I found a fat little monarch caterpillar on my walk last week. I brought him inside, fed him well and the next day he turned himself into a bright green chrysalis with flecks of gold that made a crown at the top. Ten days later he hatched, completely transformed. It's a miracle that never ceases to amaze me.
I recently learned how to sex a monarch (yes, I AM giggling as I write this, it sounds so filthy and perverted). The male of the species have a black dot on their lower wings. See them?
After the monarch hatched, it unfolded its wings. They were still damp from the transition and for a while, he couldn't fly. He wandered up and down my arm, gently opening and closing his wings to let them dry. And then, with a fast flutter he took off. A little wobbly. Veering wildly to the left, to the right, swooping down so low, I gasped, certain he would crash. But at the last minute he pulled up. He rested on a bush for a moment, then, girding his loins, took off again. After a couple more tries, he got the hang of it. He fluttered, looking like a paper flower caught in the wind. Higher and higher he went until I lost sight of him in the bright blue sky. And he was gone.
L'shanah tova my little monarch, and happy Jewish new year to all. May this year find us drying our wings and getting the hang of this wild, miraculous thing called life. Let us be off.