This photo was taken yesterday in a panic.
But let me begin at the beginning.
A few weeks ago, my father-in-law arrived with a gift for my seven year old daughter. It was a glass bulb with a spotted caterpillar inside. He found the caterpillar munching on the parsley plants in his garden and, knowing how much my daughter loves bugs and animals of all sorts, he put it and a whole bunch of parsley in the glass bulb and brought it for her to observe.
As a general rule, we allow the kids to pick up and study our neighbourhood bugs to their hearts' content, but after they've had a good look, they have to put the bugs back where they found them. So this was a bit of a departure for us and we wanted to do our best to take good care of the little guy (or girl.)
We changed its parsley diligently every day and dumped out the caterpillar poop. There was a lot of caterpillar poop. Our little friend grew and grew and one day he (she?) climbed up the side of the glass and stayed there. The next morning, there was a green chrysalis where the caterpillar had been the night before. (Sigh of relief -- he (possibly she) wasn't sick - or worse.)
Then we waited. And waited. For about a week. Yesterday, we awoke to the scene above. The poor, sweet butterfly was bashing its lovely wings against the sides of the bulb trying to find a way out. It was at that point that it occurred to us that perhaps the tiny hole at the top of the bulb, which had been plenty big enough to let in a caterpillar, might be far too small to let out a fully grown butterfly.
I took a quick, shaky photo, then we ran outside and removed the paper covering the top. After many attempts with the hole in the glass facing up, down and sideways, there was still a frantic butterfly inside the glass and three frantic human beings on the outside trying to coax him (her?) out without damaging his (possibly her) wings.
Then my daughter had an idea: put the opening near one of the clumps of purple flowers on our spirea bush. We did and within seconds, the caterpillar had found the opening, folded its wings and crawled out onto the flowers as if it was the most natural thing in the world. Then it winked at us (we might have imagined that part) and flew away.
Have you had any brushes with nature recently?