Sylbie at Lockerly

Sylbie Yon on Bridge photographed by Jeff Zablow at Lockerly Botanical Gardens, Millidgeville, Georgia

Back in May 2017, I wanted to see new Georgia locations, see them for their botany and the butterflies. Sympathetic to my tales of often finding myself lost on those linearly long Georgia state roads (Georgia on maps looks small . . . then I  drove Georgia, and discovered that that state of Georgia is Huge, and maps, for their own reasons, distorts the relative size of this Peachtree state, making it appear much smaller than it actually is), Sylbie offered to give me a tour of some middle Georgia botany and fauna destinations.

The drive to Millidgeville wasn’t too long, and after a quick tour of two impressive universities, George College and State University and Georgia Military College, we drove a short distance to Lockerly Arboretum. Extensive acreage featuring dozens and dozens of standout trees and shrubs, all planted by the once-time owner of this sylvan 60 acres. A fine breakaway place to take in wondrous trees and habitat.

Sylbie smiles to us here on a bridge over a flowing creek. She also does yeoman’s service as a right-hand woman to the founder and soon re-creator of Butterflies and Blooms in the Briar Patch Habitat II, now redesigned and relocated just a mile north from its 2017 location. This is a photo of a can-do, get the job done, no excuses former County Commissioner, the kind of folk who operate behind the scenes, and are instrumental in nurturing land and habitat conservation.


Who Sees Us?

Tawny Hackberry butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at Raccoon Creek State Park, PA

We got to thinking? has been posting butterflies and their tales for 6 years now. Who’s come to visit? We checked, and, well it’s something to consider. Visits are registered as ‘views.’ We sought the answer.

We’ve been visited by people from 133 countries. I liked that, for it meant that Virginia C Linch’s Briar Patch Butterflies and Blooms Habitat has come to the attention of folks in every corner of the world.  Eatonton, Georgia, brought to the attention of folks in Syria, Mongolia and Chile.

Me? It’s fascinating to find where we’ve enjoyed heavy web traffic (the USA of course, with more than 360,000,000 people) and unexpectedly light traffic (Peoples Republic of China, with 1,6000,000,000 people who have registered only 55 views).

Make of this what you will: Canada – 1,679 views    Israel – 1,305 views     United Kingdom – 938 views     Brazil – 557 views     India – 445 views     The Netherlands – 382 views     Australia – 283 views     Switzerland – 270 views

Germany – 247 views     France – 218 views     Japan – 72 views     Sri Lanka – 69 views     Mexico     – 65 views     Saudi Arabia – 54 views     Viet Nam – 23 views     Slovenia – 16 views     Iraq – 8 views     Estonia – 7 views

Panama – 5 views     Tonga – 4 views     Puerto Rico – 2 views     Kazakhstan – 1 view     Guatemala – 1 view     Uzbekistan -1 view     Iran – 1 view     Bosnia & Herzegovina – 1 view &  Bhutan – 1 view

This image shared here is one of my all times favorites. Prints of it hang in the homes of friends whom I admire. Why is it a favorite of Jeff’s? It’s stark beauty, regal pose and to me, improbable wing dimensions continue to mesmerize me, honest. That it has been seen by many, and that it may well have pleased and teased many, is the ballast that helps me sail on.


Lycaena Phlaeas on the Slope of Mt. Hermon

Lycaena Phlaes Butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at Neve Ativ, Israel

I was seeing a whole lot of Lycaena thersamon those 3 mornings on the slope of Mt. Hermon. Two threatened Coppers, Lycaena asabinus and Lycanea ochimus fly there, but they begin to eclose in June. I was there in April. No problema. I was sure that sooner or later I’d spot another Copper, Lycaena phlaeas.

Three mornings of driving up that torturous mountain road, big time driving for me, reaching sharp curves and would you not know it, enjoying (?) 18-wheelers come down as I meet the near hairpin turn! Nope. Not giving into my mountain road discomfort. Learned that in Ft. Dix, New Jersey. Press on, show confidence and feel confident. You can do it. I mostly have, ever since Papa Company.

Day 2 on the mountain, in the fields surrounding Neve Ativ. Scoping the tiny Coppers as they worked these itty bitty yellow blooms, and there he was, finally. Lycaena phlaeas. A handsome looking male, and he was serious nectaring intently.

He’s a play in orange, black, white red, black spots and more.

Coppers on the biblical Mt. Hermon, way, way up on the mountain, thankfully on the peaceful side. No rockets or mortars coming over those days. Just coppers and more.


Skipper Flies to Thistle. Perfect.

Skipper Butterfly on Thistle photographed by Jeff Zablow at Clay Pond Preserve, Frewsburg, NY

Adams County, Ohio? A destination for sure. We were there the last week in June 2017. We had varied hopes. Most in our little group were focused on wildflowers and rare orchids. We were seeing wildflowers that were new to me, again and again. I was having too much Fun! Every trail promised. New wildflower. New to me tiny, robust, little orchids, that they told me were Oh so difficult to find. There they were.

Every 20 feet promised the appearance of terrific butterflies. Northern Metalmark! Edwards Hairstreak! Big, fresh Great Spangled Fritillaries. You’ve gotta love them Coral Hairstreaks. Neat Skipper butterflies, that Joe and Dave knew. Truth be told, I may have a Skipper block. Absent a skipper mentor, I find myself flummoxed when having to ID skippers. But! But . . . I still love meeting them, and trying to figure out which is which.

I passed this little patch of thistle-like wildflowers. My inner self told me to go back and photograph them. Moved into position, prepared to click my exposure . . . and then, Eureka!! This very shmeksy skipper flew in and began nectaring.

So here we are, Angela, with a wildflower I am not sure of . . . and Dave K, a skipper I am not sure of. What am I sure of? I’m sure I love sharing this with y’all. This at Prairie Road Fen Reserve, Ohio.


More HolyLand Views: Nimrod’s Fortress

View From Neve Ativ SW To Nimrod's Fortress photographed by Jeff Zablow at Neve Ativ, Israel

Each time we share a new look of the HolyLand, we enjoy increased traffic here. There are friends among us who relish seeing the real, actual vistas that our Patriarchs and Matriarchs actually walked. They note that they have never seen beyond the picture postcard routine views of Israel, Jerusalem, Bethlehem, the Galilee, The Dead Sea, Negev, Haifa, Tiberias . . .

You may remember that at times I gently, patiently tease, challenging them to book, fly El Al with its multiple layers of Security and comfort. Truth be told, I’ve to date not succeeded with a single ‘I just booked my flight to Ben Gurion Airport.’ I get back to them with, if you’ve been dreaming of your trip to the HolyLand for what, 36 years, why not go? Many of you have the wherewithal. I resist group tours. If you have worked hard all your working life, and have achieved some, hire a private guide for 2 or 3 days, and never forget the experience.

This look is from the slope of Mt. Hermon, the little village of Neve Ativ. We are looking westward to the Upper Galilee region. Beyond the horizon, straight ahead of us, is the bluer than blue Mediterranean Sea. That raised fortress that you see in the right, mid-ground, reachable by a steep, winding road (good surface, as all  Israeli roads) is King Nimrod’s Fortress. I leave the history of it to you. The mid-ground is the valley that stretches all the way south to Yom Kinneret, the huge lake. All you Christians know better than I, Who was born there, grew up there, and began teaching there. Won’t you ever visit there, and experience Where It All Began? Where you’ve thought about, all those Sundays of your youth?

The roads are excellent with very light traffic and excellent signage (I  don’t use GPS). They are lightly populated by humans and generously by butterflies. Butterflies. Mimi?