As I relaxed in my chair Monday morning, and surveyed the garden, I caught a flicker of movement out of the corner of my eye and turned to see a Monarch butterfly sitting motionless on a bamboo stake. Taking a closer look, I spotted an empty chrysalis hanging from the clematis vine. I watched as the newly emerged butterfly slowly crept up the stake in search of sunlight, then paused at the top of the short stake, uncertain of where to go. So I stepped in to lend a helping hand.
I sat with this regal beauty for several minutes in awe and wonder, thanking her for the opportunity to bid her welcome to the world and help her prepare for her first flight. I cheered softly each time she expanded her wings, pumping body fluid through her soft veins.
I marveled at her perfection: I later read in my BUTTERFLIES OF HOUSTON AND SOUTHEAST TEXAS that the wings can easily be damaged during the expansion and hardening process. I carefully placed her atop a post of the nearby trellis and she remained there for over an hour, hardening her wings so they could support her in flight.
When it was time for her first flight, I was privileged to see her make it. She dipped and soared through the garden, accompanied by my cheers - loud ones this time. It was a joyful moment and I am still thankful beyond words that I was able to participate in it.