Emergence

Magical.

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Nearly Ready
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Painted Lady Butterfly markings clearly visible beneath the skin of the chrysalis.
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Emergence

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Holding tightly to the chrysalis. For the first few days we only saw them with wings up and drawn together so that we could not see any of the orange colourations.

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Release

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The red drops are liquid that is squeezed from their bodies as excess during their metamorphosis. A little came out just before they entered into their chrysalis form, and then much more was excreted after they emerged as adults. Our book informs us that Painted Lady butterflies are one of a few who have red liquid and that if many butterflies are emerging at the same time it can look like red rain. I immediately thought of the middle ages and an apparently inexplicable rain of blood from a cloudless sky.

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Release

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Sitting at the bottom of the aquarium contemplating flying away. It was a cold day and we worried about releasing them. But we worried more about keeping them too long inside. They were not as eager and active as they were the last time we did this.

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Release

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Yes, on a tissue. It was flying sideways into the glass of the aquarium rather than upwards and out, so Sandra helped it gently.

Notice how this view shows that the bottom outer wing is camouflaged while the top can be slid along it to hide or reveal the orange patterns.

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Release

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It wasn’t til I saw the photos that I realized how furry they are.

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Release

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For me, this is a Project Spectrum project.  There is something so utterly linked to the east, to the sun, about butterflies.  I’m working a lot with orange right now, probably the closest to yellow I’m going to get for garments just now, and these captivating creatures certainly are orange.

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3 thoughts on “Emergence

  1. Lisa says:

    Absolutely beautiful. What an amazing experience for your family in watching it all happen as well as getting to see the finished product. I love the comment about the “red rain.” That WOULD be a good explanation for what the Middle Ages folk saw. Just Awesome.

  2. ChristineMM says:

    Wow you did a great job of photographing your butterfly and telling us about it. I really enjoyed your photos.

    We did this same project back in 2004. Unfortunately my photos are subpar as my point and shoot camera couldn’t handle the task well. REading your post brought back memories for me today.

    Have a great day!

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