Walking By Mushrooms

Mushroom photographed by Jeff Zablow at Lynx, Prairie Reserve, Ohio

Trails, Meadows, Forests, Fens, Roadsides, Marshes, Bogs, and Swamps. I cannot count the number of times that we work our way through diverse habitat, and there! is something new to me. Never seen before.

Me? My encyclopedic knowledge of fauna and flora is NOT encyclopedic. I have come to peace with myself, I no longer ‘Beat myself up’ for not knowing a myriad of wildlife and plants. With trees, shrubs, annuals , perennials, orchids I now am more than Happy to stop, admire, and reflect on H-s work. The overwhelming variety impresses me. That I am impressed with what I see in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Georgia, Arizona, Florida, Israel, Canada and in a few days, Texas. This all pales, when I consider that in Mexico, Alaska, Sri Lanka, Sicily, France, Bolivia, Brazil, Poland, Australia, Iran and beyond, 99.98% of species will remain unseen by these eyes.

This mushroom stopped me at Lynx Prairie Reserve in Adams County, Ohio. There, Dave and Angela and Barbara Ann approached that ‘encyclopedic’ level of species recognition. I remained silent, happily impressed.


A Skipper In The HolyLand

Skipper Butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at Crocodile Reserve, Israel

You just don’t see many skippers in the HolyLand. Coming from the United States, I think 10 times since 2008, my personal conclusion is that skipper butterflies are not found in great numbers in Israel. Why that may be so, I do not know.

Thinking that Israel’s intense summer heat deters skippers, does not work for me. I have visited the mountains west of Phoenix, Arizona several times, and I’ve seen skippers active in arroyos, when the morning temperatures flirted with 100F temperatures.

This little beaut was seen in the Crocodile River Nature Reserve, near the Mediterranean coast. We met on a trail in the Reserve, and I worked hard, trying to score a good image. This one does not resemble any of the North American skippers that I know. My Israeli field guides are not of much help.

As happens here, this one shall go unnamed, not ID’d.


Butterflies and Turtles?

Angela Carter Examining Spotted Turtle (in Trap) photographed by Jeff Zablow at Lawrence Woods Reserve, Ohio

Butterflies and Botany brought us to Prairie Road Fen, Clark County, Ohio. Once parked, we followed the demure trail, and soon entered onto the boardwalk. It followed the contour of the small creek. Rich, diverse plant life bordered our boardwalk path. Angela, Janet and I saw diverse plants, orchids and butterflies all along the way. This Reserve is of great interest to the state of Ohio, and you could see many examples of the attention that was given to the conservation of this prized wetland.

The butterflies and moths were aplenty. Orchids and moths seemed to be swept to ‘the wayside’ when Angela and Janet spotted those traps. Set about by Ohio researchers, many of the traps contained adult Spotted Turtles. My trail companions must love spotted turtles, for they could not get enough looks at them. The turtles, seemingly comfortable and at peace in their temporary shelters, cooperated, looking cute, important and very dependent on the good efforts of Ohio. Angela here examines one of the spotted turtles. That week in western and southern Ohio convinced me that Ohio is exemplary in its efforts to protect wildlife, flora and fauna.

I travel to Ohio to see butterflies, familiar and lifers ( Northern Metalmark, Edwards Hairstreak) and see, I also enjoy revisiting spotted turtles, for the second time in my rich life. Bonanza? Bonus?

June 2017.


Those Southern Viceroys

All Decked Out In Rich . . .

Winged Beauty Butterflies

Viceroy butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at the Butterflies and Blooms Habitat in Eatonton, GA

Our Viceroy butterflies here in Pennsylvania (8 hours west of New York City) are beautiful, elusive butterflies. We don’t see too many of them, they are now-you-see-me-now-you-don’t, and they are only found when 2 conditions are found together, wetlands and willow trees/bushes. No, my slide storage cabinet is not jam-packed with slides of Limenitis archippus. I have not seen as many of them as you would think. They are solitary butterflies and that means that you might see one here, see another later, a distance away there, and that second? Worn and wings bird-struck.

My trips to the U.S. southeast took me to the Land of possibilities. I might possibly find butterflies new to me. That I did: Georgia Satyrs, Giant Swallowtails, Little Metalmarks, Eastern Pygmy Blues, Zebra Heliconians (bold because that was a Kick!!), Juniper Hairstreaks, Cassius Blues, Palamedes Swallowtails, and more.

There was a type I wanted…

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Lasiommata Megara Emilyssa: the image

Inching Up to Supersonics . . .

Winged Beauty Butterflies

Lasiommata Megera butterfly photographed by Jeffrey Zablow at Mt. Meron Lasiommata Megera butterfly photographed by Jeffrey Zablow at Mt. Meron

It’s been four years. I’ve travelled to Mt. Meron in 2013, ’14, ’15 and in February 2016. This year the Israel National Parks Department closed off my favorite mountain trail. My guess is that storm damage during the winter destroyed so many Eastern Strawberry trees, that they just decided to leave the trail as is, and forbid hikers to use it.

This image of a cool brushfoot butterfly, Lasiommata megara emilyssa was appreciated back in 2013. This photo is the best I could get, for this species flees once you approach within 15 feet of it. I was pleased with this look, with its clear eyespots, wing patterns, antennae and other features. You might be wondering, Is that my shadow to the left of the butterfly?

Good for the time being as I am confident that future visits will score closer…

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