Moving Experiences

Empress Leila Butterfly photographed by Jeffrey Zablow in White Tank Mountains Regional Park, Arizona

Those Emperors in that White Tank Mountain Regional Park in west central Arizona sure caught my attention. In a bone dry arroyo, they flew alone, short distances, and almost always returned to the same spot that they left moments before. They much resembled Hackberry Emperors and Tawny Emperor butterflies, but their behavior was so very different.

Closer approach revealed that they were Empress Leila butterflies, western USA cousins to the above cited Emperors. They were my 3rd Emperor butterfly, and I was pleased to meet them, very. They can be seen in New Mexico, Arizona and western Texas.

We will not be posting on wingedbeauity.com for a week or two, because I am moving to a new home in Macon, Georgia. Moving, as some of you know, is a bear, and near totally time consuming.

Stay well,

Jeff

Beauty Almost Unrevealed (The Compton Phantom)

Compton Tortoiseshell Butterfly photographed by Jeffrey Zablow in  Raccoon Creek State Park, PA

Two decades of searching for Compton Tortoiseshell butterflies (Nymphalis vaualbum) came and went, and a butterfly I ached to meet eluded me, having seen it only 3 times. Compton Tortoiseshells are butterflies of the Northern North America . Those 27 years that I lived and worked in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania put me squarely in its range.

The problem was that they are ‘R-LU’ (Glassberg, A Swift Guide to Butterflies of North America), meaning rare to locally uncommon. They are never seen in any abundance, and  . . . they deny any approach.

I adore (AKA Love) their good size and dramatic, handsome wing coloration. Hundreds of visits to Raccoon Creek State Park in those years, often arriving at 8:00 AM or so, and that paltry score of three meet-ups.

Please understand then that this image delights me, though I know it must give you pause, it quite a distance from my Macro-lens. Know too that a moment later, it was . . . gone.

Jeff

Female Bog Copper Butterfly

Female Bog Copper butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at Allenberg Bog in New York

This sweet image of a rare cranberry bog butterfly, the Bog Copper was a real rush (translation: major joy) for me. It looked like she’d flown for more than one week, yet her black wing spots remained strong and distinct.

Visiting a true bog is a hard to forget experience. The footing is scary, the thought of you sinking down, way down, is well, concerning. They are usually much north of where you live, and the flora and fauna there evoke the feeling that it is actually 1,000 years ago, and nothing has changed, except . . ., that you are there, in that very bog.

I was there with Barbara Ann Case, not too far from her home in Frewsburg, New York. This was Allenberg Bog, owned by the Niagra Audubon Society. Barbara Ann’s passing continues to upset me. She introduced me to this cranberry bog, and that was typical of her desire to share her knowledge.

Jeff

Palamedes Plus

Palmed Swallowtail Butterfly, photographed by Jeff Zablow at Big Bend Wildlife Management Area, Florida

Much of the world has the Corona virus on its mind. Blame them? No, for they fear for their safety, the health of their kids, parents, brothers, sister, friends and neighbors. They fear too for their jobs, incomes and for what their lives will be like in the coming weeks. Months?

Me? My own thinking is personal, though I will remind that I’ve waves bye bye to my 40’s, 50’s and more. I’ve seen much, and survived much.

Butterflies? What a fantastic antidote to your virus fears! Butterflies come to my garden in Eatonton, Georgia. On a sunny day, hundreds visit. Yesterday it was visits from Red-banded Hairstreaks, Cloudless Sulphur and several species of Skipper butterflies.

Most of you can get in your cars and drive less than an hour to a State Park, National Wildlife Refuge, National Monument, private refuge or reserve or National Park . . . or along roadsides full of wildflowers.

This image of a show-stopping Palamedes Swallowtail butterfly, in the Florida Panhandle, rocked my boat, for it struck my as Palamedes Plus, that is, a sight for sore eyes!! Beauty beyond beautiful. All that and in the kind of place listed above: Extreme Social Distancing for tens of millions of Americans . . . and for you in France, Estonia, Hungary, China, Canada, Sri Lanka, Ireland, Japan, India, Pakistan, Gold Coast, Kenya . . .

Jeff