Wondering- from Jacob’s Field

Michael was both surprised and perplexed, the Flutterby was still alive after a week in the terrarium like tank he had constructed for her so what was she… She was a Wanderer, he had discovered, not such a rare visitor to the British Isles. The first record of this species in the British Isles, was by a schoolboy, on 6th September 1876 in Neath in south Wales. The Danaus plexippus, or Monarch butterfly had made its way into Britain though to date 135 sightings as of 1981 have been the most sighted in the wild, feeding on Milkweed this had determined the footprint for this species in the Isles.
So was she wild or an escapee? Also her presence here in winter was now no mystery as Monarchs spend their winters clustering around the trees in the warmer areas of their range.. but she had matured in the snow and that wasn’t usual since the Monarchs cannot survive snow. To date the caterpillar and pupae stages were unknown during the winter months until now when this one had dropped out of the tree in the woods near Jacob’s field.
Meanwhile, in the terrarium her race memory had fired up across her primitive synaptic gaps and she was straining to understand that it wasn’t that she was late, but rather early, destined usually to mature in the spring and early summer she had miraculously survived an icy English winter and plopped out of her chrysalis on a night of extreme low pressure and high anxiety. She had somewhere to be, she gleaned but where?

Andrew James Blair Father’s Day 2016


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