Our life living off the land in our log cabin, breathing fresh mountain air, and getting back to basics.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

My Encounter With a Newly Emerged Pipevine Swallowtail

Timing is everything. This morning I had the great pleasure and I believe what is a rare opportunity to observe a Pipevine Swallowtail butterfly that had just emerged from it's cocoon as it took it's first flight.  Absolutely magnificent experience. Brought me to tears!

The first photo here is of a Pipevine Swallowtail in the road leading to our garden...they love to gather minerals (and other things they can't gather from flowers) from the stones and dirt.  This is a really good thing because it is almost impossible to catch them on a flower, they don't seem to stay put at the flowers very long. The lines and colors on this beauty are really remarkable!

I am sharing a short video of it taking it's first flight, it is shaky (well, I am not a steady cinematographer) and not always in focus, but I want you to see the initial flight first, as brief as it may be for you.  It was an incredibly delightful experience for me, especially after watching this butterfly emerge, patiently awaiting whatever I might observe...

So this is the cocoon yesterday...an interestingly alien looking thing...I think my brother Marc would have loved this..
This is today's newly emerged butterfly, it climbed about 8 inches from it's cocoon, seen at the bottom of this picture...

I came to check on it often throughout the morning...




 A lovely butterfly, blooming into it's perfect self!

This video is him (don't know why I say him, but I dubbed it a him) stretching his proboscis (that is what they eat with)...


And this is him climbing and opening his wings...

His first flutter...


And his first flight...
This is him in still life, ready to go...
...fluttering his wings...

...free!
After he landed in this blueberry bush, just behind where I had been watching him all morning, he seemed to rest, preparing to take off.  Soon afterwards, another Pipevine came along and I swear landed right on top of him, as if to say "go, your life awaits you!", (or it was just a big bully, I can not know for sure), but immediately afterwards, the young fellow took off into the woods.  It made me happy and sad all at the same time...I sighed deeply, shed a tear or two, and then just stood there, waiting, in case he came back.  But I can not tell that he did, for there are many of these fellows all around our place and these mountains.  

I hope you enjoyed his journey as much as I did.

Thanks for reading my blog, you are the best f/f/r/s/f's, see you tomorrow,
Lise

2 comments:

Mamabug said...

Just beautiful! Well documented Lise.

Lise said...

Thank you Mamabug, I really appreciate that:)