Seven is the magic number
Just this week we witnessed a black swallowtail caterpillar shed its skin and reveal the chrysalis. What an AMAZING transformation to watch.
This caterpillar had attached itself to the side of a post in the kitchen garden. It hung in its signature J form for about a day. The next day we had a torrential down pour. See the rain drops hanging on the caterpillar in the photo in the upper left corner? Despite the rain it was time for the swallowtail to begin its transformation. We happen to be out in the garden checking the rain gauge when its skin began to split. Starting at the back of the head and going down toward its end almost like a zipper. The caterpillar occasionally made a little wiggle to help it along. The entire process took only SEVEN minutes. WOW!
(These photos were a challenge to take. Not only was the lighting terrible but I had to hold an umbrella over the camera while taking these photos. Needless to say the quality isn't great but at least they documented this tiny miracle.)
A solid day of rain resulted in SEVEN inches in a twenty four hour period. Much needed rain but there is a lot of clean-up and repair work to be done to the garden paths.
The winds from the storm helped guide the Monarch butterflies on their migration south. I was thrilled to find SEVEN butterflies in my garden the following day. They were hanging out on the swamp sunflowers (Helianthus angustifolius) and the zinnia in the kitchen garden.
I hope they will find their way to the milkweed. They are so busy laying eggs they make it more difficult to photograph them there. I need to put the camera down and get busy tagging all these Monarchs.
My new favorite number is SEVEN!