Beauty and Transformation: Monarch Butterfly and Beyond – Picture to Ponder – v6 – Issue 16

by Sheila Finkelstein on April 21, 2010

Today’s Photos

monarch butterfly in chrysalis

Monarch Butterfly in Chrysalis
(on right side occupying 3/4 of the vertical space)

chrysalis on potted plant

Plant on which caterpillar had attached itself
(Look closely at upper left side of plant.)

monarch butterfly emerged from chrysalis

Monarch Butterfly Emerged from Chrysalis – next day
Photo Courtesy of Sheldon Rosin

Today’s Photos’ Story
This Saturday I am leading a Photography Walk and Workshop for a small group of members of the South Florida chapter of Events and Adventures. Last week I visited Tropic Plants of Tamarac, FL, the location where we will be photographing prior to going to another spot for the sharing-plus workshop.

Sheldon Rosin, the artist/owner, was a delight to experience. He shared a wealth of information and creativity. One of the absolute highlights, for me, of last week’s adventure was Sheldon’s pointing out the chrysalis that a Monarch caterpillar had created, attaching itself to one of the plants up in front of the nursery. My excitement with this experience had resulting photographs become today’s feature in Picture to Ponder.

The descriptions under each photo are self-explanatory. I included the middle one for “informational” purposes, rather than aesthetic. Then, since I wanted to see the resulting butterfly, I’m assuming you might have the same curiosity.

Thus, for the second time in Picture to Ponder, I am breaking tradition* and including a photograph other than mine or Sam’s**. Sheldon very graciously forwarded me photos he took after the butterfly emerged the next day and was drying its wings.

Also, in going to Google for more information on the whole process, I discovered a number of fascinating YouTube videos. To see a speeded up version of caterpillar to chrysalis, check Monarch Chrysalis. I also found a wonderful site, full of easy-to-read information. See The Monarch Butterfly.

*The first break in my “exclusivity” policy can be found on the Blog, where I’ve included 8-year old Toby Garver’s beautiful tulip photos. See Toby’s Tulips. You’re in for a treat and several queries. I will most likely revisit it in a future issue of Picture to Ponder.

**(For those new to Picture to Ponder, Sam was my beloved husband who passed away in November 2007. You can see wonderful Black & White Photography on B&W PHOTOS.)

Self-Reflecting Queries
As I researched on Google and saw photos of other pupa/chrysalis in a group, I recalled that I had seen them before in Butterfly World, Pompano Beach, FL. Being part of a crowd, the full beauty of the individual pupa had not had the same impact on me and I don’t recall having seen the butterfly within the chrysalis itself.

Now to you – Once again, I invite you to look in your life.

Are there places where you are allowing yourself to simply blend in, where you’re not letting your beauty shine through? Are there others in your life who could be, or are, important to you, whom you’re simply seeing as a merged part of a whole?

If “yes”, to either of these questions, I invite you to pause and look for the uniqueness, the “shine”, what excites you in yourself/them,

the beauty. Then I invite you to look and see where you can step out, if you made a discovery about yourself. Then take an action.

If someone in a group now stands out, I invite you to ackowledge that person, letting him or her know the contribution of and the beauty you’ve seen in him/her.

The butterfly life span, I learned from the Monarch Butterfly site is two to six weeks in the first three generations, up to eight months in the fourth generation because there is a lot of migration to do.

What generation are you in? What is your beauty that you can be sharing with world?


As always, have fun with this and please post your comments below.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Phyllis Paulson April 21, 2010 at 1:46 pm

Thank you for this, Sheila. I did not realize that the chrysalis itself is very beautiful…a taste of what is to come. We (humans) might be in our chrysalis and waiting to become beings of higher vibrations, waiting to soar.


Sheila Finkelstein April 27, 2010 at 9:35 pm

What a beautiful expression and new insight for me, Phyllis. Thanks so much for sharing.


Kadira April 27, 2010 at 2:05 pm

Sheila, I love these questions: What generation are you in? What is your beauty that you can be sharing with world? and what you have written about them? These are very thought provoking ideas. It brought up for me something Ive not really thought about before – that each generation perhaps perceives beauty in a different way because of our generational experiences. I am a baby boomer and I think our view of the world is quite different to gen X or Y. I need to think about this some more.
Some things like appreciating a sunset are probably universal. However one thing I do know is that Artists and photographers see the world differently. I am an artist a and teach art. However what I (ultimately) teach is not how to paint a picture but how to see both ones external and internal realities.


Sheila Finkelstein April 27, 2010 at 9:46 pm

Thank you so much for your thoughtful and thought-provoking response and queries, Kadira. I’d love to have a conversation with you on generational differences in perceiving beauty. I never thought of it. Something to ponder on this end also.

I did a quick tour of some of your pages and links on your “umbrella” Unfolding Creativity, . I’m blown away by all you are doing and offer. I want to get back there, comment and look at more and right now I’m preparing for company who, along with me, will be attending the 3 1/2 day Miksang Photography Workshop this weekend –

Looking forward to getting to know you better. Thanks again.


Kadira April 28, 2010 at 5:14 am

Sheila, wow thank you so much for your comments about my blog, it is really awesome to get such encouraging feedback, thank you for the compliment. I would certainly love to have that conversation you mentioned, at some point. Have fun at the workshop and I’m sure we will connect again soon.


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