It’s Been Years W/O Milbert’s

Milbert's Tortoiseshell Butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at Raccoon Creek State Park

When you pause, to devise your list of things you miss you rediscover how much you enjoyed such, and maybe you allow yourself to imagine . . . how Happy! you’d be to be reunited with those sustainable memories. Sitting here now, my mind is awash with them, the things I deeply miss. Share them? No, they are personal to me, and surely don’t resemble any you have on your own list.

I will mention a butterfly that I would Love to see again. It’s been about a decade since I last saw a Milbert’s Tortoiseshell butterfly. This is a butterfly that flies in to blooms at high speed, then nectars lazily for quite a long time. If you’re positioned nicely, it will tolerate careful approach, and will often allow you to continue following it from bloom to bloom.

This one flew to Teasel, shown here. It was a good stand of Teasel and Common Milkweed at Raccoon Creek State Park in southwestern Pennsylvania. The modestly colored lower wing surface does not prepare you for the spectacular color display of the upper wing surface. OMG!! I had the Honor of seeing what few have seen. This butterfly opened its wings fully, and I was standing just a few feet away. I saw the fabled dance of ‘fire’ as the sun’s powerful summer rays lit the wings ‘ablaze.’ At that angle to the wings, it looked like the wings were on fire!

I saw Milbert’s again in the gardens flanking the walkway to the entrance to the Phipps Conservatory in Pittsburgh. It was nectaring in the planted beds. I was shooting Macro- and the Phipps folks do not tolerate anyone stepping into those flower beds. For that, my Milbert’s images there do not have the intimacy of this image here.

Truth be told, it’s been years since, and I’ve off and on thought that it’s time to get reacquainted. Where? Canada.

Jeff