hiding in plain sight
i picked this queen anne’s lace over a week ago. it’s been sitting in a vase on my kitchen counter ever since. today i decided to photograph it before all the of the flowerheads opened. i placed the vase in front of my kitchen window, set up my tripod and pulled the image into focus in my camera’s viewfinder. only then did i notice the hitchhiker who has been living as a guest in my house for over a week. a swallowtail caterpillar–one of my favorite butterflies. he looks healthy. he must be finding enough food to sustain himself. now i am faced with the moral dilemma of returning him to the wild or keeping him on my kitchen counter so i may watch, first hand, one of nature’s most extraordinary transformations. and so, a quick snapshot of queen anne’s lace has turned into an existential crisis. some days are more challenging than others.
queen anne’s lace and eastern black swallowtail caterpillar (Papilio polyxenes)