Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Ready to Emerge

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As of yesterday, we've successfully raised and released four Anise Swallowtail Butterflies.

I cannot express the pleasure that this gives me. There's something so metaphorical about the life-cycle of these creatures. To be a tiny part of it is just thrilling.

I've realized that I can predict which butterflies are going to emerge. The green chrysalises are easy. They become more transparent, and the wing markings can be observed . The other clue that a butterfly is about to hatch has to do with the tail-end of the chrysalis. It expands a bit, in an accordion-like manner.

I can admit now that I thought all of the butterflies were dead. I read "butterflies emerge in ten days to three months" and I start to freak out after eleven days. What's strange is that it seems that the butterflies that had been in their chrysalises the shortest amount of time were among the first to emerge. Baffling.

6 comments:

Town Mouse said...

That is just too exciting. Maybe I have to try this myself next year (not sure about bees, but I can handle butterflies)

spencer said...

Absolutely love the photo!!

ASL Girl said...

That's an amazing photo Lisa!!!! Your posts about the creatures in your life are fascinating to read!

Anonymous said...

I had to take a second look. This photo looks like it could be a knitted creation.

Melissa said...

Sorry this isn't about your current post, but...

I’m so glad I ran into you at the Urban Ag meeting last night—I would love to chat with you about your experiences starting out with bees. Would it be possible to observe you when you check in on your hive?

magnusmog said...

Brilliant photo and what a great thing to be part of.

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