“We are like butterflies who flutter for a day and think it is forever.” –Carl Sagan
I am obsessed with keeping this butterfly alive. You see while Dirt Man and I visited our local botanical gardens we watched (and he filmed) some butterflies emerge from their chrysalises. He came home and brought some in from the garden (placed a netting over a parley plant to house them) hoping to film the process again. He just mentioned the other night how he supposed they must be remaining dormant until the spring. Last night I caught a flutter through the corner of my eye. A butterfly had emerged and was rooting at the netting. I don’t know how long she had been there, but her wings were already dry and extended. As luck would have it, Dirt man is out of town. I was saddened he wasn’t here to see it but I even more concerned about keeping the butterfly confined.
Thinking it needed freedom and fresh air, I took the butterfly outside. Then I became concerned it was too cold. I didn’t want to inadvertently kill her. Yes, our swallowtail is a girl. She stayed in the same position in the bed of parsley, so my son brought her in and placed her back in the netting. I was still worried about her being cramped so I made her a temporary home. I found a clear plastic container, punched holes throughout it, put in some dirt with a parsley plant, a twig, and a small dish of water.
Fall makes it a difficult time to do the natural thing for the butterfly. My goals are to keep her alive and in an environment suited to the needs of a butterfly. I’m really not quite sure what to do with her. Any suggestions? She moves around, but has not attempted to fly. I’m hoping she will still be here for Dirt Man to see when he gets home.
They say if you name something you have to keep it…what do you think of Emily?