Longing To Meet Again

Gemmed Satyr Butterfly, photographed by Jeff Zablow at Hard Labor creek State Park, Georgia

Phil D. selflessly agreed to meet me at Hard Labor Creek State Park (Rutledge, Georgia, USA). He was a Park Ranger Naturalist, and friends had urged me to reach out to him, to see and shoot certain Georgia butterflies.

I was reluctant, for in my then home, Pennsylvania, only one person had ever invited me to see butterflies in habitat, ever (I think). Phil responded sure, when, what?

My list of butterflies I so wanted to see included this one, the Gemmed Satyr butterfly. You say “Gem?” and I’m all in. That goes back to Frieda A”H.

Faster than you can say, “I Love Georgia,” Phil and I reached a moderately treed area, and he was pointing out one, then another and another Gemmed Satyr. This one first flew to, and landed in a shady spot just inches above the ground. Then it flew to this nearby leaf and . . . posed. Posed for me. Wowwwww!

Years of wanting to see this one, as I had wanted to see Regal Frits, Giant swallowtails, Zebra Heliconians and Comptons, over, for here was one that topped the List. Private, hued in gorgeous browns, sporting that band of  ‘jewels,’ this little flier stood there with fine posture, quite proud of itself, and I shot away.

Jeff and the Gemmed, happily confirming a meet-up that only 1 in 100,000 Americans have experienced!

Jeff

A White What?

Levantine marbled white butterfly photographed by Jeffrey Zablow at Neve Ativ, Israel

A Why? Butterfly. Seen in April on the slope of Mt. Hermon, Israel. You’re likely to give this Levantine Marbled White the two second look that most white butterflies complain of.

Look again There’s something different here. Examine those hindwings. See them?

Those two “eyes?” Our white butterflies don’t boast “eyes.” If it’s not a white butterfly, like our Cabbage white . . . what group of butterflies does it belong to?

Levantine Marbleds are Satyrs. Hmm.

Are there any white U.S.A. Satyr butterflies?

Jeff

Gemmeds

Gemmed Satyr Butterfly, photographed by Jeff Zablow at Hard Labor Creek State Park, Georgia

I’ve been to Tiffany’s 5th and 57th Street store multiple times. We’d pass David Webb’s showcase store on E. 57th Street many times, always stopping to chat about his very different jewelry. I’ve been to W. 47th Street too, and we’d seek out family friends who owned booths and more. Stared as they swept up the gold fragments from the floor of Mr. Gold’s workshop, as expert workers fabricate good earrings and necklaces at their workstations. Frieda A”H liked jewelry. I liked meeting her in town, having lunch and then a not too very long visit to those swanky fine jewelry emporiums.

I’d seen Gemmed Satyrs in field guides for years. They are tiny little brown satyrs, with a type of bejeweled patch of “gems” on the underside of their hindwings. I really, really wanted to see those ‘gems’ for my very own eyes.

Virginia introduced me to Phil, and Phil spotted this Gemmed satyr in Hard Labor Creek State Park that day in 2016. Jeffrey Glassberg in A Swift Guide to Butterflies of North America describes their habitat as “grassy moist woods,” The Gemmed would flit to a blade of grass in the shade, and soon to another leaf, also in shade. It was very small. When it flew a short distance to this leaf in dappled sunlight, I went down, down, down onto my tummy, and this butterfly stayed put. I shot away, and here is my best Gemmed Satyr image so far.

I like the contrast a lot, the ‘gems’ set against the rich chocolate browns. It also evokes such wonderful memories, of days gone by, love lost.

Gemmed satyrs and Georgia satyrs, me looking forward to 2018 reunions.

Jeff

2017’s Closing Weeks for Leps

Little wood satyr butterfly photographed at Raccoon Creek State Park, PA

The 2nd week of October 2017, here in the USA (our audience has grown across several continents). Butterflies continue to be met, but we all are counting the days, until 1) they fly south (Monarchs, Painted Ladies) 2) Their chrysalises and caterpillars move into the leaf litter and endure the winter there (fritillaries and skippers) 3) Search for and find crevices in tree trunks and suitable spaces under your wooden back deck (Mourning cloaks).

2017 has been a fine year for butterflies. Monarchs showed up, Zebra heliconians delighted us as they pushed their northern boundary northward and Goatweed leafwings made more appearances than usual.

Me? I’m very, very much looking forward to 2018. The Briar Patch Butterflies and Blooms Habitat comes alive in its new, larger site in Eatonton, Georgia. Israel? The peak of Mt. Hermon in Israel, would be a return for me to those super rare Middle Eastern Holyland butterflies. Texas? Vancouver Island? My return to Angela’s Adams County, Ohio summer wonderland of butterflies, wildflowers and orchids? Ontario?

I’m blessed to be able to continue heading up mountains, into mucky swamp, through rich prairies and into that amazing Butterflies and Blooms in the Briar Patch Habitat. Then too will I finally meet Kathryn, Lois, Peggy, Marcie, Joanne, Roger, Holly and Katarzyna? Dare I dream of rendezvous with new friends in Australia, the Netherlands, Poland and India?

2018? Oh, please reward us, me and all those who go out to score images of sheer beauty!

Jeff