Edwards Hairstreak at Lynx Prairie

Edwards Hairstreak photographed by Jeff Zablow at Lynx Prairie Reserve, Ohio

Surrounded by a sea of gentle green, this Edward Hairstreak butterfly is a fine Rx for this January 20th, 2021. Reminder for all that we sit upon a treasure trove here, long known as the United States of America.

I’m near finishing my 4th (5th?) reading of The Travels of William Bartram by William Bartram. Few of you’ve read it. If you want to visualize what Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Alabama and such were like in 1777 or so, this is a book you will love. Now, “love” is a strong Rx, but, if you’ve longed to see what the South looked like before it was ‘dozed, this is your dreamed of read. Bartram was a British botanist, and his telling of the botany, bears, ‘tygers,’ Meleagris and millions of birds in flight is riveting. That and his dozens and dozens pages of his time with the Creeks, Cherokees, Seminoles, Ocmulgee, Chactaw peoples? I loved it. I have often dreamed of walking into their ‘towns’ (Bartram carefully describes their buildings [yes buildings], gardens, orchards, etc.) as they were, and I continue to dream such.

This Edwards image sends me thataway, yearning for a time when the highways, roads lined with stores, tire shops and shopping centers did’t exist. He writes one destination where the entire land, level to more than 7 miles extant, is covered with Cornus florida, the American dogwood tree. I crack my brain thinking that today, that’s all gone, bulldozed into who knows what. That was Florida.

Look how a single image, seen in Adams County, Ohio, a handful of miles from the Kentucky border, can set me near adrift . . . . . . . . . Kudos to Angela.


Petra And That Number ’11’

Jeff Zablow and his dog, Petra photographed by Jenny Jean Photography

Many of you have puppies and kittens. I’ve enjoyed reading of your love for your kitty cats and your pups. I’ve paused at times, when some of you share the sadness and pathos with the passing of those ‘best friends.’

Petra celebrates her 11th in May 2021. She still loves life, though our walks have shortened and her naps lengthened. I still know that few will risk entering our home to do naughty, for at 98 pounds, she looks too formidable, too able to respond. This ‘boy’ from Brooklyn has appreciated that, this last decade.

On walks, strangers have stopped and asked of her, and asked how old she is. On hearing that she is 10 years old, inconsiderate folks have said, “Oh, I’m sorry.” I’ve shot back “Sorry. Why sorry?” Them: Oh because those large breeds usually don’t live more than 9-10 years . . . . It’s happened 3 or 4 times, and it rocks my boat, it upsets.

How do I fortify myself for what necessarily must come? I ask. Losing Frieda A”H (“OBM”) was shattering, it was.


In The Presence Of G-d’s Beauty (Tiger Swallowtails & More)

Tiger swallowtail butterfly photographed by Jeffrey Zablow at Raccoon Creek State Park in Pennsylvania

Flashing through  my mind are those times I’ve relished, alone and in the presence of extraordinarily beautiful butterflies. What triggered this? Moving through the images in wingedbeauty’s Media Library, I stopped here, at this image of an early morning moment, an eye-popping female Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly, she resting on a trailside leaf in Raccoon Creek State Park in Hookstown, southwestern Pennsylvania. That’s some 7 and 1/2 hours drive due west of New York City.

I knew, and I savored knowing that I was staring (gaping) at G-d’s finest work. That I was able to score exposures of this beauty much pleases me. So much that we see is Photoshopped. Not here. This was her amazing, very real.

I’m a very visual guy, and I cherish many mental images of beauty, both of butterflies and of women I’ve been fortunate to have crossed paths with. Those memories buoy me, especially in this interesting times.

Friends smile remembering horses, cars, eclairs, their paintings, puppies, enterprises they’ve nurtured, photographs of landscapes, gardens created . . . . Me? The above.


Appalachian Brown in 2021?

Appalachian Brown Butterfly II photographed by Jeff Zablow at Prairie Fen Reserve, Ohio

I seek and photograph butterflies because I love it. I totally enjoy arriving at our refuges, parks and incredible roadside spots, with the goal of finding and sharing images with you. We are a select group, esthetes who appreciate the finite beauty of butterflies, especially fresh, robust butterflies.

2021 is already yet a year I will not ever forget. I need an elixir, truth be told to restore in me, the calm and assurance that I usually feel. My hope is to fill that Rx with frequent drives to find and approach the butterflies of Georgia, northern Florida and nearby Alabama. Some of this will be solo, and I’m encouraged that some of it will be with the assistance of new and recent friends. They’ve offered their time and participation, and that is great news!

I sure want to find these Appalachian Brown butterflies in April, May and June. Where? In wet wooded areas, mostly near swamps. Keep your ears pealed for my war whoop! if I’m successful, for it will sound as a faint, brazen yell, coming to you from some pristine, amazing and remote place! Thanks Kim.