The Menagerie at the Briar Patch

Anole lizard photographed by Jeff Zablow at the Butterflies and Blooms Habitat in Eatonton, GA

Jeff, why do you go back to that Eatonton, Georgia place so many times? Aren’t there so many other places that you could head to? Sounds like this makes a whole lot of sense, No?

Originally, it was that I had few images of southeastern USA butterflies, and I kept alert, looking for an opportunity to find them, and photograph them. The entire South remained a question mark to me. You just can’t drive hundreds of miles, with your Black Russian pup aboard, and have a house fly’s chance of finding a butterfly trove.

Then one day, on Facebook, I noticed mention of the Butterflies & Blooms Habitat in this sweet town in central Georgia, Eatonton. I continued seeing posts of its inception, progress, and achievements (more and more species of butterflies reporting there, and establishing populations there). I hesitantly contacted the founder of this illogical effort (illogical, for who would invest the HuGe effort needed to create a butterfly oasis, without enormous resources??).

Did I get the disinterested response I had grown accustomed to, from folks near and far, from organizations that should have Loved my interest? Uh uh! Virginia Linch practically screamed it across these 694 miles! Come, come, come. I haven’t regretted my 7 visits there, to date, not for a moment.

Never, anywhere, have I enjoyed 29 species of butterflies in a single morning. If Virginia’s plans come to fruition, that number will increase in 2017.

Butterflies and more. You never know what other animals you will see there. This summer I was searching for Monarch’s ovipositing (setting eggs on milkweed plants) and . . . look what I met? An Anole. A little, Pookie! of a lizard. Did not flee, seemed to be taking a brief pause. I looked it in the sweet little eye, did the: Should I ‘waste’ film on this svelte beaut? A no brainer. Another terrific menagerie find in the Briar Patch, in Eatonton, right in the center of town! Who woulda thunk it???


3 thoughts on “The Menagerie at the Briar Patch

  1. lol
    your notice of all things around us, given by our Creator is an absolute treat to read! not so focused on the wings you celebrate to miss what could be viewed as an ordinary and bland critter, ,as well as predator in the habitat- which is exactly WHY we have dubbed it habitat instead of garden. the checks and balances affect the survival rate of more than pollinators. and all can be overcome with the dedication of folks to provide what the majority need. Thank you so much for your ongoing interest and support of the habitat project! Your visits with and without Petra have been a blessing to all who are lucky enough to meet you.


  2. Oh I love these little guys. I had several pairs of these as pets growing up and they are fascinating little creatures. To give your reader an idea on how tame they can be, I took one to school with me one day and “wore” it on my white cardigan sweater like a fine Emerald Jade pin with obsidian eyes, and got many comments on my choice of jewelry. He was content to stay wherever I put him. That was back when mood rings were the thing and I told everyone that he was a mood pin. LOL. These little darlings change color as their mood and temperature changed, from the darkest of browns to bright green, and the males have a ruby red neck that they puff out when they are showing off for a female or guarding their territory from intruders.
    Thank you for sharing this wonderful picture that brings back such fond childhood memories. Another great nature shot from the camera of Jeff Zablow!

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