The Sorrow of Daedalus: Performing Prosthetic Surgery on a Monarch Butterfly

When young and foolhardy Icarus fell from the sky into the sea and drowned, poor Daedalus was forced to watch helplessly as his child floundered before him. Inexorably plummeting earthward to fatally kiss the face of Poseidon.

The guilt and sadness that Daedalus must have felt is appreciated by me more than ever. For today, I have failed one of my flock in a similar fashion. Today I was unable to successfully perform prosthetic surgery on a poor wayward monarch butterfly.

I was going to name her Jamie Sommers (The Bionic Woman). I thought we had the technology. I thought we could rebuild her. Faster. Stronger. But I failed and now she will be called Icarus. Here is her story…

Monarch munching milkweed
young Icarus full of promise

Icarus was born in the midst of my scattered milkweed plants that I added to my yard in to help give the monarchs a safe haven on their long journey from Mexico to Canada. It was part of my work to make my yard a certified wildlife habitat. All official like!

She and her siblings voraciously devoured the milkweed until they were fat and happy. Many of her siblings then wandered off to find a nice quiet place to begin their transformation. Much like this one here… Continue reading “The Sorrow of Daedalus: Performing Prosthetic Surgery on a Monarch Butterfly”