Splendor In The Sand

Zebra swallowtail butterflies photographed by Jeff Zablow at Mason's Neck State Park, VA. Jeff blogs about the art and science of butterflies at http://www.wingedbeauty.com

With our recent focus on Zebras, Zebra heliconian butterflies, I’ve included Zebra swallowtail butterflies, but did not share images of those zebras. Let’s remedy that here.

At a small sandy beach at Mason Neck State Park in Virginia, on the shore of magnificent Chesepeake Bay, was where I happened onto this! Zebra Swallowtail butterflies, motionless and locked together in embrace. They were both very shmeksy! Zebras, with reds, blues, that hard to describe whitish-yellow and black framing all. Not ever seen such a coupled pair since.

Funny this. After spending 13 or so summers as a boy with my Grandparents, the Polisars in their very sweet little bungalow just one block from the beach at Beach 65th Street, Arverne, Queens, New York (AKA Rockaway Beach), the beach etiquette was unwritten but universal, leave couples locked in embrace alone. Steer the widest berth, and move on. The world was complicated then too, and I guess time away from life’s ying & yangs was understood.

This pair of Eurytides marcellus remained this way for more than ½ an hour, barely moving at all. The memory of Splendor on the Beach when I was a kid, made me feel a mite sheepish about moving as close as I had to with my Canon 2.8/100mm lens. Truth be told.

Predators left them, vulnerable as they are here, alone, for those Paw Paws they consume earlier in life make them toxic to the mouth of any fool bird or insect or lizard that might have the opportunity. Amazing, No?


4 thoughts on “Splendor In The Sand

  1. another one of your amazing discoveries that thrills all who are blessed enough to follow your travels….i find myself holding my breath as my eyes race across the page while reading, even as they linger on the spectacular images you bring..wow!

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    • I am glad that you share this with us, judgeva. I know you can empathize with how Stunned! I was to come upon this pair of Zebra swallowtails, as they were. Love? Sensual? Businesslike? Thinking? or Mechanical? . . . . . . . . This was such a quizzing sight to see. And they were in their ’embrace’ on the beach! Now, which movie does this . . . . . .


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