Twin-Spot Skipper How Do You Do

Twin-spot Skipper Butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge, GA

We made the brief acquaintance of this “U” for Uncommon (Glassberg, A Swift Guide to Butterflies) Twin-Spot Skipper in Laura’s Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge. Yes it was a rush to see a seldom seen and very fresh skipper butterfly, perhaps the 3rd I’d ever seen. My move to Georgia continues to reward me with these kinds of thrilling moments, seeing butterflies that are seldom seen by even the most avid butterfly seekers.

Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge? Highly recommended. It is the home to so many much sough butterflies, wildflowers, botany, birds of wetlands and dry, insects, big alligators and baby alligators, snakes and more and more.

Fortunate you are when one such as Laura takes the time to urge you to head out to a destination, one that she knows is full of G-d’s creations, especially for me, butterflies.

Jeff

992,117.693 Or 4,227,483,097 Phoebis Sennae?

Cloudless Sulphur Butterfly on Pickerel Weed, photographed by Jeff Zablow at Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge, GA

Glassberg’s Swift Guide to Butterflies of North America cites our large, bright yellow Cloudless Sulphur as the “most common Phoebis.” I think that Jeffrey is right. At this moment, September 18th, we have as many as 15 of them flying in our 303 Garden (20 of them?).

They’re a joy to see, flying in shade or 98F sun, moving from our native flowers to our Tithonia (Mexican Sunflower) or Giant Zinnias. They are mostly kind, tolerating the presence of camera lens.

We notice that aren’t much shared here and on Facebook and other sites. That’s not the way it ought to be, for they are numerous, polite and pretty.

This male was seen on Pickerelweed blooms in a pond at Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge, near the Georgia (USA) coast. Our boots came from there soaked, but no alligators bothered us. Don’t know who the much smaller butterfly was at the bottom left of the pickerelweed flowerstalk?

Jeff

Gulf Fritillary On Pickerel Weed (Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge)

Gulf Fritillary Butterfly on Pickerelweed blooms photographed by Jeff Zablow at Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge, GA

We’re in Georgia now, gardening from the first week in February 2019 all the way to the last week in November? Gardening on my Jeffrey’s Birthday, November 28th?? This year, 2019, my Birthday falls on . . . Thanksgiving Day.

The prospect of gardening on Thanksgiving Day boggles my mind. It does. In Brooklyn, Queens, New York (Manhattan), Long Island and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the last week of gardening (I love to garden!) was usually the first week in September. Living in Middle Georgia has added +/- some 5 months of gardening to my life. Five months. That’s 5 months of seeing butterflies. I love that prospect, and Georgia so brings a smile to my face, Virginia, Ellen, Debi, Katy, Laura, Rabbi Aaron, Laura I., Rose, Kelly, Pandra, Sylbie, Brian, Stephen and Barbara Ann.

These memories, as this Gulf Fritillary Butterfly on Pickerelweed in Laura’s Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge, do necessitate a modicum of maturity, for once Pickerelweed finishes producing its gorgeous pond-side blooms, we’ve got to wait a full year to again enjoy such eye-soothing sights as this one here. (Yes we were in ankle deep pond, and yes we urged G-d to keep any Gators away from us, while we shot away!).

Jeff

How To Infuse Your Own Excitement Into an Image?

Viceroy Butterfly on Sumac (Woody Pond) photographed by Jeff Zablow at Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge, GA

Here we have a genuine enigma, one that I’ve wondered about for a very long time. We were on the Woody Pond Trail, that skirts the very edge of alligator-rich Woody Pond. We’re on the Georgia coast, at Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge. Being there, 5 feet from pond’s edge, so evokes memories of growing up on the streets of my Brooklyn, New York. It’s about spending your lifetime near, very near to high-risk, and almost never being touched by it. Living and being near Them (Be they ‘gators or Connected (Mob)) and forever remaining alive and well.

Suddenly, it flew in! A large, fresh and handsome Viceroy Butterfly. I am on record, as loving Viceroy butterflies. Where did he/she land? On a native Sumac bush.

So a butterfly that is Gorgeous flies to this Sumac, not more than 5 feet from me. Tell me about that serendipity! More than even that, I have spent the great majority of my life seeing Sumacs in Brooklyn, Queens, Nassua County, NY, Manhattan, NY and Pittsburgh, growing wild in empty lots, tiny corners of same, etc., and they have always been unwanted, alien, unattractive and they represent uselessness, for they service no purpose and were not wanted in the first place.

Just the week before that beautiful day, Ellen Honeycutt had posted a really good intro piece on Facebook, about native Sumacs in Georgia. What!! I’d always assumed that all Sumacs were those urban mutts, and now I am discovering that we (We!) have native Sumacs here, that she urges us to add to our natives homes gardens.

Let’s tally up now. I’m along a lovely pond, with 12 foot alligators maybe at my feet, and a prize-winning Viceroy staring me in the face, and that Viceroy is aggressively working the fraction of Sumac flowers that have only opened that morning.

I was so excited, so Screaming Happy!!! Comes my question: How do you/Can you infuse your own excitement into an image that You Really Really Want To Share With You ASAP?

Jeff

Hands, Cellphones & Blues

Ceraunus Blue Butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge, GA

Some of you do and others don’t. For those of you that do photograph butterflies often, and share your images, we wonder how you feel about photos of butterflies on your hands, your shoulders, your hat or hair, backpacks and in this instance, this Ceraunus Blue flew to our cellphone, perched and primmed there, and posed sweetly.

We’d been Keystone Copping the blues in that sandy spot at Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge in coastal Georgia. We cautiously approach, it flees, we follow, it flees. When this Ceraunus flew up to the cellphone, this sweat covered cell, well, there was our opportunity to cop a good Ceraulnus Blue image. But . . .

Over these more than 2 decades, I’ve made certain decisions, concluded certain strategies and likes and dislikes.

Those include, I dislike images of butterflies on people’s hands, arms, shoulder, legs, head, ears, etc. That’s why I rarely ‘Like’ a FaceBook post of a newly eclosed Admiral on your hand. I just don’t think we should have such contact with wild animals, butterflies especially.

I admit that I didn’t throw this image into the circular file. Twenty five minutes of chasing them in that hot, sandy microhabitat, seemed to merit keeping and yes, publishing this image. I too admit that among my favorites images ever are the Jeff’s Earrings exposures taken by Sylbie at the Butterflies & Blooms Briar Patch Habitat in Eatonton, Georgia.

How do you react to images of butterflies, rare or common, perched on a hand or head? On a cell? Backpack?

Jeff