The chrysalis the boys gave us had turned black this morning and we thought he had died. Suddenly, Mary Ann screamed, ‘Nick, he’s out!’
There he was, a big gorgeous monarch butterfly, crawling along the twig to which his chrysalis — still …attached to the twig — hung shriveled and tiny next to this beautiful creature.
We watched as he slowly locked his legs into place and remained very still for a half hour or so, wings folded together.
Then, he began to open his wings. So, we took the peanut butter jar in which he was living (minus peanut butter) outside; removed the lid and slowly placed the jar on the ground, between some plants along the little brown fence.
He opened and closed his wings a few times… very, very slowly.
Then he quickly crawled out of the jar. We watched, like expectant parents, as he continued to open and close, open and close, for maybe 15 minutes.
Mary Ann had to leave, so I said I would ‘butterfly-sit’ … but as Mary Ann began to turn around just beyond the house, he just as suddenly flew!
He flew up toward the utility pole on front of the house, made a sharp left turn, as he flew higher, and disappeared behind the blond brick house next door.
Off to Mexico.
We’re going to plant milkweed in the spot where we’d placed the jar and hope one of his descendants will pay us a visit next year. Or, perhaps he will go to the spot where he’d been born, at the Cohen household in Gainesville.
What an exciting and magical afternoon!