In the Chrysalis

Nothing says Spring like overnight snow.

 

Happy Spring!

When I think of Spring, I think of chrysalises/cocoons and the butterflies/moths that will emerge from these protective shells—the pupa stage. What I didn’t realize is that the shed skin of a pre-butterfly caterpillar hardens around it to form a chrysalis. But the caterpillar of a moth has to spin silk to make a cocoon to protect itself.

  

A challenging time like the one we’re facing now is a chrysalis from which we will all emerge at some point. Instead of shed skin or silk, the walls of our home are our borders, since many states have issued a stay-at-home order. Consequently, we’re going through a lot of different emotions: fear, anger, dread, despair—you name it. Many of us have felt the hardening effect of those emotions. I know I have. I’d much rather feel joy or peace. I know you would too.

What’s really helped me in these chrysalis days are texts from friends who write to encourage, share a funny meme, a song, or a Scripture like this:

Psalm 121:1 I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from?  [The next verse provides the answer.]

These daily check-ins remind me that I’m not alone, despite the social distancing mandate.

As a result of all that has happened, I mentioned in this post that I’m giving away two crocheted child Yodas like the one below. The winners of those crocheted child Yodas are Shari and Lyn!

Because of the state-mandated lockdown, I contacted the winners ahead of time so that I could get the Yodas in the mail to them before the 5 p.m. stay-at-home order went into effect this past Saturday. I am currently making two more Yodas. If you’d still like a Yoda, please email me or comment below. I will try to get them sent whenever I can.

Photos by L. Marie.

Moth or Butterfly: A Lesson in Diversity

ChrysalisThe other day, while thinking about how difficult times cause me feel as if I’m in a chrysalis waiting to emerge, I immediately hoped I would emerge as a butterfly instead of a moth. After all, I was aware of butterflies like the following, which appear on many “most beautiful butterflies” lists:

red_lacewing_butterfly_480x480Red lacewing butterfly

blueMorphoZ

Blue morpho butterfly

LESSER PURPLE EMPEROR BUTTERFLY

Purple emperor butterfly

Sadly, my preconceived notions are based on ignorance about moths. But look at this moth:

7706 - Royal Walnut Moth (Citheronia regalis) 1

Royal walnut moth

Pretty isn’t it? I learned about the Royal walnut moth when I searched the Internet to find out what’s great about moths so that I could let go of any misguided thinking concerning them. Among other sources, I found a great article online: “7 Things You Don’t Know About Moths, But Should.” That’s how I learned about another moth:

  800px-Attacus_atlas_qtl1

Atlas moth

The Atlas moth is the largest moth in the world, with a wingspan of over ten inches! How’d you like a moth that large to land on your arm? Or how about the Cecropia moth (not mentioned in the article, but pictured below), with its six-inch wingspan? Still, it’s beautiful too! Like the Royal walnut moth (which has a wingspan of over three to six inches) and the Atlas moth, the Cecropia moth is one of the Saturniidae or saturniid—a family group boasting the largest moths around.

1280px-Cecropia_moth_with_wings_expanded

Cecropia moth

Another saturniid is the Tussah moth—a silk moth.

800px-Antheraea_pernyi_female_sjh

Tussah moth

So moths come in a larger variety than just the tiny brown creatures circling light fixtures in the summer. There are over 12,000 different moths in North America alone.

A couple of the great things about moths unfortunately involve their being food for other creatures, which isn’t a plus if you’re a moth.

So, now I know a little bit more about moths, but I’m still a novice on the subject. But I figured that I could at least make the effort to learn more about them, rather than remain satisfied with my previous level of ignorance.

While researching the different kinds of moths, I immediately thought about diversity and how I make assumptions or sometimes coast on ignorance, rather than make a concerted effort to learn about other cultures. I spent more time looking up facts about moths than I did brushing up on Spanish or Mandarin. (I don’t know much Mandarin, so I’m not impressive in the least. One of my nephews, however, is studying Mandarin. He’s cool.)

The world is such a big place. There are close to seven thousand spoken languages in the world, Mandarin being the most widely spoken. Spanish is second. Don’t believe me? Check here.

It’s time for me to return to learning about other cultures and languages. I’m sure my life will be the richer for it. And someday, when I bust out of that chrysalis, maybe being a moth might be pretty cool too.

Moth or butterfly? Which would you choose? Why?

Royal walnut moth photo from freepages.misc.rootsweb.ancestry.com. Atlas moth photo from Wikipedia. Red lacewing butterfly from mflowers.chromesphere.com. Blue morpho butterfly from hdwallpapersarea.com. Purple emperor butterfly from kamranweb.com. Cecropia moth and chrysalis from commons.wikimedia.org. Tussah moth from Wikipedia.