Why Malachite? Why not Peacock?

Peacock butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at the National Butterfly Center, Mission, TXMalachite Butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at the National Butterfly Center, Mission, TX

Friends love Chevys. Others love Fords. Yuppies here and in New York love ‘Beemers’ (BMW’s), others love Nissans. Why?

My Christmas week trip to the National Butterfly Center in Mission, Texas did not yield Jeffrey Glassberg or Jane Hurwitz . . . but I did meet my first White Peacock and my first Malachite butterfly! (I too met Javier and Mike Rickard).

I was OK with meeting and shooting this Peacock you see here. I was very excited to meet and photograph this Malachite, which friends there shared was an especially handsome one.

“OK” with finding this Peacock. “Very excited” to shoot away with this Malachite.

Why do some butterflies (Malachite for me) so excite us, even years later, while others (Peacock for me) are met with moderate excitement?

Why?

Jeff

 

Love? No. Why?

Peacock butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at the National Butterfly Center, Mission, TX

I count 1995 or so as the year that I decided to photograph butterflies. Life had always found me marching to my own drummer, and childhood had seriously taught me to learn the hard lesson of loneliness. Fortunately, I had the tools to make it on the streets of that Brooklyn, and I alway knew I could love, deeply.

Butterflies have occupied my mind and imagination since, and happily, that enthusiasm has not lessened. With Spring around the corner here in middle-Georgia, I spend much time thinking of where, what and which butterflies I would like to meet and re-meet. I’ve learned to reckon with limitation$ and to embrace the realization that I am one beat less than Ansel Adams and his ilk.

These decades have me thinking of Big questions, when I am in the field and when I am like here, at my 27″ iMac screen examining my craft work.

Large among the questions that visit me is this one. Why do I embrace, Love, images of certain butterflies? I easily include here: Coppers, Hairstreaks, Mourning cloak, Tortoiseshells, the Monarch, Common Mestra, Satyrs and the Alpines (though I’ve never seen one)?

I know, intellectually that this White Peacock butterfly, shot in the National Butterfly Center, is magnificent. Yet I am not excited when I’ve seen them, there’s no enthusiasm there. Add to that the Yellow butterflies, the White butterflies, the Checkerspots, Crescents, Ladies and the Skippers.

For a guy who has been thinking, deeply, since he was back there a 5-year old. I have not yet teased apart the reason for this ambivalence about this magnificent butterfly, the Peacock. A puzzle that. Yes?

Jeff