Seeking Rarities at the National Butterfly Center Wall

People viewing gold-bordered hairstreak photographed by Jeff Zablow at 'The Wall,' Mission, TX

Here I was in Mission, Texas, when a rare butterfly had been spotted at the “Wall.” This scene was repeated a few times those 5 days. Know that such was almost unknown to me. Those 15 or more folks present at the time, and more coming after their telephone chain spread the word that a heretofore almost never seen in the USA butterfly was feeding on natives, was only the second time in my life that I’d been other than alone when I shoot and watch butterflies.

They were there because almost all of them now live nearby, drawn to relocate by the presence of the North American Butterfly Association’s National Butterfly Center near the border and the Center’s excellent staff. It didn’t hurt that friends and acquaintances have resettled nearby.

Me? I’ve been searching for butterflies for decades and has been active for more than 9 years. I have been a member of NABA for years, though I cannot say that this closely knit group has ever done much more than accept my membership and its dues. Those unpleasant experiences years ago, when I sought to shoot the Regal Fritillary butterfly, almost begging the leadership to help me . . . and receiving zero response time and time again, have bristled those old Brooklyn street sensitivities.

I’m in central Georgia now, and continue to hunt for butterfly images alone, never encountering such a scene as you see here. It must be all for the good, for I barely leave a trace where I tred, mar nothing there and with the near infinite silence I work in, often achieve opportunities that just bring Joy! to me, and I hope at times to you.