I took this picture years ago but just recently rediscovered it. This was taken during one of those surprise “fuck you’s” that Alaska loves to throw. It was fall and an early freeze hit Anchorage. It snowed a bit, and I remember all the locals walking around wearing shorts or heels doing their best to ignore the fact that the three months wherein Alaska is the best place on earth to live were now over. The little guy in the picture had no such luxury; he was dead. He had just started to emerge from his cocoon/chrysalis (I’m no entomologist) when the freeze hit and he found death.
Maybe he waited too long to start his transformation or maybe he just chose the wrong place (the blue background is the steel side of a shipping container which would undoubtedly be colder than a tree trunk or something) but that’s not really the point. I think this is probably the worst death ever caught on film and I’m not being superfluous. This poor little bastard had crawled from leaf to leaf as a bulbous and disgusting caterpillar just waiting for that one moment he knew would someday come. He’d be able to spread his wings and fly with grace. He’d be able to mate and complete a hallowed cycle and then die quietly with the turning of the seasons. But right when that scratch was about to be itched, right when his fully developed eyes caught sight of open air, the frost hardened his blood and he died. The crust from his chrysalis that had promised fulfillment became his funeral pall and that was that.