Friday, October 30, 2009

Too Late for Freedom

If you have been to my house in the summer, you have likely seen monarchs on my kitchen counter in one or more stages of the life cycle.  We have hatched many monarchs in our kitchen for the past 10 years.  We've witnessed the caterpillar hatching from the tiny egg, the making of the bright green chrysalis, and the hatching of the beautiful butterfly many times; but we have never ceased to be amazed by God's creativity with this creature.
Each time we've hatched a butterfly, we have released it outside the same day.  This year has been different.  In early October our weather turned cold--too cold for butterflies to survive.  We had four caterpillars left to hatch and weren't sure what we should do with them.  The butterfly specialist at Iowa State University's Rieman Gardens encouraged us to keep them in our home to enjoy for their short life, rather than send them outside to certain death.  We were able to release two of the monarchs during a stretch of warm days in mid-October.  We are hoping that they made tracks to Mexico and made it far enough south to escape the cold temperatures that came within a few days. The butterfly pictured here is the last one of the four.  He will likely die on our kitchen table.  He spends all day on the window screen, apparently longing to do what God intended him to do.  We would love to see him fly away, but he was born too late for freedom.

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