Wednesday, May 1, 2013

A Little Jubilation

May first, a truly warm day—and we saw our second Black Swallowtail butterfly early in the afternoon! And with some jubilation. Let me explain. The first we saw came to our pussy willow tree on wing a while ago—and flew away again after a brief snack on the yellow sweetness of a seed. But this one, one Brigitte had named Castora in the dim past, came outdoors, in a glass jar, carried by a jubilant Brigitte crying, “Look, look!” Yes! Castora had been with us as a chrysalis  since September 14 of last year. With her sister, Polluxia, she spent the winter in hibernation in a glass jar in our dark garage (link). Now, after two weeks and seven months of confinement in a tiny shell, the May sunshine had finally convinced her that it was time to take wing. Which, presently, she did. And we bring a picture of her on our forsythia, itself finally in full bloom. The picture isn’t very sharp, but then my hands were a little shaking from the momentous nature of this occasion—our first ever guiding a butterfly through the darkness of winter.

In the image of the chrysalidae, Castora is on the left. Her sister, who took this from two days later and preferred clinging to a stalk, is still, as this is written on the morning of May 2, “undecided.” But now we hope that she too will soon take off, as Castora did. And yes, as always, flying straight north and high, very high, topping our neighbors still leafless but budding tree…

1 comment:

  1. Well, all right now. If the butterflies have declared that Spring has finally arrived in Michigan, perhaps I'll take wing this weekend and flutter on back myself.


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