Pinks at Blackwater!

Pink Lady's Slipper wildflower, photographed by Jeff Zablow at Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, MD

Butterflies are my game, ‘though last year my eyes wandered a bit, to native orchids. Just 2 days ago we shared ‘3 Demure Pinks.’ Those Pink Lady’s Slipper orchids lit up the forest at Chapman State Park. Three of them growing side by side, deep red, and very earnest.

This earlier trip to Maryland’s Eastern Shore, included this run down to the “lower shore.” There, at Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, I met this threesome. Very Audrey Hepburn-ish, and somewhat lighter pink. They seemed to be almost begging me to photograph them, with those weightless drops of water perilously hanging on each of them.

Lady’s Slipper orchids prefer small open spaces in thick forest. Often they are found where a tree has fallen a year or more ago. That sudden break in the forest canopy, invites their seeds to grow, thrive, in the limited, dappled sunlight that this new opening in the forest enjoys.

I Love orchids, and as if my eyes weren’t busy enough, I am on the lookout, looking for telltale indicators, like freshly created mini-openings in the forest.

Tomorrow, we drive to Eatonton, Georgia, for 2 weeks of southern butterflies. The Briar Patch Habitat, an amazing destination, beckons. We’ll be quiet, until the return back home.

Jeff

3 Demure Pink’s

Pink Lady's Slipper wildflower, photographed by Jeff Zablow at Chapman State Park, NY

June 2016, and Petra and I stayed in cabin CC! at Chapman State Park, awaiting the Presentation that I would give on June 3rd at the Jamestown Audubon Center. Western New York is lush, beautiful, and the Mother Lode for wildlife and wildflowers.

I reconnoitered the very same spot we found the year before, at about the same stretch of June. Could not find what I was looking for the first day I searched, but the next day there they were. A loosely spread-out grouping of Pink  Lady’s Slippers. America’s favorite native orchids.

The operative word is ‘demure.’ Random House’s Webster College Dictionary define demure as coyly decorous. These 3 wildflowers struck me as little princesses, coyly posed there, shyly presenting their radiant freshness and beauty.

I Love these blooms. They set my heart ablaze, TBT.

Jeff

NB, We leave for Georgia in 2 days. Will be offline during that time, and I’ll be scouring that sylvan state for winged beauties and green, lush wildflowers . . .

 

The Perils of Playing Favorites

Tawny Hackberry butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at Raccoon Creek State Park, PA

Tawny Hackberry butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at Raccoon Creek State Park, PA

Just saw a movie last night, Netflix provided “August, Osage County” produced by the Weinstein brothers. Sadder than dirt. Family strife and fracture in the plains of Oklahoma. Much of it featured unfulfilled dreams, childhood abuse and neglect, and  especially the perils of playing favorites.

We worked hard to not ever do that with my 4. I think we did well. I’ve seen the effects of it in extended family and friends and acquaintances, and it pains to see the sadness and misery that it breeds.

Scrolling down our Media Library, I stopped here. Reminded how I so value this image of a Tawny Emperor female. I will  always remember that morning. She was eye-popping, as she rested there in the early morning sun’s first rays. Had never seen the likes of her before. She did not give me the brushoff, but suffered my close approach! I shot, shot, shot and shot, shot, shot, then it struck me. The only reason a beauty like this would remain in place, was . . . she must be ill. Moments later, defying my diagnosis, this Tawny flew, no, better, zoomed away at the speed of one of those new F-35’s.

This image pleases me, reminds me, triggers me to remember, and always treats my eyes to delicious eye-candy. It hangs in my living room, and there are 2 more original prints out there, archivally framed and hanging in homes, and I hope pleasing whomever regularly enjoys them. This is one of my favorites.

Jeff

People Plan . . . and G-d Laughs

Wildflower photographed by Jeff Zablow in Big Bend Wildlife Management Area, Florida's Panhandle

This was a saying the previous generations used to share with one another, and we kids just flicked it off, grandparents! As as many of us now know, we should have afforded them even more gravitas, then we did.

The plan is to leave Pittsburgh in 4 days, and drive to Eatonton, Georgia. During the 2 weeks there, there was a sub-plan. Repeat the 2015 Huge Success!! of a run down to Big Bend Wildlife Management Area, in the Florida Panhandle. That 4-day Victory trip was OOh La La! I would turn and there was a butterfly new to me, then finish shooting it out, turn and OMG! another lifer for me, and just total buzz! excitement.

Timed perfectly this year, this time with the Liatris in Full Bloom, and SLIGHT HITCH has occurred. My PLAN now confronts the news, that tropical storm Hermine hit the Florida Panhandle at, you guessed it, at, at Big Bend. What must this Paradise, of blooms, like this one, look like now?

People Plan . . . and G-d Laughs (at our plans). No?

Jeff