Last Thursday I posted about our caterpillar-turned-chrysalis with some photos, pretty sure that it would be quite soon when we would be seeing our monarch!
Friday morning I was keeping a close eye on Cat – I had missed the turning into a chrysalis by 5 minutes, and since the eclosion (emerging from the chrysalis) would happen even faster, I was bound and determined to not miss a moment of it!
We had to go out and pick Will up from soccer camp, so I took the camera over to the stairs to pack it in the bag. I came back to grab the jar that held Cat (as I was planning on taking him with us) – and what should I behold?!?!
I missed the beginning stage, but ran for my life for the camera to catch the remainder of the emergence.
It was phenomenal!
You can see how his wings are a bit shriveled up – they’re still wet for 3-4 hours after coming out, then the body works like mad to pump blood throughout. We could see his abdomen throbbing and knew that things were working properly!
This is after about 25 minutes of being out of the chrysalis.
After about an hour or two, his wings were their full size and starting to look more dried out. You’re not supposed to touch them until you are sure they’re fully dry, so we left him a few hours more.
You’ll notice I keep saying “him”. At the beginning of finding the egg, we automatically started calling “it” a “him”. Turns out we were right! As you’ll see in the release video, he has the two dark spots on the back of his wings, thus making him a male.
The boys quickly renamed our caterpillar-turned-monarch “Lightning” – I guess with the speed which he emerged and how quickly everything happened all together, it had a huge impact on them!
Unfortunately, he didn’t have a whole lot of room in the jar to fully expand his wings, so we decided to take Lightning back to the pond and release him into the “wild”.
The kids took one last, long look at our friend.
Then we removed the cheesecloth from the mouth of the jar. As soon as it was off, he headed for the top! It was amazing! They can’t see anything, yet they know which way is up, and in this case, out!
Will was quite a bit braver than mama-shaking-in-her-flip-flops-over-here, so he reached in and helped Lightning on his way.
He lit on a tree nearby and I tried to get up enough nerve to pluck him out of the branches by gently holding his wings.
But I just couldn’t bring myself to do it, and only scared him onto a flower.
The boys wanted another chance to feel his wings, but alas, it was not to be.
If you EVER have an opportunity to find a monarch egg, or get a chrysalis or caterpillar from someone, I highly recommend doing this. You will be in constant awe and wonder of our great Creator King as you watch the process unfold. There is no greater example that I can think of than observing God’s creation up close and seeing just how intricately everything is timed and fits together.
Psalm 8:3-4(a) says “When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him,”