I’ll Bet You Can’t Top This!

Head Start Class, photographed by Jeff Zablow at "Butterflies and Blooms in the Briar Patch," Eatonton, GA

“Pennsylvania man,” as I’m called in the fantastic March 9th front page newspaper feature story ( Eatonton Messenger newspaper of Putnam County, Georgia), urges all lovers of beauty and butterflies to visit the Butterflies & Blooms Briar Patch Habitat in Eatonton. Why do that? ? You have visited wingedbeauty for reasons: beauty, butterflies, eye-candy, nostalgia for images captures on  . . . film (real-time superior color), you like being an esthete and have to feed that habit, etc.. Some visit because they love and support Virgina C Linch, Bartow, Kelly, Cathy, Stanley, Sylbie, Lisa, Jim, Jim, Lynn, Susan and they love Eatonton, and hope that Eatonton’s leaders continue to support the Habitat.

Me? It’s the Best Place to see southeastern butterflies between Maine and the Florida Panhandle. My morning record was scored there last year, i.e., 29 different species seen in a single morning. The nectar bar for butterflies is so rich there, that hundreds fly, free and wild at any given sunny morning moment. I get it! I know and see how hard these handful of earnest supporters work there daily, to nurture it, water it in and husband it along, so that the word can go out: Virginia’s plea to plant native wildflowers in our home gardens, advancing the success of our sometimes beleaguered winged beauties.

Virginia (C Linch) always shoots for the future. Insure that our youngsters meet, watch, learn about butterflies. The good farmer that she and her Bartow are, she is ‘seeding’ the future, growing the legions of oncoming homeowners, who will remember that their hard earned home lots should, will, must, can have extensive flower beds with beautiful, hardy native blooms that bring butterflies, bees, beetles, flies and the birds, lizards and other animals that come along, too.

I’ve been there, photographing, when buses of school kids visit. It is too much fun, watching the children Ooh! and Ah! and watching dedicated, responsible teachers and teaching assistants enthusiastically show the kids butterflies, caterpillars, chrysalises and . . . eggs, often so easy to find in this extraordinary oasis for butterflies, blooms and wildlife.

Imagine the sheer magic! of this moment in time, a Headstart class, at the Habitat! Hey the scientists among you out there, quantify for me the excitement, awe and energy expended in just this one capture moment?

Virginia (SHHH! she is very modest/humble) does all this on a shoe string budget (SHHH! again, for . . . tho$e dollars often come out of her own . . . . . .!) I’ll bet you can’t top this!


2 thoughts on “I’ll Bet You Can’t Top This!

  1. tears in my eyes…once again with your crystal ball. seeing past the hype and into the heart of the habitat. am thinking that God pointed you in our direction and set both your spirit and our habitat project free to fly across so many boundaries with your writing and support, which is sooooooo appreciated! so many people have worked so hard and continue to do so and allows all to stroll, take photos and simply sit and enjoy. Your nod to our work inspires us all to continue when the physical labor, seemingly impossible hurdles and simple realities of maintaining this spot by so few volunteers would be overwhelming. Thank you for your support and encouragement, Jeff. Words are inadequate to express the appreciation felt by all of us who tend to the wings beloved by so many.


  2. You are so right! I never cease to be amazed at what I see when I stroll on the through the habitat. I haven’t been there in a few months but hope to be back there soon. Virginia is such an inspiration! I have had a small butterfly garden in my back yard in coastal Georgia for many years but I am adding more plants each year. My milkweed continued to bloom all winter this year and the Monarchs never stopped coming.

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