How very remarkable and fascinating every creature of God is. But the life cycle of a butterfly is extraordinarily unique.
The Chrysalis wasn't one I had seen before today. Even though I had been looking quite diligently in recent days for any sign of Swallowtail pupas hanging around. They are wonderfully camouflaged in their brown or green silk attire.
There were two others close by I was keeping an eye on daily. I had high hopes the timing would be in my favor when a butterfly emerged from either one. Those are empty today, too. I missed them all together.
On my way around to the back yard I pass by the vegetable garden in the side yard. The butterfly hanging near the edge of the pathway, utterly motionless, caught my attention early this morning.
Never before have I witnessed a brand new butterfly just emerged and completely stationary. Its wings uncrumpled and folded it hung in its resting mode readying for flight.
The sight of it immobile and gently latched onto a stem of Society Garlic bloom along with the open Chrysalis below was the confirming evidence I had stumbled upon a purely fresh new being. Brand new. Perfect in form and color. Its entire adult life still ahead of it.
No tatters, no tears, no scars. Pure innocence... just minutes away from taking flight into a brand new world. I observed it closely for long moments in awe of its instincts and wondered if it was one I had handled when it was still a caterpillar. There were several I had moved over to the carrots to provide them with more food when the parsley became scarce. I was tempted to see if it would crawl onto my finger but thought it best not to disturb the natural process.
It occurred to me to have a look around the area again. Surely there was a chance I had missed more pupas. After all there had been so many last stage caterpillars only days before voraciously feeding on the carrot tops in this same planting bed.
Lo and behold. Just around the corner of the first one hung another one. Its open chrysalis on the underside of a Purple Queen leaf. I'd guess this one is a female. Her upper wing a little paler and seemingly its body a little smaller overall.
For the next thirty minutes I kept an eye on them as I went about my gardening. Then, I actually got to see the first one spread its wings and fly away.
This one stayed in the hanging postion for longer. I missed its maiden voyage.