A few years ago, I was nurtured a butterfly for a natural resource conservation group under the direction of a famous lepidopteran entomologist named Rudy Matani.
The trouble is that I don’t know much about butterflies. My previous research subjects were mainly birds and lizards. Because the research funds are pitiful, and my husband is about to divorce me. Although I have won the custody of two children, I am unable to take care of both. Before Dr. Matani found me, I was on the verge of giving up and was planning to move back to Austin to live with my mother. Therefore, this job is a lifeline for me.
The butterfly I am cultivating is the butterfly species that was estimated to be extinct a few years ago – the Palos Verdes Blue Butterfly, which was discovered by Dr. Matani in an abandoned refinery in San Pedro a few months ago. of. On this day, I walked into the incubation room as usual. Under the fluorescent light, one of the chrysalis is sleeping on a row of small plastic plates. The pteridophyte is very small and brown in granular form.
“Unfortunate species.” When I looked at the chrysalis, I said to myself. I feel like an unfortunate species. When can I get a degree? When can I get a real job? When can I have enough money to buy a house? I worry about these every day.
I picked up a plastic dish and put it under the light. Suddenly, is there a particle in the activity? I leaned my eyes closer. The clam shell is expanding outward and seems to be ruptured. My heart beats faster. Is this moment coming? A crack appeared in the clam shell. After a few seconds, the cracks widened and a slender and delicate thread appeared in front of my eyes. It is the leg of an insect. The legs are shaking and begin to stretch out. Slowly, hesitantly, a butterfly with a wrinkled butterfly appeared. It stood on the wreck, swayed, trying to keep the body in balance, and then spread its wings. My breath is rushing. The translucent blue wings are not as big as a 25-cent coin. But their beauty is stunned and even breathless. Soon, the butterfly flapped its wings and danced in the incubation room. I don’t have time to appreciate it, and the butterflies in the whole room have begun to hatch. After the Palos Verdes blue butterfly hatched from the shell, it only survived for four days in this world as a butterfly. How hard it is these four days! A week later, I went back to the incubation room again, this time feeding a creepy caterpillar. Every caterpillar is related to my whole year of life – please look after the child, drive the broken car between San Fernando and San Pedro, and delay the time to submit the dissertation again. Sometimes I really want to quit this project, but if I really quit, life will become more difficult, so I stuck to my teeth.
I watched a caterpillar trying to climb the grass leaves I just put down. Soon, it will weave its clamshell, then lie down, motionless for almost a year, and finally break out and become a beautiful blue butterfly.
What a magical change! Like death and rebirth. I wish I could do the same. Until 2006, the number of Palos Verdes blue butterflies reached a stable level. In the same year, Dr. Matani retired and the Los Angeles Metropolitan Wilderness took over the project. They appointed me as the sole person in charge of the Palos Verdes Blue Butterfly. At this point, I have purchased a two-bedroom apartment for me and two children. My dissertation has been completed and I have become a lecturer at two universities.
Not long ago, I drove a new car to the cliffs of the Palos Verdes coast not far from the new Butterfly House. When spring comes, with the help of 20 volunteers, I will put 4,700 Palos Verdes blue butterflies on the edge of the cliff, and let the long-lost wonders reappear on the earth. And I, like them, will start a new life after the test and transformation of time.