Minnesotastan knows butterflies. He can identify all kinds of butterflies and tell you about their diet and lifecycles. Here he tells the story of one particular butterfly that he’s kept an eye on for almost a year now. She is a Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes) that overwintered on his porch in Wisconsin (yeah, I also was under the impression he lived in Minnesota). The butterfly emerged from her chrysalis just a few days ago.
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Everything about this process fascinates me – the metamorphosis of course, but even moreso the remarkable resilience of a creature often portrayed as fragile and ephemeral. The ability to fly upwind when you have the weight and shape of a Kleenex. The adaptability to spend months as a crawling caterpillar, and then after dissolving and reshaping oneself to be able to fly away over a rooftop. This is what fifty million years of evolution can produce. Awesome.
Read the biography of one butterfly at TYWKIWDBI.
(Image credit: Minnesotastan)