April 17, Day 32 of Quito’s COVID19 lockdown.
I wake before dawn and check my phone. It opens to my calendar and helpfully reports “no upcoming destinations.” I amble out to the living room and as the sun rises I notice something odd in the upper third of our window. For the last few days I thought it was a pale yellow smudge on the outside of the pane but today I take the time to look more closely and find that the smudge is a clutch of eggs laid on the inside of the glass.
What mother chose this spot for her offspring?
Her creative geometry dazzles me.
All those creatures waiting, their lives unfolding and soon they will emerge with new eyes to take in the expansive city and the mesmerizing volcano beyond.
I rummage through my storage closets and find a package of picture hangers encased in carton with a small plastic viewing window. It’s perfect. I empty it out, strip off the carton, set the viewing window over the clutch of eggs and seal it with scotch tape. I step back and admire this makeshift incubator. I worry momentarily that they may need fresh air or that perhaps they will scorch from the sun. But what can I do? This is where their mother laid them and this is how I can best watch over them without risking a mass caterpillar escape through our apartment.