2017’s Closing Weeks for Leps

Little wood satyr butterfly photographed at Raccoon Creek State Park, PA

The 2nd week of October 2017, here in the USA (our audience has grown across several continents). Butterflies continue to be met, but we all are counting the days, until 1) they fly south (Monarchs, Painted Ladies) 2) Their chrysalises and caterpillars move into the leaf litter and endure the winter there (fritillaries and skippers) 3) Search for and find crevices in tree trunks and suitable spaces under your wooden back deck (Mourning cloaks).

2017 has been a fine year for butterflies. Monarchs showed up, Zebra heliconians delighted us as they pushed their northern boundary northward and Goatweed leafwings made more appearances than usual.

Me? I’m very, very much looking forward to 2018. The Briar Patch Butterflies and Blooms Habitat comes alive in its new, larger site in Eatonton, Georgia. Israel? The peak of Mt. Hermon in Israel, would be a return for me to those super rare Middle Eastern Holyland butterflies. Texas? Vancouver Island? My return to Angela’s Adams County, Ohio summer wonderland of butterflies, wildflowers and orchids? Ontario?

I’m blessed to be able to continue heading up mountains, into mucky swamp, through rich prairies and into that amazing Butterflies and Blooms in the Briar Patch Habitat. Then too will I finally meet Kathryn, Lois, Peggy, Marcie, Joanne, Roger, Holly and Katarzyna? Dare I dream of rendezvous with new friends in Australia, the Netherlands, Poland and India?

2018? Oh, please reward us, me and all those who go out to score images of sheer beauty!

Jeff

Getting Those Metalmarks

Little Metalmark butterfly, photographed by Jeff Zablow at Shellman Bluff, GA

I’m on the lookout for images that fully capture the magic of the silvery lines of Metalmark butterflies. That because these last 2 years I’ve struggled to snag such an image.

Last year with Nancy and John in  Shellman Bluff, Georgia there they were, nectaring and perching on the side of that road. Me, I thought this is it!, my first-ever look at Little Metalmarks, and I will score pictures with knockout silvery lines. Uh, they were tinier than I expected, they were perches some 3″ above the ground, they shifted almost constantly on flower heads, my back soon began to talk to me, and that humid coastal Georgia air had the sweat coursing down my face, fogging me up!

This is one of those 2016 Shellman Bluff images. Detaching as I can from my own product, well . . . I can see what you see, and because of that, I want another shot at these sweeties.

My June 2017 OMG! work in Kamama Prairie Preserve in very south-central Ohio, amongst dozens of Norther Metalmarks, copped lots of images, but . . . getting those Metalmark silvery wavy lines continues to irk a bit.

Jeff wants . . . better.That means time, travel, accomodation$, $lide film/processing and the cooperation of the unflappable Angela of Ohio.

Think that Jeff will revisit Shellman Bluff and Adams County in 2018, right time, right place?

Jeff

Tete a Tete With Baltimores

Baltimore Checkerspot Caterpillar photographed by Jeff Zablow at Jamestown Audubon Center, NY

Last year I  captured one of my most favorite images, the Baltimore Checkerspot butterfly I met in Jamestown, New York at the fabulous Audubon Center there. That shot was shared here as a post, and enjoyed very heavy traffic. It’s the kind of look that gives me immense satisfaction, knowing that many dozens of you saw it, and some will, maybe, internalize it as their reference Baltimore adult look.

This 2017 we returned back, and this time Jeff, their very valuable Nature specialist, gave us directions to where we were likely to find Baltimore Checkerspot caterpillars, that last week in June.

We traced our way to that wetland trail, and amongst a goodly number of Turtlehead plants ( the hostplant of Baltimores ), there they were! Baltimore Checkerspot caterpillars.

Determined to cop a good image, I shot away, yep!, with my Fuji ASA 50 slide film.

Here is one of those Baltimore caterpillars. Near bizarre in appearance, and richly colored. Bold and standing out in a deeply green backstage.

I Love such beauty! You?

Jeff

Brunching With Edwards’

Edwards Hairstreak on Butterflyweed photographed by Jeff Zablow at Lynx Prairie, Ohio

Funny that. You are encouraged, for months, by new friends in Ohio . . . that there will surely be butterflies in those Ohio prairies that are new for you, lifers as some call them. The arrangements are made, cabins reserved, days calendared, and that June 2017 day arrives.

The drive to Dayton, Ohio and not a single wrong turn, not that fancy computerized stuff, but printed directions from Google Directions. Cedar bog and more, Showy orchids don’t disappoint, and then the drive down to south-central Ohio, Adams County. Angela has been touting Adams as a nature bazaar, and I’m the whole time trying not to be too excited. How can Adams County, Ohio be as good as she suggests it will be.

Easy! With beautiful June days, Adams County totally delivered. Lynx Prairie and Kamama Prairie, both wildlife reserves, were stunning! Just stunning!

It’s a Hit! when you see a butterfly all new to you, and then you see more and more of them, as here, Jeff buzzed! with Butterflyweed ( an Asclepias milkweed ) covered with a fresh flight of Edwards Hairstreaks. Sweet colors that douse your eyes with beauty! These hairstreaks worked the flowerhead methodically, and courteously allowed my approach, and presence. Angela delivers, for sure.

Jeff