There Go Those Dreams Of The Carefree Life Of A Butterfly

Praying Mantis photographed by Jeff Zablow in Traci Meadow, Fayette Township, PA

August each year brings on stage Argiope spider that build huge webs across meadow trails and Praying Mantises that wait, frozen in place, awaiting the arrival of a flying or crawling or jumping insect. Almost all of us think that butterflies live life of nectar, beautiful blooms and complete, utter freedom. No perils for them we think, they merely awake each summer morning, and spend the next hours floating from flower to flower, sipping sugar/protein-rich nectar. For those whose lives are  enough stressed, the life of a butterfly, caterpillar-chrysalis-adult? Ought to be so much better than work/family/shopping/bills/politics/not-so-nice-people.

This image of a Praying Mantis at Traci’s Kelso Swamp’s edge should end all of those ‘I wish I was a butterfly’ daydreams. Fly within reach of this Mantis, and a butterfly is doomed. I’ve watched praying mantises at work, and they are faster than the eye can follow and they don’t miss. Butterflies that fly in July to September face this threat, and if they swerve elegantly away from the Mantis attack, they risk flying, full speed into a nearby Argiope spider or Orb Weaver spider’s web.

These are natural checks and balances that control butterfly and moth population numbers, but finding a Monarch or a Tiger Swallowtail or an American Lady in the grasp of a Mantis is a real downer, for sure.

Traci’s Kelso Swamp, Fayette Township, southwestern Pennsylvania, USA.

Jeff

A Fine Natural Elixir at Traci’s Kelso Swamp

Viceroy Butterfly, photographed by Jeff Zablow in Kelso Swamp, Fayette Township, PA

Scrolling down through our hundreds of Media Library images, I stopped here. Why? Every time I catch a glimpse of this image, it stops me. I look at it, and I smile, a feeling of ease and peace soothes me. I have no doubt that my blood pressure drops a tad.

Often, my mind wanders to the children (4) whom I rarely hear from (?), the grandchildren who almost all can write and hit those cell phone buttons . . . but don’t, my personal losses, the child 4 doors away who at 3 left us just 3 days ago, the business skullduggery that insured that I would not be worth 9 figures, my inability to travel to far corners of this world to seek butterflies . . . . . . . . . as I imagine most of you too experience wandering mind.

This image snaps me out of that foolishness. I Thank G-d for all I’m Blessed with now. Now. I am reminded that the Followers of wingedbeauty.com are who you are, something I shall always cherish.

Yep, this Viceroy butterfly, in Traci’s Kelso Swamp in Fayiette Township, west of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is a home spun elixir for all that vexes you. No?

Jeff

Viceroy Gazing

Viceroy Butterfly, photographed by Jeff Zablow in Kelso Swamp, Fayette Township, PA

Scrolling down our Media Library, I stopped when I reached these 3 images of a Viceroy Butterfly. I was in Kelso Swamp in Fayette Township in Southwestern Pennsylvania. Viceroys are easily spooked, meaning that if I try to get closer for a better image, this handsome Viceroy will go. Be gone.

That inviting blue sky, the Viceroy resting with wings fully extended, wings that were full, fresh and beautiful, made this image a keeper for me.

Looking at our celebrity butterfly here, during this stay at home thing, inspires me, much.

Viceroy gazing, difficult to do, for finding a Viceroy when you’re far from a pond, creek or lake, and far from its chosen willow trees and shrubs . . . is a chance in 50,000.

Jeff

Viceroys Beckon

Viceroy Butterfly, photographed by Jeff Zablow in Kelso Swamp, Fayette Township, PA

I think about butterflies, alot. These more than 25 years of butterfly seeking have produced many epiphanies for me. This riveting image of a Viceroy Butterfly in Traci’s Kelso Swamp in southwestern Pennsylvania evokes one of those durable thoughts.

Just as I’ve been a fan of Elvis, Paul Robeson, Johnny Cash, Diana Ross and the Supremes, Bing Crosby and Kelli Pickler, there are butterflies I cannot see enough of. That especially when the one I’ve ‘found’ is fresh and richly colored/patterned.

Viceroys are in that select group. When I’m in a wetland, I find that I am particularly alert to the likelihood that a Viceroy will fly in. See a Viceroy, and I stop whatever I was doing and follow it, for I want, I really want it to be fresh, richly hued, and with a thick, dramatic black line across the back expanse of the hindwings. It I see such, I will stalk it for as long as necessary. Usually it decides to avoid this new nuisance, and as they are skilled at doing, execute some elusive maneuvers, and are  . . . gone.

This one was a Looker! and all of the above applied. You see what I see, a fine specimen of a Viceroy with so much to admire, perched and resting in Kelso Swamp, smack next door to Traci’s lot!

Jeff

Is It Polite To Stare?

Viceroy Butterfly, photographed by Jeff Zablow in Kelso Swamp, Fayette Township, PA

Me? Not really. I’ve never much been too impressed with celebrities or famous people. I don’t know whether I’ve seen more or less than most other people. New York City, with its published 8,000,000 or so residents ( I’ve no doubt it’s always been more like 14,000,000 counting those who are not documented) has lots of famous, but I’ve not much seen them. Who’ve I seen, Diana Ross in that elevator, Kirk Douglas in a Broadway theater, Mike Tyson with a blonde looker on each arm strolling in midtown New York and a couple of others. I don’t look for them, so I suppose that’s why I don’t see them.

I do admit to remembering especially beautiful women I’ve seen, and I think that has some credible connection to my attraction to fresh, beautiful butterflies.

Now I don’t know the gender of this Viceroy butterfly, seen during its time out resting in Traci’s Kelso swamp in southwestern Pennsylvania. Fresh and magnificent, it riveted me. I so hoped that it was a female, for that would be just right. She remained there long enough for me to make a decent approach, and males usually don’t tolerate approach. I shot away, staring all along at that very pronounced black line across each of her hindwings, as well as her fine wing margins, black with those broadcasting white dots.

I was once in midtown Manhattan ( NYNY ), a young man, and a young woman of stunning looks, red hair/green eyes, reached the corner when I did. We waited for the traffic light to turn green for us to cross, and I was so taken with her G-d given looks, that I must have gaped, or certainly stared, and the words would not come out (“Hi, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .).

This one is of such beauty, and the words did come, with my whisper, “Thank You G-d.”

Jeff