Hung In My Home

Tawny Hackberry butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at Raccoon Creek State Park, PA

Of the 60,000 or 80,000 exposures I’ve shot over the years, a handful have been printed and archivaly framed by artisans of their respective trades. Which captures did I choose to have Gerry Hare print in his darkroom?

I charged Gerry with printing images that moved me, pleased me. Images that were nearly impossible for me to capture. Images whose color and form and overall Geshtalt made me Happy, fulfilled.

Our new home in North Macon, Georgia has several of my favorites, framed prints done meticulously done by Gerry, as his renowned father, Red Hare taught him to do.

This may well be my all time favorite. It hangs in my home, a reminder of the morning that I snapped it, on that Fuji Velvia film, on the Wetland Trail in Raccoon Creek State Park in southwestern Pennsylvania. I felt that G-d was with us that early morning, having set up a butterfly then new to me. A butterfly so elegant as to take my breath away.  It’s wings were fresh, their colors among my favorite browns, creams and near blacks. Its wings seemed too large for this good-sized butterfly. It’s body, a miracle of engineering. Its antennae knobs, as tiny headlights in the early morning haze.

That this Tawny Emperor (Hackberry) butterfly remained in place while I maniacally copped some 40-50 exposures, that too was a gracious Miracle. Was I nearly silently begging G-d to keep this mystical mirage there, keep it in place? Yes, to that.

Hung here in my home, with Hebrew calligraphy set in the frame matting, that hand done by a revered, now long gone Rabbi. It’s translation?  ‘How Great Are Thy Creations, G-d?”

The most beautiful Tawny to have flown in the USA in the last 200 years? Truth be told . . . I Think so.