Mama Podkayne‘s photo challenge is “emergence.” This looked suitable.

We have milkweeds in our backyard. Every now and then we find eggs and caterpillars. This gives us a great opportunity, so we move them to jars that Grandpa Campbell gave us, feed new leaves as needed, and miraculously get butterflies.

The caterpillars climb up the empty stalks to the lid of the jar, get into “J” formation. When all of the larvae get to this point, I move the lid so that it hangs from the light fixture in our dining room. The chrysalides get thin and dark before the butterfly comes out.

In the big outdoors world, butterflies have a smaller chance of surviving to adulthood. We have had the privilege of watching this miracle happen a few times since we moved here in 1999. One year, we had a male emerge just as my sister’s baby shower began, so all the guests were able to see its wings unwrinkle and harden. Mom’s cousin couldn’t believe it was real because it stood so still!

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