Sunday, August 28, 2011

For the Irish Dancer, the Very Cute Book Worm, and the Student Violist

      (This was supposed to be posted yesterday, hence the seemingly confused days.  Macbeth actually hatched on Saturday, and I started this post but never got photos downloaded from Sharpi's camera.  Hope you enjoy it anyway!)
      I thought you might like to see a current picture of Macbeth.  This was him Thursday - which would be Day Nine of life in his cocoon.

  This is yesterday.  (Its actually a photo of one of Macbeth's cousins - I couldn't find the one I thought Sharpi took of my writing buddy, so I had to substitute.)

I was so surprised at how much he changed in just a day.  We were pretty sure we'd have to start watching them really carefully.  Monarch butterflies have this annoying habit of hatching when we aren't looking.  By bedtime the last little bit of green on his cocoon was gone completely and I had the sneaking suspicion Macbeth was going to hatch in the wee small hours of the morning (while I was still sleeping) - just because he could.  So I took mum's camera to bed with me, reasoning if I woke up I could always peek over at him to see if he was cocoon or butterfly.
He was still cocooned in the morning - but it was pretty obvious he was going to hatch  soon!  He looked a lot like this: (again - the photo is courtesy of Macbeth's cousin who filled in for him.)

  His cocoon had gone a complete, smokey opaque.  Very literally it looked like a balled butterfly instead of a cocoon.  We were fully prepared to set up an intense watch . . . . but only after we'd brushed our teeth and scrounged some breakfast.  Which is when Macbeth decided to hatch.  (Go figure.)  I put his jar on the table so he'd be pretty central to our morning activity; and then we left to do the whole teeth cleaning thing.  We weren't gone more than five minutes . . . and when we got back he was hatched and his wings were expanding.  (I'll leave the small-wing picture for later.  I'm pretty sure Sharpi will do a post later.  Just hatched butterflies don't look quite like one would expect them to . . . . )  A few minutes later, with his wings half expanded he was already gorgeous!

  I know the photo looks a bit distorted, but it really isn't.  Macbeth's wings weren't quite stiff yet, so the colors and patterns blended together.  (Which I thought was rather cool.)
Butterflies have to physically pump fluid from their body into their wings to expand and stiffen them in order to be able to fly.  It never ceases to amaze me how God designed something so complex in something so small.
After a few hours we took Macbeth and one of his newly hatched cousins outside and coaxed them onto one of the mini hollyhock plants in mum's flowerbeds.

It wasn't too long before Macbeth did what butterflies are supposed to do - he took flight and started life as a butterfly.  :)  It was a very grand moment.

1 comment:

  1. Wow!!Great pictures. I love how God's creatures are so pretty.Thanks for sharing.
    Elizabeth M.