My, What Big Eyes You Have

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

Miss this one too. It’s been some time since I’ve seen a Little Wood Satyr. Now relocated to the southeast, what I see are dozens and dozens of Carolina Satyr butterflies. With all respect to the Carolina satyrs, they cannot boast the oversized ‘eyes’ that this one sports. Little Wood Satyrs also give pause for a smile, as the bound about the forest edge with their near ridiculous flight, bouncing, bobbing and weaving.

They mean no harm, seem to be purposeful and give those of us who frequent those trails from Maine to Florida, North Dakota to Texas, sweet thoughts and quizzical looks. How the heck do they roam about the forest perimeter, carefree, when there are so many predators and predicaments just waiting for them?

I love Little Wood Satyrs and their Big ‘eyes’ and chocolate stripes. We are overdue, we are.

Jeff

Them And Me (Mine)

Lasiommata Megera butterfly photographed by Jeffrey Zablow at Mt. Meron

It’s mid-winter here in the Georgia Piedmont. I did see a sluggish Cloudless Sulphur Butterfly last week, on a 67F day, in my yard. That said, the general butterfly hiatus is some challenging. That’s especially so when I open Facebook and the Ian’s and Bill’s photos from the likes of what Peru, Indonesia and Bolivia, India. Mike and Javi put me over the top, when they share butterflies just seen in the Lower Rio Grande Valley in Texas!

Their sweet images of impossible butterflies tease out the little boy in me, and I start thinking of images I have gleaned that ‘they don’t have.’

My many trips to the HolyLand jump out at me as I scan my Media Library, and here’s one that sure qualifies for an exciting find. This Lasiomatta megara emilyssa jumpstarted my blood pressure when I spotted him sunning on a rock on a trail on Mt. Meron, in the very northern Galilee region of Israel. HolyLand butterflies dislike close approach, and for that I stopped where I did, Macro- lens and all, for closer approach would have left me with zero images. They flee, and they flee at high speed.

This butterfly is not uncommon, but at the same time is rarely seen.

Do I plan to travel to Indonesia, Chile or Slovenia? No. But I’m booked for the Lower Rio Grande Valley, and kind friends continue to beckon me, to far, far away locales.

Jeff

Finding Rare HolyLand Satyrs

Pararge Aegeria Butterfly photographed by Jeffrey Zablow in Northern Golan, Israel

Scouring the Upper Galilee region of Israel for butterflies is a Joy! that I’ve done, many times. 99% alone, the entire time, amidst fields of fresh Spring wildflower blooms, I Thank G-d for the opportunity. I tell you I often stop, scan the meadows of the Kedesh trail, and struggle to understand why more folks don’t do the same? Thousands of years ago, They stopped their important missions, to amaze at those same species of butterflies, and here I am fortunate to do the same.

I am especially fond of Satyr butterflies, and this trip to Kedesh trail produced a good discovery. I was scanning the tiny stream that runs along part of the trail, it mostly dry, but recent rains left the stream bed wet enough to nurture a brown satyr that flew in. I quickly made my approach. Daddah! A handsome satyr butterfly. I carefully moved in and was thrilled to see this was a rare, Protected satyr, Parage aegeria aegeria.

Hot diggity dog! Those in my field guides bore tiny white eyespots, but this buster’s eyespots featured big, prominent white centers. I shot away, and quicker than that, he flew. Away and out of sight.

I love finding rare HolyLand satyrs. No scholar I, but, I have no doubt I’d just shared moments treasured by Them, thousands of years ago. I like that.

Jeff

HolyLand Spots!

Maniola Telmessia (female) photographed by Jeff Zablow at Mt. Meron, Israel

Mt. Meron is excellent for finding Upper Galilee butterflies, especially satyrs. I’m always on the lookout for images that highlight their tantalizing spots. A great long-term goal, for they don’t enjoy close approach, and nearly each and every time you find a fresh one, with those spots and eyes aglare, it’s gone before the first shutter click.

Persistence often rewards, and this time, I was Ga Ga when I found this Lasiomatta maera orinetalis with the morning HolyLand sun spotlighted on its upper left wing eyespot! That’s a rarity in the field, and I got it, I did. Enough of the lower right wing surfaces can be seen to make the declarative satyr ID.

Surely such fascinated Them back then, as they made their pilgrimages, this just days just days before Christmas . . . Amazing to ponder, this.

Jeff

Diana & Mitchell Up A Tree Kiss . . .

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

We’re a Limited Edition, those of us who love and pursue butterflies. I often wonder if wingedbeauty.com is the only true butterfly blog in the USA? I usually think that that can’t be so, for when I travel, and meet some like us on trails, I offer them my ‘business card’ (masterfully produced by Moo), I get little reaction, a brand of ho-hum. NABA too has never smiled at wingedbeauty. That’s gotta mean there are several dozen butterfly blogs about?

So my band of merry men and women I share this shot of a butterfly that Jeff thought about for many years. I had never seen a Gemmed Satyr, and should you read that post we shared, my interesting association with gems and jewelry nurtured my interesest in seeing the Gemmed. Phil guided me, in Hard Labor Creek State Park in the Piedmont region of central Georgia. Gemmeds prefer dappled shade, and this one flew lazily from one leaf to another, all in the shade of the trees above. I think I asked G-d to help me there and then, for my Fuji Velvia 100 film could not do this sweetie justice in full shade. Walla! It flew next to this leaf, presented itself to me with this excellent pose, and I saw and shot my first Gemmed Satryr.

We’re fast approaching Christmas and Chanukah, and Mr. Jeff’s mind is leapfrogging ahead to 2019. What other ‘Rare-Locally Common’ butterflies do I much want to introduce myself to in 2019?

Diana fritillaries, those very large gorgeous fritillaries in northern Georgia and Mitchell’s Satyrs in Alabama. Scoured the northwestern mountains of Georgia this 2018 for Diana, but without success.

Who’s going to guide me to my Dianas and my Mitchells? Don’t yet know. 24 years at this have found serious butterfly folks to be more than reluctant to do so. I’m just a lonely boy, lonely and . . . .

Jeff