Whispering Sweet Goodbyes . . . Dreaming Of 2020 Hellos!

Male EasternTiger Swallowtail Butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at Cloudland Canyon State Park, GA

He patiently went from Liatris bloom to Liatris bloom, giving us enough time to carefully shoot his youthful handsomeness against the contrast of lush, robust Liatris flowers.

Cloudland Canyon State Park in northern Georgia. I had asked a very knowledgeable friend for a great destination, and might, just might introduce us to our first Diana Fritillary butterflies. Nope, we did not find Dianas, but Cloudland Canyon was a fine butterfly site, and the canyon itself? Spectacular and Way Bigger than I could have imagined., Pigeon Mountain’s 2 mountain meadows? They too were wonderful, and their giant Giant Swallowtail butterflies? Terrific!

We’re now approaching mid-September here in middle Georgia, and even decades into seeking butterflies, it’s difficult to reckon that fewer and fewer will be seen, and we slide into October and November. Me complain? Nope, because in my previous home, butterflies were NOT seen once there first week in September ended. Here, in Georgia’s Piedmont, we marvel at butterflies well in middle November.

Even despite how we silently wish butterflies and their legions well, I stop and daydream of the coming February, when we in Georgia will once again do a silent, Whopee! when we once again spot the emerging butterflies of 2020!

This shmeksy! male Eastern Tiger will always gladden our eyes.

Jeff

Eastern Tiger Reminisce

Male Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at Cloudland Canyon State Park, GA

I often puzzle over why I remember somethings going back to those lazy, crazy days on the Brooklyn streets. Why do I remember a certain game of punchball, played with maybe 20 kids playing and watching, including Julie Locke, who still stops by here time and again. There were what? hundreds of games of punchball (played by hitting a Pennsy Pinky ball with your fist and running the bases as in baseball), yet I remember one of them?

I remember this guy well. We were at Cloudland Canyon State Park in northwestern Georgia. We found the power line cut that Phil suggested we visit, and yes the Liatris was in full bloom. This male flew in and he stayed there methodically working one Liatris flower spike after another.

He was large, and he was fresh and he was very handsome.

We both shot him out, he fully accommodating our close approach, hardly fleeing. A fine day, and a Shmeksy! Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, reminding us that G-d’s finery is with us.

Jeff

No Tigers ‘Til . . .

Male EasternTiger Swallowtail Butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at Cloudland Canyon State Park, GA

He seemed to have a plan, as he worked the Liatris in that meadow. Me? I was in very high mood, because a meadow of Liatris in bloom is a very good find, a near guarantee that you’ll see lots of butterflies.

Shooting film (Fuji Velvia ASA 50 here in full sun) at Cloudland Canyon State Park in the northwest corner of Georgia, I knew that a good capture here would be usable, very. His black and yellow pattern, wings free of bird/predator strikes and his fine head, those crisp, round and shiny eyes would go well with his defined antennae and active proboscis.

Score those blue dots on his hindwings and a tease of orange in those flashes on the trailing margins of his hindwings, that would help too.

Catch all that and the rich color of the Liatris, as well as the comely background tones that film usually does, and all would earn a serious checkmark, image achieved.

His leftwings, well, I’m not concerned. I already like this image.

Sitting here in central Georgia, with rain falling and the thermometer at 45F, I have to overcome this recurring thought ; No Eastern Tiger Swallowtails ’til wha? April 2019? Hmmmm. No Georgia satyr. No Eastern pygmy blue. No Goatweed Leafwing or Monarch butterfly. Buck up, Jeff.

Jeff

Silver Spotted Skipper on Liatris

Silver Spotted Skipper Butterfly on Liatris, photographed by Jeff Zablow at Cloudland Canyon State Park, GA

“Wrought” is the word that popped into my mind. This evokes the work of Caron and Phyllis and Peggy and Sherrie and Yaron and Kenne and Marcie and Melanie and Kelly and the rest of you who go out and work to capture the beauty that can be found if you know where to look, what to look for and how?? to get it.

This moment in time, of a Silver Spotted Skipper on Liatris in rich bloom, was enjoyed at Cloudland Canyon State Park, Georgia. When I want to compare a slew of exposures taken in machine gun staccato, I sit there with my light box and loupe, and examine for positives, what are the positive captures in each image.

This one scored well. I was pleased with the translucent yellow cells of that left forewing, the right eye which seems to be keeping an ‘eye’ on me, the good look at the head and antennas, those right legs, the good position of the butterfly (not at center but a bit right of center), the absolutely yummy! color of fresh, happy Liatris and that comely green wash that serves as background  (I’m shooting Macro- and depth of field helps sometimes). What did I miss?

August 2018 in a very sylvan National Wildlife Refuge, looking beyond the wood storks, egrets, rails, herons, lizards and alligators.

All reminds me of the wonders that H- has wrought.

Jeff