Thoughts On Going Back

Georgia Satyr Butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow in Big Bend Wildlife Management Area, Florida's Panhandle

I learned long ago don’t go back. When your life paths go different ways, don’t go back. Move on to other objectives, for this world provides what. hundreds of millions of them, be they people, pursuits or objectives.

It’s gotten very cool here in central Georgia, and butterflies flew here in the backyard just 2 days ago, Checkered skippers, Cloudywings, Carolina satyrs and others. Looking out this window, I admit that I miss the Monarchs that were here 3 days ago, the Palamedes swallowtail seen in October, the squads of Gulfs all over my natives garden and the exciting singletons including: Pipevinve swallowtails, Spicebush swallowtails, Giant swallowtails, Great purple hairstreak, Variegated fritillary, Long-tailed skippers and dozens of others. This garden that I dreamed of, for what? 25 years or more, has been realized. Dozens of host plants enable to to hope that next year, their 2nd year in, will be Gangbusters!

Why ‘gangbusters?’ When (and if?) my treasured Hackberries, Cedars, Hercules Clubs, Hop trees, Native Black Cherries, Asters, Hibiscuses, Coneflowers, Black willows, Spicebush, Pipevines, Hollies, Milkweeds, Clethra, Pussytoes, Mountain Mints, Sassafras, Tulip Poplars, Crotons, Magnolias . . . Yep, there all in, and if they go through this winter OK, OMG!

Where’s this headed Jeff? Well I scoured our Media Library here on, and I saw images I am proud of, images that I knew are fine, for I knew how difficult it was to capture them, and yes, images like this one of a Georgia Satyr butterfly at Big Bend Wildlife Management Area in the Florida Panhandle. It was late August, and when I got there, sunny, hot and no wind, it was everything that the article in the Spring/Summer 2015 issue of American Butterflies had suggested, loaded with southeastern butterflies.

I was there to expand my bank of good images, and to see new butterflies. Georgia satyrs, “LC” (Locally common) as per Jeff Glassberg in A Swift Guide to the Butterflies of North America, were at the top of my list. They were there, and that side tram, 2 or 3 to be found. They were very docile, and allowed approach (Macro-).

I had on a fine coat of Off! so mosquitoes did not bother me. But, the humidity was brutal, and the sweat was overrunning my headband, onto my eyes and my glasses. I remember thinking that this was Nuts! I had travelled those 4 and 1/2 hours down from Eatonton, for just these moments, and now . . .  I could barely see clearly. If only Gunga Din was there with me, handing me fresh, dry glasses every 3 minutes.

That, and the built-in light meter in my Canon film camera was not working properly. I think I remember laughing there, what can happen next, a Burma python or 11′ ‘gator appearing from the swamp, just 10 feet away? I was on my belly, and disregarding my father’s teaching: Keep your guard up, protect your face, hold your ground.

So I share this image of the Georgia with you, knowing that only the really in-to-it haver stayed, this far into this blog post. Are there schools of thought for ‘Going back?’

I am stoked for 2019, my own garden lighting me up, and the strong inner push to get back there in April 2019, when that NABA article written by David Harder, Virginia Craig, Dean Jue and Sally Jue noted that Georgia’s fly once again. Florida Fish and Game took my call and they looked forward to Big Bend being workable soon, after that terrible Hurricane several weeks ago.

If you’ve read this far, I owe you a large lollipop, for sure!


5 thoughts on “Thoughts On Going Back

  1. This is a timely post, personally, regarding going back. The years pass by and sometimes, memories flood in, esp., I guess during the short days. I once planted a garden I loved and had to leave. Once in a while, I think about it, wondering if it’s still there. I wrote a letter about the garden to the people who moved into my little home. The mother wrote back that next spring, telling me how she and her little girl loved the gardens and butterflies. I sure hope to plant another garden like that one was, where I can live by it for the rest of my life.

    Liked by 1 person

    • “Timely?’ Oh, yes, yes. Born in Brooklyn, NY, by then nearly all asphalt, concrete and brick. Married, 4 kids, work, work, work often more than 1 job. Dreams of land, garden(s), wildlife. Had spurt of success and purchased 35 acres in the rural Berskshires, MA. Lost that after business partner treachery. Move to Pittsburgh to a tiny house, tiny garden. Wife passed in ’08, remarried, Awaiting divorce now. Moved to middle ( rural ) Georgia, and now have my life’s dream of a sizable garden, where you begin in it in February and quit in what, late November, and !!!!, things want to grow, want to flourish, want to flower Plus !!!!!! butterflies by the dozens, even today. Yes, ‘dog kisses,’ your Reply sure sings to me.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you for sharing your own “going back,” while including your dreams for the future. I’m sorry your wife passed, Jeff. I think I must have met you through blogging shortly afterwards. You have been through a lot, “Brooklyn Boy.”

        You are not so far from North Carolina and if I was able to dream as you are, I would come looking for you so that you could show me some awesome wings!

        My future is up in the air and I don’t like that, but I have hope. I hope one day that I can chase a pretty butterfly, and who knows, maybe even a handsome man!


        Michelle (dogkisses).


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