Houseguests Part III (final)

It happened so fast, and exactly on the day we had to let Fudge go. It was this one bright, beautiful spot on a sad day. And I was too full right then to blog about it.  Exactly seven days after the first of the caterpillars went into their chrysalides, those four all emerged. Caroline made a remark walking out the door that she thought we might have butterflies today, and an hour after she was gone, I looked behind me to see that POOF they had arrived. Poof They came soundlessly, and the only warning we had was darkening of the crysalides, which I was too slow to photograph. This is how they looked in their first hours, all four of them clinging to the paper they emerged upon. The red stuff is meconium. It shares its name with a baby’s first poop, and basically it’s the same thing. It’s not blood at all, just goo left over from the metamorphosis. (Keep in mind, these guys completely liquefy when they transform. This isn’t just somebody growing on random wings.)  It’s odorless and quite harmless. The next day, the fifth guy popped on out. (We had six caterpillars, but one didn’t survive into his chrysalis.) Number five is alive   We admired them all week long, and I even posted about them on Friday, after they got jiggy with it. Because I only had 33 words to discuss the house guests in my Trifecta entry, I didn’t spend nearly enough time talking about their emergence. (I was to interested in butterfly sex. I’ll be admitted to rehab soon for my butterfly porn problems, I’m sure.)

As soon as the first one emerged, Sam said, “Let’s release them in Callaway Gardens.” It seemed like the perfect thing to do. We already knew we wanted to go away for a few days after Fudge was gone. It made the empty house on Sunday seem normal, since we often had to wait  a day to pick him up from the vet. It was an illusion, of course, and we couldn’t go get him from anywhere yesterday.  But going away for the weekend and setting the butterflies free gave us a lot of peace. It was a symbolic release, as well as a physical one.

However, it was NOT a particularly pictoral one. I had hoped for angelic pictures of the butterflies alighting on my children. No go. It was more like they all yelled FREEDOMMMMM and bolted for the skies. I got two hasty shots in before they were all gone. Going...Going... Gone After they flitted off, I did, however, get one spectacular picture. I have no idea what’s going on with this guy’s wing. It was perfectly fine, and he (or she – even having viewed butterfly sex, I wouldn’t know girl from boy if they coated me with pheromones) flitted magically from flower to flower. I was lucky to get this shot in, and I didn’t think it had taken until I got home and examined the results on my camera. Anyway, we went around the butterfly gardens (indoor and out) and I got some more marvelous pictures, but they are for tomorrow’s post. For today, the house guests are gone, but we hope to invite more like them in the very near future.

Grayed out wing what?

About jesterqueen:
Jessie Powell is the Jester Queen. She likes to tell you about her dog, her kids, her fiction, and her blog, but not necessarily in that order.


Houseguests Part III (final) — 9 Comments

  1. Is that one against the bench? Thanks so much for this series of butterfly birth, sex, and freedom. Loved it!

  2. I have really enjoyed this butterfly journey, Jessie. I’ve learned some stuff I didn’t know along the way and wish I could’ve been there to see them let go live.

    I hope everyone is holding up okay in your world. Loss is a hard, hard thing about life.
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    • It was very, very cool (if fast). Although Caroline is the one holding the habitat here, the two of them actually shared duties and opened it verrrry slowly. At which point VROOOOOM off went the inhabitants!