Kamamama Bounty

Northern Metalmark Butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at Kamama Prairie Reserve, Ohio

I totally misjudged Ohio. We moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1990, this New York (Brooklyn) born guy had had enough of New York, and its steady decline. We lived in Pittsburgh for 27 years. Before Barbara Ann Case introduced me to Angela, I never considered driving into Ohio for butterflies, for where would I go? What would I seek? Was there good habitat in Ohio?

Angela led us to beyond excellent sites in Ohio in 2017. Parks, Reserves and privately owned land rich in native botany and just as blessed with wildlife and . . . butterflies. Kudos to the State of Ohio.

In Ohio’s southernmost county, Adams County, I met up with a fresh flight of more than 50 Northern Metalmark butterflies. Don’t doubt me on that count, for yes, I kept counting as that sweet meadow kept delivering more and more of the butterfly you see above, the tiny, but elegant Northern Metalmark.

The meadow’s name? Kamamama. I will long remember that name, and its Northern Metalmarks, Monarchs, Edwards Hairstreak, Coral Hairstreaks, Fritillaries, etc. For all of us now remaining in our homes, June in Kamamama would be . . . a dream of a dream.


Edwards Hairstreak Etiquette

Edwards Hairstreak Butterfly on Leaf photographed by Jeff Zablow at Lynx Prairie, OH

My first ever introduction to a Hairstreak was that Striped Hairstreak at the Powdermill Refuge in Rector, Pennsylvania. All Stripes I’ve see since mirrored that first one. They stand motionless on a leaf, and allow many exposures.

Gray Hairstreaks are almost as cooperative. Grays permit me say 8 or more exposures, then vamoose!

Coral Hairstreaks, they so difficult to find, and that thing about how they often skip a whole year, waiting. When I have found Corals, they must be approached carefully. That one last year at Kamamama Prairie Reserve in Adams County, Ohio was more cooperative, though it did make me scramble, with its version of tag!

The 2 Banded Hairstreaks I’ve enjoyed seeing did pose, but for ever so briefly, and then, gone.

The Acadian Hairstreaks I saw in Toronto were nectaring furiously on Common milkweed, and I had to move as quickly as they did on those huge flowerhead.

The very rare Tropical Greenstreak that we saw in the last week of December 2017, at the National Butterfly Center (NBC) was a study in passive movement. Those 2 nectared very slowly, and often took breaks, posing sweetly for the crowd that formed, when the cell network shared where they were.

White M Hairstreaks? I see one maybe every 4 years, maybe. They are spotted, you realize, OMG! is that a White M? Yes! You make cautious approach, cop maybe 3 exposures, and off they go, deeper into the tall growth meadow . . . gone!

Now this Edwards. It was one of several dozen, all fresh, nectaring in that Lynx Prairie Reserve in Adams County, Ohio. They were a joy to shoot. They nectared slowly on mostly luxurious Butterflyweed. Their periods of rest were many, and as here, they nicely enable many, many exposures, as they offered their ‘best side,’ just 12 inches or so above the ground.

Edwards’ etiquette? To be copied and emulated, for sure.