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.


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?


Walking By Mushrooms

Mushroom photographed by Jeff Zablow at Lynx, Prairie Reserve, Ohio

Trails, Meadows, Forests, Fens, Roadsides, Marshes, Bogs, and Swamps. I cannot count the number of times that we work our way through diverse habitat, and there! is something new to me. Never seen before.

Me? My encyclopedic knowledge of fauna and flora is NOT encyclopedic. I have come to peace with myself, I no longer ‘Beat myself up’ for not knowing a myriad of wildlife and plants. With trees, shrubs, annuals , perennials, orchids I now am more than Happy to stop, admire, and reflect on H-s work. The overwhelming variety impresses me. That I am impressed with what I see in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Georgia, Arizona, Florida, Israel, Canada and in a few days, Texas. This all pales, when I consider that in Mexico, Alaska, Sri Lanka, Sicily, France, Bolivia, Brazil, Poland, Australia, Iran and beyond, 99.98% of species will remain unseen by these eyes.

This mushroom stopped me at Lynx Prairie Reserve in Adams County, Ohio. There, Dave and Angela and Barbara Ann approached that ‘encyclopedic’ level of species recognition. I remained silent, happily impressed.


Marvelling at Rarities at Lynx

Very Rare Moth on Rare Spurge Wildflower photographed by Jeff Zablow at Lynx Prairie Reserve, Ohio

I tried to wrap my mind around what I was seeing. This evokes that startling time back in the late ’80’s. I was alone in the elevator, going down from Al Gorin’s office in the very tony French building at the corner of Madison and East 57th Street, itself a super 4-way in NYNY. It stopped, the door opened, and in strode a very comely women. Tall and handsomely dressed, Diana Ross and I chatted as we descended down to the building lobby, with its priceless deco elevator doors and lobby decor. Used to seeing stars in Manhattan, always at some distance, Diana was just gorgeous. Me? Well, I was Happy. Vegas’ odds of me riding an elevator with a beauty (me who seeks butterflies and visited Sotheby’s & Christie’s regularly ?) like Miss Ross, like impossible.

Felt the same when Dave and Joe called us to this small Spurge wildflower at Lynx Prairie Reserve in Adams County. As Janet, Barbara Ann, Angela and I all leaned into these tiny blooms, they Id’d this moth as a very, very rare, threatened moth that, along with the Spurge, is mostly unknown and unseen. The moth was almost never seen, and lacked a permanent name. What! Another plant and moth shoved to the edge of the species precipice? I stood there, as I did in the elevator, struggling to grasp the extraordinary moment and the wealthy of beauty before me.

What’s that word? Hyperbole? No hyperbole here, honest. Curt?