Butterfly Beauty Before Metamorphosis

Nature’s beauty held in time by a chrysalis that will never release the butterfly within

Jane Frost (Jane Grows Garden Rooms) Originally published in Tea with Mother Nature

3 min read

Oct 28, 2022

A caterpillar was munching my vine. I watched. It started to devour the whole stem from the leafy new growth down. The vine got shorter. I watched. I waited.

The caterpillar climbed the fence and remained still. Was it about to shed its outer skin to reveal a chrysalis? I watched. I waited.

I went on my daily check. My eyes searched the fence. They paused. I took a sharp breath in. I looked. I saw. I wondered. I awed.

Photo by Author

A red translucent work of art had installed itself on the fence. It was attached with thin black threads. It moved slightly in the breeze but the threads held. The threads that were bound and spun covered the thin metal of the fence with curls and swirls.

How does one create such art whilst shedding one’s skin? How did this amazing natural sculpture have such tenacity and delicacy all at once?

I watched. I waited. The chrysalis became a pale brown, still beautiful but lacking the stunning visage of first sight.

I chased away ants. I watched. I waited.

I went on my daily check. I took my camera. Another sharp intake of breath. A hole was gouged in the side of the artwork. Ants? Parasite? I will never know.

This butterfly’s beauty is caught in time by my lens but withers in the circle of life. It has given to others in its habitat and sacrificed its time to fly.

It’s sad.

It’s a beautiful sadness.

Meanwhile, if there was one, there will be more. I watch. I wait.

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