Peek-A-Bo With A Fatal Metalmark

Fatal Metalmark Butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at the National Butterfly Center, Mission, TX

Haven’t used this image, for I continued to think that it was way too dark to see this southwestern USA butterfly, the Fatal Metalmark. It was in a shaded area, while the morning sun at the National Butterfly Center was blocked by clouds. Add to that my built-in Canon light meter was acting up, and you have an image that I’m less than pleased with. Ouch.

This morning I had a fresh look at this photo, and realized . . . that this scintillant butterfly (with those metallic strips that readily reflect light) was, despite all, reflecting the available daylight. It’s difficult for the Fatal to play Peek-A-Bo, for with those metallic lines continuing to shine, there’s no place to run, no place to hide.

I love Metalmarks. This one is “C” for common, according to Glassberg, but to enjoy it, you have to travel to Texas, New Mexico, Arizona or Southern California.

Jeff

Kamamama Bounty

Northern Metalmark Butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at Kamama Prairie Reserve, Ohio

I totally misjudged Ohio. We moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1990, this New York (Brooklyn) born guy had had enough of New York, and its steady decline. We lived in Pittsburgh for 27 years. Before Barbara Ann Case introduced me to Angela, I never considered driving into Ohio for butterflies, for where would I go? What would I seek? Was there good habitat in Ohio?

Angela led us to beyond excellent sites in Ohio in 2017. Parks, Reserves and privately owned land rich in native botany and just as blessed with wildlife and . . . butterflies. Kudos to the State of Ohio.

In Ohio’s southernmost county, Adams County, I met up with a fresh flight of more than 50 Northern Metalmark butterflies. Don’t doubt me on that count, for yes, I kept counting as that sweet meadow kept delivering more and more of the butterfly you see above, the tiny, but elegant Northern Metalmark.

The meadow’s name? Kamamama. I will long remember that name, and its Northern Metalmarks, Monarchs, Edwards Hairstreak, Coral Hairstreaks, Fritillaries, etc. For all of us now remaining in our homes, June in Kamamama would be . . . a dream of a dream.

Jeff

Northern Metalmark Butterfly On Oxe-Eye Daisy

Northern Metalmark Butterfly on Oxe-eye Daisy photographed by Jeff Zablow at Lynx Prairie, OH

Home like 99% of you are, thanks to the COVID-19. More and more I use my time well, reviewing and enjoying our Media Library of what 900+ images. I sit here, in our new sunroom (we moved) and what can I say? I love and revel in those images, reminding me of times, places and incredible good luck that has been visited upon me.

With Barbara Ann Case’s passing recently, I recall trips made because of the kindness and cooperation of her friends, i.e., Angela.

Here’s such an image. I’d already met Little Metalmark butterflies in Georgia and Fatal Metalmark butterflies in the National Butterfly Center in Mission, Texas. Here is the day in 2018 when I met Northern Metalmark butterflies in Adams County, Ohio. Angela and Barbara Ann (OBM”) guided me to Lynx Prairie Reserve, and I hit the jackpot, finding a fresh flight of more than 50!!

This Northern Metalmark butterfly is nectaring on Oxe-Eye Daisy.

Especially love Metalmark butterflies. That scintillating threading of metallic gleam just electrifies me, it does.

Jeff

Lilliputian Metalmark

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

Nancy and John had a proven spot to find Little Metalmark butterflies. I was very, very excited to finally meet them. When we arrived at the spot, I was amazed. Amazed.

The Little Metalmark butterflies were tinier than tiny! Photograph them? You had to crouch down and constantly move your camera, as they methodically worked the equally tiny flowerhead of these yellow blooms.

Scoring a good image? A Big Challenge. They move, you adjust your camera. They move again, and again and again. My goal was to catch those silver-looking bands as they gloriously reflected the strong Georgia coastline sun.

I’d find an especially fresh Little Metalmark, only to watch it fly to another flower. I’d have to get up once again, from hugging the ground, and reposition myself. I did this over and over and over again.

The late morning sun was merciless, the sweat ran down my forehead, and these Cartier-like gems kept doing there bounce from bloom to bloom hunting.

Here’s one of my more satisfying images. Lilliputian Gems, those Little Metalmarks.

Jeff

The Joy Of Meeting Lower Rio Grande Valley Butterflies

Fatal Metalmark butterfly (2) photographed by Jeff Zablow at the National Butterfly Center, Mission, TX

What an elixir! My trip to the Lower Rio Grande Valley was a stunning success. In Mission, I met dozens of new species of butterflies at the National Butterfly Center’s perennial gardens, trails and meadows.

Years of Oohing! and Awwing! at shared photos of those butterflies psyched me for that trip. Flew to San Antonio, drove to Alamo, Texas and we spent several days at the NBCenter, as well as the “Wall” and Bensten State Park.

That joy that I felt, over and over again, happened when I was introduced to such as this, a Fatal Metalmark butterfly. Little Metalmarks and Northern Metalmarks tantalize me, with their understated elegance and shimmering ‘metallic’ stripes.

Pics like this one stoke my excitement for what this glorious 2020 will possibly produce!

Jeff