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

Extraordinary People: Extraordinary Experiences

Barbara Ann photographed by Jeff Zablow near Allenberg Bog, NY

Some years back, I was stymied. I so wanted to find and shoot new butterflies, and new botany. Stymied because the United States is big, very big. How can you find new butterflies, when almost no one was willing to show me where they can be found. Almost no one.

Why folks refused (a strong word, but true) to invite me to drive 2, 4, 6, 8 or more hours, and be shown the habitat where new butterflies can be seen . . . long baffled me. Why would folks decline to show me? Why would they refuse/remain silent when I was willing to drive so many hours to meet them on trails, at park, refuge offices, etc.? If you’ve got a guy who is in young shape (Thank Y-u), reveres and respects habitat and the plants that live there, is very savvy and no namely pampby (thanks to my coming up on the real streets of Brooklyn), hikes well and for hours, loves butterflies and Never, Never collects or wields a net, and on and on, why?

When I met Barbara Ann on Facebook, she was posting about her beloved orchid excursions. I like orchids, know not too much about them and knew that trips to orchid habitat also end up encountering many many butterflies. I asked to join such, and Barbara Ann agreed to allow me to tag along.

That led to several trips from Pittsburgh to western New York State and Ohio, and more recently from Georgia to New York State and Ohio. So much new, so much beautiful and so much to long remember.

I met Angela through Barbara Ann, she another extraordinary lover of orchids and wildflowers and ephemeral and more.

Here’s  Barabra Ann carefully searching for wildflowers and more at Allenberg Bog, home of sundew, pitchers plants, bog cranberries and Bog Copper Butterflies.

Locating much that we share here becomes easier, when you encounter extraordinary people. They open extraordinary experiences, of indescribable beauty and learning.

Jeff

Zebra Color, Really!

Zebra heliconian butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at the National Butterfly Center, Mission, TX

There’s a goodly number of butterflies that thrill you when you spot them. This happens when they are especially fresh from their chrysalis (hard outer shell formed by the caterpillar), when they are handsome examples of their species, and when the day features crisp, clear air and sports a comfortable temperature.

Which rock me, Jeffrey? Monarchs, Viceroys, Gulfs, Red Admirals, Palametes Swallowtails, Malachites, Milbert’s Tortoiseshells, Giant Swallowtails, Goatweed Leafwings, Erato Heliconians, Silver-spotted Skippers, lots of others and . . . Zebra Heliconians.

Suzanne is correct, I shoot film, Macro-. Why? Because I’ve visited too many museums, art galleries, and top auction galleries to praise images that lack real-time-color. I prefer Fuji Velvia film, ASA 50, the same film used to capture this image.

I’m sitting here with the field guide most sought after now, and truth be told, this wingedbeauty image excites with the very same color that you marvel over when you find a fresh, fresh, fresh Zebra Heliconian butterfly in the field.

Where were we? The NBC (National Butterfly Center, Mission, Texas).

Jeff