When I took a picture of this trail in the spring, I never would have guessed that it would bless me with a wonder in the fall: my first ever glimpse of a chrysalis in the wild.
I was so excited I came back later with my daughter, and we discovered another… sadly, it had been robbed. Monarchs are poisonous to birds, so the culprit must have regretted it.
But our spirits lifted at the sight of another. Ultimately we saw eight healthy ones!
#3 & #4
Not a single one was on a milkweed plant. Several chose goldenrod; #8 was on a stalk fallen nearly flat across the trail, and must have been that way almost the whole time. A few chose other plants that I didn’t recognize. One — #7 — chose a stalk of grass!
Several of them looked ready to hatch, so after lunch I went back. #5 had hatched!
I had been a little worried about #7. Rain was predicted, and that stalk of grass looked so fragile… But the chrysalis was looking ready to pop, so I set up my tripod to try and video its emergence. Amazingly, it came out just as a very gentle shower began.
Wings almost ready
I did video its emergence, and it’s amazing to watch! If I figure out how to make the file smaller I’ll post it. But these pictures tell the story of transformation.
It was a gift. I’ve looked before for chrysalises, but this is the first time I’ve ever seen any in the great outdoors, and it was a jackpot sighting. I woke this morning heavy-hearted over various things going on in our often messed up and confusing world, but this was a glimpse of something working marvelously right.