The Clint Eastwood Metalmark

Northern Metalmark Butterfly at rest photographed by Jeff Zablow at Lynx Prairie, OH

Ohio turned out to be a Goldmine for butterflies. I drove there from neighboring Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, knowing that Angela and Barbara Ann would find orchids, and that would mean that I’d find . . . butterflies. I had no idea that we’d meet Dave and Joe and Flower and Deb and others, that meaning that our chances of success rose exponentially!

When my incurable roaming caused me to be separated from them in Lynx Prairie Refuge in Adams County (very southern Ohio), I thought that morning was going to be a bust for me.

That never happened. My solitary hiking brought me into a magical prairie/meadow, and there I had a Clint Eastwood, Make My Day! experience. In that prairie meadow I found rare Northern Metalmark Butterflies. I treasure metalmarks, and appreciate that any of their species are local, short of flight period and hard to find. Yippee!

Here’s one of them, a fresh Northern Metalmark Butterfly, hard to find, ‘Locally Rare’ (Glassberg, A Swift Guide to Butterflies) and spectacular, especially when the sun bounces off their incredible metallic streaky lines on their hindwings.

The right time, right place and right friends!

Jeff

Rare Large Yellow You’ll Never Get To See

Gonepteryx farinosa butterfly photographed by Jeffrey Zablow at Mt. Hermon, Israel

He’s a rare, very yellow butterfly, that you will never, ever get to see. Gonepteryx Farinosa flies in one of the 3 most violent places in the world, the peak of Mt. Hermon.

Crazy no? Here we are anticipating the year 2020, and this exotic large yellow, nectaring on one of Israel’s many species of thistle, lives on huge Mt. Hermon, lives surrounded by Israeli military personnel and sophisticated equipment. Why? Just below the peak of Mt. Hermon, on the northern base of Hermon, are killers. Killers of men, women and children. The last remnants of ISIL, the Syrian military, Hezbollah killers, Iran “advisers” and Iranian irregular killers, Hamas killers from Gaza, Pakistani advisers, North Korean advisers, Chinese advisers, possibly Cuban advisers, Russian advisers and who knows what other maladjusted men and women from the world’s savage countries.

You are unable to ascend Mt. Hermon. The Israeli military will not let you go up to see the 10, 11. or 12 very rare species of butterfly up there.

Me? How did I get this image? I went up to the peak with a guide, Eran, in June 2008, months after Frieda A”H (OBM) passed. My head not doing so well then. This unbelievable trip helped me, much. Was it safe then? It was before Syria was overrun by its own Rebels and by ISIL and the rest of the savage murderers. Even so, I was constantly off the trails (made over thousands of years by domestic cattle that roamed the mountain peak.), and I will never never forget when Eran called me over, to show me an untripped land mine quietly waiting for me to chase a butterfly its way!! That devil of a land mine was left over from earlier hostilities, on that magnificent peak.

Thank G-d for the safety of America and for the safety of nearly all of the 80 nations that some of you live in.

Jeff

992,117.693 Or 4,227,483,097 Phoebis Sennae?

Cloudless Sulphur Butterfly on Pickerel Weed, photographed by Jeff Zablow at Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge, GA

Glassberg’s Swift Guide to Butterflies of North America cites our large, bright yellow Cloudless Sulphur as the “most common Phoebis.” I think that Jeffrey is right. At this moment, September 18th, we have as many as 15 of them flying in our 303 Garden (20 of them?).

They’re a joy to see, flying in shade or 98F sun, moving from our native flowers to our Tithonia (Mexican Sunflower) or Giant Zinnias. They are mostly kind, tolerating the presence of camera lens.

We notice that aren’t much shared here and on Facebook and other sites. That’s not the way it ought to be, for they are numerous, polite and pretty.

This male was seen on Pickerelweed blooms in a pond at Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge, near the Georgia (USA) coast. Our boots came from there soaked, but no alligators bothered us. Don’t know who the much smaller butterfly was at the bottom left of the pickerelweed flowerstalk?

Jeff

Another 274 Days?

Zebra Swallowtail Butterfly and Edwards Hairstreak on Butterflyweed photographed by Jeff Zablow at Lynx Prairie Reserve, Ohio

I’m still stuck. Still thinking Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Long Island, New York. Still programmed to think of the first week in September as the week to literally wave bye bye to butterflies, until approximately 8 months until that first Cabbage Whited is spotted once agin, in . . . late April?

Open your eyes Jeff, as you sit now in Eatonton, Georgia, home of there Butterflies & Blooms Briar Patch Habitat, that now world famous home to dozens of species of butterflies. To that add my own 303 Garden, with 25-50 butterflies aloft at any given time. They first appear here in early February and fly through the last week in November. Imagine that, this year Boy Blue’s birthday falls on Thanksgiving Day and something called Rosh Hodesh . . . for Jeff, a Trifecta!

So I relax, ratchet down, knowing that true we won’t be seeing the Zebra Swallowtail Butterfly and the Edward’s Hairstreak Butterfly (Lynx Prairie in Adams County, Ohio) until at least very late June, but we in the South will be winging Welcome! to our butterflies . . . in early February! A minor Miracle for this young man from . . . the concrete, asphalt and brick of Brooklyn, New York!!

Jeff

Whispering Sweet Goodbyes . . . Dreaming Of 2020 Hellos!

Male EasternTiger Swallowtail Butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at Cloudland Canyon State Park, GA

He patiently went from Liatris bloom to Liatris bloom, giving us enough time to carefully shoot his youthful handsomeness against the contrast of lush, robust Liatris flowers.

Cloudland Canyon State Park in northern Georgia. I had asked a very knowledgeable friend for a great destination, and might, just might introduce us to our first Diana Fritillary butterflies. Nope, we did not find Dianas, but Cloudland Canyon was a fine butterfly site, and the canyon itself? Spectacular and Way Bigger than I could have imagined., Pigeon Mountain’s 2 mountain meadows? They too were wonderful, and their giant Giant Swallowtail butterflies? Terrific!

We’re now approaching mid-September here in middle Georgia, and even decades into seeking butterflies, it’s difficult to reckon that fewer and fewer will be seen, and we slide into October and November. Me complain? Nope, because in my previous home, butterflies were NOT seen once there first week in September ended. Here, in Georgia’s Piedmont, we marvel at butterflies well in middle November.

Even despite how we silently wish butterflies and their legions well, I stop and daydream of the coming February, when we in Georgia will once again do a silent, Whopee! when we once again spot the emerging butterflies of 2020!

This shmeksy! male Eastern Tiger will always gladden our eyes.

Jeff