Here is a small (2 inch long) object that I originally found in our yard. Do you think it is animal, vegetable, or mineral ?!
Notice the segments on the left pointed end of the object, the broad somewhat wing-like covering on the right side, and the two “horns” at the right end. If you suspect that this is some sort of insect, you are right. If you poke it, it can wiggle a bit, but not move around. This type of object is normally a pupal case of an insect that undergoes a complete metamorphosis from a larval to an adult form. In this case I know for sure it is the pupa or chrysalis of a tiger swallowtail butterfly since I put a large green caterpillar in a box and it turned into this object. The butterfly will be spending the Winter in this form to survive the hostile weather and to undergo a complete anatomical transformation from a caterpillar to a butterfly. You can imagine that it is rare to find these pupal cases since they are so well hidden by their resemble to twigs and dead leaves.
So let’s re-double our efforts to observe all those complex and amazing facets of nature which are so well hidden from our prying eyes.
Bill Dunson, Englewood, FL & Galax, VA