Panhandling, Finally

Wildflower with Skipper Butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow in Big Bend Wildlife Management Area, Florida's Panhandle

I retired in February 2007. I Loved teaching high school Biology. My Vo-tech students weren’t college bound, but together we enjoyed teaching/learning Biology. The administration of that school often made my teaching life hellish, something about me being from “New York” and more. They continued that although they knew that Frieda A”H was in the later stages of a battle . . . with Cancer. When the Oncologists told us that Frieda would need a caregiver going forward (?), she suggested that I retire and put on my caregiver hat. I retired, ‘though it did not end well . . . .

After, after the shiva (sitting and receiving friends and family) I took stock = what did I want to do with my life, to contribute something substantive? I wanted to continue photographing butterflies. Modest budget, time own. Bust-out to Bolivia, Costa Rica, Senegal, Mongolia, the Rockies? No, that was not my thinking. No getting kidnapped, no gut wrenching gastrointestinal diseases, no Bolivia bus going over the edge, with me in it. The USA was my focus, and east of the Mississippi at that. Israel too, once a year, to see Rachel and Hillel and Boaz, and to head-out to the Galilee/Golan . . . and come home and tease my Christian friends, that I stopped in at Capernum and drove past . . . .

Florida, especially northern Florida was an Oh, 25 year destination dream for me. When NABA published their first Destinations article, of the wonders of Big Bend Wildlife Management Area, that was that, I was going there. There.

Here I am in the Spring Unit of Big Bend Wildlife Management Area, near Perry Florida. The Hampton Inn was OK. Big Bend was 20 minutes away.

Oh, the wonders of that place! I worked the trails, alone (again naturally) and there was so much to see, so many new butterflies and wildflowers. Liatris was just beginning to open that late August 2016.

Native, wild Hibiscus (correct ?) were eye candy. That this little Skipper obliged and came in to nectar bespeaks of the richness of the Florida Panhandle.


2 thoughts on “Panhandling, Finally

  1. Lovely image, Jeff. I’ve always thought of skippers as gutsy little butterflies.While they are typically small, they often stand boldly in the open with their wings upright as though they didn’t have a worry in the world. This little one looks like it is about to be swallowed by the hibiscus – though we know that the little one is actually feasting on the flower. The lights and shadows in the image add to the drama.


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