A Blood -Pressure Hairstreak

Gold-bordered Hairstreak Butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at The Wall, Mission, TX

This is the one that sent dozens of folks dashing to their cars. As they sped to the “Wall,” to those native bushes planted around Retama Village in Mission, Texas, many aware that their blood-pressure was heading up, most were euphoric, awaiting a chance to see this hairstreak, a Gold-Bordered hairstreak.

Why? The Lower Rio Grande Valley in Texas, U.S.A counts this one as a Rare find, one that is almost never seen in the United States.

Me? I appreciated my good fortune, meeting such a rare butterfly during Christmas week in Mission. I’d experienced this a handful of times that December week, a rare one is spotted, Mike and others send the word out via cell, and dozens and dozens of enthusiasts rush to see it.

This was the time the Brooklyn boy watched as I worked through the ring of watchers, my Macro- lens needing to get within 48 inches or less of the butterfly, unlike the rest, who all worked with long lenses. Yes, I did hear that I was felt to be “Selfish.” That? Brought this kiddo back to recalling my interesting youth, when we had to live amidst many potentially menacing guys, as in “Connected.” Truth be told, I’d sized up that mini-crowd, and as men will be, knew I could take them, one way or another.

Gold-Bordered hairstreaks unleash a flow of thoughts, for me at least.

Jeff

Garden Nostalgia

 Jeff Zablow's Perennial Beds Pittsburgh, PA, 7/10/07

You too? So many of us have warm, fond memories of gardens we established . . . and later moved away from. Memories of trillions of hearty blooms, eye pleasing designs, butterflies, bees, Ruby throated hummingbirds and more. A rose garden that my wife Frieda A”H ( OBM ) loved, for we chose herirloom roses that really were old-fashioned aromatic. Moments spent on the Victorian granite bench, oblivious to the world about, just together.

Beebalm, Shasta daisy, irises, many different salvia, oak leaf hydrangea, and so much more. A crazy beautiful back garden, much hidden from the rest of the neighborhood’s view, or from the world.

This garden, done before I became enamored of Doug Tallamy’s plant natives thinking, was in the city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (northeastern USA). Those butterflies must have come to us, daily, from quite a distance, drawn by the sweet aroma of our nectar pumping flower beds.

I sort of like sharing this post with you, for the memories of a real, successful garden warm you, much.

Jeff

Where Do I Sign Up? Really.

Earring Series - Jeff Zablow with Black Swallowtail 'Earrings' - on Arm, at "Butterflies and Blooms in the Briar Patch," Eatonton, GA

I just checked. It’s 64F right now here in Eatonton, in Georgia’s Piedmont region. 2019 saw Jeff making fewer trip to photograph butterflies than he had hoped to. Thankfully it was not a health reason, but rather my infrequent travel in the latter half of the year was due to reasons beyond my control.

People plan and G-d laughs at such, is what I have heard across my life. 2020 is though beckoning me as a Bust-Out-Year. I want to make several trips to seek out butterflies here in the South, in the United States and abroad. I LOVE (Yep! all caps) working hill and dale and meadow and swamp and fen for butterflies. I smile from ear to ear when you ‘Like’ my wingedbeauty.com posts and I grin broadly when you sometimes ‘Comment.’

This is among my Favorite of all images, credit to Sylbie Yon who happened to visit the Butterflies and Blooms Briar Patch Habitat right then, and who, when handed my camera, copped incredible images of my elation, with this pair of coupled Eastern Black Swallowtail butterflies, here on my right shirt sleeve. That elation was accompanied by my inner melt, as this was one of less than a handful of times when butterflies ignited my feeling that my beloved wife, Frieda A”H arranged for this, for the world’s most magnificent butterflies to make their landing on my arm, to remind me of how she . . .

2020 and wild, free, gorgeous butterflies? Where do I sign up? Really. (I just read in my current reading of a book, read why my Artillery unit was one of many that did not received orders to ship out to Viet Nam in ’68, me a young Artillery officer . . . )

Jeff

The Joy Of Meeting Lower Rio Grande Valley Butterflies

Fatal Metalmark butterfly (2) photographed by Jeff Zablow at the National Butterfly Center, Mission, TX

What an elixir! My trip to the Lower Rio Grande Valley was a stunning success. In Mission, I met dozens of new species of butterflies at the National Butterfly Center’s perennial gardens, trails and meadows.

Years of Oohing! and Awwing! at shared photos of those butterflies psyched me for that trip. Flew to San Antonio, drove to Alamo, Texas and we spent several days at the NBCenter, as well as the “Wall” and Bensten State Park.

That joy that I felt, over and over again, happened when I was introduced to such as this, a Fatal Metalmark butterfly. Little Metalmarks and Northern Metalmarks tantalize me, with their understated elegance and shimmering ‘metallic’ stripes.

Pics like this one stoke my excitement for what this glorious 2020 will possibly produce!

Jeff

Red Rim & New York’s Madison Avenue?

Erato heliconian butterfly (Dorsal view) photographed by Jeff Zablow at the National Butterfly Center, Mission, TX

Facebook Friends have been asking this brain energizing question today. It’s New Years Day and they’re asking what was the most exciting/amazing butterfly or bird or darner that you’ve seen this 2019?

Opened my Media Library on winged beauty.com and I went ahead and scrolled down through our what, 900 images?

Here’s where I stopped and day-dreamed. We were at the National Butterfly Center’s own trails, Nancy, John and I. It was the last week of that year. Brooklyn Boy here was reveling in the balmy 80’s that we were enjoying there, just 2 miles from the Mexican border.

There it was!! They told me that it was a Red Rim butterfly ( Biblis hyperia ). A super rare butterfly, seen by few of us, ever, and this one was so starkly fresh as to earn that coveted word, “gorgeous.” Glassberg’s A Swift Guide to Butterflies of North America ( page 238 ) describes it as “Rare.”

For this me, it evoked those years when I was paying my way through college by being a Messenger boy in Manhattan, daily after classes. Too, it brought back memories of those 14 years that I was a realtor in that very same Manhattan. I was a wide-awake kid/guy, and I always noticed the rare excellence of women and men in that wonderland of an island.

Madison Avenue there was the most likely place to enjoy such sights. I love when butterflies conjure up memories . . .

Jeff