April 10, 2015

Easter Week Insect Shenanigans

What a week!  The neighborhood school is awash in caterpillars and chrysalides, blogged here and here. Four of the five chrysalides across the street burst open beautifully (still to be blogged).  And, on Easter Eve, we found a lone caterpillar hanging in a “j” on an actual branch instead of on the school stucco.  So we snipped his branch and “borrowed” him, because we wanted to see the pupation process.

We brought him home and set him up in the kitchen where we could watch him like a hawk all thru dinner prep.  We weren’t going to miss this.  And we watched and watched.  And waited and watched.  And waited and watched longer.

borrowed catepillar borrowed catepillar2

No action Easter Eve.  I got up extra early Easter morning in hopes of not missing the action.  Here he hangs, just like the night before.  Wait and watch.  And prep for brunch.  Which is planned for 10a, by the way.  Watch, wait, drink coffee, food prep, wait …

borrowed catepillar3
And here we are at 9:44a.  College Kid and his friend have been woken.  Mom & Dad (hi!) are due to arrive in 15 minutes.  Oh yeah, there’s one more butterfly across the street imminently due to emerge.  And NOW – not early this morning when I got up and had nothing more to do than watch & observe – NOW Mr. Caterpillar does his amazing, creepy, astounding thing …

pupation1

This whole caterpillar to chrysalis with old skin dropping off process doesn’t last more than 3 minutes.  The finalizing chrysalis shape takes about another 9 minutes.  And oh yeah, Mom and Dad have arrived, all the brunch food is in final stage and needing attention (let’s just acknowledge that my hash browns ended up a little extra crispy due to my distraction factor) …

pupation2 
My pictures don’t do this transformation justice.  But there’s a super neato youtube timelapse video that you can watch to get an awesome sense of what goes down …

At the same time that breakfast was burning coming ready, Mom was across the street watching this butterfly beauty emerge.

emerging

2 comments:

Anita Johnson said...

I have seen this happen in my kitchen perhaps 10 times...the key is to watch the antennae ...when they hang straight, grab your camera. The first time I saw it I was home with our son, Ben. We didn't know what to expect, but I thought for sure it would spin something...and then it wiggled, cracked open and changed. We looked at each other in awe. I finally said something silly like, " I gave birth to you and I think this was almost as amazing". We have been lucky to have visitors here to see it too. As is usual, your pictures are wonderful...I'm loving these posts. Our world is still sepia, but the grass along the edges is getting green. The rain this week with the warmth this weekend should make a change here. And within a month, I too hope to see a monarch!

Life with Kaishon said...

UNBELIEVABLE! Amazing. Wow!
I am speechless.