The little unlooked-for moments are the things I live for.
Yesterday I noticed the lifeless critter habitat that houses several overwintered chrysalises and remarked to myself that I really ought to empty it into the compost. I had assumed that any survivors would eclose early in the season, and since I've been seeing adult swallowtails for three weeks and found eggs over two weeks ago, I'd given ours up for dead.
But today! Today, Griff and I were walking past the neglected habitat and I heard him exclaim, "oh! a butterfly!" Sure enough, one full-fledged imago sat on some leaves inside. If Griff hadn't noticed her (yup, she's female), I probably would have walked on by, since I stopped checking daily a while ago. She might have starved!
After giving up just yesterday, finding her today seemed like a miracle, and it added a touch of extra excitement as we freed her from the habitat and watched her fly away over the neighbors' fence. I've resumed thrice-daily checks on the remaining chrysalis. Will it eclose and give us another small thrill?