I was recently reminded of a series of books developed for children which explained various aspects of science. That was a v-e-r-y long time ago, but one in particular stuck with me. It showed the life cycle of the butterfly. The fact that a caterpillar could turn into a beautiful butterfly was utterly fascinating. Still is.

We have been blessed with an abundance of butterflies where we live and a few weeks ago had a chance to observe the life cycle of butterflies up close and in person. Gini spotted a larva of the Gulf Fritillary on its host plant, the Purple Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata). Later that morning, she forced me to photograph a pair of fritillaries mating. Later still, we found a newly emerged butterfly drying its wings beside the chrysalis it had been encased in for the past week.

The miracle of transformation.


Adult Gulf Fritillary (Agraulis vanillae)  2-4 Weeks




Tenoroc FMA


Larval Stage  2-3 Weeks

Tenoroc FMA



Chrysalis Stage  5-10 Days

Colt Creek State Park



As we all go through changes in our lives, it can be challenging to maintain a positive outlook. Especially these days, negative forces seem almost overwhelming.

Embrace change as an opportunity instead of an obstacle. Live your best life every day!


Tenoroc FMA



Enjoy your search for a natural place and come back for a visit!

15 Comments on “Metamorphosis

  1. A very different post from you, Wally, but beautiful documentation of one of the marvels of nature. An inspiring message at the end too.

    Please take great care and stay safe in these difficult times. Remember that the advice and regulations these days, on both sides of the pond, is driven by economic considerations rather than safety of life.

    My very best wishes to you both – – – Richard


  2. Well done Gini. I think the arm twisted up the back always yields results. I have to make sure the window is closed though. Sue can scream with a fair old volume.

    Those are super pictures Wally and it’s good to know your joint observation powers worked so well. I’m afraid that our UK butterflies are at a very low ebb (again) whereby depending upon the day’s conditions I might see between 0 -10. We have sun today, even in the 20s degrees, most unusual.

    Enjoy your weekend.


    • Gini has definitely perfected her “powers of persuasion” over the years. I have the bruises to prove it.

      Sounds like your weather is almost Florida-like. Hopefully, that won’t extend to the hurricane barreling down upon us.

      Take good care!


  3. Hi Wally: It’s a great post with encouraging words. As you say there are obstacles to be overcome right now, but the important thing is to live each day as fully as possible despite the constraints that have to be observed. We bring in the eggs of several species of butterfly and raise them indoors each year, having the wonderful opportunity to observe the transformation right from egg to butterfly. It is a cause of wonderment and excitement every time. Some things just never get old.


  4. I don’t like bugs, but I know your neighbor likes butterflies–Have a good day-


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