Yesterday morning, while sitting in my sunny spot in my back yard, I noticed something making its way down the block fence. Because I have a weird obsession to photograph everything I see, I got my camera.
I took a picture of this little 1" caterpillar.
Then, my dog tried to eat it.
So, I moved it to a large potted plant on my back patio.
Later I decided maybe that wasn't a good place for it to be. Thinking things through is not one of my strong points. I went to find it to relocate it to a better place, but couldn't find it.
Later still, I found it walking across my patio... and moved it a second time to some flowering vines that hang over the 8' high block fence in the corner of my yard.
I had made the suggestion that we release live butterflies at Dayle's memorial service, I thought Dayle would like that. Phone calls were made, and the butterfly place was out of live butterflies. (How does that happen?). Perhaps it was just as well, live butterflies are very expensive. A white Dove was released at her memorial service. I wore a silver butterfly hair clip in my ponytail the day of her memorial service, it was the best I could do to honor her.
I had the brief thought that perhaps Dayle sent me a butterfly (or moth) in the form of a caterpillar, but quickly dismissed the thought. I'd dumped that caterpillar 8' off the ground, far away from my patio, surely it was gone.
This morning I opened my eyes and saw this:
The caterpillar is attached to my bedroom door in the beginning stages of cocooning.
Maybe I have one very persistent caterpillar in my life. Or, maybe I have dozens of them in my yard. I chose to believe that Dayle sent this one to me. I'm still trying to identify this caterpillar to see what it will turn in to. I know that Dayle lives on in spirit and in flesh, she was an organ donor who gave the gift of live to many. I miss you Dayle.
I've learned this is a Mourning Cloak.
She flew with her new wings today. Sadly, I missed her departure.
I saw her! I am so happy and yet so saddened and humbled. Today while sweeping the back porch I saw the Mourning Cloak butterfly take flight. She was perfect - black with purple along the edges of her wings. She lingered long enough for me to have a good look then fluttered away.
Some of you know, I have several tattoos, and I think Dayle's butterfly would be a perfect addition to my collection.
I moved the dogs toy crate today and realized I had two caterpillars turned butterfly on my patio. The Mourning Cloak butterfly that I saw take flight was actually butterfly #2, not #1 that hung over my bedroom door.