‘I’m Sitting On Top Of The World’ Gray

Gray Hairstreak photographed by Jeff Zablow at Fort Federica, Saint Simons Island, GA

Apply lyrics to this relaxing image? ‘I’m Sitting On Top Of The World, I’m Rolling Along, I’m Rolling Along.’ This is my choice.

Imagine being a beautiful Gray Hairstreak, living on the site of Fort Federica on tony St.Simons Island on the Georgia coast. Not a care in the world (it would seem).


Deudorix Livia Seen in Ein Gedi

Deudorix Livia Butterfly photographed by Jeffrey Zablow in Binyamina, Israel

I’ve only seen Deudorix Livia once, in the Biblical place known as Ein Gedi. the Dead Sea is within sight of Ein Gedi. Meeting D. Livia pleased me. His black spots show well here, as do his set of ‘tails.’ He also reveals a tiny bit of his dorsal (upper surface) burnt orange color, a color I like alot.

A hairstreak butterfly that flies all year in the HolyLand, Israel, yet is never seen in any appreciable numbers. One of those butterflies that can be seen throughout Israel, but is uncommon . . . everywhere.

To see him, I took a train from Binyamina to Ber Sheva University South, then took a bus ride, a long bus ride, through a decidedly hostile region, until finally, finally the Dead Sea came into sight, and my bus descended from the high plateau we’d been driving through, to the very, very, very low land that the Dead Sea rests in.

As before, I am pleased to have found so many Israeli butterflies, just as King David, Jesus and Joshua did, then.


I’ve Seen 2. You?


My best meeting with a Striped Hairstreak (Satryium liparops) took place a very long time ago. I was looking through a small ‘butterfly garden’ at the old HQ of the Powdermill  Reserve Refuge in Rector, Pennsylvania. The refuge was in the lush, sylvan hilly country known as the Laurel Highlands, with Ligonier nearby. This region gets heavy tourism, what with Frank Lloyd Wright’s world-renowned Fallingwater, down the road in Mill Run and the very lush Bear Run Reserve across the road.

There, stationed on a leaf, I met this Striped Hairstreak. It was fresh, intricate and plain gorgeous. I shot away, it remained in place, moving only slightly in the next minutes! I tell you I kept marveling at how G-d had Created so much, including this tiny beauty.

Glassberg’s A Swift Guide to Butterflies of North America cites the Striped Hairstreak as “R-U” (Rare -Uncommon), with “one rarely encounters large numbers.”  Several years later I did get (for the first and only time in my life) banned from Powdermill, preventing me from much returning to that bountiful Reserve to perhaps again meet a Striped.

So, I’ve seen 2 Stripeds in my time. How many have you seen?


Gold-bordered Hairstreak At The Wall

Gold-bordered hairstreak photographed by Jeff Zablow at the National Butterfly Center, Mission, TX

This butterfly caused no less than 50 people to jump into their cars and speed to the ‘Wall’ at the entrance to the Retama Village development in Mission, Texas. We were among those who came to see this Gold-bordered Hairstreak butterfly, a rare stray to the Lower Rio Grande Valley.

This was the one that brought ‘up’ my old Brooklyn ‘moxie’ it always surrounded by a circle of folks anxiously working their long telescopic lens, while I work with my Macro- lens, requiring that I get some 18 inches or so from most butterflies, and move within 12 inches for this tiny hairstreak. I was told that these Texas transplant folks believed me to be “Selfish” for crouching low and working my way to the shrub where this nifty butterfly was nectaring. It was felt, I was told, that my approach might scare this butterfly away, and thus prevent the next wave of 30 folks from seeing this ‘Lifer.’

This was a bonafide Joe Pesci moment for me, they considering telling me off for super cautiously approaching so as not to startle this hairstreak. I never, never do well with mobs, be they large or small.

Well, here’s your very rare Gold-bordered. At times, seeking images can be  . . . .


The Love Butterfly

Coral Hairstreak Butterfly on Oxe-eye Daisy photographed by Jeff Zablow at Lynx Prairie, OH

Butterflies are loved by so many. Most people know little about butterflies, and maybe, maybe can name one or two of them. It’s fascinating to ponder why we graduate so many students from our school systems and private schools, with often zero familiarity with these utterly wonderful insects, often living on their own street, in their own yard.

Ask those who know and seek butterflies to name those that they especially hold to their heart, and time and time again, this one will be named, the Coral Hairstreak butterfly.

They fly in about 47 states in the United States and are often scarce and hard to locate. I don’t see them every year, fact of the matter is I often don’t see them for several years, making them a rare butterfly. How do many of us time our field work to see Corals? They LOVE Butterflyweed, a milkweed ( an Asclepias ) and when milkweed is in bloom where you are, the best time to see Corals is when the milkweed has just opened its gorgeous flowers, when they are fresh and vibrant.

I don’t Photoshop my images, this is a tad dark, but the elegance of the Coral Hairstreak surely can be seen. I’ve been to Sotheby’s, Christies, Doyle, 47th Street, etc.. Those coral orangish/reddish patches on the right hindwing so closely resemble coral, a very, very valuable gemstone. They evoke such memories of my wife Frieda A”H and her love for coral and fine jewelry. Yes, it gets personal . . .

This Coral was resting on a leaf in the early morning in Lynx Prairie Reserve in Adams County, Ohio, that June morning. Hard to find yes, but know that a short distance away, there was luxurious Butterflyweed . . . calling out the siren’s song to . . .