Pursuing Zebras

Zebra heliconian butterfly sipping nectar, photographed by Jeff Zablow at Kathleen, GA

A couple of hundred miles north of their range, there they were, as Virginia and Mike said they’d be. My first thought when we met them, ‘Just as they’d be in Broward County or Naples!’ Or Cuba! I was so reminded of my first encounter with Regal Fritillaries, with Georgia Satyrs and with Gemmed Satyrs.

Pursuing Zebra Heliconian butterflies is brain Good. There have been more than 1 or 2 who have, sort of smugly, a slim smile forming at the corner of their mouth, repeated what I had just shared with them, they saying “You photograph butterflies!?” Not one to criticize others, let me say that I don’t know what sensual/intellectual stimulation their fun activities deliver for them? I do know that my field work, seeking and scoring images of rare and not rare butterflies delivers. Delivers big! Mike calmly let me know when that first Zebra appeared out of that Passionflower vine thicket, and I just shot to attention. Electrified, was I.

We watched as 2 or 3 of them left the vines, and flew from deep shade to blossoms. Minutes later they again flew back into the net-like vines, and . . . a couple of other Zebra flew out into the sunlight, replacing the first group. Then this 2nd group flew into the shaded passionflower. Electrified, as if we were in Cuba, a couple of hours out of Havanna, or in the NABA Butterfly Center near Mission, Texas. As if hundreds of NABA members visited to see, responding to an invite on NABA-Chat.

Pursing Zebras keeps on giving. it’s been months since that summer ’16 day, but I keep reminiscing, Jeff among the Zebras, my own well, hole-in-one.

What’s left to see? Are you kidding? Goatweed leafwing, Diana fritillaries, Cofaqui Giant skippers, Seminole Texan Crescent, for now. If you can deliver any one these, be like Dick Tracy, and let me know.


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