Here’s a sight that thrills me. Working a trail in Big Bend Wildlife Management Area (Florida’s Panhandle), and spotting a Georgia Satyr, with that lipstick red ring encircling those sweet, sweet eyes. Thinking of it sent me to Google the lyrics of Ray Charle’s Georgia on My Mind, and Yep, this butterfly is one of the handful that rocketed me to excitation.
Still in peaceful dreams I see, The road leads back to you. March 2021, let there be no COVID-19 hereabouts, and let me again work the trail edges of Big Bend WMA and northern Florida, to reacquaint with this sweet pearl of a Satyr, and my fav Palamedes Swallowtails and let me meet a handful of southern butterflies that have yet eluded me.
Am I a dreamer?
Legs? Check. Back? Check? Knees? 93.66% Feet & Ankles? Check? Head? Just So Long As I Don’t Swoop Down In 1/8 of a second to score images of a rare Satyr, and just as long as I’m reminded to drink a ‘Power Drink’ in the hot, humid Georgia/Florida habitat . . . Check! Bank account? We’ll give that a Check!
Jeff is in his prime, as a well seasoned, ripe steak, and 2021 soooo beckons. That bank account precludes those dream trips to Arizona/Kansas/Vancouver Island/Alaska/Mission, Texas, but Florida and my Georgia will be Manna from Heaven for butterflies, for this Brooklyn Boy.
It’s back to Florida’s Panhandle and north central Florida for ever more satisfying images of the butterfly shown here, the Georgia Satyr. They fly all year when the Florida weather is stable, so a February-March drive down might just work. A friend in Alabama has agreed to help point me to Mitchell’s Satyrs in Bibb County, so May to June would be good, So good.
Truth be told, I thank G-d for even the thought of heading out to photograph these little, gorgeous Satyrs. I have an affinity (love) for Satyrs. I do.
Yes, I’ve long be an optimist Yes, I know I’ll be met by crazy humidity, mosquitoes and . . . maybe ticks. I’ve faced it all in my early life, and I guess that’s just me.
There we were at Big Bend Wildlife Management Area in Florida’s Panhandle. It was a search for southeastern butterflies, and we found them: Georgia satyrs, Palamedes swallowtails, Tiger swallowtails and more, much more.
It sure surprised me when we spotted this one, a Little Wood Satyr butterfly (Megisto cymela). I’ve lived in Georgia for less than 3 years, and this one? I always associate Little Wood Satyrs as northern butterflies. They’re found in all of the northeastern states of the United States, and further west all the way to the Dakotas, Oklahoma and Texas.
A careful examination of its range map shows that Little Wood Satyrs are found in northern Florida, and that’s where we were.
Watching this sweetie fly onto this leaf, to take in the early morning sun, brought a smile. A small butterfly, it brings to mind that childhood fav, Tinker Belle, that Peter Pan companion.
It brought a smile, and a thought. I thought that this little butterfly deserves a tune, to celebrate its discovery that morning, at Big Bend.
The tune? I so hope y’all come up with just the right one . . .
Kayaking, SkyDiving, Drag Racing, Rock Climbing, Swimming Off The Coast In 10 Foot Waters, Rescuing Native Plants Just Before Developers Send In Bull Dozers . . . these all provide excitement and thrills to friends and family. They make folks happy. Me?
This is my joy. Wanting to score photographs of uncommon butterflies, butterflies that I either don’t own photographs of or photos of butterflies that I have met before, but am not, not satisfied with the looks that I’ve gotten.
This happily is an image of a Georgia Satyr Butterfly captured on my 2nd trip to Big Bend Wildlife Management Area near Perry, Florida. This Florida Panhandle refuge is an excellent destination, offering dozens of difficult to find butterflies. A transplant from Long Island, New York to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to now Macon, Georgia, Georgias sing to me, and this trip to bring back an image or 2, well, I count it as a win, win.
I dropped off Petra at the groomers in Madison, Georgia this morning, and then headed out to Hard Labor Creek State Park, near Rutledge, Georgia. One of my hopes was to revisit this place, shown here. This was where Phil guided me to the habitat of Gemmed Satyrs (R-LC, Rare to Locally Common, according to Glassberg’s A Swift Guide to the Butterflies of North America). He was a Ranger at the Park, and knew just about every square foot of the Park, and knew every butterfly there and almost anywhere in a 300-mile radius.
Yep, I could not relocate that place, and yes, I was not going to bother Phil. The Park Office there had just about the most lush, well planned butterfly garden of any state park or national wildlife refuge I’ve ever seen. At that bloom-laden Park garden, and at a nearby lakeside area, I did find Tiger Swallowtails, Dark Form Tigers (many . . . Why so many there?), Spicebush Swallowtails, Cloudless Sulphurs, Pearl Crescents, Gray Hairstreaks, Eastern Tailed Blues and many different Skippers.
Not seeing Gemmeds did sadden me, for they remain special to me, truth be told.