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Milbert’s Tortoiseshell (Aglais milberti)

… is one of a number of butterfly species that overwinter as adults. They emerge in the first warm days of spring (or sometimes, mistakenly, during very mild spells in mid-winter), as early as late February in southern parts of its range. It’s found throughout most of the west, but in the east only occurs in Canada and the northern states.

Adults are nectar feeders; in the early spring when flowers are scarce, they will also drink from sap wells/leaks on trees. They can often be spotted visiting willow flowers, as seen here. The caterpillars feed on species of Urtica - stinging nettle. The pattern on the adult’s wings resembles a cat’s face, and is probably used to startle predators the same way large owl-eye spots on some other species do.

photo by Brad Smith (BugMan50) on Flickr

(via: Peterson Field Guides)

House hunting is a horrible, emotionally fucked up process. I’ve cried every day for the past two weeks.

I think I’ve found a house I love. Ok, I *know* I love it. 1940’s salt box, basement, Florida room, awesome attic-turned-giant-bedroom. On half an acre. Beautiful, mature trees. Built in bookcases lining the living room. Fully updated.

Problem? It’s in the middle of town. Sometimes I think I’d like to live in town, other times is freaks me out. Of course, this is an old neighborhood with a church to the north, railroad tracks to the east and a large buffer of land to the west, so I’d really only ever have the one really close neighbor. No chickens, but I could do beehives and maybe rabbits.

My husband’s only advice is, “Do whatever you want.” No help at all. My dad, who buys and sells houses like baseball cards, won’t even tell me what he thinks a fair offer on the house would be because he doesn’t think we’d be “happy” living in town. Nice, thanks for deciding that for me, pops.

I don’t even have a clue what to do. Except cry.

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