7 photos

Newly emerged black swallowtail caterpillar on fennel, the egg is still attached and is no bigger than the head of a pin. In three weeks it will be a beautiful butterfly!

Newly emerged black swallowtail caterpillar on fennel, the egg is still attached and is no bigger than the head of a pin.  In three weeks it will be a beautiful butterfly!

This black swallowtail butterfly is newly emerged from its chrysalis.

This black swallowtail butterfly is newly emerged from its chrysalis.

Its wings need to expand and dry before it can fly.

Its wings need to expand and dry before it can fly.

Almost strong enough to fly, which usually happens within a few hours after they emerge.

Almost strong enough to fly, which usually happens within a few hours after they emerge.

The detail on these tiny, fragile creatures is magical!

The detail on these tiny, fragile creatures is magical!

Another newly emerged black swallowtail drying its wings.

Another newly emerged black swallowtail drying its wings.

Photographed immediately before it took off, wings fully open and strong enough to support its first flight!

Photographed immediately before it took off, wings fully open and strong enough to support its first flight!