Chance watches some more…

All conservatism is based upon the idea that if you leave things
alone you leave them as they are. But you do not. If you leave a thing
alone you leave it to a torrent of change. (C. K. Chesterton)One

Yesterday, right on schedule, the beautiful green chrysalis trimmed with gold began to darken and I knew that was the sign of an end and a beginning. I wasn’t sure how quickly this monarch would eclose, spread his or her wings and be off, but several experienced people said, watch, because it can happen so fast you will miss it. So, I went to yoga but otherwise stayed home and watched. And watched. And watched. The neighbors came and watched. The high school student from next door came and watched. Then they all went home to dinner. I went and sought the advice of Bev at Burning Silo. But things only progressed so far, shell split, legs emerging and then: he seemed stuck. I watched some more. I had lots of time to reflect on long unproductive labors, ending in c-sections and then I decided I was getting a little too close to this process and I was also getting hungry.

Life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through. (Anais Nin)


The day was getting late- late for a new monarch to dry his wings and get about his business before night fall. I moved the plant outside to the table, wished him well and went in feeling that the prognosis wasn’t good. Early this morning I looked and he appeared unchanged- legs extended and holding on but no evidence that he would drop down and out and do the work to inflate those wings. I barely touched him with end of a pencil and he jumped. I spoke to him with my best Arnold Schwartzenegger accent and said, “Ve vill pump you up!” and I went inside to get a small plant mister. I decided better of that and sat down on the floor with a big box of alpaca and llama wool that arrived in the mail. That distracted me for about an hour and a half while I considered a few felting projects (just the crafty thing for a warm Florida day, yes?).

When I went back out a few minutes ago, he was gone and only the empty transparent and temporary shelter remained. I spotted her over on a nearby honeysuckle, slowly opening and closing her beautiful wings. By the time I got the battery back in my camera and raced out she was heading over the fence and I only got one quick picture. I’ll post that tomorrow.

There came a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.(Anais Nin)


18 responses to “Chance watches some more…

  1. Oh, this is wonderful! The colors in the top photo are just amazing.

  2. I…am…mesmerized. Thank you for waiting and being so vigilent.

  3. I’m glad to see that the Monarch made it out of her chrysalis. I find it (usually) takes about a day from the time they chrysalis begins to go from green to dark, until the butterfly ecloses. I have had a few go a bit quicker, but a day seems about average.

  4. gorgous pictures….somehow I missed your point on conservatism…the definition was certainly not a political one….I think you’re talking about the change of these guys in their cacoons.

  5. What a beautiful sequence of photos, vicki. It is just remarkable thing to see. Makes me want to protect every little living thing.

  6. What an awesome experience! Thank you for sharing it with your wonderful photography and quotes. It’s just amazing.

  7. This is fantastic (although that is too tame a word for the awe I am feeling). I have never been able to see anything like this, so I am grateful to you, Vicki. However, how could you possibly make us wait until tomorrow to see her? Shame, shame! LOL

  8. Wow.

    I’m not sure if that was a commercial for convervatism or liberalism ; ), but whatever it is, SOLD.

    I think you just sold life.

  9. Congratulations on a successful labor! Brought back many memories! 🙂 So glad that surgery wasn’t required for the flutterby! Very, very cool!

  10. It felt like you were setting us up for some heartbreak there; glad that it turned out otherwise.

    The chrysalis just gets more beautiful each day, doesn’t it? And once it turns all dark like that – wow!

    I spent a wonderful day last summer on a similar vigil; my one moment of inattention was when the butterfly finally emerged – I think they must do that on purpose somehow to keep their magic a secret.

  11. Beautiful photos and story. The wonder of new life. I needed to read something positive today; it’s been a rough week.

  12. What’s more beautiful, the amazing chrysalis and emerging monarch or the symbolism surrounding them? Why not spread your wings and fly northerly and westward, dear friend?

  13. It’s been a DAY! I’ve snuck back here to look at your amazing photos several times today–just to keep me going. I’m FINALLY sitting down and have to say, “Thank you!”

  14. Oh, I concur with Babette! Fly Northwest, young woman! 😀

  15. My count for a PNW lunch with our Vicki is presently: Bonnie, Margaret, Gene, Robin Andrea, Kimberly, and Wende. Are there others who could begin applying pressure?

  16. What is the old saying… the watched pot never boils? Lovely colors and how the chrysalis clears so the color and pattern of the wings can show through. Just like the chick trying to peck its way out of the shell, you can’t help. It’s the process and they emerge when it is time… only the butterfly knows exactly when that is.

    A bumble bee hovered about two feet from my camera today… checking me out to see if I was good for any sweet nectar. He finally got bored and left. That close and I still didn’t get a good picture. I was afraid he was a carpenter bee and thought I was a giant piece of wood.

  17. How very neat! I’ve never seen a butterfly ‘hatch’. Lovely photos.

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