Waiting

8 06 2010

Any day now a velvety brown mourning cloak butterfly will emerge inside the jar on our dining table. Every day we gather around it to eat our dinner and wonder how and when a large beautiful butterfly will make it’s way out of the chrysalis. Waiting is the hardest part. That’s not really true. Keeping fresh leaves and cleaning out the poop from the bottom of the jar before a caterpillar converts into a chrysalis is the hardest part. Fortunately, we usually find mourning cloaks when they’re out for a walk about searching for a good place to hang. This little guy walked circles in our jar for an hour or so before deciding it was a safe place. By morning he was “hanging J”. Obvious to see why it’s called that by looking at the picture on the left. Then 24 hours later before our very eyes, in a matter of minutes, he shed his skin and transformed into the chrysalis you see on the right. We will keep him sheltered and safe from predators until he’s ready to emerge. Fingers are crossed that we see that moment too. But will we be so lucky?

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7 responses

8 06 2010
painted fish studio

amazing! i had always hoped to have that experience as a kid, but wasn’t so lucky.

8 06 2010
jess

So cool.
I can’t wait to see more photos!

9 06 2010
christina

Ooo! I’ll show the Loo…
We’re never so lucky to find a caterpillar at the right time.

9 06 2010
cindy

it is the coolest thing … i can’t wait to see!

9 06 2010
ellen kelley

This is lovely. I have never heard the name “mourning cloak” before. What an absolutely beautiful name.
It makes me happy that he/she is on your dining table. I have fed (so help me God) a tunneling spider in my bathroom window for three weeks. Many people would commit me for this, but it has been a joy…especially when the flies are joining us and I have a son who is the Ninja of fly catching. I know that I will have to try to release her soon. I don’t know of anybody who wouldn’t be totally freaked out by this, and we all have to pee now and then.
I am going to Google mourning cloak butterflies right now. Such joy in the miraculous little, but great things in life.
Thanks, ellen k.

11 06 2010
Dana

So cool.

14 06 2010
kristin

this is so cool anna…keep us posted! do you transfer it to another place once the butterfly emerges?

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