Sinatra & Kid Zablow

Always marched to my own drummer. Loved songs from then, Sinatra’s “I Did It My Way,” and Denver’s “Take Me Home, Country Roads” and that teenage love song that came around just at the right time that summer [Rockaway Beach, Queens, New York], the Righteous Brothers’ “Unchained Melody” [“Oh, my love, my darling, I hunger . . . “]. “Red River Valley” and Roberson’s songs heard on the radio . . .

With 2020 in the rearview mirror, 2021 is my siren’s call, and look where Kid Zablow [was once my moniker] yearns to be, on such as Nichol Road, in Raccoon Creek State Park, southwestern Pennsylvania, or Laura’s Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge, Georgia or . . . Roxanne’s change of pace, Arizona, bewitching Arizona.

When working trails as this one, 1,000% focused on finding butterflies, it’s me and Frank, singing his “I Faced It All and Did It My Way.”

Photo credit to Jenny Jean.


Ogling an Eastern Black Swallowtail Butterfly

Black Swallowtail butterfly and chrysalis, photographed by Jeff Zablow at Butterflies and Blooms in the Briar Patch, Eatonton, GA

Forget that it’s cool and raining this afternoon here in Macon, Georgia. Right out my window here, are those dozens of 1-year old Georgia native shrubs, trees and perennials. It’s not my native Brooklyn, not Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, my home for those 27 years. In just 2-3 weeks, the weather here in central Georgia’s Piedmont region, will change. Afternoon temperatures here will reach the high 70’s Fahrenheit.

Those new plants, found last year at the superb Georgia nurseries: Nearly Native Nursery (Fayetteville, GA), Night Song Natives (Canton, GA), Nikki Taylor’s Nursery (Lizella, GA), GMC Native Plant Education Center (Warner Robins, GA) & Beech Hollow Wildflower Farm (Lexington, GA) will brighten our days, lighten our smiles.

This image of an Eastern Black Swallowtail butterfly, out of its chrysalis and awaiting the summer’s morning sun’s rays, this photo stops me. I stop and ogle. The beauty here? It just gets me thinking of how magnificent G-d’s creations are.

Where? The Butterflies & Blooms Briar Patch Habitat I, in its original Eatonton, Georgia location. Reason enough to get your fennel, dill, parsley plants ready. The chance of finding a fresh Eastern Black Swallowtail in your own garden?


Edwards Hairstreak at Lynx Prairie

Edwards Hairstreak photographed by Jeff Zablow at Lynx Prairie Reserve, Ohio

Surrounded by a sea of gentle green, this Edward Hairstreak butterfly is a fine Rx for this January 20th, 2021. Reminder for all that we sit upon a treasure trove here, long known as the United States of America.

I’m near finishing my 4th (5th?) reading of The Travels of William Bartram by William Bartram. Few of you’ve read it. If you want to visualize what Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Alabama and such were like in 1777 or so, this is a book you will love. Now, “love” is a strong Rx, but, if you’ve longed to see what the South looked like before it was ‘dozed, this is your dreamed of read. Bartram was a British botanist, and his telling of the botany, bears, ‘tygers,’ Meleagris and millions of birds in flight is riveting. That and his dozens and dozens pages of his time with the Creeks, Cherokees, Seminoles, Ocmulgee, Chactaw peoples? I loved it. I have often dreamed of walking into their ‘towns’ (Bartram carefully describes their buildings [yes buildings], gardens, orchards, etc.) as they were, and I continue to dream such.

This Edwards image sends me thataway, yearning for a time when the highways, roads lined with stores, tire shops and shopping centers did’t exist. He writes one destination where the entire land, level to more than 7 miles extant, is covered with Cornus florida, the American dogwood tree. I crack my brain thinking that today, that’s all gone, bulldozed into who knows what. That was Florida.

Look how a single image, seen in Adams County, Ohio, a handful of miles from the Kentucky border, can set me near adrift . . . . . . . . . Kudos to Angela.


Petra, My Russian Pup, and her Eleventh Birthday

Jeff Zablow and his dog, Petra photographed by Jenny Jean Photography

Many of you have puppies and kittens. I’ve enjoyed reading of your love for your kitty cats and your pups. I’ve paused at times, when some of you share the sadness and pathos with the passing of those ‘best friends.’

Petra celebrates her 11th birthday in May 2021. She still loves life, though our walks have shortened and her naps lengthened. I still know that few will risk entering our home to do naughty things, for at 98 pounds, she looks too formidable, too able to respond. This ‘boy’ from Brooklyn has appreciated that, this last decade.

On walks, strangers have stopped and asked of her, and asked how old she is. On hearing that she is 10 years old, inconsiderate folks have said, “Oh, I’m sorry.” I’ve shot back “Sorry. Why sorry?” Them: Oh because those large breeds usually don’t live more than 9-10 years . . . . It’s happened 3 or 4 times, and it rocks my boat, it upsets.

How do I fortify myself for what necessarily must come? I ask. Losing Frieda A”H (“OBM”) was shattering, it was.


In the Presence Of G-d’s Beautiful Tiger Swallowtail Butterflies

Tiger swallowtail butterfly photographed by Jeffrey Zablow at Raccoon Creek State Park in Pennsylvania

Flashing through  my mind are those times I’ve relished, alone and in the presence of extraordinarily beautiful butterflies. What triggered this? Moving through the images in wingedbeauty’s Media Library, I stopped here, at this image of an early morning moment, an eye-popping female Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly, she resting on a trailside leaf in Raccoon Creek State Park in Hookstown, southwestern Pennsylvania. That’s some 7 and 1/2 hours drive due west of New York City.

I knew, and I savored knowing that I was staring (gaping) at G-d’s finest work. That I was able to score exposures of this beauty much pleases me. So much that we see is Photoshopped. Not here. This was her amazing, very real.

I’m a very visual guy, and I cherish many mental images of beauty, both of butterflies and of women I’ve been fortunate to have crossed paths with. Those memories buoy me, especially in this interesting times.

Friends smile remembering horses, cars, eclairs, their paintings, puppies, enterprises they’ve nurtured, photographs of landscapes, gardens created . . . . Me? The above.