Thursday, June 9, 2016

Life and Loss

The black swallowtail chysalises we overwintered are completing their metamorphosis and we are so filled with wonder at this life cycle. The chrysalis over winter was whitish/brown...

and turned black on the day of emergence. It's time!

After a couple of hours a crumpled, wet butterfly emerged and struggled to find a good place to dry its wings in our little box so I offered my finger as a mode of transportation to a better location. The feeling of those little feet grasping my finger always excites me - what beauty and fragility and wonder all wrapped up into this one beautiful being! I moved the butterfly to a common milkweed where it hung and dried and later flew off to continue its lifecycle. Life. Beautiful, precious, wondrous life.

And with life, also comes death....this time to our chicken girls. We will remember them in moments like these:

Preening and relishing the sunshine:

Pecking around on the porch asking for us to come hang out:

Begging for treats:

Watching everything and loving life:

Thank you girls for your gifts of laughter and love, bringing us so easily into the present moment and for your beautiful, sometimes giant, sometimes wonky eggs.  You are missed.

Barbara Kinsolver said in her fabulous book Prodigal Summer: "Solitude is a human presumption. Every quiet step is thunder to beetle life underfoot, a tug of impalpable thread on the web pulling mate to mate and predator to prey, a beginning or an end. Every choice is a world made new for the chosen." 

This time, the chosen was a hungry raccoon whom we hope your lives benefited as much as your presence in our lives benefited us. 


  1. You take things in such gracious stride I wish to be more like you, and I am sorry for the loss of your girls, I know you will miss them greatly.
    We have had some wonderful butterflies in the garden, I have never found a Chrysalis to over winter.

    1. Thanks so much lady. Your comment is so so kind. :) I bet this is the year to find some caterpillars at the end of the season on your dill or fennel or carrots. :)

  2. I am sorry you have lost your little girls. They were your friends. I hope you may take some comfort in that you gave them a chance to be happy little chickens with their bottoms in the air plurping, pecking, and cracking you up with their funny little chicken antics. You changed their lives as much as they changed your lives and for that always be grateful. Here is to our little rescue chickens! Love, Beth

    1. Beth - Thank you, thank you. You know about our the sweetness of chickens! Thanks for hosting as at your pad and buying us some beer and sharing Obi with us to numb the pain a bit. :) We love you girl!


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