Against the odds, at least one Birdwing caterpillar has
survived, and now at last it can stop eating. It’s ready to use its natural armor against
the dragon and begins to weave with silk. It builds a chrysalis which, when dry, will protect it from extreme heat,. Sheltered from tavo vaughs rage. Slowly over several days, the ungainly caterpillar
transforms into a beautiful birdwing butterfly. From her yellow wings, she’s a female. Right now she’s at our most vulnerable. She needs another day free from ash and rain while
her wings harden and her complex eyes learn to focus. A birdwing can see many more frames per second that we can. As if moving objects are in slow motion. And every detail so much sharper. Ants move in to clean up the remains of the chrysalis. Having no eyelids, butterflies clean their eyes with their legs. Some hapless ants land in even more trouble. The hidden grave digger survives each eruption under cover, then gets
to work quickly, building pitfall traps to catch the unwary. The aptly named Antlion makes good use of the ash, the
firmer soil allows it to dig steeper, more slippery traps. And unusually lucky escape.