No guide, no tips from experts, just field guide and maps, and in March 2015 I found these Protected Parnassian butterflies in Israel, minutes by foot from the border with Lebanon.
With the guidance of a local expert, I savored Lady Slipper orchids in the southwestern tip of New York State. No Brooklyn this! Then Clay Pond, and Ackeley Swamp in Pennsylvania. On to the Jamestown Audubon Center, where the Welcome! door is swung wide open! And, JAC’s reserve has . . . butterflies!
Accepted an invite to visit the Briar Patch Habitat in Eatonton, Georgia, and was rewarded with an ongoing mob of gorgeous southern butterflies. Met new friends, and soon was swamping with Rose and Jerry in Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge, chasing rare Satyrs in the swamp. Phil, a Ranger at Hard Labor Creek State Park introduced me to cane wetlands and other extraordinary habitat. Georgia, a butterfly destination.
Back on my own, I resourced an article in NABA’s magazine, and drove down from Eatonton to Perry, Florida. Big Bend Wildlife Management Area was some seven miles from my Hampton Inn, and love at first sight.
Then it was walking with a local expert who introduced me to Kelso swamp, 18 miles from my home, created by beavers some time ago, and looks to me that if it is not conserved by the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, it will one day, not too far away . . . be developed. Then no herons, no beavers, no frogs, no snakes, and . . . no butterflies.
Those of you who visit regularly will taste some more than 120 images, soon to be posted, one by one.
2016? G-d willing will be . . . !