10 Mar

It’s Beautiful!

18 days ago, our caterpillar shed it’s skin and became a chrysalis. The next day, the chrysalis had smoothed out to look like this:

The weather turned cool and rainy and I read that caterpillars/butterflies can overwinter in pupa or chrysalis stage, so I resigned myself for a possible long wait. But then the last two days have been warm. After my walk this morning, I went out to look at the chrysalis and it had changed color.

I wasn’t sure if this was because it was camouflaging itself against the now fuller coleus plant, if it was a dud, or if it was about to hatch. I’d heard the hatching happens relatively quickly, but figured on an hour or two. I went in the house to read my email and when I returned a half hour later, look who had emerged:

I’m sad to have missed the actual “birth” of the butterfly, but I am overjoyed that it made it through it’s complete cycle and once again, nature has worked her magic. I sat impatiently for the butterfly to warm up it’s wings — which was infinitely longer than it took to emerge from it’s cocoon. It flitted to a few sunny spots to warm up some more (not helped by me chasing it with the camera) and then flew off.

Now all that’s left is the empty shell: