I made a quick trip to Boulder, Colorado where I spent time with friends and exploring my old stomping grounds. I rode my mountain bike through the ranch which is now Open Space. This brought up feelings of joy, pain, loss and wonder… The old sign still hangs at the entrance:
I also spent time up in Nederland, Colorado and was able to make an aerial flight over Barker Reservoir and the Town:
The queen butterfly chrysalis that I’ve been watching went through another stage of metamorphosis this morning (video below).
This time from chrysalis (pupa) to butterfly. It took 9 days for the chrysalis to go through the cell growth and differentiation to become an adult butterfly. Visually, we can see the morphological changes which is magical in itself. What we can’t see are the changes the insect goes through on a cellular level, from larva to pupa and pupa to butterfly. The next photo, taken late at night before the complete metamorphosis, shows the chrysalis clearing to reveal the nearly developed adult butterfly. The video of the whole process follows.
Watching this process I’ve been wondering if the ‘mind’ of the insect remains intact through the whole process: did it know it was a caterpillar, then a chrysalis before becoming a butterfly? Please watch the following video in HD and full screen for best detail. To see the butterfly emerge from the chrysalis, skip to the 4:00 minute mark.
I’ve been keeping an eye on the queen butterfly caterpillars that have been feeding on the milkweed and other plants in my yard. My wish was to see one go through metamorphosis, changing from a caterpillar into a chrysalis. After a couple missed attempts I was finally able to capture the transformation on video. The first part of the video starts at normal speed then into timelapse. The second part shows the main transformation in normal time. I recommend watching in fullscreen and in HD:
Tropical Storm Newton recently passed through Tucson and it dropped a lot of water on the way. Enough that some washes flowed. The storm also brought in lost pelagic seabirds from the Sea of Cortez, like the Least Storm-Petrel. The Tucson Wildlife Center took in two petrels. Both did not make it as they had simply run out of gas. Here is their Press Release: Sea of Cortez Petrels.