An Education

Red admiral

It was an exceptionally wildlife-centric day yesterday.  And educational at that.

My day started with the sighting of a bird of prey emerging from a hedge, its feathered victim clasped in its talons.  After a short rest at the side of the road, and a staring competition with me, it flew off towards the cairn, breakfast in hand.  In truth it was more of a squinting contest on my part, as I was unsuccessfully trying to identify this hunter.  A dramatic beginning to proceedings.

Next, whilst on our tour of the garden, we tip-toed through the windfalls scattered beneath the apple trees.  As we walked a confetti of red admirals rose from the ground.  They spent the rest of the day gorging on the rotting fruit, each time we past by another colourful flurry rose from the ground. We imagined they were getting drunk on the fermenting cider, but that might have been an over imagination or wishful thinking.

Later, weeding the narrow border by the house, I came across a juvenile frog, full of wriggle and, hopefully, a few juicy slugs.  This bag of beans was relocated to a safe place, far from my fork.

Then Max’s dad called to me “I have found a chrysalis speckled with gold”.  He was quite right and it was stunning.  After much gawping and gasping, the Midas pupae was stowed away in a quiet corner to perform the miracle of metamorphosis.  Later I found out that the word chrysalis comes from the Greek word chrysos meaning gold.   Follow the link for more information at Ask an Entomologist  I also found out that red admiral chrysalis have gold spots, this page from the University of Florida will elaborate.

In conclusion, I would sum up as follow:  If this chap doesn’t hurry up, he is going to miss the party!


7 thoughts on “An Education

  1. Eight Red Admirals on my asters yesterday, wonderful to have so many around. Do you think your little chrysalis might overwinter if he does not hatch out soon?


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