Sunday, October 23, 2005
The chrysalis symbolizes my feelings right now, like an ugly striped caterpillar about to become a butterfly. Our friend Nancy showed us how to leave the native milkweed plants alone and not mow them, since they attract the caterpillars. On one little plant (no more than 12 inches high) we’ve had a crop of three, of which one attached to a giant yucca plant here in the attached photo. One day it will open up and a Monarch butterfly will emerge and hopefully fly down to Mexico for the winter.
Next year I’m going to farm those milkweed plants! They’re interesting to watch and I feel good about “making more butterflies” but jeez, those caterpillars can sure poop. You can tell if you have a hot milkweed plant because of all the black scat on the bottom leaves. Yup, just like babies. Butterflies, on the other hand, seem to gracefully sip nectar and don’t seem so messy.
If you Google the word “chrysalis” you get lots of Christian websites such as about rebirth but to me it is more like a changing of the guard. The smell of winter is in the north winds. The Island seems to be changing, too, not just with things natural but disturbing changes of growth, construction, and a new breed of day tripper. Personally I’m changing too, since for the first time since moving down here in July, our company has allowed me a million-dollar budget to study air pollution from ships. Not that I’d get very much of the booty, but frankly I’m honored to be the head honcho of something other than my lunch box!
Yes, a caterpillar turns into a chrysalis and then into a butterfly. It is time.