Virginia. She knew that while in Georgia, my short List had Zebras at the tippy top. More than once she urged me to contact Mike, in Kathleen. Always reluctant to impose, I finally did. The drive to Kathleen, Georgia (What a Name!) took a bit under two hours. Oh, that includes the lost part, TBTold.
Mike and I hiked to where he enjoys seeing Zebra Heliconian butterflies. He said that they’d be just off the path, in that heavily green area. Then, there one was. Eureka! Heliconius charitonius. How they stand out so starkly, from that all green background. Other quickly appeared. They flew in, then flew back in the thick growth, then others flew in. Some came to nectar, then flew back to where they came from. Passionflowers dominated there.
I was caught between gazing/admiring and pursuing. The challenge here was clear, to get close enough with my Canon Macro- lens, I had to plough into the thick growth. That decision took 1/10,000th of a second. I ploughed and pursued, Thank G-d not meeting an snake, but there were those brief stinging sensations on my left leg. I jumped 20 feet when I felt them . . . and that night treated 5 nasty fire ant bites.
I tell you, You had to be there. Mike was fantastic, patient and acting as spotter for me. It was a single day of me and the Zebras, but you know, I’m from New York, and I’ve seen Broadway shows aplenty. Me thinks that I will remember these Zebras longer than I’ll remember Oklahoma!, Hair, Fiddler On The Roof or Cats.
Back in Eatonton, my field guides filled it all in. They are pollen-feeders, and that gives Zebras, male and female, additional benefits, including longevity. They haves especially keen eye-sight and they remember where they found nectar/pollen in the past. Nice.
Thanks Mike, who also is a very talented authority on Southern wildflowers. Kathleen, she delivered.