Monday, August 27, 2012

A Morning Miracle...The Birth Of A Butterfly

Sunday morning started off with a miracle! After waking rather early, I went to the kitchen to make my tea. I happened to look over to check the progress of the little, jade-green chrysalis I had brought home from the Cottage a few days before and discovered it had turned deep black. Just the night before it had still been green.

Upon closer inspection, I could see traces of bright orange beneath the thin layer of the mylar-like sac.   I knew it was just a matter of minutes before a monarch butterfly would emerge. 

And then it happened....I heard a crackle and saw the little sac split and begin to separate.

                          Just as quickly as it split, an odd formed creature popped out and tumbled over.
                                It was the baby butterfly, although it did not resemble a butterfly in the least.

Its body was so large and its wings so small.

             It remained very still except for a slight up and down motion it made with its body. Right
               before my eyes, the butterfly's wings were growing longer and its body getting thinner.
                                The butterfly was pumping fluid from its body to its wings.

                        Within a few short minutes, the butterfly was full-size. If you look closely you will see that the black lines on the wings are very thick. This was my first clue that this was a female butterfly. On males those lines are much thinner. The second clue was that the distinctive two black spots, that a male has on the back of his wings, were missing on hers.

It takes several hours for a butterfly to dry its wings before it can fly. This is the most vulnerable time for them. They can easily be snatched up by a hunger bird or other predator. Knowing this, I gave her plenty of time indoors to rest and dry her wings. Then I carefully placed her in a jar and carried her back to Catch Meadow Cottage. Walking out to the meadow, I gently released her to fly off with the other butterflies. I watched as she fluttered about and then landed on some nearby thistle. 
She set right to work, sipping nectar and pollinating the flowers.
Beauty with purpose! 

                                                       How lovely to start a day with a miracle!
                                            I look for a miracle in every matter how small.
                                                                         I hope you do too!

                        A huge miracle in my life happened 24 years ago when my son Timothy was born.
                                               Today is his birthday! Happy Birthday baby boy.

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