I am a proud papa. Or, at least, I was.
Last Wednesday, I told you in hand in the bush that I had discovered where the determined caterpillar I had espied earlier in the week had ended up. In its chrysalis stage.
I have kept an eye on it each day in the hope that I could watch it emerge. But it would just hang there in its bright green color. I was positive that something yellow or chartreuse-winged would emerge.
I thought that until yesterday morning. The chrysalis had turned distinctly brown -- and striped. At first, I thought it had died, and that rot had sat in. I was wrong.
If I had had my way, I would have stayed there for most of the day to see the metamorphosis. But circumstances intervened. I spent most of the day ferrying a Mexican friend from town to town in the hope of finding someone who could give him a tetanus shot. To no avail.
By the time I returned home, the deed was done. But I timed it perfectly. The butterfly was out and drying its wings on the former shell of itself. Off I ran to retrieve my camera from the car.
As I came through the front gate, the butterfly landed on my front door and posed for a few shots before scurrying off to the sanctuary of another planter. Knowing that the butterfly would need time to dry its wings, I took a few more shots (especially of its new-born eyes), and retired a few paces to give it some space.
Apparently, all it needed was a few moments. Because it flew up bustling into the sky -- filled with new life.
Just in time to meet the beak of an imperial flycatcher, who duly lived up to his name. Remember the fate of the doves released by children in the current pope's presence (give peace a chance -- maybe one in a trillion) last year? The result was similar.
Woody Allen, in Love and Death, described nature as: "It's like an enormous restaurant." And I guess that really is the rest of the story.
Note -- If any of you can identify the butterfly, I would appreciate any suggestions. I spent an hour online researching it, but came up with nothing.
Second note -- It appears we have a winner. Jack Brock pasts on a suggestion from Lisa P. She has been watching a similar butterfly develop. A narrow-banded owl butterfly -- Opsiphanes tamarindi. I guess this really was the rest of the story. Thanks, Lisa. Thanks, Jack.