‘I Want To Go Home, Where I Belong, I’m Just A . . . . ‘

I’m not totally sure why this song popped into my head, but it well sums up those many years of seeking butterflies, without you there with me. Having you there to together eyeball the terrain and vegetation for butterflies makes the quest for fresh, unique, new and rare butterflies so much more successful Talking while on trail does not cause them to flee, for they do not much hear human speech.

Those of you who are expert in plant ID are a big boon to finding butterflies, for being able to identify flowers, leaves, hostplants, fruit and all gives you advantage, for it helps anticipate what butterflies you may meet here and there. Barbara Ann Case A”H and Mike Barwick and Rose and Jerry Payne, Phil Delestrez, Nancy and John Crosby and Jerry Amerson all excelled when I was lucky enough to work trails with them.

2020 is slowly coming to a butterfly-seeking close, and 2021? I very, very much want to Bust-Out in this 2021. So many write of the disappointment of 2020 I’ve felt them too, and what tantalizes me? Several folks have nicely offered, without me asking, to show me destinations. Destinations! 2021, the Kid from Brooklyn (originally LOL) maybe meeting knowledgeable, good and sharing folks who know, and who guide us to potent destinations? WoW!

With former friends dismissive of what I (we?) do, and family no keen too (“Bugs!”), 2021, traveling to meet new friends who are steeped in knowledge of butterflies and where to find them, has my brain erupting in song, as this Rock ‘N Roll song, that somehow connects here, ‘I Want To Go Home, Where I Belong, I’m Just A . . . . ”

Shown? Nichol Road Trail, Raccoon Creek State Park, southwestern Pennsylvania, U.S.A.. If you’d been there, Oh My Goodness!


HolyLand Blues Coupled

Common Blue butterflies, photographed by Jeff Zablow at Ramat Hanadiv, Israel

Imagine my delight as I was working the terrain of Ramat Hanadiv’s extensive refuge, and what do I see? This pair of Pseudophilotes vicrama astanbe, coupled, motionless and sweet in color! Found them, and their total dedication to procreation enabled me to make a successful Macro- approach and score this image.

I love and take in their lush colors. Colors always capture me, and these here, especially the red darts of the female on the left, and the wash of blue on the male (right of image) bring a smile.

Ramat Hanadiv in within a mile of the Mediterranean Sea, and the good green seen behind attests to the rich flora of this region of Israel, hilly and vibrant.


Winged Beauty Butterflies Makes Top 15 List of Butterfly Blogs and Websites to Follow

We are proud and happy to announce ((drumroll please)) our inclusion in Feedspots’ 2020 Top 15 Butterfly Blogs and Websites to Follow!

What does this mean, you may ask? In the big picture, like many other lists these days, this one has been created from a combination of algorithmic and human curation. Ranking is based on relevancy, blog post frequency and consistency, age of the blog, traffic rank, social media engagement and a couple of other things that you can read about here.

On a more personal note, we’re proud to be ranked with the likes of Monarch Watch, Rebecca’s Butterfly Reflections, Lep Log, Butterfly Conservation of Ireland and Butterflies of Singapore. We’d like to thank you, dear readers, for your support over the years and all the wonderful queries and comments on our favorite topic of butterflies.

Tortoiseshells & Mourning Cloaks Call

Milbert's Tortoiseshell Butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at Raccoon Creek State Park

My new home in Georgia has lots and lots of butterflies. They fly in November (back in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania almost all butterflies are gone by mid-September) and reappear just 3 months later, in February! When we are gifted with days of mild weather here, Cloudless Sulphurs reappear from their hiding places, to my wonder and amazement.

Georgia has introduced me to so many new butterflies: Eastern Pygmy Blues; Palamedes Swallowtails; Zebra Heliconians; Great Purple Hairstreaks; Red-Banded Hairstreaks; Giant Swallowtails; American Snouts; Carolina Satyrs and more and more.

There are butterflies that I miss, miss alot. I’ve this feeling that I haven’t yet shot them to my own personal satisfaction, and they’re either not seen here at all, or they are rarely seen here. Mourning Cloak Butterflies, Compton Tortoiseshells and Milbert’s Tortoiseshells (shown here, seen in Raccoon Creek State Park in southwestern Pennsylvania).

I want to get reacquainted with them, and share new, fine images of them with you. All of them, fresh, are eye candy, visual works of art! This month, October 2020, given some fair weather in Pennsylvania and western New York State, I will drive back there, make an overdue cemetery visit, and scour refuges and parks and national forests for Tortoiseshells, Cloaks and Commas.

As long as snow and ice don’t make an early Hello! that’s what I plan to do.


“Oh Where, Oh Where Should This . . . .”

Jeff Zablow on Peak of Mt. Hermon Israel

This? One of the highlights of the last decades, JLZ, Me, on the peak of Mt. Hermon in the HolyLand. At 7,000 feet plus, you see distant Lebanon behind me. I am standing in Israel, and calamitous Syria, that killing field, is roughly at the 4 O’Clock point in this image.

Why was I there? For butterflies that fly only on the mountain top. It’s easy for me to daydream of Joshua, Jesus, Jacob, Israel, Rabbi Akiva and Menachem Begin standing on this very same stop, awed and grateful to G-d.

Butterflies will still fly here in Georgia through November, then only on mild winter days.

I am daydreaming too of next year. The eternal optimist, I’m thinking of where my quest for new new (for me), rare and gorgeous butterflies . . . to meet and photograph.

Few in the last decades have offered. Offered that I drive hundreds of miles to their home base, and join them on their trails, and their secret butterfly habitats. Now, me a bit seasoned, several have thrown out the butterfly ‘lifeline’ to me for 2021. I am Bigtime grateful to those of you who did.

I respectfully ask you where do you suggest that I travel in 2021 to meet my new butterflies? “Oh where, Oh where should this – – – – – boy go?”