No Butterflies, No Wildflowers, No Bees

Wildflower photographed by Jeff Zablow at Raccoon Creek State Park, PA

I keep staring at this August 2014 image, captured at Raccoon Creek State Park, in southwestern Pennsylvania. For our many friends abroad, this is almost an eight-hour drive, due-west, from New York City.

The critical elements are all there, hardy wild- flowering plant, Dame’s Rocket (Hesperis Matronalis) an alien, member of the mustard family, verdant plant life, and that tiny bee, on its way to gather nectar from the depths of the flowers. Viewed on my Porta-Trace lightbox, this mini-bee is sharp, and healthy. It is 1 of 2 bees in the photo.

Boy, do I wish that I could go there tomorrow morning and take it all in. Can’t do that, so instead I continue to plan for travel in 2015, headed to new, far away, sunny (?) butterfly destinations. Georgia, Colorado, Arizona, Illinois, Maine, Ontario and Israel. Car, plane, foot, horseback (?) and sampan. Well, horseback and sampan . . . .

I’ve also substituted by reading, lately those have been sequels to Wild America, the fab read about Peterson and Fisher’s 100-day sprint through 1953 American wildlife. I’m now ⅓ through one of those sequels, Looking For The Wild by Lyn Hancock. Before that, Return To Wild America by Scott Weidensaul. These accounts fill in so many questions that I’ve had about the state of the Land in these United States.

Yes, no butterfly to be seen in the accompanying image, but that bee has its own winged beauty.


4 thoughts on “No Butterflies, No Wildflowers, No Bees

  1. I love this photo composition with the sharp edges of the foreground flower against the soft greens in the background. Then looking to the right of the flower, I notice the bee position in open space as if it ready to land on the flower any moment. It is fun to imagine what will happen to the bee.

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  2. Such a lovely photo! That is one tiny bee! I also enjoy looking at photos I’ve collected of different plants and the, “winged beauties,” they attract.

    Your reading materials sound wonderful and I hope your travels in the new year are awesome! I love Colorado and hope to visit AZ one day.

    Have a beautiful day!


  3. Jeff, that is a dame’s rocket (Hesperis matronalis), an invasive exotic. Although it can be a good nectar plant, it crowds out native plants.


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