This Year 2015

Wild Bergamot wildflowers photographed by Jeff Zablow at Raccoon Creek State Park, PA

Oconee National Forest in Central Georgia, the Jamestown Audubon Center reserve in Western New York,  and the Allegheny National Forest in Northwestern Pennsylvania were joyous visits for me, new regions, new butterflies and new wildflowers. With 2015 fully in progress, I went to Doak Field in Raccoon Creek State Park last Thursday, July 2nd. As I worked those Southwestern Pennsylvania trails, there were surprises in store. Darners were flying in squadrons in 2014. I met few on July 2nd. Butterflies were many in ’14, I encountered relatively few this time, and didn’t fill a roll of Fuji slide film. Common milkweed are present in good numbers, but with the sun out, little wind blowing, I found no Monarchs and very, very few swallowtails.

When I rounded the bend on a trail cut through the meadow, where hundreds of Wild Bergamot (pictured here) greeted me in 2014, there are very few to be seen on July 2, 2015.

No, Monica, we don’t get bored in the field, for each year brings its owns mysteries and surprises. The camera lens must be cleaned, for you Never know what’s to be around the next bend.

Jeff

The Question? The Loss . . . .

Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at Raccoon Creek State Park, PA
I hope the Question is, ‘Where has Jeff been lately, what with no new posts on wingedbeauty.com?’ After all, butterflies are now  . . . flying.

Regretfully, the answer is Jeff is getting over the passing of his father on May 16, 2015 in the VA Military Hospice in Dublin, Georgia. The question asked so often, ‘How old was he?’ 100 years old. The Hospice, his second since the massive stroke in January, kept anticipating his imminent passing, though he fought that too, and left us months later.

Butterflies. I watched them as Jack Zablow was buried in the Georgia Memorial Veterans Cemetery in Glenville, Georgia, with full military honors. I watched those winged beauties as they flew here and there in the cemetery. They have this wonderful effect on me, and helped as I stood with my brother, Stanley, bereaved on a gorgeous Georgia day. Butterflies just make me feel good, truth be told.

This male Tiger Swallowtail allowed my very close approach on that 2014 morning in Trails at Raccoon Creek State Park , up north here in Pennsylvania. Fresh, strong, and very shmeksy.

Butterflies tantalize my eyes, make me smile, challenge me, and . . . remind me of those who have meant so much to me. See one of my Mourning cloak posts, for my magical moments in 2008.

Thanks.

Jeff

Pipeline Swallowtail on Bergamot Flowerhead

Pipevine Swallowtail Butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow as it perched on Bergamot flower at Raccoon Creek State Park in Pennsylvania, 7/31/14
It’s nice to see this again.  July 31st, 2014, amidst a sea of Bergamot blooms. Color me happy-lucky. Butterflies here and there. Sphinx moths zooming in and out. Bumble bees, whose well being is much fretted over nowadays, abundant. Wasps patroling, and ruby throated hummingbirds there, and over there, and there. When the bejeweled butterfly suddenly appeared, that’s when you faintly heard my Thank You! This image, Fuji slide film, macro-, hand-held was one of several dozen that I popped off. I just reviewed the slide on my Porta-Trace lightbox. I nailed the right wing undersides, the right side of the abdomen (with those nifty spots), the right compound eye and a short bit of the proboscis. It looks like the scan gave up a bit of that. Ugh! What a rush, when a Pipeline swallowtail butterfly magically appears before a photographer of butterflies in Doak field, Raccoon Creek State Park, southwestern Pennsylvania. Just can’t get jaded in this ‘line of work.’  Jeff

Celebrity Shock!

Pipevine Swallowtail  Butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow as it perched on Bergamot flower at Raccoon Creek State Park in Pennsylvania, 7/31/14
I’ll never forget taking an elevator down in the arts deco Fuller building at Madison and E. 57th Street. It stopped. In walked Diana Ross. She was . . . more beautiful than I’ve ever seen her. Taller than I expected, too. We chatted, alone. I knew I’d never forget how beautiful and graceful she was. Never have. Remember too, when on a NYNY street, there was Mike Tyson striding down the sidewalk, with a comely blonde on each arm. Mike!

With thousands of Bergamot blooms fresh and pumping nectar, I knew that butterflies would come, to join the bees, flies, moths and hummingbirds who already were at work, imbibing sugary nectar.

Sure enough, in swooped a large, black butterfly, straight to the Bergamot. Here’s our Pipeline Swallowtail, beaming out its oranges, iridescent blues, and white, all on a starkly black background.

Diana, Mike, and Pipevine, all in the same league: The big leagues.

Jeff