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Thursday, September 3, 2015

Comfortable Enough to Nap

I believe that there are many benefits from taking naps throughout the day, whenever the spirit moves us. Most of us would have trouble doing this in a public place, or where we think we might be attacked or censured. One of the benefits of working at home is that you feel comfortable enough to do what feels natural.

Bow napping indoors yesterday

A friend phoned yesterday, and while we were chatting, he asked me, almost at random: "When chimpanzees are asleep, do they sleep with their toes stretched out or curled in?" I answered at once: "Curled in." But this was not because I actually knew the answer. It's because all I had to do was glance over at Bow where he was napping, and I could see what he was doing. This is not a scientific random statistical sampling, and it may not be true of every chimpanzee, but it is of Bow.

Sometimes Bow wants to know what I have been up to while I take my walks, or when I am away, and I show him videos. Yesterday afternoon, I showed him quite a few of them, many of them from Orchard House, until he was satisfied. Then he went to lie down on his blanket, yawned and started napping. 

A damaged anglewing butterfly in my backyard, surrounded by well meaning dogs

You cannot take a nap unless you feel comfortable and safe. And I think this kind of relative safety is what even the butterflies experience on my property. After I returned from my trip last weekend, I encountered an injured anglewing butterfly. Some people call this type a tree bark butterfly, because when the wings are folded that is what it looks like: tree bark. But in fact, the Latin name of all these anglewing butterflies is polygonia, because of the polygons that their wings are shaped into. And the English name is usually after a punctuation mark. But I am  not absolutely sure if this one is supposed to be a comma or a question mark

The remarkable thing about this butterfly in my backyard is that it was able to rest on the ground, while the dogs walked past, and nobody bothered it. It felt that safe.

Two Monarchs embrace

Now, I wish that the Monarch butterflies felt this comfortable around me. I have to admit that they still do not. But we have made progress. Yesterday, I saw two of them embracing just on the other side of my fence. They chose to do this not on my property, but so very close to the border that I could see them clearly while standing on my own land!

There was also a pearl crescent feeding on a flower on my side of the fence. When the pearl crescent flew past them, that is when the two Monarchs came apart, and the female flew off first.

Startled by a Pearl Crescent, the two Monarchs move apart
The male was left alone for a moment, and then he flew off, too.

The male is the last to fly off
After they flew away, they came flying back. 

Flying past again

First one, and then the other appeared, going in the opposite direction from where they had fled to. 

Now these are not my Monarchs. They were in the neighbors's field. But it was so close! I have never been this close to a Monarch before, let alone, two.


  1. It is good to own your own house, or at least rent a house where you can take a nap. What I do find sad is when someone is taking a nap in a public place, and people get upset about that. Sometimes it is a homeless person, and they have certain issues that prevent them from making an income, or owning a home. If they are not hurting someone by taking a nap in public, why complain? Some people just do not want to see homeless people. Like the people who complained that a charity gave food and clothing to low income people near a Thai restaurant. They said the sight of seeing homeless people get charity items detracting from the experience of enjoying their noodle bowls. I thought that was a bit harsh considering they had the luxury of purchasing a noodle bowl, whereas these homeless people often only had the food the charity provided. This was a private business that was giving food and clothing to homeless by the way, but they relocated themselves because of the complaints about the view.

    1. I think anyone should be allowed to nap in a public park or on a street that has public benches. After all, that's the meaning of "public" -- that it is not restricted to only certain people. I think if there is any use for public land, then that ought to be it; a place for homeless people to go so long as they have nowhere else to go. That's why I think that requiring fishing and hunting licenses while on public land is not really okay. If people need to eat, and all they can eat is what they can catch, then they should be allowed to become hunter gatherers until something better turns up.

    2. Apparently homeless camps are given three days to disband out here. As if homeless people camping in an orange field was our biggest issue. But people complain if they become visible with more construction.

    3. If they are camping on public property, it should be okay. But if it is private, then it is up to the owner. What gets me is that during the national shut down they closed the parks and would not let people in. It should be the other way around: when the government shuts down, the parks should be wide open, and no fees charged,

  2. I am seeing lots of migrating Monarchs coming through here too! The field next to you certainly has a lot of bidens growing. Wow - beautiful! That 'treebark' butterfly is very neat - I don't recall having seen one before.
    I am jealous of Bow's ability to take a nap during the day. If I take a nap mid-day, I usually find it very difficult to go to sleep that night. But lately, I've been enticed to go take a nap, but avoided it. Perhaps, I should give it a try again and just set an alarm clock to make it a very short nap!

  3. Hi, Kathy, Yes, there are a lot of Monarchs in that neighboring field, and it is probably thanks to the bidens. (I forgot what they were called, so thanks for reminding me!) I was thrilled to be able to get this close to those two that were by the fence.

    If you nap at your desk or in a more public place, and not in your bed with the curtains drawn, then your nap will probably be short enough so that it does not make you too disoriented and does not take away from you night sleep. I find that a short nap during the day actually helps me sleep better at night.