It started 6 weeks ago, with a yodelling caterpillar. At the end of September, he lived, eating nasturtiums, on my desk for a few days, then he built himself a hammock and turned into a chrysalis. I set him outside in a glass case by the door, and kept an eye on him. The chrysalis gradually lost its bright green colour, fading to a yellowy white. Nothing else seemed to be happening, but of course it was, invisibly; all that rebuilding from the inside out.
I almost missed the next act; I was too late for the first scene. I checked his cage just after breakfast last Thursday, and there he was, out of the chrysalis. Barely out. His wings were still wrinkled, and he was slowly unfolding his legs.
I posted a photo of those legs, the only ones stretched out at the moment. (You commenters are pretty good; you knew it was a butterfly, just not what species.)
|9:33 AM, on the inside of the glass case. Three legs|
He seemed to discover more legs, as he untangled himself.
|9:34 AM Six legs. Cabbage white butterfly, mostly yellow.|
While he stretched, I looked at the empty chrysalis:
|The head end is down; the chrysalis is split from the "beak" to the "waist".|
It was too cold outside, just above freezing. I left him there for a few hours, but he didn't want to move, so I brought him in and he perked up right away.
|A warm corner on a vase by a light.|
|On a glass bottle.|
|On the back door. No, he didn't want to go out. I asked.|
|Next day, on the kitchen floor.|
He was a male, as shown by the one black spot on his forewing, and should have been looking for a mate. But it was miserably cold out there, and his friends weren't flying, so I let him stay at home in the warmth. Unfortunately, a spider finally got him. Sometimes I could wish that spiders were vegetarian.