Evermore Milkweeds

Rare Asclepias photographed by Jeff Zablow at Lynx Prairie Reserve, Ohio

This one was spotted in Lynx Prairie Reserve in Adams County, Ohio. Angela and Joe served up its name, but I can’t now recall it. It’s a milkweed (“Whirled?”), though after decades of seeing Common Milkweed, this one defies and disrupts my formula for recognizing a milkweed. Butterflyweed, OK. Swamp milkweed, Sure. Just weeks ago I met my first White milkweed, and after minutes of ogling it, and got used to the reality of it.

This one though remains an enigma to me, as if G-d sought a milkweed to fill the role of ‘Clown’ of the North American milkweeds, and this one was summoned to center stage, and that was that, assignment filled, the Clown of the milkweeds . . . .

Jeff

The Siren’s Call (Hairstreak Version)

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

Angela urged us to join them in western Ohio, June 2017. She repeated that Adams County was full of surprises. I liked that idea, visiting Adams County, the southernmost Ohio, with Kentucky just miles away.

After 2 days in the Dayton, Ohio area, I knew Angela knew good places, with good stuff. Give an example? That’s how I saw my first Showy Lady Slipper Orchids. It took about a lifetime, but yes, they were extraordinary.

Hours south of Dayton, we were in Lynx Prairie Preserve, Adams County, Ohio. Battle stations!! So so much new, beautiful and never seen before.

A fresh flight of hairstreak butterflies was all about. I saw this one, shown here, my first Edwards Hairstreaks. Fresh Edwards Hairstreaks. They, not quick to flee on your approach. Sporting my new Canon Macro- 100mm/2.8 IS lens, I approached, shot and OMG! they are bejeweled. I robotically move closer, shot. Each time I look into my camera, the hindwing ventral (underside) markings stunned with their beauty.

It was the siren’s call to me, move in, be amazed, move in some more, and revel, Yep, revel. You get quiet, respectful. This time the siren’s call rewarded.

Jeff, still smiling, after Edwards, Northern Metalmarks, Coral Hairstreaks, Monarchs,That mystery Fritillary, Great Spangled Fritillaries . . .  and the first time I ever saw Coneflower and Indian Paintbrush happily at home, in the land they belong in.

Jeff

Great Spangled Fritillary on a Bulging Flowerhead

Great Spangled Fritillary Butterfly on Common Milkweed II photographed by Jeff Zablow at Lynx Prairie Reserve, Ohio

For many, this pleasing view will bring memories of meadows, roadsides, home gardens, Botanical gardens and bucolic small USA farms, with Asclepias syriaca plentiful amongst and about rows of healthy corn.

We are ripping to hike those late June, July trails, headed to stands of Common milkweed, Teasel, Butterflyweed and Dogbane. When will we reach those bulging flowerheads, with a fresh Great Spangled Fritillary butterfly, like this one, methodically working the dozens of individual flowers, for sugary nectar, mixed with a cocktail of proteins, dissolved pollen, and numerous other nutrients?

Where was Jeff when he set his eyes on this truly American fritillary. Kamamama Prairie Reserve in Adams County, Ohio. Same old story here. Jeff already has good images of Great Spangleds, but this photograph was so necessary to take!

Necessary? It was Late June, 2017. For all the yelling, screaming, marching, whining– here we were in Real Time. Real Time? Yep. For all the background media noise, here it is, proof positive. Halt the ‘dozers.’ Conserve the Land. Then, those wise enough to make the trip, will be treated to joy, peace, tranquility, connection to H-s beauty.

There was a time in my life when I managed apartment buildings in NYNY. I had hundreds of tenants who desperately needed to spend time such amidst the Great Spangleds and Milkweed. Sadder than dirt, for most of those hundreds of people had no idea that the remedy for their isolation, fear, depression, neurosis was not too very far away. Most of them suffered one depravation or another. Butterflies and Blooms is the best, nearly reachable medicine, in Eatonton Georgia.

Jeff, no need of a License to dispense here.

Jeff

Are You Amongst the 1.4% ?

Rare Asclepias photographed by Jeff Zablow at Lynx Prairie Reserve, Ohio

Angela, Barbara Ann, Joe, David and Janet kept spotting a new one, in Adams County, Ohio, just miles from the Kentucky Border. That June 2017 trip, about 6 days long, delivered, as we used to say, ‘Big time.’

Never a drinker, or a smoker, and despite the skepticism of some, there were zero (no, nada, zilch!) drugs or Mary Jane in Samuel J. Tilden High School back then. That’s 5,200 students. Me? I have always gotten my ‘rush’ from unscheduled sightings of never before seen butterflies, wildlife and botany. Lately it’s been orchids.

I remember Angela spotting this rare flower on a trail in Lynx Prairie Preserve, also in the Adams County. If memory serves, she and others had seen this Ascelpias (milkweed) before, but for sure they said it is difficult to find, and is never found in any numbers.

I stared at it as if it was one you’d expect to see, maybe on Mars? My field guides are still in boxes, so the name eludes me. The name, no? Recollecting when we met it? Yes, for sure. Angela? Barbara Ann? David? Phil? Whatdoyouthink?

I really, really enjoy such wildly fascinating plants, and count myself, happily, amongst the 1.4% or make that the 0.026% of Americans who have seen such starkly beautiful living things that I have been so fortunate to see.

I wonder if that 0.026% figure is appropriate too for Vancouver Island, Frewsburg, New York, Sri Lanka,  Whidbey Island, Washington, Poland, Hamilton, Canada and Latvia?

Jeff