Regal Surprises JZ

Full dorsal view of Regal Butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow in Fort Indiantown Gap Military Reservation, PA

I’ve got to rethink this. This is my 3rd post of a butterfly I thought I’d never get a chance to meet. Start at the Maine/Canada border and drive down to the Keys, and you will have passed only a single population of these Regal Fritillaries. Rarer than rare. Over a decade, I would contact those who could get me through to the military post where they live, and I would enjoy not a single response. Frustration led to Oh well! those butterfly mucky mucks . . .  and I let it go, until someone posted on Facebook, that the annual Open House to view Regal Fritillaries was to be for four days in June.

Booked it, Licketysplit! Then June 10, 2015 arrived, and Thank You G-d! there I was at Ft. Indiantown Gap, Pennsylvania, some 40 minutes east of Harrisburg (known on Jeopardy! as the capitol of Pennsylvania).

I was The Kid in the Candy Shop. Would you look at this male! His ancestors flew within ¼ miles of my childhood street in Brooklyn, New York, and now you need a military escort to see him.

Speyeria idalia, extirpated from Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, New York, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, West Virginia, District of Columbia, North Carolina, and maybe, maybe Virginia (a secret that may or may not have basis).

Why have I entitled this post Regal Surprises JZ? Uh, because the 2 posts of Regals I’ve already shared . . . barely created a ripple on this blog and our social media outlets. Funny how it is when the $challenged kid finally enters the candy shop. Where are the bugles and drums to celebrate the enormity of the moment?

Jeff  a.k.a
The Kid in the Candy Shop

5 thoughts on “Regal Surprises JZ

  1. Unfortunately not all people have the same fascination and appreciation of these winged jewels. They perhaps never have experienced the fulfillment of a long term dream come true, or how long you waited to see this endangered beauty before it’s habitat reduces it to a range that has shrunk drastically to the point of extinction.
    I hear the fanfare of bugles and drums, and your increasing number of readers do too, even if they do not comment often or take the time to hit the like button!
    Carry on sharing your images and thoughts with as many as you can as it is a message that needs to be heard – that our stewardship over these diminutive life forms has to be better managed, before we lose the most precious of creatures that do so much to make our hearts soar as they flutter around us. Carry on with your head held high!


    • Monarchmama, Thank you for one of the most moving encouragements I have ever received. Every single butterfly seeker I have ever met embodies your message, and yes we are few in number, but as you write, all search/seek with their “head[s] held high.”


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