It's a Girl!

So I was wrong about two things yesterday. One: that was NOT our last butterfly, as - surprise! - we had a brand new female eclose on this day. And two: the last chrysalis is finally darkening up, and looks like it may yield us a fresh butterfly any day now! Oh, the trials and tribulations of managing all that goes on in a milkweed patch! We jump from triumph to tragedy, and back, sometimes in the same day.

First, let me give you an update on the butterfly with the bent wing from yesterday. It did some practice flights around the yard in the afternoon, as the day warmed up, and then it took off! We have not seen it since. I do not know how far it will go, or if it will be a big migrator like the others, but I am not in charge of any of that, and so I can only send my heartfelt wishes aloft: fly strong, my butterfly!

And second, let me tell you a very strange thing that happened in the yard. My husband was trimming branches by the road, and I came down with my yard cart to pick it all up and haul it off to a brush pile. I'd been back and forth to the brush pile a few times, when I spotted a tiny rodent that was sort of hopping along at the edge of the pile. In looking closer, I realized it was a tiny, gray, mouse-like creature with a short tail.

I wondered if it was perhaps a relative of the creature from that brush pile that ate my fancy (hell-ride) salvia. It seemed to be breathing heavily, and I reached down (with my yard gloves on) to pick it up, to see if I could assist. In the palm of my hand, it continued to breathe heavily, and I worried that maybe I was scaring it.

I laid it down gently by the brush pile, it gave a few kicks, and then it lay still. This morning, there is no sign of it, no trace at all; I don't know if it was only pretending to be dead (playing possum) and then ran off, or if it died, and then was eaten. I swear, half the time, I don't even know what's going ON in this yard!

But here is the grand news of the day: we have a brand new, perfect, female butterfly! It seems all of my girls are no-nonsense: they walk out of their chrysalis, they flap their wings a few times, and they take off for the sky! And that is exactly what this girl did.

My husband spotted her in mid-afternoon and I went running with my camera. At 3:47 I showed up for photos; by 3:51, she was gone! We got to see her fly around the yard and across the road, and then she disappeared. Hooray for (yet another) brand new butterfly!

You know what this girl wants, don't you? She just wants to have fun!

My soundtrack song is this one: Cyndi Lauper, with Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.

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