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A Morning in Thrall

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The dark chrysalis seemed to become more transparent by the minute. In the dull kitchen light of pre-dawn, I could see that the butterfly's legs had pulled away from the chrysalis side, leaving a whitish translucence behind.As the light from the dawn grew, I realized that I needed to take the chrysalis outside to have enough light to capture its details.That's better. Sunlight gave me a whole new perspective, enhancing the transparency of the chrysalis.It seemed it would burst open at any moment.How much more transparent could it get? More, apparently...The waiting was driving me crazy. The sequence above was taken from 6:30 AM to about 10:45 AM. I had taken a small break to take Phoebe to her bus at 6:15, and, not daring to leave the chrysalis, I'd taken it out with me to deliver Liam to his bus at 8:04. Back home, I was sitting on the deck with my laptop, writing a journal of the metamorphosis, in between glancing up at the creature on the deck railing every 30 seconds or so, looking for the slightest change.

A different, somewhat foreboding look at the miracle to be. It's a pod, alien yet familiar.
Finally, I called my mother, to while away the time and see how she was faring this fine autumnal morning. That did the trick. This is the last picture of Combo as a chrysalis.I looked away, looked again, and Combo was splitting open.

I do apologize for not giving this to you in one big heaping bowlful. There are so many photographs in the sequence--dozens upon dozens-- that it would be a shame, a waste, a drag to put them all in one elephantine post. Besides, I want to give you some feeling for the kind of ---I detest this word, but I'm using it for fun---


that it takes to follow an organism from egg to butterfly. Please don't ever quote me on this, OK? I fancy that I am not the kind of person who uses a word like


Then again, I never thought I would use emoticons in an email, or buy shirts for a dog. 

More on Combo on Monday. 


LOL Lovely post. Those are just amazing photos...and, I know what you mean about emoticons and puppy shirts & sweaters. Oddly, I am waiting for the day when I can get a smaller dog. Not that I don't love my Akbash (30" at shoulder)...but I bought him for the mountains and now that I live in town I find his 6 square foot self a bit large for my small home.

And yes, I'll probably put sweaters on the thing... ;)

Wow--I never tire of the play-by-plays of metamorphosis.
And your feeding it to us, one post at a time is the perfect accompaniment to the actual process of emergence.
It's all about anticipation.

Uh-oh, now Carly Simon's rich tones are flooding my head.

Hold me in your hand like a bunch of flowers
Set me movin' to your sweetest song
'Cuz I know what I think I've known all along
Lovin' you's the right thing to do...


wrong song.

Oh well. Fanks, Nina.

I'm glad that you use words like 'stick-to-it-tive-ness'... er, well, at least gladder than Chet looks to be that you buy shirts for dogs.

Mether, I love Chet Baker, lol.

Well, the nights ARE getting colder....I forgive you, Julie.
: )

*panting to see that monarch pop!

Beverly, I Googled Akbash--woo, what a gorgeous dog! And a whole lotta dog. I think you'll thoroughly enjoy a smaller dog, especially in the car. I would highly recommend...oh, well, you know what breed I'd recommend.

And Cyberthrush, he LIKES his shirts. Really. Not as much as we do, but he likes the attention he gets when he's fashion forward.

That I dig that shirt!

Transitions can go mind bendingly slow ... other times in a blink of an eye ... and most of the time unnoticed. Great capture of the time in between two endpoints.

Great photos- and nice blog, too. I run a walk-through exhibit of live butterflies in Chicago. Because of my job, I've had the opportunity to watch thousands of butterflies emerge from their chrysalides. It never gets old.

Those chrysalis shots are stunning ... and Chet looks REAL good in a rugby shirt.

Awesome photos

Oh, oh, oh..... oh. Whew. Too much excitement for me. Then again, I am someone who LOVES to have things to look forward to. I can wait.... :c)

I've never been able to catch my monarchs at the exact moment of hatching--those are such neat pictures you got.

My german shorthair will wear a shirt too, but she's always cold. I think the short-haired pups appreciate a little extra warmth this time of year, plus Chet looks pretty sharp in that polo with the turned-up collar (and I think he knows it!)

You have to KNOW this post will come back to haunt you.
Canadians are good haunts.

Chet don't need no stinkin shirt to gets attention, he's so darn kute nobody cans resist.

My word verification was nandable.

Your a mean nandable scoudrel, Mr. Grinch.

Oh Julie, that's not a dog. That's Chet Baker!

What is stick-to-itiveness other than downright pertinacity or bullheaded doggedness? And who's better at doggedness than ... a dog? (And a rail-hunting dog at that!)

Not sure where I'm going with this, other than: Thanks for the gratuitous Chet pic, and I can't wait to see the next update on Combo's adventure!

