Remember this from my SCIENCE is IN THE HOUSE post? -->
This was 07:47 pm on Aug 23rd. The cocoon has looked like this ever since that day (on the outside, anyway). A day or so after that photo was taken, I created a safety net for it by securing some cheesecloth to the ceiling with some monster thumb tacks, and there it's been ever since. It looked like that this morning when I left before 7:00 am for the farmers market.
But look what I saw when I got home:
A butterfly! Actually, when I got home, the wings were together, and the butterfly was hanging upside down from the now-empty cocoon. I'd read they need at least 30 minutes for their wings to dry, and that's why they hang that way. I grabbed a chair and my camera, and by then his wings were open like in the photo.
You can see he's still hanging on with his legs, though:
Handsome red arrows, non? :)
He flapped his wings a few times:
... and I waited ... and waited ... and finally he let go and fell into the "net". I worked fast, pulling out all the thumb tacks, and using the cheese cloth as a butterfly net, I took him outside, laid the cheese cloth on top of a bush, and opened it. He hopped out:
Just look at that body!
Blackest black with bright white spots! He's getting his sea legs. I knew he'd eventually fly away, so I took as many pics as he let me.
Here he is with his wings all the way open:
I wanted you to see how furry his body is! I only wish I'd gotten all of that bottom wing. Right after this, he hopped around a bit more, then flew away. Gone. Just like that.
I went back into the house and got a better look at the cocoon:
Completely transparent. Hmmm ... If I hadn't been so worried he'd appear when I wasn't home (which HE DID), I could have seen the cocoon more clearly and maybe caught the color changes. Eh, whatever. He LIVES!
In other news, today's market was FAB-U-LOUS ... weather-wise, anyway. I have a bazillion photos, some of them even decent and in focus, and I'll post a separate entry for them later tonight or tomorrow morning.
Thanks for stopping by!