Beauty Seen & Never To Be Forgotten

Earring Series - Blackswallowtail butterflies coupled, photographed by Jeff Zablow at "Butterflies and Blooms in the Briar Patch," Eatonton, GA

I was in the Butterflies & Blooms Briar Patch Habitat. Yes, I had seen hundreds (many) of butterflies there, making my 13+ hour drives from Pittsburgh easily worth it. Sometimes I saw the most beautiful butterflies I’d ever seen, ever. The possibility of seeing magnificence was always tantalizingly present.

My strategy was to get there as early as possible, at least before 8:30 A.M. in the morning. I especially liked finding butterflies that flew out of their night perches, and stood on leaves, soaking in the rays of the morning sun. Those trips south paid off, with exceptional images and joy, real joy!

That morning I arrived early, and went straight to a spot that gets full sun from the East. I scanned the perrenials for signs of butterflies, just as we learned to do in basic training at Ft. Dix, New Jersey (Viet Nam has begun to boil over, and we took that training deadly serious).

I saw them, in low perrenials and . . . I could not believe it. I saw one of the most beautiful sights I’d ever seen. A pair of eastern Black Swallowtail butterflies, coupled tighter, about 18 inches above the ground. Look at them, see how fresh they were, how vivid their colors.

I wasted no times, robotically making my ‘patented’ approach. What was I thinking? The ever recurring thought was that G-d had set this stage for me, and I’d better not waste it. I shot away, maybe 20 exposures.

Sylbie arrived in the Habitat minutes later, and the rest is . . . History.

Feast your eyes on this female, her patches of blue defying words! After, I thanked G-d for this experience, as I always did for such incredible moments, even this many years after Frieda’s A”H passing.

Jeff

A Very Special Image Of A Pygmy Blue

Little Metalmark butterfly at rest, photographed by Jeff Zablow at Shellman Bluff, GA

As we prepare for our August drive to the Golden Islands of the Georgia coastline, this image brings back sweet memories of my first trip to that region, with Nancy and John. I wanted to meet, for the first time, Eastern Pygmy Blue butterflies and Little Metalmark butterflies.

My old friends knew where to search, and we found them! All of them!

I Love this image of the dorsal (upper) surface of an Eastern Pygmy Blue Butterfly. You must know that this is one of the USA’s tiniest butterflies, and they fly just inches above the ground. It is written that they almost NEVER open their wings to show their dorsal surface.

When your own image of a butterfly’s upper features is finer than that of the 2 best field guides, that warms the heart, encourages the Will. Pleases Jeff a whole lot.

Jeff

Dragonfly Tips? You’ve Got Dragonfly Tips?

Darner photographed by Jeff Zablow at Big Bend Wildlife Management Area, Florida

I have for these many decades admired Dragonflies. Never, in those 1,000,000 hours in the field, has a dragonfly ever bothered me. In an earlier post here, I retold the real life experience I had with one as a boy in Brooklyn. We lived on the edge of development in the 1950’s, and an undeveloped ‘lot’ was around the corner from my house. That’s where this Love of wildlife began, believe it or not.

One day, I, proud of my speed and street skills (I grew up on those streets, with very interesting friends, so to speak), decided to prove to myself that I was fast enough to catch a good-sized dragonfly in mid-air. Know what? I did, I caught a big one, that’s how fast I was. Arrrrrrrgh! The pain of it’s bite was unbelievable!! I respected my Connected friends and that morning, I came to respect dragonflies forever.

No dragonfly has ever bothered me since, despite the Disrespect that I showed to that East 57th Street dragonfly.

Now, 4 months in, at our home in North Macon, Georgia, the mosquitoes in our natives Georgia backyard are beyond nuisance. I want to put out a ‘Come On Down’ call to dragonflies to come and make this their home, come and daily devour your weight in mosquitoes. No chemicals Leslie, no chemicals. Dragonflies.

Please share what you know of how to attract dragonflies to our central Georgia yard. You’ve got dragonfly tips?

Oh, and this darner was seen at Big Bend Wildlife Management Area – Spring Unit, in Florida’s northern Panhandle.

Jeff

Papilio Palamedes Ahead?

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

We drive to the Georgia coast in August, for butterflies, beach, beauty and  . . . butterflies. I want to revisit butterflies I’d seen there several years ago: Little Metalmark, Eastern Pygmy Blue, Georgia Satyr and Great Southern White.

I’d met alot of Palamedes Swallowtails in the Florida Panhandle at Big Bend Wildlife Management Area, and you want to know the truth? I love this image of a Palamedes met in the Spring Unit part of Big Bend. I compare this image with others, and I always am pleased with it. Always.

Nonetheless, if there were to be a fresh fresh Palamedes in Sapelo Island, or Brunswick, or Little St. Simons Island or on Jekyll Island, for 100% sure I’d ‘waste’ Fuji Velvia film on it, hoping against hope to come up with a better yet Palamedes image.

Place your bets . . . .

Jeff

A Fine Natural Elixir at Traci’s Kelso Swamp

Viceroy Butterfly, photographed by Jeff Zablow in Kelso Swamp, Fayette Township, PA

Scrolling down through our hundreds of Media Library images, I stopped here. Why? Every time I catch a glimpse of this image, it stops me. I look at it, and I smile, a feeling of ease and peace soothes me. I have no doubt that my blood pressure drops a tad.

Often, my mind wanders to the children (4) whom I rarely hear from (?), the grandchildren who almost all can write and hit those cell phone buttons . . . but don’t, my personal losses, the child 4 doors away who at 3 left us just 3 days ago, the business skullduggery that insured that I would not be worth 9 figures, my inability to travel to far corners of this world to seek butterflies . . . . . . . . . as I imagine most of you too experience wandering mind.

This image snaps me out of that foolishness. I Thank G-d for all I’m Blessed with now. Now. I am reminded that the Followers of wingedbeauty.com are who you are, something I shall always cherish.

Yep, this Viceroy butterfly, in Traci’s Kelso Swamp in Fayiette Township, west of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is a home spun elixir for all that vexes you. No?

Jeff