After Hundreds of Days Photographing Butterflies, there are Some that Especially Wow! Me

Palamedes Swallowtail Butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow in Big Bend Wildlife Management Area, Florida's Panhandle

I’ve spent hundreds of days photographing butterflies over these decades. Felt very fortunate to be able to do that. Much because I know that few do what I do, and what I do is seek beauty, truth and G-d’s crafted beauty. Here in Georgia’s Piedmont (Central Georgia), there’s been times that I’ve told huge locals why I’m here, or why I’m headed there,, and sometimes those big guys (don’t know what they’ve been eating down here but some of them are more than sizable) don’t reflect much manly approval. Don’t care at all of that, I’ve made ‘my bones’ in life, and seeking G-d’s magnificent butterflies? I know how much that means to me . . . .

There are some butterflies that especially Wow! me. Fresh, colorful, well put together Monarchs, Mourning Cloaks, Coral Hairstreaks, Viceroys, Malachites, Red Rims, Gray Hairstreaks, Compton Tortoiseshells, Red Admirals, Black Form Tiger Swallowtails, Little & Northern Metalmarks . . . and Palamedes Swallowtails like this one stop me, and all evoke Praise from me.

I’ve share before how I’ve seen the world’s finest jewelry, up close, and how the beauty of those fresh, handsome butterflies only draws awe from the now-gone artisans in those jewelry designers’ workshops.

Palamedes Swallowtail Butterfly, Big Bend’s Spring Unit in the Florida Panhandle.


A Smile for the Cream-Colored Bands on a Butterfly’s Forewings

Phaon Crescent Butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at Big Bend Wildlife Management Area, Florida

Love that moment when you think you’ve met a Pearl Crescent Butterfly, and quickly notice those cream-colored bands on the forewings. I for sure smile, realizing that I’ve met those new friends of mine, now that I’m a Georgian. It’s a Phaon Crescent Butterfly, that butterfly of the southern USA.

Big Bend Wildlife Management Area in the Florida Panhandle dishes up lots of special butterflies. I’ve been to this Florida Panhandle refuge 3 times now, and each time I meet new and fresh butterflies, plants and animals. Now in my 3rd read of Wild America by Roger Tory Peterson and James Fisher, their account of their experiences in the Panhandle have again wet my appetite for a re-visit to Big Bend and the St,. Marks National Wildlife Refuge.


Help Us Identify aWetland Wildflower at Florida’s Big Bend Wildlife Management Area

Wetland Flower photographed by Jeff Zablow at Big Bend Wildlife Management Area, Florida

It’s time to ask y’all for an ID for this sweet, delicate, inspiring wetland wildflower. It grew in the swampy habitat along a trail at the Big Bend Wildlife Management Area in Florida’s Panhandle. I saw it, stopped, admire it and shot it, for your future help in identifying it.

There are tens of thousands of botanists in the southeastern USA alone, and its comforting to know that some know all, or nearly all.



“Oh Baby You Know What I Like”

Phaon Crescent Butterfly 3 photographed by Jeff Zablow at Big Bend Wildlife Management Area, Florida

At the Big Bend Wildlife Management Area, in Florida’s Panhandle, who did we meet? Just as you’d hope, there was this Phaon Crescent butterfly. As soon as I saw those sweet cream colored bands on its fresh forewings, I knew this little beaut was a Phaon. The clincher was the abundance of its hostplant, Fogfruit, growing low on the trailside, close to the marshy, swampy Big Bend wetland.

What springs to mind, when this rock ‘n roller reminds of this happy sighting? The Big Bopper’s cannot be forgotten Hello Baby, You Know What I Like . . .

It’s fun to see such, and be obliged to determine, in a nanosecond, if you’ve met a Pearl Crescent, or a Phaon Crescent or a Texan Crescent or maybe, just maybe a Cuban Crescent butterfly. After all, it was the Florida Panhandle, and any or all might, just might be flying.


“Still In Peaceful Dream I See, The Road Leads . . . ” Georgia on My Mind

Georgia Satyr Butterfly 2 photographed by Jeff Zablow at Big Bend Wildlife Management Area, Florida

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 Mindand 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?