Kudos To The Designer

Edward Hairstreak Butterfly (Full ventral) photographed by Jeff Zablow at Lynx Prairie Reserve, Ohio

How many design features do you count on the right 2 wings of this Edwards’ Hairstreak butterfly? We’re in that magical meadow at the Lynx Prairie Reserve refuge in Adams County, Ohio. I’m sure that this butterfly is totally fresh, probably eclosing (having left its chrysalis) that very morning, or just the day before).

I would Love to find Edwards’ in my new Macon garden. We’ve set in Butterflyweed, for at Lynx they were aggressively nectaring on that milkweed, and we set in 2 Bear Oaks trees, this small Oak a favorite of Edwards’ Hairstreaks. Range maps show their range to extend nearly as far south as Macon, and it’d be a Hoot! to wake up one morning and . . . find Edwards’ nectaring and setting eggs on our Bear Oaks.

There are so few of us who seek butterflies, so finding rarer ones, like these, does leave me with a feeling of unique accomplishment. I’ve always regretted not having interacted with the Native Americans who lived here before us, and I’ve no doubt that they too marveled over the design features and absolute beauty of such a Hairstreak butterfly.

Am I being to gushy here, or is my thinking shared?

Jeff

Gorgeous Hind Wing?

Dusky-blue Hairstreak Butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at the National Butterfly Center, Mission, TX

We’ve held off posting with this image, for I’ve tried so hard, for so many years, to capture butterfly images with the butterfly’s eyes clearly seen. I’ve theorized that y’all only see lion, wolf, horse, dog, cat, fisher, owl and osprey images with eyes sharp and prominent. I’ve occasionally urged folks new to capturing butterfly images to try to get those eyes, those amazing butterfly eyes.

Comes once and a while an image like this one, and what to do? The right hindwing of this Dusky-blue Groundstreak butterfly? Beyond beautiful, I believe. What should we do, share it or not?

I share it with you, for even in the challenging light of a cloudy National Butterfly Center, Mission, Texas morning, I LOVE the work G-d’s done here, with those reds, blues, blacks, tans, brown, white and oranges?

Share or not share? What think you?

Jeff

Addicted To . . . Spots

Gray Hairstreak Butterfly at Phipps Conservatory, Pittsburgh

I don’t know how many of you share this addiction, but for me it’s real and I can’t kick it. When I’m out there, on those magical trails, let a butterfly appear, and more often than not, I’m searching for its dots and patches and stripes and epaulets. Those searches are rushed, for how long will the butterfly stay, when will it fly off, at speeds that sometimes exceed 40 miles per hour?

Spots and such mesmerize me, and always have me hoping that I’ll be seeing the finest spots I’ve ever seen before. Sometimes they are!! and little a little boy, or a total teenager, I am totally zonked!

Other addictions of mine? None, I think, ‘cept my usual idiosyncrasies, which let’s agree we needn’t go into.

This Gray Hairstreak was seen early in the morning in the Outdoor Gardens of the Phipps Conservatory in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Phipps is perhaps the finest Greenhouse Conservatory in the U.S.A.

She has beautiful spots, no?

Jeff

Want To See A Mallow Scrub-Hairstreak?

Mallow Scrub-Hairstreak Butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at the National Butterfly Center, Mission, TX

Sometimes I have to stop and remind myself, that you cannot see America’s butterflies when you just feel like seeing them. Some fly when snow is still on the ground, others fly in the Spring, late Spring, early Summer, mid-Summer, late Summer, early Fall. Here in Georgia some fly in the late Fall.

Where do they fly? Meadows, Fens, Marshes, Wetlands, Forest, Thick Forest, Salt Marshes, Mountain Slopes, Different Elevations, Rock Falls, Water Seeps . . . and on on.

This Mallow Scrub-Hairstreak butterfly flies in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California, along the border with Mexico.

I met it at the National Butterfly Center’s perennial gardens in Mission, Texas.

My eyes immediately go to that large black spot on its hindwing, deliciously surrounded by a sweet orange rind circle. Those cute ‘tails’ and spiffy hindwing black semicircles rimmed with white, also catch my eye.

Jeff