Those Huge Texas Monarchs

Monarch Butterflies Coupled photographed by Jeff Zablow at the National Butterfly Center, Mission, TX

My recollection is that beginning with those empty lots in East Flatbush Brooklyn, they awaiting the inevitable construction of new homes, and continuing here in Georgia’s Piedmont region in 2019, I have seen some 2,867 Monarch butterflies. That includes Monarchs seen in New York state, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Maine, New Hampshire, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio, Arizona, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Mississippi, Arizona, Missouri and Oklahoma.

When I saw this coupled pair of Monarchs, he seen here with wings spread, in the Perennial Gardens of the National Butterfly Center in Mission, Texas, these 2 Monarchs were the largest Monarchs I’d ever seen. She flew onto this Lantana plant first, and moments later he flew to her, with much force, and they joined bodies.

I stood there, wondering why these Texas Danaus Plexxipus individuals were so much larger than any I’d ever seen before??

Jeff

Twin-Spot Skipper How Do You Do

Twin-spot Skipper Butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge, GA

We made the brief acquaintance of this “U” for Uncommon (Glassberg, A Swift Guide to Butterflies) Twin-Spot Skipper in Laura’s Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge. Yes it was a rush to see a seldom seen and very fresh skipper butterfly, perhaps the 3rd I’d ever seen. My move to Georgia continues to reward me with these kinds of thrilling moments, seeing butterflies that are seldom seen by even the most avid butterfly seekers.

Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge? Highly recommended. It is the home to so many much sough butterflies, wildflowers, botany, birds of wetlands and dry, insects, big alligators and baby alligators, snakes and more and more.

Fortunate you are when one such as Laura takes the time to urge you to head out to a destination, one that she knows is full of G-d’s creations, especially for me, butterflies.

Jeff

A Rare HolyLand Butterfly & Crazed Killers

Pararge Aegeria Butterfly photographed by Jeffrey Zablow in Northern Golan, Israel

I am very pleased that I captured this image of a rare, protected brush foot butterfly, in the very northern Golan region of Israel, the HolyLand. When you meet one such as this, vivid and fresh in color, you stop to appreciate how fortunate you have been! He required a very cautious, robotic approach, and that he held his ground and accepted a few camera clicks, Fantastic!

Parage aegeria are only found in the very northernmost reaches of the Galilee region and in the mountainous north of the Golan region. This is where Jesus and his Disciples walked and where the greatest of the Jewish Prophets lived. Amazing, lush green regions, watered by the Mt. Hermon range, so they are not desert-like, but instead vivid green and full of life.

‘Crazed Killers’ nearby. Yes. Now. It is reliably reported that thousands of Hezbollah, Iranian and Syrian fighters have moved close to there, to near the northern borders with Syria and Lebanon. Why? These barbarians hope to use that as a launching base to attack and destroy Israel, i.e., Jews, children and women.

Those who think of ‘2019’ as a year when the world has moved to new heights of civility? Guess again, cousins.

Rare, shy, sweet butterflies in the nothing-like-it HolyLand.

Jeff

WhoopTeDo! For This Hairstreak

Hickory Hairstreak photographed by Jeff Zablow at Akeley Swamp, NY

We were at Akeley Swamp Refuge, in very western New York State. We were approximately 9 hours from my hometown, Brooklyn, New York. The way things are in western New York, we might as well have been 15 hours away from frenetic New York City.

It was a memorable morning hike. The trail along this onetime train track flower bed had hundreds of lush Common Milkweed plants, all in peak of bloom. Problem was, all morning we saw few butterflies. It was a brain teaser. How could you have several million lush Asclepias Syriaca blooms, a sunny, windless morning, blue skies . . . and almost no butterflies . . . in the last half of June??

That downer soon disappeared, when I saw this tiny triangular figure on a milkweed flowerhead. What? Huh? Hello?? Not a Gray, nor a Striped, not an Edwards, or a Coral, nor a White M, definitely not an Acadian, or a Red-Banded, not even a Banded (I think) Hairstreak Butterfly.

My calm, relaxed physiology skyrocketed, it did. Was this a “R-U” (Rare to Uncommon (Glassberg, A Swift Guide to the Butterflies of North America)) Hickory Hairstreak? If it is, I liken it to my elevator ride with Diana Ross in the fab Fuller Building at Madison and East 57th Street.

Seeing my what, 2nd Hickory Hairstreak in these 26 years rocks!

If any of you come and argue it’s a Banded, you’d better have total, irreversible proof, and not that, we need to see this or that argument, for that 94 seconds that it stuck around, will not be forgotten for at least the next 30 years.

That sort of a WhoopTeDo! experience? I cherish and prize them. Sometimes they take me back to when Frieda A”H would ask, when I came home from butterfly field work, ‘What did you see today?’ I loved when she would wait and listen for my full report. A Hickory??? OMG!

Jeff

Why Did Mr. Guerin Choose So Holy A Name?

Azanous Jesous butterfly photographed by Jeffrey Zablow at Mt. Meron, Israel

This one of the Blue butterflies flies in the HolyLand. This one appeared on my Mt. Meron trail, in the very Upper Galilee. With so reverent a name as Azanus Jesous, I much wanted to score a good image of these tiny blues. Wingedbeauty’s visitors include many Christians, and I guessed that this butterfly, floating from blossom to HolyLand blossom, would mean alot to you.

Here is this mini-gem of a butterfly, resplendent with its numerous black hindwing dots and sweet reddish browns.

I wonder why Mr., Guerin named it so? Suggestions?

Jeff