No Gemmed Satyrs Today

Gemmed Satyr Butterfly, photographed by Jeff Zablow at Hard Labor creek State Park, Georgia

I dropped off Petra at the groomers in Madison, Georgia this morning, and then headed out to Hard Labor Creek State Park, near Rutledge, Georgia. One of my hopes was to revisit this place, shown here. This was where Phil guided me to the habitat of Gemmed Satyrs (R-LC, Rare to Locally Common, according to Glassberg’s A Swift Guide to the Butterflies of North America). He was a Ranger at the Park, and knew just about every square foot of the Park, and knew every butterfly there and almost anywhere in a 300-mile radius.

Yep, I could not relocate that place, and yes, I was not going to bother Phil. The Park Office there had just about the most lush, well planned butterfly garden of any state park or national wildlife refuge I’ve ever seen. At that bloom-laden Park garden, and at a nearby lakeside area, I did find Tiger Swallowtails, Dark Form Tigers (many . . . Why so many there?), Spicebush Swallowtails, Cloudless Sulphurs, Pearl Crescents, Gray Hairstreaks, Eastern Tailed Blues and many different Skippers.

Not seeing Gemmeds did sadden me, for they remain special to me, truth be told.

Jeff

Rare To Locally Common Gems

Gemmed Satyr Butterfly, photographed by Jeff Zablow at Hard Labor creek State Park, Georgia

Glassberg’s Glossary explains that the “R-LC” assignment for these Gemmed Satyrs means that these reclusive butterflies are Rare to Locally Common.

I wanted, for decades, to find and shoot Gemmed Satyrs. This southern USA butterfly’s name triggered me, the name did.

Problem was, when a butterfly is designated Rare-Locally Common, it is near impossible to locate. Sure, A Swift Guide to Butterflies writes that their habitat is “grassy moist woods.” Which southern USA state doesn’t have grassy moist woods? They all do.

I learned my lessons the hard way. At one time, I’d set out to find Rare butterflies, driving hours to prospective habitat destinations. Most of the time I got skunked.

Lesson learned. Now, as here, I urge knowledgeable people to help me, and even to meet me at good butterfly target destinations. Proven destinations. That’s how I met this beautiful Gemmed Satyr. Phil met me at Hard Labor Creek Sate Park (Georgia) and he guided me to this shady moderately treed spot. Gemmeds!

Thank you Phil.

Jeff

Diana & Mitchell Up A Tree Kiss . . .

Gemmed Satyr Butterfly, photographed by Jeff Zablow at Hard Labor creek State Park, Georgia

We’re a Limited Edition, those of us who love and pursue butterflies. I often wonder if wingedbeauty.com is the only true butterfly blog in the USA? I usually think that that can’t be so, for when I travel, and meet some like us on trails, I offer them my ‘business card’ (masterfully produced by Moo), I get little reaction, a brand of ho-hum. NABA too has never smiled at wingedbeauty. That’s gotta mean there are several dozen butterfly blogs about?

So my band of merry men and women I share this shot of a butterfly that Jeff thought about for many years. I had never seen a Gemmed Satyr, and should you read that post we shared, my interesting association with gems and jewelry nurtured my interesest in seeing the Gemmed. Phil guided me, in Hard Labor Creek State Park in the Piedmont region of central Georgia. Gemmeds prefer dappled shade, and this one flew lazily from one leaf to another, all in the shade of the trees above. I think I asked G-d to help me there and then, for my Fuji Velvia 100 film could not do this sweetie justice in full shade. Walla! It flew next to this leaf, presented itself to me with this excellent pose, and I saw and shot my first Gemmed Satryr.

We’re fast approaching Christmas and Chanukah, and Mr. Jeff’s mind is leapfrogging ahead to 2019. What other ‘Rare-Locally Common’ butterflies do I much want to introduce myself to in 2019?

Diana fritillaries, those very large gorgeous fritillaries in northern Georgia and Mitchell’s Satyrs in Alabama. Scoured the northwestern mountains of Georgia this 2018 for Diana, but without success.

Who’s going to guide me to my Dianas and my Mitchells? Don’t yet know. 24 years at this have found serious butterfly folks to be more than reluctant to do so. I’m just a lonely boy, lonely and . . . .

Jeff

Longing To Meet Again

Gemmed Satyr Butterfly, photographed by Jeff Zablow at Hard Labor creek State Park, Georgia

Phil D. selflessly agreed to meet me at Hard Labor Creek State Park (Rutledge, Georgia, USA). He was a Park Ranger Naturalist, and friends had urged me to reach out to him, to see and shoot certain Georgia butterflies.

I was reluctant, for in my then home, Pennsylvania, only one person had ever invited me to see butterflies in habitat, ever (I think). Phil responded sure, when, what?

My list of butterflies I so wanted to see included this one, the Gemmed Satyr butterfly. You say “Gem?” and I’m all in. That goes back to Frieda A”H.

Faster than you can say, “I Love Georgia,” Phil and I reached a moderately treed area, and he was pointing out one, then another and another Gemmed Satyr. This one first flew to, and landed in a shady spot just inches above the ground. Then it flew to this nearby leaf and . . . posed. Posed for me. Wowwwww!

Years of wanting to see this one, as I had wanted to see Regal Frits, Giant swallowtails, Zebra Heliconians and Comptons, over, for here was one that topped the List. Private, hued in gorgeous browns, sporting that band of  ‘jewels,’ this little flier stood there with fine posture, quite proud of itself, and I shot away.

Jeff and the Gemmed, happily confirming a meet-up that only 1 in 100,000 Americans have experienced!

Jeff