Enjoy Your Nap, Viceory

Viceroy Butterfly at rest (right side), photographed by Jeff Zablow at "Butterflies and Blooms in the Briar Patch," Eatonton, GA

It was always a struggle for me to get to the Butterflies & Blooms Briar Patch Habitat, before 8:30 AM on any morning. I’m a slow starter in the morning, and that jeopardized the opportunities that can be had by early arrivals at wildlife habitat. I’ve often seen others come along at 11 A.M. or noontime.

The sun is way too high after 11 A.M., striking your subject butterfly so that the image is bathed in strong light. I didn’t want that. Much better are images scored early in the morning, with the sunlight striking your butterfly at a sharp angle, accentuating the topography of your subject, producing interesting angles, and great images.

This Viceroy butterfly was difficult to see, as it remained on this flat leaf, just inside the tree margin at the Briar Patch Habitat. It wasn’t ready to make flight, not yet. I was able to quickly have a look at it, and Wow! it was a very handsome Viceroy. it’s marking was bold, nicely colored and included a solid, thick black hindwing mid-line, the line that enables you to easily see that not only is the butterfly smaller than a Monarch butterfly, but with that hindwing line coursing the middle of the hindwing, it’s definitely a Viceroy.

Viceroy butterflies thrive when their hostplant, Willows, trees or bushes, are nearby.

Eatonton, Georgia, in the Georgia Piedmont region.

Jeff

A Fine Natural Elixir at Traci’s Kelso Swamp

Viceroy Butterfly, photographed by Jeff Zablow in Kelso Swamp, Fayette Township, PA

Scrolling down through our hundreds of Media Library images, I stopped here. Why? Every time I catch a glimpse of this image, it stops me. I look at it, and I smile, a feeling of ease and peace soothes me. I have no doubt that my blood pressure drops a tad.

Often, my mind wanders to the children (4) whom I rarely hear from (?), the grandchildren who almost all can write and hit those cell phone buttons . . . but don’t, my personal losses, the child 4 doors away who at 3 left us just 3 days ago, the business skullduggery that insured that I would not be worth 9 figures, my inability to travel to far corners of this world to seek butterflies . . . . . . . . . as I imagine most of you too experience wandering mind.

This image snaps me out of that foolishness. I Thank G-d for all I’m Blessed with now. Now. I am reminded that the Followers of wingedbeauty.com are who you are, something I shall always cherish.

Yep, this Viceroy butterfly, in Traci’s Kelso Swamp in Fayiette Township, west of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is a home spun elixir for all that vexes you. No?

Jeff

This Viceroy Stunned Me!

Viceroy butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at the Butterflies and Blooms Habitat in Eatonton, GA

This super-charged my eyes and rocked my mind! It was early morning in the Butterflies & Blooms Briar Patch Habitat in Eatonton, Georgia, Virginia’s in-town miracle. I do especially like Viceroy butterflies, and I’m always on the lookout for an extraordinary one. This photo shot me to the moon, it did. Why?

  • Our Viceroy star here posed, in excellent form, long enough for me to cop many images, and super-like this one.
  • This was a Macro- shot, me having to be very very close, and he/she allowed me to close the space between us.
  • The colors it wore are so very sweet, reminding me of those many many visits to the finest of the jewelry houses in NYNY back then. G-d here shares colors that Cartiers must quietly . . . envy
  • Viceroys prefer habitat near much water, the B & Blooms Briar Patch Habitat had willows, but little water, so why were we so blessed with this visit?
  • Every aspect of this Viceroy butterfly is gorgeous. You slowly scan it and more and more finery is seen.
  • Frieda A”H loved fine jewelry, and as I stood at this beauty, it so evoked for me memories of how . . . .
  • My goals remain the same: Chief among them is to score images as good as or better than those in the best of the Butterfly field guides. I did that here, I’d like to say.
  • Why? Why? was I so fortunate to be there, at this place, at this time, enabling me to meet such Beauty! A moment earlier or a moment later and . . . . Will of the Wisp they used to call it.
  • I suspected then, that if I could capture the essence of this magnificent creature, that some whom I much respect would be pleased, and would say so. That is the wind to my sails. You do it for me.

Jeff

You Never Meet Your Fav Movie Star At A Chic Cafe

Viceroy Butterfly on Sumac (Woody Pond) photographed by Jeff Zablow at Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge, GA

This is how it happens. You never ever will meet your favorite heart throb movie star at a chic cafe for coffee and babka. You also almost NEVER meet a butterfly you so want to photograph in exactly the place, time and weather that you’d like to.

I’ve been startled, startled over these years when, without warning or anticipation, I’ve met butterflies that were GORGEOUS and chose to set down in a landing site that was perfect for me. Off of the top, some opps I’ve missed, me caught off guard and not expecting deliverance, included unexpected meeting with Mourning Cloaks, Common Mestras, Compton Tortoiseshells, Goatwood Leafwings and Orange-barred Sulphurs.

We were working the trail that’s 4 feet from Woody pond in Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge, along the Georgia coastline. We were near native Sumac. The day before, the Georgia Native Plant Society had shared a Facebook post, of the wonderfulness of native Sumac. That blew up all the negatives I’d heard, back in New York City, of the Sumac that always invaded empty city lots and those tiny city back yards and gardens. Alien Sumac it was, and Sumac became a dirty word, for me.

Suddenly, this big Viceroy flies in, and begins slowly nectaring on the native Sumac. Well I have a fondness for Viceroys and I’d been given a Re-Education about Sumacs the day before! Mamma Mia!! Viceroy supper fresh, big and richly hued . . . and Sumac in an eye-pleasing setting!

The Viceroy was well within the Sumac branches, meaning that my images would, should show part Viceroy in sun and part Viceroy in Sumac-shade. I shot away!

Here’s the image of a beautiful Viceroy, don’t know if male or female, on a healthy, native Sumac in early bloom. You’ll be as lucky as anything if you ever meet your favorite, smile pleasing star for coffee in the perfect sidewalk cafe, on the perfect day, you unhitched and carefree. No?

Jeff

Upon Meeting A Fresh Viceroy

Viceroy butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at the Butterflies and Blooms Habitat in Eatonton, GA

When you are out and about seeking butterflies, there are moments that require that you stop and marvel, stop and question.

Upon meeting a fresh Viceroy Butterfly, you:  a) Carefully check and see if that black line extends across the last 1/3 of the hindwings b) Confirm that it is smaller than a Monarch Butterfly c) Review in your mind the habitat you are standing in, for Viceroys stay close to wet habitat and they prefer the close presence of their hostplant, Willows d) Roll your mental ‘Rolladex’ to compare your instant Viceroy with the beauty of the other Viceroys that you have seen and shot before d) If the Viceroy is as handsome as this one seen here, you Hope/Pray in your given nanosecond that it tolerates your presence and allows you to shoot away!

When I met this amazing Viceroy in Virginia’s Butterflies & Blooms Briar Patch Habitat in Eatonton, Georgia, I knew I’d met a very special Viceroy. All of the above happened, and now, I am pleased, much.

Jeff