Climbing away…


The tropical kind.

We are approximately under the “i” in Warning.

For us personally, likely not a problem, but for local farmers a cause for some anxiety, given the amount of rain we have already had.

No-one escapes Nature’s vengeance.

But still she has her tender side….


“What purpose do they serve”, I asked myself as I contemplated the thick leaves of Siberian tea that were growing in my new garden.

The following Spring I discovered that they produced pretty pink flowers. Though not for long.

But they were here before me, so I was happy to look after them in my inept way.

Then just

Then just two weeks ago, I learned that the leaves of Siberian tea are an excellent place for Monarch chrysalises. A shady, secret shelter!

It’s only been a day or two since I posted my first successful butterfly launch and I don’t want to belabor the subject, but I’m going to anyway. Because that first butterfly was a bonus. I had not noticed that chrysalis and had not invested into it two weeks of worry!

The only way to explain is with comparison.

A mother hen incubating her egg?

A pet owner awaiting the arrival of kittens or puppies?

This was even more amazing because I was witness to the beginning of the whole metamorphosis. It still blows my mind how quickly it all happens.

Just hours from there to here.

What I did not disclose was that we had a second caterpillar/chrysalis…

…one morning when it was very wet…

…it began to spin it’s chrysalis against the side of the house, above the leaves that other had chosen.

Whether from the wet, or some other problem, it didn’t make it and I was unaccountably sad.

Which is why I counted the days…just 14…

This morning I witnessed this beautiful creature begin his long arduous climb from the chrysalis over the heavy leaves to his launch pad.

You can clearly see the empty chrysalis, still intact. The butterfly extracts itself so delicately.

Maybe because I worked so long around aeroplanes, I can’t help but compare this to the unveiling of a new and astonishing aircraft, the opening of the hangar doors and then the slow taxy out to the runway.

It was a very long way…

…but bravely carrying it’s new, untested wings, it continued. Did it wonder, “what have I become?”…

…halfway there, it opened those wings. It reminded me of an aeroplane doing a run-up of it’s engines…

…so many times I watched Concorde taxying for take-off, waited for the roar of her mighty engines:

A particularly poignant pair of images.

Hardly the same thing? Perhaps not, but the emotion has great similarities.

For me, at least.

Safe journey, butterfly
And shelter from the storm.

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