Something Happier for a Sunday

I feel like I need to replace my doom and gloom post from Friday with something cheerier.  I’m not going to be able to get the maps for the Dragonfly Swarm Project year-end report up today as I’d hoped, but instead I want to share a photo of part of our natural world, a reminder that the world is an unbelievably beautiful place teeming with life.  This is a black swallowtail chrysalis:

Black swallowtail pupa

Black swallowtail pupa, Papilio polyxenes, taken with an iPhone

We had the caterpillar in a cage for a program at work a while back and it transformed into a pupa inside the cage.  Now it’s sitting there, massively reorganizing  its entire body and building a new body through the winter months.  This immobilized stage represents the nigh-miraculous transformation between this…

Black swallowtail caterpillar

Black swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes) caterpillar, taken with a Nikon D80 with a Nikkor 70-300mm zoom kit lens

… and something that resembles this (because I don’t have a photo of an adult black swallowtail and I have to substitute a black form eastern tiger swallowtail)…

Eastern tiger swallowtail black form

Eastern tiger swallowtail (Papilio glaucus) black form, taken with a Nikon D80 and a Nikkor 70-300mm zoom kit lens

You all know that I’m not the biggest butterfly lover, but even I will admit that being able to transform from a plant munching little worm into a beautiful, winged sugar fiend is a pretty neat trick.   If that doesn’t make you appreciate this amazing planet we live on and the myriad forms of life that surround us, I’m not sure what will.

I took the photo of the chrysalis with a new little photo gadget that I’m very excited about.  I’ll share the details in a future post, so look for that, coming soon!

Enjoy your Sunday everyone!

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Unless otherwise stated, all text, images, and video are copyright © C. L. Goforth