The First Emergence

This caterpillar might appear large in the photo, but in reality he’s not much bigger than a drop of water–less than a centimeter long. He’s freshly hatched and just starting to enjoy a long, continuous meal of dill we have planted in our yard.

Unfortunately, this little guy’s journey will most likely end before he ever spins a cocoon and enjoys his second emergence as a butterfly. Most of the caterpillars in our yard don’t make it long enough to get much bigger than this before they are turned into a meal for birds or insect parasites. But the few that survive to adulthood emerge as beautiful swallowtail butterflies that return to our garden and start the process all over again.

While I don’t have a macro lens for my camera, I have adapted my 50mm lens with close-up lenses attachments that allow me to capture the tiniest bugs and flowers in my yard. It’s tough to get the focus just right, and even then the images aren’t as sharp as I would prefer, but I am nonetheless pleased that I can still photograph the tiny world surrounding me that my own eyes can barely perceive.

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