Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Fly, my pretty!

The premise of this blog, that every day brings reminders of and connections to your travel, does mean that there have been a lot of references to world events that are less than cheerful. Terrorist attacks, floods, cyclones, earthquakes, pollution, eruptions... they've all featured here, and will doubtless continue to pop up at fairly depressing intervals. But today we'll take a break.
Today, I saw the first of the seven monarch chrysalises that I've been overseeing hatch into a beautiful butterfly, and I was as delighted and proud as if I'd birthed it myself. Her, in fact - the spots on the wings are the giveaway. It's been a long process, watching them first as hungry caterpillars, munching relentlessly through my swan plants, getting bigger and bigger. Fearful of wasp attacks like those that nixed them all last year, I brought them inside, to be astonished at the volume of poop - frass! - that they produce. Then, suddenly and always while I was looking elsewhere, they became pupae, in elegant green and gold. Long wait, then a colour change, and today, finally, I saw one that had emerged and uncrumpled its - her - wings, getting ready to fly. Magic, and a miracle, and a marvel, truly.
And of course, it reminded me of somewhere I've been: Iguassu Falls in Argentina/Brazil/Paraguay, where the magnificent, astonishing, overwhelming size and volume of the waterfalls were offset by the small, delicate and dainty beauty of the yellow butterflies that flocked to drink from a muddy puddle beside the path.

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