Fantastic...stretch it out as long as you want! Thanks for including that alien pod shot, too.

For a split second I thought Chet had morphed into the mythical dogman...and then put on a sharp looking golf shirt and chinos and headed for the 19th holes.

And I don't usually use the word chinos, but I did it here just for fun!

Chet is a patient soul...Jack Sparrow frowns mightily on any kind of apparel on himself!

Understand totally your "keep the kids home to watch" dilemma. For what it is worth, my mother thought the manned space program was so amazing that she sent us to school late every time there was a launch. We Booth kids saw every single Mercury, Gemini and Apollo launch that was televised live. It remains a lasting and significant life event for all 4 of us.
Caroline, in the Black Hills, in a blizzard

Dogs in clothes - just so - so ...


Sorry, but I am an anti-clothes person when it comes to canines. Just never saw the cute in it.

~Kathi, ducking and running for cover from all the things being thrown at her by the haute-dog-couture set

I understand, Kathi. I believe it takes a neonotic googly-eyed smoosh-faced breed to pull off doggeh togs.

Rottweilers and lab mixes don't dress up all that well anyway, do they, girls? I mean, the dog pretty much has to be cute to begin with, right?

Zick, cackling evilly and ducking an extra-large Nylabone aimed straight between her eyes by a certain opinionated vet...

And while we're at it, don't y'all think the Obama girls should have a Boston terrier pup bred by Pups Will Travel? Half white, half black, smart, elegant, well-mannered. How can we make this happen?

Oh, Julie! Very nice. I envy you this opportunity. These photos capture beautifully one of nature's many spectacular shows.

Oh, I don't throw Nylabones, I just sic my mean ole' Rott on you. She will sit on you and squash you. The Lab-mix will leap about wildly, shedding tons of hair, so that you go home looking all furry.

That'll show you for saying my babies aren't cute!

~Kathi, who loves Chet almost as much as her own dogs, even when he does wear clothes

For you, my dear, I will do an entire post about Chet in his surfdude polo shirt. And you will have to suffer through it. I will place his cuteness in a brown paper bag on your virtual doorstep and set it afire.

Just for the record I think Holly and Grace are tewtally cute. And I do not think a tutu would improve on that. Kiss both them girls for me.

sorry JZ, but I've been googling around the Web looking at several lists of hypoallergenic dogs (the longest list is simply at wikipedia), and even though I see LOTS of terriers mentioned, haven't once seen Bostons come up -- what's with that??? Maybe katdoc knows why they don't seem to make the cut...?

All I can tell you, Cyberthrush, is my own experience. I'm violently allergic to the dander of rabbits, cats, horses and many dog breeds--cockers and Labs, for two...but I can use Chet Baker as a pillow and never have a moment's distress. I don't know how that happened, by what grace I got a hypoallergenic dog, but I did. And if I were allergic to him, you can bet I'd be medicating!

There is no such thing as an "hypoallergenic" dog, though some breeds seem to cause less allergic reactions in people than others. I am not allergic to dogs at all, except for Shar Peis. I break out in a rash when I handle them.

Poodles, schnauzers, and terriers with "hard" coats (Yorkies, Wheatons, Kerry Blues, etc) are among the so-called "non-shedding" breeds, which means less hair and dander to fly around the home. ("Non-shedding" is a misnomer, too. Any creature with hair, including people, sheds. Hair has a life cycle - it is "born," it lives its life, and when it dies, it falls out and is replaced with a new hair. Unless you are a man with male pattern baldness.)

My advice for the Obamas is not to get a dog at all. That way, they will not have to suffer, as so many of my clients have, when they find that the "hypoallergenic" dog they bought is exacerbating their child's asthma.

It is a pretty ugly scene when the new dog owner comes back to you saying, "We got this dog because the kids begged for him and we were told this was a hypoallergenic breed. Now, the children are sick, the doctor says we have to get rid of him, and we can't find a home. Will you put him to sleep?" (For the record, no, I won't.)

Better to break a campaign promise now and not get a dog at all than to be the first president of the United States to have to send his dog to a rescue group because his kid is wheezing in the night.

~KatDoc, the negatively thinking one


I loved the dialogue between you and our beloved vet - she rocks, you know...

I insist Bostons are hypoallergenic! There was a poll on MSN: "What breed should President-elect bring into the White House?" Of course I responded, BOSTON TERRIER. Wouldn't that be the best thing for this country? Oh, the name we could conjure up...ending in "Bean", Jane?

I'm already smiling at Chet's post sporting his handsome mens' garb. LOL!

Bostons don't need to be hypoallergenic. They come with a fumigation system that obliterates the dander.

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