Those Waning Birthday Hours

Unidentified Skipper Butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at Fort Federica, Saint Simons Island, GA

Five hours left in my Birthday day. Facebook has brought around 100 Birthday greetings! from so many. Some I sort of expected, but many others were a Happy surprise. I was, well a bit aglow that so many fascinating, skilled, unique people really wanted to be friends, took the time and buoyed me.

I’ve seen how some go out to find butterflies in groups, once in a while in near mobs. I almost always go solo, and I forget each year, how my singular scouring of the field impacts later on so many. The long drives, the rented cabins, VRBO’s and Homeaways (Airbnb made a poor choice recently, politically), the frequent getting skunked, the expen$ive film, for I seem to be a color purist, the late in the day return to my rental, usually with Petra just gleeful to see me. It can be isolating, if it weren’t for the Holy Cows! that happen now and then, and have me jumping for joy like a 14-year old.

Few ever reach out or volunteer to show me the treasures of their region, state. Almost never am I met and guided to favorite habitat. NABA mucky mucks never reach out and when I rarely share on NABA, the extended ‘hand’ fails to appear.

So . . . this happily received outpouring all day today, from the USA, France, Sri Lanka, Israel ,Canada, Poland, Brazil and Pittsburgh, well, I Love it!

Virginia suggested I try Ft. Federica in August, on now posh St. Simons Island, Georgia. The fort reeks of important history, what with the anticipation of a Spanish Armada sailing up the river, to be stopped or to see the slaughter of the men, women and children of that brave fort and the community built around it.

This skipper butterfly was met in the meadows there at Ft. Federica. Perhaps Curt or Ken or Dave or . . . some NABA leader will come forward and ID. This is my only image of it.

Jeff

 

Knowing Moths? at Ft. Federica

Unidentified Moth photographed by Jeff Zablow at Fort Federica, Saint Simons Island, GA

Ft. Federica, the National Monument on St.Simons Island. This coastal fort, once a thriving village on a coastal river, was the other side of fascinating. Standing there where the fort and village once stood, I stopped alot. It triggered my rich life experience, too many times challenged by threat and impending risk/danger. My artillery unit (155 mm howitzer, towed) didn’t go to ‘Nam, but we sure thought we were going, and being a green 2nd Lt. gave some pause, for sure. Dangerous guys back then in Brooklyn had to be kept on the radar, constantly, and yes, there were times I was steeled for trouble. Riding the subway each day, through a notorious part of NYNY, alone, always was much. Working as a Dean at John Adams H.S. (knives, guns, riots, murders and Gotti’s crew’s kids)  . . . a rich life of kind of tight-rope walking. Thank You G-d.

I tried to imagine myself a junior officer at the fort. back then in what, 1738? Imagine a Spanish Armada appearing down river, headed to overwhelm the fort and the village, full of homes with women and children.

Good that there were butterflies flying in the meadows surrounding the fort, as Virginia had hoped. That was when I spotted this fascinating moth, motionless amidst the foliage.

I don’t know the hundreds of moths found in the southeastern USA, so I was unable to ID this one. I admired those lipstick red spots on each wing, and that white stripe across the abdomen?

I see so much in the field that I want to know. Curt? Barbara Ann? Virginia? Phil? Angela? David K? David Wagner?

Jeff

Whirlabout at Fashionable St Simons

Whirllabout Skipper Butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at Fort Federica, Saint Simons Island, GA

I asked Virginia, born and raised on a dreamy island on the Georgia coast, where I might find a goodly number of butterflies there. I waited, and Virginia suggested Fort Federica, an 18th century British fort built on the river, to fend off Spanish armadas that were anticipated.

She was right, for once I drove to tony St.Simons Island, Virginia’s hundreds of sylvan pastures, marsh and woods were gone. It seems the wealthy long ago eyed the Island, and St. Simons is covered with developments, just about all upscale, many very upscale.

I did find the butterflies I was looking for, lots of them, flying in the National Historic Monument, protected and privileged.

I remember when he flew in. You couldn’t miss him, festooned in comely orange and blasting those large black spots. I thought that I was glad that I shoot Fuji Velvia slides, for I wanted his rich color to share here.

A small grass skipper, that brought a smile to a certain photographer of butterflies, on a fabled island, once a British town and fort.

Jeff

Gray Hairstreak Swoon

Gray Hairstreak photographed by Jeff Zablow at Fort Federica, Saint Simons Island, GA

This one’s surely near the top of the List. What List? The List of butterflies that still stop you in your tracks, slow you down, and somehow force you to retrace your steps and come gawk at them. Approaching impossible is passing up a handsome Gray Hairstreak Butterfly without doing that, stopping to get closer, have a good look.

Equally difficult to do is take a good look at this, and Not capture a few exposures of it, de$pite the high cost of film and that.

What’s also on my List? Monarchs, Mourning Cloaks, Palamedes Swallowtails, Pipevine Swallowtails, those legions of tiny Carolina Satrys, Viceroys, American Ladies and Silver-Spotted Skipper butterflies.

Glad I am that I stopped to oogle this one, at Ft. Federica on St. Simons Island, that destination suggested by Virginia.

Jeff