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

30 thoughts on “Jeff’s Fascination with Butterflies

  1. I have learned a lot about butterflies reading your posts, Jeff. You have an excellent blog on the topic. This is quite infectious, no we look forward to the next butterfly season! :-) I like the way you approach the winged beauties, I’ll try it out. In Norfolk we have lots of lavender and the butterflies love it, more than all the other common butterfly plants.

    I’m packed and ready to go to go Norfolk. Summer in Norway is best in June/July. This year end of may was gorgeous, you can never tell. I’m always prepared for three season when I go home.

    Happy Holidays to you and yours, Jeff. Give Petra a big pat from me.
    Greetings from the Rhine Valley
    Dina x


  2. Jeff, I wanted to tell you that I like your new blog layout. Nice easy colors and the font is easy to read.

    Well wishes and happy days chasing butterflies!

    Warmly, Michelle.


    • Michelle,
      Thanks. I’m glad I can add an esthete like you to my list. Getting away to photo butterflies is not easy, with Life tugging at you to handle this or do that! The last couple of days on the shore of Chesapeake Bay were Wow!
      Know that your visits and Comments are much appreciated. Jeff


      • Thank you, Jeff. I’m delighted to be on your, “list.”

        I’ve never visited the Chesapeake Bay, so I can only imagine the beauty. I know too how life demands our time and attention in other places, but there’s no place like being amongst butterflies!

        Stay cool and be safe,


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