In addition to the 17 butterflies we sheltered and fed from the caterpillar stage to their readiness to fly into the world, we have discovered a half-dozen empty chrysalides scattered around the backyard. They attached to the trim board at the top of the fence. The Lord didn't need us to save them, clearly. The butterfly sanctuary was a blessing He gave us.
In addition, in mid-October I discovered a chrysalis in its final day, suspended like a parachute from the underside of several leaves of a vine. The chrysalis takes a fortnight, more or less, for the transformation within. The caterpillar is attached and immobile for more than a day prior to that. For more than two weeks, this caterpillar-turned-chrysalis had hung precariously with no possibility of fight or flight. During that time we experienced at least a week's worth of extremely windy days and one night of severe thunderstorms with even stronger winds, lightning, and very heavy rain. As delicate as the cords of attachment appeared, it outlasted and overcame what looked to me like impossible odds.
As I said, I didn't discover this chrysalis until the black and orange of the wings were clearly visible. From that, I knew the butterfly would likely emerge the same day. After several progress checks, I peeked at it one more time on the way out the door to a medical appointment. By the gracious providence of God, that was the exact moment it emerged. What a joy to behold!
Here is the slideshow/video of that experience. May it give you joy and a taste of awe to brighten your day.
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