This a chrysalis. In it, you can see a monarch butterfly neatly tucked.
He wants out.
With enough space in the opening, the abdomen--heavy with fluid that will be used to fill the shriveled wing--begins to fall free.
And then--very quickly--he's free! I've never seen a butterfly this early in its hatch cycle. It looks strange.
He situates himself so gravity can help pull the fluid from his abdomen into his wings.
The process now almost complete, another butterfly has hatched. To my utter delight, it's been a great year for late season monarchs.