Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Early yesterday morning, i walked outside to check on one of my gardens and witnessed this Red Spotted Purple emerging from it's chrysalis. i didn't have my camera with me, so i watched it emerge and then ran back to the house to get my camera, so i could get some pictures of it. We have raised lots of different caterpillars inside, Monarch, Painted lady, Black Swallowtail, Eastern tiger swallowtail, Great Spangled Fritillary etc. However, this was the first time i've ever seen a Red Spotted Purple's chrysalis and witnessed it emerging. i'm actually not even sure what the caterpillar looks like. It was really neat to watch!
While i was getting photos i spooked it a little, and it tried to fly off. It's wings were still wet and it was too heavy to fly.
So i gently lifted it up and brought it to a safe place so it could continue to dry its wings.
i'm not sure why it chose to form it's chrysalis on my garden fence. It seems kind out in the open. Typically they would pupate on a tee branch, and the chrysalis would be hidden among the leaves or camouflaged to look like a dead leaf. i'm wondering if the caterpillar had fallen out of a near by tree, and decided the fence was as good a place as any.
i placed the butterfly on this tree and it spread out it's wings to dry them and sun itself.
Such a magical and unexpected thing to witness. Watching a new butterfly emerge and eventually take flight is always a beautiful way to start the day.