So this little pal came scrunchin’ around and up the side of the cottage to find a suitable spot for ‘chrysalis construction’. While I worked right next to it all going down (or ‘up’ I guess) I had a chance to take a few snapshots.
Over a week had passed as the beautiful ‘jade green’ chrysalis darkened to almost an obsidian black. I thought the little guy had frozen from the frost-infused nights that Wisconsin is so sneaky with, but I was wrong.
After a terrible night storm, I awoke to find the chrysalis ruptured and empty. After looking around in the foliage below the build, I could not seem to find anything. I thought my little comrade had met an unfair demise, and for the rest of that day kinda felt smarmy about what I had built up another selfish expectation for.
That is, until the very next morning, it was still quite cold and wet outside. I decided to check underneath the ruptured chrysalis build again for some reason and BEHOLD …
there was a soaking wet, shriveled Monarch butterfly desperately clinging to a milkweed leaf. ‘Wholly C…’ I thought to myself.
I quickly ran inside, grabbed an empty glass bottle and went back outside to where the Monarch was clinging to and carefully cut the milkweed plant so as to stick it in the bottle acting as a make-shift vase.
Now safely inside and sheltered from the wet rain, the Monarch could begin to dry out it’s wings and feed on the milkweed leaves, which it did for 2 entire days.
After the ‘2-day DRYOUT’, I awoke to find a fairly warmer day with the sun out, warming everything that it touched. ‘This is it’, I thought, and placed the bottle, with my now dried-out pal and the now almost LEAFLESS milkweed stem outside in the mild morning sun as it came up over the lake and through the wood. Then I went to work for a few hours.
Around lunchtime, I went to check on my Monarch pal and at this point was proudly displaying its beautifully-formed structure for me … slowly opening and closing its new delicate, bright orange and black wings in the high-noon sun, perched right at the top of the milkweed stem.
‘But can you fly?’ I said aloud.
And at that very moment a warm wisp of autumn wind came through the trees and that Monarch displayed the most poetic confirmation of my question I could have ever hoped for.
Thanks for reading,