Wednesday, August 22, 2012


As I was standing in my kitchen yesterday, late in the morning, some movement outside in what was left of my barrel of parsley caught my eye. I have to explain that the parsley I grow is not so much for us as for the monarch butterflies who lay their eggs on it. The eggs develop into beautiful bright green and yellow caterpillars, I love to photograph them. A friend who stays in our house when we are gone proudly told me last year that he had gotten rid of all of the worms that were eating our parsley. This year he left them and they had stripped the parsley clean.
The movement though was not from a monarch, but from a Black Swallowtail. He was just emerging from his chrysalis.
As we watched he seemed to be trying to fold back the top of the hard shell, while pulling his abdomen from the casing.
We watched it on and off for more than an hour with little or no progress. The poor thing seemed to be exhausted. Examining the shell of the chrysalis I noticed it was split open, with one hard thread holding it together at the top. A little help might be needed - and a little flick of a knife did.
Released from its trap, the butterfly looked at me as if to say "thank you".
It rested for a while as we went on about our business and when checking on it again a bit later it was gone. Hopefully it has gone wherever Black Swallowtails go and will help create the next generation of these beautiful creatures.

1 comment:

Sandy Sandy said...

WOW! How did I miss this before! These shots are gorgeous!