In my last post, I mentioned that I had been working with monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) caterpillars when I spied that little jumping spider. My good photofriend Laura Macky expressed eager anticipation of a new post featuring them, so I’ve moved it up to the front burner. By way of background, my elder daughter, Squiddy, is very keen on sharing our mutual sense of natural wonder with her daughter, The Elf, who is approaching her third birthday. When I arrived in New Zealand a bit over a month ago, she had brought several caterpillars inside to harbor them safely in a terrarium, providing them with fresh branches from their favorite plant every couple of days.
One that she had moved to safe quarters inside had formed a chrysalis that was nearly ready to split to release adult stage, unmistakable because of its translucency, which provided a clear view of the orange and black wings that were nearly ready to unfold.
As the adults finally emerged, we relocated them to perches on one of Squiddy’s Fuchsia plants adjacent to the deck, where the breeze helped to dry the unfolding wings and provided the new butterflies with easy access to the world beyond.
For this last shot, I waited patiently in the hot sun for nearly 20 minutes for a chance to catch it with its wings in one of its first-ever expanded attempts. [Please click on an image if you’d like to see a larger one with higher resolution and greater detail.]