Jeff’s Fascination with Butterflies

Jeff Zablow photographing butterflies, Frick Park, Pittsburgh, PAButterflies captured my imagination as a young boy growing up in Brooklyn, New York. At the time, small fields still existed in the city and I would go there to watch and marvel at the bejeweled creatures.

Much later, I was challenged when I arrived to teach high school biology in Pittsburgh, PA only to discover that my city kids could not identify a single bird or butterfly. I launched a wetland study unit that led to inevitable wetland field trips. I made sure to photograph my brick-and-mortar kids in the wild and devised another classroom technique called “Slide Lab“. Soon, Slide Lab was featuring my newest photographs of cattail, wetland, city birds and shortly after, butterflies!

I came to realize that my macro photographs of butterflies revealed that they were more exquisite than the finest magnificent jewelry. Soon after, I set upon my own challenge: I would work to produce photographs of butterflies that were superior to those in butterfly field guides. I wanted every photograph to show the eyes in sharp detail, the wings in all their glorious color and make the antennae, limbs and body come alive.

Tens of thousands of slides and more than eighteen years of  field trips later, I am proud to present a treasure trove of butterfly images that range from Pittsburgh and Eatonton, Georgia to Savannah, the Mississippi Delta , Toronto,  Phoenix and . . . Israel. These are the butterflies that fly through our neighborhoods. I continue to shoot with Fuji slide film, camera hand-held and only photograph wild butterflies.

Enjoy our delicate neighbors and see what we can learn about them. We must ensure that we will always be able to get into our cars and travel to find and enjoy these winged beauties, for they are a barometer of our success in sustaining this extraordinary land.

 Winged Beauty Web Design by Carolyn Speranza

29 thoughts on “Jeff’s Fascination with Butterflies

  1. thank you so much for these beautiful moments with butterflies. i live in switzerland, but spend a lot time in lapland. overthere i have seen fantastic exsamples of beauty, no more found in middle europe.
    “the butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough” – rabindranath tagore

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  2. always a wonderful treat to read your thoughts and see your shots….and to meet you is an honor that can only be surpassed by the next visit.

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  3. Pingback: What’s This? What’s That? | Winged Beauty Butterflies

  4. Thank you for checking out Redterrain. I love your passion for butterflies and macro photography. I’ve only just gotten into macro and too enjoy the challenge and rewards of chasing insects and butterflies around. We’ll be moving to New Zealand in a week, and it’s there that I saw my first ever monarch butterfly caterpillar despite growing up in Canada – I certainly hunted for them a lot as a child, but never came up with any. They are in abundance in New Zealand and am looking forward to capturing some soon. Your blog is lovely, and I also really enjoy that you share your passion with your students.

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  5. Thanks for the beautiful photos and stories–they are fun and informative. I spend summers in WNY and take day trips and occasional overnight trips to areas in the region to photograph various native butterflies and moths. Because there are no butterfly clubs in the Buffalo area, I belong to the Rochester Butterfly Club to find like-minded bug people, and make it to some of their outings. I spend the rest of the year in the Rio Grande Valley, where we have no shortage of butterflies or lep enthusiasts!

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