Malachite Butterfly with its Wings Closed

Malachite butterfly (Ventral) photographed by Jeff Zablow at the National Butterfly Center, Mission, TX

I’m standing there, fixed in place, just 24″ from this Malachite butterfly. Fifteen minutes did it rest there, on these very same leaves, with its big wings fully open. The 5 or 6 of those in the area took their turns, approaching and scoring exposures of those open wings. I shared one of my best images just a few days ago.

With the self-assurance of a Reagan or a Churchill, it kept this perch, and closed those yummy! beautiful wings. When my turn came, I again shot, shot, shot. A perfect Malachite butterfly, seen every so often in the National Butterfly Center, Mission, Texas.  The buzz amongst the others was that this was the finest one they had ever seen.

Jeff stood there, fully captivated by the magic of the moment. Me, here in the Rio Grande River Valley, scoping a Malachite. You have to be me to fathom the triumph of those moments. I arrived in McAllen, Alamo and Mission, Texas, never having been here before. I was stunned!! I had painted this picture of these 3 towns as dusty hamlets, with one traffic light apiece. Nope. Each had a minimum of 80,000 or more people, heavy traffic, and development ongoing and planned.

That said, the National Butterfly Center with the wisdom of the sages, had bought and established this reserve, and the whole plan works, for here I am gazing at a wild, gorgeous Malachite, just miles from the Mexican border.

I felt like William Bartram, some what, 300 years ago, as he travelled through Georgia and Florida, and described them as we would describe a present day, Shanghai La. That’s how I felt, alone for minutes on a sunken trail with this Malachite.

Jeff