Excitement on Beechwood Boulevard

Monarch butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at Raccoon Creek State Park

Monarch butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at Raccoon Creek State ParkA

A sight for sore eyes! Petra and I arrived home last night, completing an 188 miles drive down from Frewsburg, New York. This image was captured in Raccoon Creek State Park in Beaver County, southwestern Pennsylvania. This very morning I looked out of our window, to the side yard, and its ‘peanut’ garden. And what did I see? A female monarch butterfly, like this one, flying to and fro amongst my 26 common milkweed plants. Yippee! She may then head to the 30 or so milkweeds in the front garden, and . . . set her eggs nicely there, too.

This is the 4th year that our milkweeds ( Asclepias syriaca) are in, purchased from Monarch Watch at the University of Kansas. They are beautiful this year, 5-6 footers, with big round flower heads.

We pushed off for this most recent trip on June 12th, and arrived back home on June 21st. Adams County in the south of Ohio was our destination. We met other naturalists there, and spent days visiting fens, wooded trails and prairies. Fantastic , it was, with knowledgeable friends, discovering rare orchids, showy orchids, rare botany. Why, why did America allow its prairies to be developed? They are habitat of boundless life and beauty.

My slide film ships to Kansas tomorrow, and I wait. Images of Northern metalmarks, coral hairstreaks, Baltimore checkerspot caterpillars, Zebra swallowtails on butterflyweed(!), Common ringlet, robust pipevine swallowtails and Edward’s hairstreaks, abound. I simply cannot wait to share.

Pumping that anticipation is my desire to see the fruit of my new Cannon 100mm/2.8 lens, with, with image $tabilizer. Will it, can it, deliver?

Appreciative, I am.

Jeff

4 thoughts on “Excitement on Beechwood Boulevard

  1. was so glad to see a note popup that once again, Jeff has taken the time to share a moment of his day with those of us confined to less inspirational pursuits! anticipation almost as great as yours to see what this new lens, new summer and old/new friends discover along the rarely traveled roads that our forests and prairies have become…and thrilled to know that your own monarch station is robust and beginning another generation of winged beauties!

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  2. Ah, is this the same JLZ that was so recently lamenting at the lack of monarchs in his milkweed patch? I told you if you plant it, they will come! Congratulations on your new visitor and look forward to hearing tales of her progeny to come. It is wonderful to work so hard building a butterfly haven and see all your hard work come to fruition. So happy for you !

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    • You look out the side window, at the ‘peanut’ garden, and OMG! there she was flying slowly in those closely packed milkweeds, and well, that is the path to garden “fruition.” monarchmama. Thanks.

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