So You’ve Seen A Red Rim Butterfly. Now What?

Red-rim butterfly on fallen branch photographed by Jeff Zablow at the National Butterfly Center, Mission, TX

Graduation from PS 244 in Brooklyn. Graduation from JHS 285, and after from Samuel J Tilden HS. Graduation from Hunter College in New York City. Graduation from OCS. Earned a Masters Degree from Pace University. Married. Four healthy children, all graduated from schools we had confidence in. Sat through graduations in some of America’s finest universities and graduate schools.

Me? I taught Advanced Placement Biology and I introduced sylvan habitat to some of the toughest kids in New York City and later in Pittsburgh. I built successful (very) real estate business, only to have it wrested away from me by despicables. With my wife’s (A”H) help, I did not . . .

I’ve done this and more. Hundreds of trips near and far to meet new butterflies, and it’s become ever more interesting, for look, I’ve seen and shot the Red Rim butterfly, in Mission, Texas, at the border with Mexico. That same trip I met and shot the Erato Heliconian butterfly, the Common Mestra, the Mexican Bluewing, the Tropical Leafwing . . . and so many more.

Now what?

Jeff

I Saw The Red Rim Butterfly

Red-rim butterfly on leaf photographed by Jeff Zablow at the National Butterfly Center, Mission, TX

We were in the National Butterfly Center in Mission, Texas. John and Nancy prepped me with the forewarning that we might, might see very rare butterflies. It was the week of Christmas, and I was puzzled. How could we see real rare butterflies in the dead of winter?

The Crosbys were so right! Here is a look at one of the rarest of butterfly visitors to the United States. The Red Rim butterfly, It stayed there in that semi-darkened stand of trees, some 15 feet or so away from me. I was shooting with my Canon Macro- lens, and struggled to cop the very best images that I could.

That broad band of red, on an otherwise black butterfly? Striking and I think that I thanked G-d for the treat that was presented before me.

I saw the Red Rim. Few can ever say they did.

Jeff

Red Rim & New York’s Madison Avenue?

Erato heliconian butterfly (Dorsal view) photographed by Jeff Zablow at the National Butterfly Center, Mission, TX

Facebook Friends have been asking this brain energizing question today. It’s New Years Day and they’re asking what was the most exciting/amazing butterfly or bird or darner that you’ve seen this 2019?

Opened my Media Library on winged beauty.com and I went ahead and scrolled down through our what, 900 images?

Here’s where I stopped and day-dreamed. We were at the National Butterfly Center’s own trails, Nancy, John and I. It was the last week of that year. Brooklyn Boy here was reveling in the balmy 80’s that we were enjoying there, just 2 miles from the Mexican border.

There it was!! They told me that it was a Red Rim butterfly ( Biblis hyperia ). A super rare butterfly, seen by few of us, ever, and this one was so starkly fresh as to earn that coveted word, “gorgeous.” Glassberg’s A Swift Guide to Butterflies of North America ( page 238 ) describes it as “Rare.”

For this me, it evoked those years when I was paying my way through college by being a Messenger boy in Manhattan, daily after classes. Too, it brought back memories of those 14 years that I was a realtor in that very same Manhattan. I was a wide-awake kid/guy, and I always noticed the rare excellence of women and men in that wonderland of an island.

Madison Avenue there was the most likely place to enjoy such sights. I love when butterflies conjure up memories . . .

Jeff

 

Gauging The Net Gain Of Finding Rare Butterflies

Red-rim butterfly at rest photographed by Jeff Zablow at the National Butterfly Center, Mission, TX

Red-rim butterfly on leaf photographed by Jeff Zablow at the National Butterfly Center, Mission, TX

Why Mike Tyson? I’m not sure, but I do remember seeing ‘celebrities’ in person. Add to that list Kirk Douglas, that special elevator ride down with Diana Ross. I’ve never met or seen more than the head of a United States President. I saw a U.S. Senator in synagogue in Washington, DC, some 3 times (shook Liberman’s hand after services, for I had some respect for him).  I met real farmers and real cowboys in Ft. Sill, Oklahoma, receiving my artillery training (Big respect for them, for whatever had to be done, they never shirked, only asking ‘When do you need it done?’).

I remember 2 or 3 young women from my formative years,(during my red hair/green eyes ‘stage.’)

I remember guys I fought who were ferocious, ’cause that took a great effort.

All this to share that I remember each and every time that I’ve either seen a spectacularly beautiful, fresh butterfly, especially when I wanted to shoot them, and could not or the crazy rare butterflies that I’ve seen over these years: Erato heliconian, Compton Tortoiseshell, Gold-rimmed hairstreak, Malachite, Milbert’s tortoiseshell, Parnassian on Mt. Hermon and Parnassian in the Golan/Galilee regions, Leonard’s skipper and this Red Rim  seen in these 2 images here.

We saw this Rare Red Rim at the National Butterfly Center in Mission, Texas. It stayed in thickly treed habitat and, it was gorgeous. Movingly gorgeous.

I sometimes try to figure out the net gain benefits of having seen rare butterflies and of seeing celebrities/national leaders. I’ve not yet, despite the decades, worked to a conclusive decision as to the net gain of seeing people of great fame, nor for meeting a butterfly that only 0.00091% of Americans have seen.

Your input here?

Jeff

Red Rim? Yes!

Red-rim butterfly on fallen branch photographed by Jeff Zablow at the National Butterfly Center, Mission, TX

“R” according to Jeffrey Glassberg’s A Swift Guide to Butterflies of North America (Princeton University Press, 2017). Rarely seen in the United States. December 2017, and there we were in the Lower Rio Grande Valley in Mission, Texas. We were working a trail in the National Butterfly Center, and I think it was John who spotted it on a bait log (banana and beer mashed and ‘painted’ on a log suspended inches above the ground). A Red Rim Butterfly (Biblis hyperia).

It was spectacular. The upper surface was jet. black, and that band of rich red across the hindwings jumped out at you, it did. It tolerated a few shutter clicks, and then flew to this nearby tree. I continued shooting it, even with my Macro- lens at considerable disadvantage.

I finally make it to this southern tip of Texas, now me in my majority, and I make the acquaintance of this Red Rim, and that Erato Heliconian and Tropical Greenstreaks and Mexican Fritillaries and that regal Malachite.

My internal debate, should I share this image, was brief, for most of us cannot find a Red Rim in our image bank, and this is one, a slight bit of eye strain aside.

Jeff