Tantalizing Blue Sky With Monarch

Monarch butterfly on Tithonia with intense blue sky, photographed by Jeff Zablow at Butterflies and Blooms in the Briar Patch Habitat I, Eatonton, GA

Armed with my Canon 100mm/2.8 Macro lens, those tall-tall Mexican Sunflower (Tithonia) plants prevented me from getting scrumptious images of the many Monarch butterflies that day. I just couldn’t get close enough to captures the dramatic detail of the monarchs.

Denied, I began reviewing my situation. I wanted to cop Monarchs against the unique blue Eatonton, Georgia sky. This was the Butterflies & Blooms Briar Patch Habitat, and when Monarchs fly, fresh ones like this one, it doesn’t matter that you own dozens of good Monarch looks, you’ve got to respect the remarkable beauty before you. You’ve just got to grab some Monarch images.

My decide? I decided to go for it, to get a good image of a fresh Monarch, sitting high above me on a Tithonia bloom, with the rich blue sky framing it, all doable with my wonderful Fuji Velvia 50 slide film.

Here it its. I love it. You?

Jeff

Once Upon A Time, There Was A Very Beautiful . . .

Black Swallowtail butterfly and chrysalis, photographed by Jeff Zablow at Butterflies and Blooms in the Briar Patch, Eatonton, GA

Black Swallowtail butterfly and chrysalis

Each and every time I prepare a post for winged beauty, I scroll down through the 1,000 or more images in our Media Library. So many memories, people I worked the trails with, experiences running from incredible to mundane. All those times that you were not there with me.

There are several images stored in our Media Library, that I always slow down for. Mostly because they so sing to me, their beauty so extraordinary. Wingedbeauty.com has always been my way to share the beauty of butterflies, i.e., the magnificence of G-d’s handiwork.

This is one of those that urge me to stop and enjoy. She has just exited that empty chrysalis that you see in the background. She’s resting as she dries her huge wings. Just the most magnificent Eastern Black Swallowtail female.

Her wings are as ebony black as there can be. Her coral spots, blue flashes, white scallops are set in that pattern seen only in Black Swallowtails. Tails are intact, abdomen and thorax covered with milk-white spots. Her left eye (compound) is deeply black, her proboscis can be seen and her antennae are as dark as night. She sports an elegance that is unmistakable.

She’s the beauty featured in our Jeff’s Earrings series. She and her buff male, also newly eclosed (just exited from his chrysalis) brought a tear to my eye, for Frieda A”H passed 8 years before, and when those exquisite swallowtails finally moved, to perch on my ear, Oh, how I knew that Frieda was somehow responsible for such a surreal experience.

This is my capture, and Jeff’s Earrings were shot by Sylbie, who inexplicably arrived at the Butterflies & Blooms Briar Patch Habitat I, at just the best possible moment. I deftly handed her my Canon, and Sylbie photographed the Jeff’s Earrings as they unfolded.

I look and re-look here, and I’m so proud that this one is . . . mine.

Jeff

Why Didn’t Our Monarch Make His Home In Alabama?

Monarch butterfly (male, full dorsal)1, photographed by Jeff Zablow at "Butterflies and Blooms in the Briar Patch," Eatonton, GA

He arrived in the Butterflies & Blooms Briar Patch Habitat, exhausted, but zero bird-struck. He reminds of a man in his early ’50’s, buff, handsome but no longer a 30-ish strongman.

Presuming that he stayed here in Eatonton, Georgia, to spend time with the butterfly whiz, Virginia C Linch, at this butterfly oasis, that in itself raises questions.

When he flew from Texas to Louisiana, why didn’t he remain there, for the weeks that he had to enjoy?

When he left Louisiana, and flew to Yazoo, why didn’t he stay there, in their wonderful National Wildlife Refuge? I was there once, and like it much.

The Delta didn’t do it for our Monarch, then how could he not fall in love with his next stop, Alabama?

Why’d he leave Alabama and fly those hundreds of miles to Virginia’s Briar Patch Habitat?

Did he leave Eatonton and fly to Marcie’s Summerville, South Carolina?

I’m guessing that he lived out the rest of his days here, in the Briar Patch habitat

You’re urged to explain all of this to us, to me.

Jeff

 

Do Butterflies Commute?

Today’s special visitor was a very big Black Form Female Tiger Swallowtail butterfly. We posted some pics on Facebook. I commented that there’s a good chance that she came from Virginia’s Briar Patch Habitat, just one mile from our native plants garden. Came to partake of our Bottlebrush Buckeye bush, now in splendid full bloom. It may well be that the super fresh Giant Swallowtail also flew to us from the Briar Patch.

Virginia C Linch posted a Comment to my Facebook post, and it got me to thinking.

If butterflies are especially attuned to aromatic emissions from active flowers, what is the working range that their sensory organs can effectively track? In other words, did our 2 extraordinary butterflies follow aromatics from our 303 Garden to the vicinity of the Briar Patch Garden? Is that how they came to visit us, following a trail of aromatic hydrocarbons? Curt, Phil, Virginia, Ken, Bob, NABA friends, Holli, Rose, Nancy and John, Dave, Dave W, Bill, Deepthi?

The accompanying photo? Me at the Habitat, working to score a Skipper image.

Jeff

On The Lookout For That ‘KISS’ Thingee

I saw one in my garden in April. She was almost fresh, and she was determined. Fortunately, we now have what? 6 Hercules Club young shrubs. Days later, we found 3 tiny Giant Swallowtail caterpillars. It didn’t turn out well, for by some 9 or so days later, they were gone. Predators (birds, lizards, wasps, etc.).

These last years, that I’ve met and enjoyed these graceful, BIG swallowtail butterflies, I’ve been teased by a challenging thought. Their dorsal pattern of bright yellow cells reminds me of something. What?

Opened this image, taken at Virginia’s Butterflies & Blooms Briar Patch Habitat, right here in Eatonton, Georgia, and I got it!

Know I’m a Rock ‘N Roller, so I’m not too conversant with KISS, but is this not like close to looking like their logo? KISS wrought Big?

Me? I expect Giants to reappear by the middle of this very July 2019.

Jeff