After the extra rain we got this winter (thank you El Nino!), Ginger discovered a whole new world in the backyard. All kinds of new and interesting things were growing and living there. She quickly focused in on all the caterpillars hanging out in the fennel bushes. She would collect a bunch, watch them eat the fennel, and then put them back. This particular guy the girls decided to keep in a vented jar to watch him make his chrysalis.
When he makes his chrysalis, he attaches himself to the stem of the plant with a little thread and then proceeds to encase himself in a beautiful green covering that has yellow dots down the back. Much like this one. He stayed in his chrysalis for a couple of weeks, maybe even three.
The morning Ginger found him emerged from his case and sitting in his jar was pretty exciting! We were expecting him to fly away as soon as we opened the lid, so we carefully carried him outside and got our cameras ready. We didn't know that it would take about an hour for him to dry his wings out and actually be able to fly. He was pretty helpless in the beginning, with heavy, damp wings. He preferred to hang upside down, since he couldn't hold his wing up on his own yet.
Ginger put him back on his fenel after a while and he found himself a safe spot back down in his jar until he was ready to fly off. What a spectacluar show it was!