Our pupating caterpillar suddenly emerged from his cocoon yesterday morning -- a greenish, fluffy-bodied butterfly.
I would be lying if I claimed to be awed by its beauty. But still, when you think about how it looked just a few weeks ago -- and how quickly it transformed -- well, it's pretty incredible.
It sat on its amaryllis leaf for several hours, probably just drying out. As you can see, it left a strange little puddle of liquid on the windowsill -- "butterfly afterbirth," as Dave called it. Then, in mid-afternoon, I found that it had moved over farther along the window ledge. Taking that as my cue, I opened the window, grabbed it gently by the wings, and set it loose outside.
It fluttered away over the rooftops of the buildings across Westbourne Grove, and I watched it as long as I could, tiny and white and looking something like a blowing leaf in the sunshine.
It's not terribly cold right now -- in the 50s during the day and 40s at night. Maybe Mr. Cabbage White will survive a short time out there in the wild. And maybe not. At any rate, I'm glad nature is taking its course without any involvement from me, and I'm glad he got to fly, even for a brief time.