Big Bend Bust-Out

Palamedes Swallowtail on Thistle Flowerhead photographed by Jeff Zablow in Big Bend Wildlife Management Area, Florida's Panhandle

Some hour or so after you leave Georgia, you reach Perry, Florida. This Florida Panhandle city is just 1/2 hour from this Butterfly Bust-Out destination: Big Bend Wildlife Management Area. One visit there is just not enough.

Four days there earned more Wows! and OMG’s! then almost any other destination I’ve touched ( Exceptions: The Butterflies & Blooms in the Briar Patch Habitat in Eatonton, Georgia and just weeks ago, Adams County in very southern Ohio).

At Big Bend, shown here, I didn’t just see one or two of these Palamedes Swallowtail butterflies, I saw dozens of them. These thistles shown too here were tall, robust and singing their rich color. The skippers were new to me, the Georgia Satyrs shyly came out to greet, Monarchs flew, Zebra Swallowtails showed up, all this and more. The zinger was that I had come, and had to go, before the Liatris opened to peak bloom. That article in the NABA magazine, under the new feature: Destinations, teased, sharing that you really, really wanted to be there when those thousands of Gayfeather blooms (Liatris) bugled to butterflies far and wide in that first week of September.

Won’t you agree here, that these BiG Palamedes, flying in squadrons, almost, make quite an airshow?

Early September in Big Bend, not too far into Florida,  yet far enough to savor Florida’s butterfly riches.