Sunday, August 15, 2010

Blackened butterfly

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So I banished M + Aa from the house this afternoon so I could work on the review that's coming due.

We'd noticed that the original chrysalis had turned from palest green to translucent black that morning but had no sense of how long it would be between black...and butterfly.

In order to see it better, we'd put the chair on top of the dining room table. And then left it there...

And so, a half-hour after M + Aa had left, I lifted my eyes from Steve McOrmond's The Good News About Armageddon to see that the chrysalis was...well, unzipping itself.

The next hour was spent frantically finding safe things for the less-than-regal monarch to climb as it inflated its wings. It climbed my fingers. It climbed the chair. It climbed the houseplant under the window.

And it fell. A lot. Which was anxiety-producing, because the last thing I wanted to do was kill the first of eight monarchs that will be emerging from chrysalises over the next few weeks.

I mean, what kind of pseudo-naturalist allows a butterfly to fall to its death?

When I finally had the presence of mind to check the internet for just what I might expect of a newborn monarch, I slapped together an 'emergence cage' in five minutes from the large basket that we put our hats in, the mesh from an old tent, and two bungee cords.

And left for dinner at the in-laws, thinking on nectar.

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