A few days ago my husband called to me, “There’s a butterfly in the chipmunk trap.” When I looked inside the empty trap there sat a butterfly on the bottom grate. We’ve trapped several of the destructive chipmunks in the past few weeks, but a butterfly inside was quite a surprise. I opened the trap, offered my index finger, and the butterfly climbed aboard. I thought it would fly away, but instead it dropped to the ground. The butterfly seemed newly hatched. I let it climb onto my finger again and placed it on a bush, leaving it there to dry its wings.
I went back and checked the trap, turning it upside down. Attached to the roof was the remains of the chrysalis. I have no idea how it survived the chipmunks as they attempted to escape the trap.
I am assuming the lucky butterfly survived. A day later, I saw a black swallowtail flitting about the yard. Amazing! I think, last Autumn, when I was saving late season caterpillars, this one traveled from my porch into the garage. The chrysalis was there all winter inside the trap. A strange beginning for sure!