Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The fragility of life

We are doing the Monarch butterfly thing here but it is tough being a Monarch caterpillar at our place.
One was already to go into it's chrysalis and had found a suitable spot on the stand that was holding up the peas. It had attached itself with some silk stuff and was getting into the right hanging position.
Unfortunately it poured with rain and Lucy decided this little caterpillar needed a drink. She carefully stuck the stand out in the rain and gusty wind. Yes the inevitable happened, the stand blew down and cut the poor caterpillar in two.
The second caterpillar possibly heard of what happened as we found him lying dead on the concrete under the swan plant. We will never know if he jumped or if he was pushed. No witnesses are willing to speak up.
After replenishing the caterpillars with some new ones. We have finally made it to the chrysalis stage! One we even managed to see do this - which was actually pretty amazing.
I don't know if we are going to make through to the butterfly - the pretty little chrysalises (that is the plural to chrysalis) are quite tempting to little fingers.
I wonder if caterpillars are aware of what they become? Or does the odd caterpillar suggest it and get ridiculed by it's caterpillar mates.
I wonder when they become butterflies, do they just love it? It must be awesome to lift off, that first time, after being a fat caterpillar having to walk everywhere.
I wonder if some hate it and reminisce about the good ol' days when they lived longer and just hung around on the plant.
It is quite a trade off between the life styles; the caterpillar lives longer but can't fly, the butterfly has a very short life - but can fly where it wants - can see the world.

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5 Favourite Sights Seen

  • 1996 Watching tropical lightning turn night to day, outside a little wooden church in a small village in Sabah.
  • 2004 Flying down the Rainbow Valley at 8000ft in a cessna on a clear blue day.
  • 2003 Seeing and hearing Michael Schmacher rolling out of the pit garage in his Ferrari in Hungary.
  • 2009 Chancing upon 100 or more dolphins just off the Kaikoura Coast swimming around, jumping out of the water, doing somersaults and generally having fun.
  • 2006 Finding a pool at the bottom of a waterfall in the bush at Kaikoura that was full of playing baby seals.