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.


4 thoughts on “The Perils of Playing Favorites

  1. elegantly poised, in all the rich, glowing shades of copper,( etc discussed before) a queen, giving an humble admirer (Jeff) a glimpse of what is true and honest in a complicated world outlined in the beginning of this story…ending with the joy of flight while dropping the weight of the world


  2. This is a very beautiful image – in more ways than one.

    It is interesting how the movie was so terribly sad, especially the “playing favorites” among children in the family. And to settle yourself inside, you went to one of YOUR “favorites”.

    This is one of the blessings of photography – that we can re-experience the gifts received in nature at the moments we most need them. How beautiful too that this image brings up for you a positive family remembrance (I assume, given that it hangs in your living room).

    Thanks for sharing this with us.

    Liked by 1 person

    • To go further, in the matting, at the lower right, is a small cut-out area, prepared by the skilled framers, and showing in there is an original calligraphy, in Hebrew, and written by a distinguished Rabbi, now gone. It is 4 words, taken from the daily morning service. They roughly translate, “How Beautiful Are Thy Works, G-d.”
      It is whenever I glance at it, a gentle reminder . . . .
      Thank you Mary.


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