and i witness

in the dream the cocoon of the monarch appears to be drying out, it swells and shows preemptive signs of hatching. panicking, i cover it with a cloth in an effort to keep it in the dark a little longer, to let it continue to gestate.

but it hatches anyway, and i witness the still birth of a butterfly, its pale orange wings not fully formed.

when I wake up i forget the dream until
i am in the kitchen making eggs for breakfast and i see
the clear container on the counter where the monarch cocoon hangs on a mesh screen, and it doesn’t look swollen or dried out. the colors are deepening to black, signs of almost readiness to emerge. the gold spotted trim gleams.
picture of health.

i had written my estimate of when it would hatch on the side of the box due date 9/17 which happens to be tomorrow, so there is still a little bit of time.

from up to a mile away

I check up on the cocoon of a cecropia moth that I taped to a stick, propped inside a mesh wire box on my counter,

due date may 21s I wrote on the side of the box in black sharpie, just so that everyone would know when we were expecting.

cecropia moths Hyalophora cecropia , named for Cecrops, king of Attica, are the largest moth native to north America, with wingspans of six inches or more. Their cocoons are large, brown and leathery looking with a golden shiny hue if you catch it in a certain light. c says that the moth will emerge from the top of the cocoon. I am waiting.

cecropia moths don’t have working mouth parts or a digestive system. they live for about 2 weeks. they mate and lay eggs. from photographs i can tell the female from the male by the differences in their antennae. the male moth has bigger broader antennae. they are so sensitive to the scent of the female moth that they can sense her pheromones from up to a mile away.