She’s The Sweetest Little Rosebud, That Texas Ever Knew . . .

Texan crescent butterfly (male) photographed by Jeff Zablow at the National Butterfly Center, Mission, TX

We saw quite a few of them in the National Butterfly Center in Mission, Texas. They fly low, and perch often. They were my first Texan Crescents. I took a liking to them.

I wanted to capture and share their rich coloration. This Texan female pretty much fits the bill.

Some say that are occasional migrants to my middle Georgia, though in these 4 years of visiting the Georgia Piedmont, I’ve never seen one.

It’s in my thinking to return to the Lower Rio Grande Valley late in 2019. I know where to stay, I’d rent a car, but I know of no one who will aid me in finding the hotspots there: Falcon Heights, Santa Anna National Wildlife Refuge, Edinburg Wetlands or Boca China/Rd 4?

Oh I cried so when I left her that it nearly broke my heart, and if I ever find her we never . . .

Jeff

Those Waning Birthday Hours

Unidentified Skipper Butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at Fort Federica, Saint Simons Island, GA

Five hours left in my Birthday day. Facebook has brought around 100 Birthday greetings! from so many. Some I sort of expected, but many others were a Happy surprise. I was, well a bit aglow that so many fascinating, skilled, unique people really wanted to be friends, took the time and buoyed me.

I’ve seen how some go out to find butterflies in groups, once in a while in near mobs. I almost always go solo, and I forget each year, how my singular scouring of the field impacts later on so many. The long drives, the rented cabins, VRBO’s and Homeaways (Airbnb made a poor choice recently, politically), the frequent getting skunked, the expen$ive film, for I seem to be a color purist, the late in the day return to my rental, usually with Petra just gleeful to see me. It can be isolating, if it weren’t for the Holy Cows! that happen now and then, and have me jumping for joy like a 14-year old.

Few ever reach out or volunteer to show me the treasures of their region, state. Almost never am I met and guided to favorite habitat. NABA mucky mucks never reach out and when I rarely share on NABA, the extended ‘hand’ fails to appear.

So . . . this happily received outpouring all day today, from the USA, France, Sri Lanka, Israel ,Canada, Poland, Brazil and Pittsburgh, well, I Love it!

Virginia suggested I try Ft. Federica in August, on now posh St. Simons Island, Georgia. The fort reeks of important history, what with the anticipation of a Spanish Armada sailing up the river, to be stopped or to see the slaughter of the men, women and children of that brave fort and the community built around it.

This skipper butterfly was met in the meadows there at Ft. Federica. Perhaps Curt or Ken or Dave or . . . some NABA leader will come forward and ID. This is my only image of it.

Jeff

 

My Birthday Butterfly

Plain Tiger butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at Mishmarot, Israel

My Fuji slide film (Velvia 50)? I love it, even as its price continues to climb. My eyes are so attended to the hundreds of hours that I spend in the bush. When I get my images back from Parsons, Kansas, the rich color pleases me, for it is 100% true to the real-time butterflies that I see.

Yes, tomorrow is my birthday, and it will be a quiet one. On the eve of B-day, I’ve decided to share an image taken in the HolyLand, at Mishmarot, Israel, north of Tel Aviv and 15 minutes from Caeseria, and the Mediterranean Sea.

This Plain Tiger butterfly (Danaus chrysippus chrysippus) is closely related to North America’s Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus). This Israeli one is much more difficult to approach than our Monarch. Scoring the image was not easy, and closer approach was not to happen.

I often wonder how you entertain my frequent sharing of HolyLand butterflies? Me? I think of Who? and How? Th-y saw them back then, and truth be told, I am moved by that. But with my Birthday hours away, I am going to hope that . . .

Jeff

Common Checkered-Skipper (Female)

Checkered Skipper Butterfly on Lantana photographed by Jeff Zablow in the Briar Patch Habitat in Eatonton, GA

They were rare sightings back in Pittsburgh. I don’t ever remember seeing Skipper butterflies in the New York City metropolitan area or in the Berkshire Mountains of western Massachusetts.

Here in Georgia, they are that big word, ubiquitous, seen alot, in most places. They fly low, fly away on your approach, in sum, a very at arms length butterfly.

This one here, she was seen in the Butterflies & Blooms Briar Patch Habitat in Eatonton, Georgia. I see many more males than females, so this gal, preoccupied with lantana blossoms, was a nice capture, on a hot sunny Georgia morning.

Jeff

MadMan Butterfly

Milbert's Tortoiseshell Butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at Phipps Conservatory in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Where’s this going? I was just scrolling down the more than 1,000 images saved in our media library, when I came upon this one. Instant hot memory.

I’m at the long walk to the entrance to the extraordinary Phipps Conservatory in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. A world class arboretum. The long promenade walk to the entrance is lined with hundreds of Tall Verbena. I’m there because the sum total of tens of thousands of blooms lining the walk draw scores of butterflies, they coming from the outdoor gardens and the surrounding Schenley Park.

Just like that, !!, this Milbert’s Tortoiseshell butterfly flies in. I’m startled!!! I don’t see a Milbert’s for what, 8 or 9 years or more? This one is fresh, fresh.

I’m working with my Macro- lens, and the Phipps staff Frown upon anyone stepping foot in the beds.

I’m lit-up with excitement. Buzzed with joy! Like OMG! Boy from Brooklyn meets Super Star Celebrity!!!! Got the picture?

Alone? No. Dozens of people are passing by, to and from the Phipps entrance. Dozens.

I must have looked like a possessed madman, if they had bothered to notice.  Take it or leave it, I’m bouncing around like a monkey, my face Buzzed with a capital ‘B.’ The large number of folks walking by, unaware. Totally unaware that a very uncommon butterfly, one of America’s most startling and beautiful, was just 6 to 10 feet from them!!!!

It occasionally changed its flower. They were oblivious. I was stunned by this surreal scene. Me monkeying, they passing, passing the madman, not pausing to ask, “Excuse me, why are you . . . ?”

This thing I do is often the other side of surreal, Caron, Mary, Phyllis, Deb, Angela, Barbara Ann, Leslie, Cathy, Phil, Melanie, Laura, Virginia, Kenne, Deepthi, Nancy.

Jeff