Remember Herbie Lace?
Eleven days ago, Herbie Lace, our black swallowtail caterpillar, went into chrysalis form. This is how Herbie looked at the beginning of the chrysalis form.
We've watched earnestly everyday anticipating our butterfly. As time went on, it seemed a miracle that those little silky threads were holding the chrysalis to the parsley stem. It seemed to sag more as days passed. We read somewhere that if it fell off the stem (to the bottom of the jar), it probably would not emerge.
One day, one of my piano students, a very active little boy, walked over to the jar (unknown to me at that time) and began shaking the jar and turning it round and round and upside down "trying to find out what was in there." I probably scared him to death when I gasped, "Oh, don't shake it...it will fall." Being the color that it was, he "couldn't see anything". However, Herbie Lace survived the jostling!
Yesterday morning when we got up and came into the kitchen, where Herbie was on the counter, we noticed right away that the chrysalis looked even darker. (It had been getting darker all the time and we could even see an antenna part of the way out). We were actually seeing the butterfly in there with it's dark colors. This is what it looked like before breakfast.
We ate breakfast just a few feet from it at the kitchen table and completed a couple of school lessons immediately after breakfast. Then, Joy walked over and said, "Herbie is out!" And so that quickly, Herbie Lace made an entrance with the new look! Here's a picture taken right after Herbie emerged:
The next step after emerging is the draining of the fluid (almost a blood like juicy substance), and the wings are actually wet from it. Herbie had to sit there and slowly and gradually pump the wings a little bit at a time. Leaving Herbie alone for awhile to pump the wings, we went about our business. After a bit, it seemed as though there wasn't quite enough room in there to pump the wings properly, so we took Herbie out to the petunias just outside our back door. You can see from this picture that the wings are still a little crumpled and bent from being inside the chrysalis.
We came back inside, but of course we had to keep checking on Herbie. After a little while, I snapped this picture of Joy holding Herbie Lace spread out a little more. You can see the markings a little better here. I'm not completely sure, but we think we have a female as she seems to have more blue which indicates female.
After this picture was taken, we left Herbie alone on the flower to finish pumping her wings and to fly away when ready. When we left to go to dance class, Herbie was still there and when we came home Herbie was gone. Herbie is free now....flying somewhere out there proudly showing off her new look! :)