Pomegranates In Jerusalem

Pomegranates photographed by Jeff Zablow at Jerusalem, Israel

We were in Jerusalem. The HolyLand. Everything there was not the same. Everything meant more, touched me, and, you remember how I write that THEY no doubt also stopped to watch those butterflies, the butterflies of Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Caesaria, the Galilee, the Golan and Ein Gedi.

Walking just minutes from the Kotel (the Western Wall) I came upon this Pomegranate tree. The Pomegranates were nearly ripe. Grapes, Pomegranates . . . the sacred fruits of Jerusalem. Pomegranates of Jerusalem, more than enough to take me away from my search for butterflies.

Did I find different species of butterflies nearby, just minutes from the Kotel? I sure did, many more than I had expected to find.

Jeff

Waiting On Coneflower At 800

Coneflower photographed by Jeff Zablow at Lynx, Prairie Reserve, Ohio

Crusing through the hundreds of images in our Media Library bank, I stopped right here, at the enticing image of this native Coneflower, at Lynx Prairie Reserve Refuge, Adams County, Ohio. Why did I have to pause there?

We’ve set in a whole lot of coneflower, native and cultivar (truth be told. cultivar for the ‘color”) and today, with a high of 79F, we’ve been working in our 800 garden, front and back. I keep stopping at those same Coneflower plants, again and again examining the spent flowerstalks from last year, squinting my eyes to try and find any, any teeny, tiny appearance of new budding or leaves.

None yet. Nothing to be reported. We’ve been in this North Macon, Georgia for 11 months now, and last year, just as soon as we set Coneflower in, butterflies and bees visited, to reap the abundant nectar and pollen provided.

Waiting at 800, in late February. Georgia is amazing, BJ, Jim, Cathy, Jerry, Marie, Barbara, Phil, Lisa, Lisa, Donald, and y’all. I saw a butterfly today, my first for 2021, in late February. It zoomed by me, and I’d have to guess that is was an Admiral or a Painted Lady, but it never stopped . . . .

Jeff

Tawny Emperor Butterfly ( # 2?)

Tawny Emperor Butterfly on Rocky Ground photographed by Jeff Zablow at Raccoon Creek State Park, PA

Not much secret that my favorite butterfly is the Mourning Cloak Butterfly. Many have read of that surreal experience I had just weeks after the loss of Frieda A”H. That Mourning Cloak unsettled me, and I admit that I was unable to suppress tears that day. Whenever I am fortunate enough to again see a Mourning Cloak, I am instantaneously moved, much. Butterflies can do that, no?

Asked what is my #2 favorite butterfly, here I’m forced to think. Candidates for that distinction are the Great Purple Hairstreak, the Milbert’s Tortoiseshell, the Compton Tortoiseshell, the White M Hairstreak, the Two-Tailed Pasha (the HolyLand) and the Tawny Emperor.

Here’s a gorgeous Tawny Emperor butterfly, dazzling my eyes in a sea of browns and tans. At Raccoon Creek State Park in southwestern Pennsylvania, just 8 hours from Broadway, New York, New York.

Jeff

Two Black Spots Make this Cabbage White Butterfly a Female

Female Cabbage White Butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at Raccoon Creek State Park, PA

Are we seeing fewer and fewer of them? I remember when we saw many more of them in the ’60’s, ’70’s and 1980’s. When I seriously began photographing them in the 1990’s, what did I discover? They are inexplicably difficult to photograph! Their white wings discombobulate the camera/film, and most exposures of them disappoint. That is why I am pleased with this image.

I used to call them “European Cabbage White butterflies.” Most everyone called them that. Now, accepting that they are here to stay, all seem to now use ‘Cabbage White’ butterfly.

She sports those 2 black spots on her dorsal forewing, ID’ing her as a fine female.

Raccoon Creek State Park, southwestern Pennsylvania. Eight hours or so west of the Empire State Building.

Jeff

My Heart Beat Jumps when I see a Milbert’s Tortoiseshell Butterfly

Ventral View of a Milbert's Tortoiseshell Butterfly on a Teasel Flowerhead photographed by Jeff Zablow at Raccoon Creek State Park, PA

Your heart beat jumps when a Milbert’s Tortoiseshell Butterfly flies in! Mine does. You just never see them in pairs or threes, and do you expect to see one? No. East of the Mississippi River, they are a northern butterfly.

When this one flew in, and set on this Teasel flowerhead, I was so Thankful for being there, being there then. Add to that the Milbert’s slowly worked the Teasel flowers, one by one, methodically. Better yet, it did not flee when I made my long, protected Macro- lens approach. Icing on the tiramisu cake was that the one was . . . gorgeous. Just look at that flash of nourishing orange on the dorsal surface of that right forewing.

I’m humbled by such limited experiences. I expect that few of you have been so fortunate as I’ve been, to have met and spent many minutes with Milbert’s (this one went to several Teasel flowerheads before it flew).

Raccoon Creek State Park, Nichol Road trail, southwestern Pennsylvania, about an 8-hour drive from the Statue of Liberty boat landing.

(Teasel is an alien plant, FYI, although truth be told, many, many butterflies adore its nectar (as do bees, such as the one shown on the far side of the Teasel)).

Jeff