What Happens Upon Seeing A Tropical Leafwing?

Tropical leafwing butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at the National Butterfly Center, Mission, TX

This stuff intrigues me. I remember thinking such for more than a decade, when I worked in Manhattan, New York. A realtor, I was much freer than most, and could leave our office as I wished. As I walked the sidewalks of New York, New York, amidst thousands of people, I’d always wonder about them. Who were they? Who were their parents, and what life experiences contributed to who they were? Always I tried to imagine what they know of the world that I loved, but had little time to visit. That’d be the undeveloped, wild, sylvan world of the undespoiled outdoors.

Now, near a lifetime later, I review our wingedbeauty media library, and images like this one, a fresh, shy Tropical Leafwing butterfly catch my eye. We were at the wooded area in the National Butterfly Center in Mission, Texas near the border wall, and I knew, I knew I was seeing a butterfly that was so very different from those tens of thousands I’d seen before.

Seeing so many butterflies, has broadened my mind, my perspective. My brain has now placed tens of thousands of butterfly images in my brain ‘cubbyholes.’ Add to that the wildflowers, orchids, moths, bees, wasps, ants, beetles, dragonflies, spiders, lizards, snakes, turtles, . . . should have placed birds well before this here . . . how much is stored upstairs in Jeff Zablow?

Sometime soon I will have spent 30 years seeking and locating butterflies and their world. What happens to you and I when we have so rich a trove of cerebral images and experiences?? This puzzle for me intensified recently when Barbara Ann (OBM”) passed away. Her knowledge of orchids was phenomenal and her field experiences and love of orchids and botany, gone. Gone. No one stepped in to become her student/intern/chronicler.

These mysteries? What of them?