Canon Pro 90 IS, handheld
380EX on off-camera cord
7mm at f8
1/60 second at ISO 50

Still on warranty
black swallowtail Papilio polyxenes asterias adult emergence

Prior to all that drama from the previous shot, a lone caterpillar had cast its chrysalis within the planter on The Girlfriend's porch, early in the year. I watched this every chance I got, hoping to catch a sequence of its emergence.

One lazy Sunday morning, we checked the chrysalis for activity (none), then sat back on the porch to be mellow in the morning sun. Roughly twenty minutes later I glanced down to see the wings of a new butterfly peeking from behind the leaves. It's not supposed to happen that fast, is it?

The new adult had a growing bead of green fluid on one wing vein, apparently having undergone an injury on emerging. This didn't seem to affect anything, and as we watched the bead darkened almost to black while the wing reached full extension. Within an hour or so, the butterfly launched itself away without any visible difficulty.

This is one that does much better as a print, because so much detail disappears at web resolution. Here's a closeup of the wing, which I took pains to keep as flat to the camera as possible to use the avoid going out of focus at macro magnification.



buttefly Papilio polyxenes asterias wing detail