A Living Jewel

Sue Acworth with the mysterious jewel

Guest writer SUE ACWORTH

I was having a tidy-up of a bedroom window sill in order that the window cleaner could get to the inside of the window more easily. On it was a very old, leather-like jewelry box with a broken lid.

I thought that it was time to sort out the contents and throw away the box. In it were all sorts of oddments, dating from my teens – broken pendants, odd earings, edelweiss and gentian brooches handpainted on bone, which were fashionable 50 years ago!

I came across a pretty little green, seahorse-like jewel, with black spots, that I had not remembered seeing before. I picked it up and too my horror it wriggled!

The living jewel with a pair of earrings

The living jewel with a pair of earrings


The chrysalis looks pale after hatching

I then realised it was a chrysalis, but what chrysalis, I wondered. I got out my Thomas and Lewington – Butterflies of Britain and Ireland, which has very good illustrations of everything from the egg through to the butterfly.

I soon found the picture I was looking for – the Large White or CABBAGE WHITE, which, along with his friends had devastated our kitchen garden, which we had renovated for the first time after fifteen years.

Under the picture of the chrysalis it says, “markings vary depending on background; formed some distance from the food plant.”

Yes, this caterpillar had walked some 25 yards, and climbed the house, and had definitely taken on suitable markings to be mistaken for a lonely earring!

The Large White hatched unfortunately early

The Large White hatched unfortunately early


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