Still in Her Chrysalis
Thursday Morning - Just heading out the door to walk, I glance at the container on the fridge and see how thin and transparent the chrysalis has become. Beneath the shadowy skin, I see wings, black wings trimmed with white polka-dots. I decide to stay home instead. I polish the kitchen windows, one eye on the glass, the other on the chrysalis. And then . . . it begins - so quietly, you would never know it was happening. The skin splits apart and a butterfly, crumpled like a a wad of wet kleenex, emerges. Ta-Da!
All day, she hangs upside-down, at first pumping her wings full of fluid, then just letting them drying.
Such Beautiful Wings
Towards evening she crawls onto my finger and then onto a pink lily. She is nearly ready to take to the sky, but it is too cloudy and cool for her wings to work. I decide to keep her safe one more night. . .
Meeting Alex Eye to Eye
The next morning, my nephew, Alex, (a.k.a. Bug Boy) calls. He was at my house the day she hatched from egg to caterpillar - as tiny and thin as an eyelash. He saw it happen. He has been at his cottage at the lake since the beginning of July but today, he has come into the city to have his vision checked- "20-20!" he declares. I already knew that. If it was possible to have better than perfect vision, he would have it. He sees wonder in the tiniest, creepiest crawly things. He celebrates it all the time. I pack up the butterfly and head for Alex's house. He wants to show me the milkweed he found in his backyard- "A bird must have pooped out the seed, because we didn't plant it, " he says, breathlessly happy. At the end of June, all he wanted was milkweed growing in his garden. Miracle of miracles, now he has it! We open the butterfly box and the butterfly crawls onto Alex's fingers. He carries her from flower to flower, introducing her to his lilies and his geraniums and the tiny purple flowers he and his mother have planted in the front yard. We try to convince her to leave, but she hangs around, not yet ready to say good-bye. Later, I take her home for one more night, give her milkweed flowers for supper, and watch her sleep. Tomorrow I will set her free . . .
I am already more than a week into my summer holidays and just beginning to settle into this greenest of seasons - so glad to be at home with my windows and my light. I am just learning how to post these blogs, spending too much time in front of my computer, not enough time with the sky. The morning began with thunder - an hour of pouring rain and thunder!! Long after sunrise, the sky was still dark and ominous, but then suddenly the sun broke through. I put on my garden shoes, grabbed my camera, and went out to the flowers . . .
One side of my yard is lined with leafy peonies - the grandmother of all flowers - pink, white, deep, deep red. I have been deadheading the flowers all week long, but this one, just opening, survived the storm. I have lived in my house for nearly twenty years; these peonies were here long before I moved in and with any luck will be here long after I am gone.