Saturday, April 2, 2011

update: monarch butterflies

A couple weeks ago I posted here about a couple of sweet little surprises my husband had put in my studio. I promised an update on their status and here it is!

The photo above is one of the chrysalises just about ready to enter the world as a Monarch butterfly. There were two chrysalises and both looked like this on Thursday night.
I woke up on Friday morning to my still crapped out hard drive, which you can read about here, and while I was on the phone crying about it to my husband I looked up and one of them was crawling up the screen on my window! I didn't realize until later just how much my demeanor changed in that very moment as I exclaimed, "Oh wow! One of my butterflies hatched and it's crawling up the screen!"
I instantly grabbed my camera and started taking pictures of it while I had the phone in my other hand, talking to my husband the whole time. That was when I realized that the other butterfly had hatched too and was hanging from the beam of wood next to where its chrysalis was just a broken shell—that's her in the second photo. The photo just above is of her too, all the photos of the male climbing the screen were not as good as this one of the female; he was a quick little guy!

After I had gotten off the phone with my husband I went on my daily Starbucks run. As I drove it dawned upon me how in the midst of my frustration over my computer fiasco, I had experienced something so joyous that my entire attitude changed. In a moment, I went from being an overworked adult to a mesmerized child. When I reached Starbucks I texted my sentiments to my husband. And do you know what he responded? I will never forget this. He said, "That was the Lord giving you an invisible hug. He created those caterpillars just for you, just for this day." And to think that I am that special brought me to tears. I cried all the way home.
When I got home I couldn't find the male, which kind of freaked me out a bit.  After all I didn't want them to get trapped or lost and die. But I couldn't find him so I took more photos of the female, seen here resting on the spring flowers my husband gave me to spruce up my studio, before I took her outside and let her go. You can tell a male from a female by the two spots located on its two lower wings.
The it was the male's turn... I did find him on my desk, a miracle! But when I tried to catch him he put up a fight. He even bested my zombie finger puppet! It's funny to watch a butterfly walk, but that's what he did; he walked all over my desk! So I just followed him with my camera.
Once he decided to be still for a second I put down the camera and scooped him up. And he didn't stick around for long! As soon as we got outside and I opened my hands he flew away, high upon a breeze.
When I had taken the female outside, I gave her a low Milkweed branch to light upon and instead of fluttering away, she rested. I think her wings were probably still somewhat wet. The sun was shining bright and there was a soft breeze.
I cannot describe the feeling I had inside me as I stood, practically on top of her, my camera clicking away. These photos are not macro, they were taken with my Nikon D3000. Equipped with a standard Nikon DX AF-S Nikkor 18-55mm lens, nothing fancy at all. I was zoomed in only about halfway so I could focus fast, using the natural light, no flash. I think I was literally less than a foot from her the whole time.

She just stood still. My breath was shallow as I kept finding myself holding it. I just knew at any moment she would be gone. But she stayed. I took a couple photos with my iphone and then I too rested, both of us still. What a gorgeous creature, and amazing moment.


Bethany B-A said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

That is AWESOME. And such a good lesson in attitudes -- I'm sure I could use the same reminder almost every day. :) So beautiful and your pictures are amazing! I'm impressed you could get that close! I don't see butterflies enough here. Yay!

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