A curious event happened yesterday evening, as i sat at my computer and opened my email Inbox to check on this week’s photo challenge, there was a scuffling sound in my scullery.  A most beautiful moth was emerging after an eight week period of pupation.  What a fitting subject for the topic of this week’s challenge: Beginning.

_APR6456Let’s have a look at this journey of metamorphosis from squiggly worm to this set of elegant wings.  In November i wrote about  hairy caterpillars, with a gardener’s bias of frustration, as the hordes chomped merrily through my fynbos.  The Cape Lappet caterpillars took a particular liking to the pincushion bushes  -

Cape lappet caterpillar in pincushion headI watched horrified as they developed in short weeks from grub size to giant sized eating machines -

_APR4193This one measured 10 centimeters but under a macro lens i got to discover their fabulous ‘couture’ and to marvel at their zany looking markings.

Morphing as BertCouldn’t help thinking that i had a garden full of morphing Ernie and Berts.

At last a sluggishness overcame their relentless appetites and i was lucky to witness the next stage of their cycle, photographing the making of the cocoon on 18 November. The leaves were drawn in close like a tent; and silk looked like spun sugar.

Spinning a silk cocoonI was curious to know what the moth would look like, so i kept one of the pupaes in it’s haven of leaves as a part of my flower arrangements.  It went from cut-glass vase full of roses, to a single stem arrangement in the last stages where it was safely stored in my scullery area.  At the moment it rests quietly, but in the evening i’ll be releasing it into the embrace of the cool night air.

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This post was in response to the weekly WordPress Photo Challenge.  Head over to the WP site to check out other examples of this week’s photos.

25 responses to “

  1. Wow! Liz, it’s truly fascinating to see this from so close. I love how Marcos keep reminding of us of our own insignificance or rather the significance of all these little creatures that inhabit this world. They have this power of shattering the very idea of a human-centric world view. Thank you for sharing this with us, Liz.

    • Thanks for your very apt observation Uday :) There is such extraordinary detail looking at designs up close – particularly in the insect world. Rather like the science of bio-mimicry?

  2. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: Beginning (3: it is a Baby!) | What's (in) the picture?·

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