Tuesday, 9 September 2014

A Sign That Summer is Drawing to a Close

Our last monarch butterfly emerged from its chrysalis on Sunday. Before I went to bed on Saturday, the chrysalis had gotten darker so I knew the emergence was imminent. As it was still hanging from the empty pupa casing, I put a stick in the Bug Bottle so it could climb out when it was ready to.  Once I saw the open wings, I knew it was indeed a male because of the thin veining and two dots.

It perched on the end of the stick, opening and closing its wings.
At one point, I put my finger out and he crawled on it but the wings were still wet and floppy and bent right over. Back on the stick,  he perched there for over an hour. Then he flew over to the neighbour's Rose of Sharon bush and hung there, again for over an hour.
And then he was gone.

It was a bittersweet moment for me. I was happy he got safely to adulthood from his humble egg form in the care of Mike and me; happy to be able to witness this complete metamorphosis firsthand. But I was sad that he was gone, the season was over, and that I have to wait another year go do this again.

I hope he makes it to Mexico and his great-grandchildren make it back to Whitby next summer.

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