Costume designer Romy McCloskey recently used the skills the precision work of her hand embroidery and embellishments to help save the life of an injured Monarch butterfly. Raising and releasing these beautiful creatures is a pastime that many have taken up in an effort to save the species, which is decreasing in population. McCloskey recently began her involvement with Monarchs after finding a few caterpillars in her yard this past autumn.
At just three days old, McCloskey gave this injured butterfly a new lease on life by repairing its broken wing. The injury was sustained while it was pupating, the final stage of development before an adult butterfly emerges from the chrysalis. In this state, the insect would be unable to fly, as butterflies rely on wing symmetry to aid in their flight. And with a short lifespan of just two to six weeks for most Monarch butterflies, they are done with their growth once they emerge as adults.
Luckily, using a delicate touch, there are ways to help that don't require any special tools. After watching a video her friend had sent her, McCloskey felt up to the task. “I figured, since I do so much designing, cutting, and putting together of costumes… I could give this a go.”
Follow along to see how the surgery went, and what became of this little guy afterward!