Hey Ben, thanks for dropping by! That's very true, one day I hope to go to Mexico in the winter and see them for myself. Hope to see you around again.

tina said...

Wow. I learned a lot from your post! :)

And how symbolic it is to release butterflies... hihi. I did release some butterflies during my debut.

Butterflies for me means an end of something... and also a start for something new. :) A new beginning kung baga.

Nice post :)

sasha said...

You're building a bridge? Wow! Such an undertaking ha! :)

So you were blogging at Friendster before? I used to as well but I cannot really write down what I wanted to say because there'd be a lot of people who'd know *wink*

Cheers!

ghee said...

Hello again,Angelo!!

I moved my site(again),pls kindly update the link. :)
and btw,i posted about AGLOCO,hope you dont mind :)

my new site:
http://www.akoni.info

thanx!!

P.S.

I forgot to say that the pics are great esp.the last one...you and the tiny butterfly.

hope to see you soon! :)

ghee

Angelo de los Angeles said...

Hi Tina, endings and new beginnings.... perfect for a debut as well, hope your wishes came true :)

Angelo de los Angeles said...

Hi Sasha, it's not as hard as you make it seem, but thanks for the vote of confidence :)

Ya, I started blogging at Friendster, so I was keeping it for sentimental reasons. Blogger's more for bloggers, so I finally decided to abandon the friendster blog. nice to see you again.

Angelo de los Angeles said...

Hi Ghee, of course I don't mind that you blogged about Agloco.... :) I hope it works, and it's not just a bunch of spyware or something....

how come you moved your site? Can't wait to check it out!

tina said...

hello po. i wanna post sa tagboard mo.. pero parang di ata napopost ung mga msgs ko.

Ahihi. dito na lng. :) Anyway.. ty sa comment.. (Im linking you up po so that I could visit you often.)

And i was intrigued about Queen Mary.. :) What a dreamy ship. ahihi.
See you.

Angelo de los Angeles said...

Hi Tina, thank you also, but you don't have to say "po" to me, it makes me feel so old hehe ;) I will link you up as well.

Shoshana said...

Hi Angelo, so curious what your project is going to look like when you're done. I can see the potential there already.

Almost married, could be a lucky escape too. When it's the right one, then it just is. Not that it will keep you from having doubts, or away from fights, but underneath it all, you know it's worth it.

I like that butterfly picture. It's very beautiful. May I copy it? I want to put it in my daughter's album. She likes stuff like that. How cool is that that only one butterfly is open?

I've never seen butterfly that many. Ever.

May I add you to my blogroll? You always have interesting posts.

Angelo de los Angeles said...

Hi Shoshana, great to see again. Ya,it was definitely a lucky escape! hehe.... would never have met my Tu Anh had I gotten married. Anyways, the project will be on hold for a while, coz it's too cold to work outside, and I have to hit the books hard again. I will definitely updapte ASAP though....

you can definitely copy the picture, I copied it myself. You'll find more here: http://www.learner.org/jnorth/tm/monarch/GallerySanctuary.html
Hope your daughter enjoys....

thanks for blogrolling me, I will add you to my list too :)

ghee said...

Hi Angelo!Knock knock!!

Ive just posted the pics I`ve told you...but...waaaahhh,I wanna cry...the pics turned oh so blurd :(

Im having some difficulties of arranging my entry...*sigh*

anyways,just came here to let you know that I`ve updated my blog...

c yah around,Angelo!

Ciao! ;)

Angelo de los Angeles said...

Hey Ghee, thanks for letting me know, gonna check your update now.... I think I'm a little too late to be the first commenter..... oh well :)

Toe said...

Wow, I love that native North American legend. I wonder when I could catch a butterfly so I could whisper to it. I also like the metaphor with your life.

What is your backyard project?

Angelo de los Angeles said...

Thanks Toe, I bet the diversity of butterfly species in Cambodia must be as interesting as those in the Philippines.... good luck catching one.... I'm building a pond in the backyard with a Japanese yatsuhashi or zigzag bridge.

Shoshana said...

HI Angelo...I wonder if this beach group picture was taken in Bohol. It looks so much like my Aunt's Beach and Dive Resort.

Looks familiar...or maybe all beaches are that way.

Angelo de los Angeles said...

Hi Shoshana, I wish it was in Bohol! I really wanted to go there, but my friends and I couldn't co-ordinate it in time. That's actually Sepok Beach in Anilao, Batangas. Anilao's great for diving and snorkeling too. Next time, Bohol :)

cathy_bythesea said...

I love the monarch butterfly! I really went to Pacific Grove last February purposefully to catch the tail-end of the monarch season there. They are such fascinating creations of the Lord. Great blog :) and yes, the location for my print ad was St. Luke's

Angelo de los Angeles said...

Hi Cathy, thanks for letting me know, I miss St. Luke's! Thanks also for mentioning Pacific Grove. I neglected to mention the migration to California by the western monarchs in my post... they are amazing creations.