Edwards Hairstreak Finery

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

This was a day that remains vivid in my memory. Angela, Barbara Ann, Dave & Joe led the way, to this largish prairie relict in Lynx Prairie Reserve, southern Ohio, just a handful of miles from Kentucky.

These Edwards Hairstreak butterflies were new to me, and this for sure was a fresh flight of them. Close approach to these tiny hairstreaks wowed! me, for their color palette was strikingly beautiful.

Shooting with my Fuji Velvia 50 slide film, I shot away, determined to capture those reds and blues amongst that handsome grayish brown, and sharp white and black.

This one will do just fine. I tried so hard to meet one universal goal of mine, capture the butterfly’s eyes in good focus, but the depth of field bugaboo denied my 100% success with that.

Winged beauty? Yep.

Jeff

Who Knew Such Existed?

Northern Metalmark Butterfly at rest photographed by Jeff Zablow at Lynx Prairie, OH

Often I reflect back to my upbringing, in the East Flatbush neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York (New York city). We lived on the edge of decades of development, with just a few undeveloped ‘lots’ near our house. That’s where I searched. We saw a few butterflies, some darners and several species of birds.

Those ‘lots’ are now all gone. I’ve grown, and live in central Georgia.

The dearth of beauty that we saw during my childhood is stunning. When I meet those 6′ 4″ farmers here and there nowadays, I end up telling them. “You have no idea how lucky you are.” The infinite beauty that they enjoyed. incredible.

Only in 2017 did I get to see this winged beauty, a Northern Metalmark butterfly, fresh and vital. I got separated from the others there, in Lynx Prairie Reserve, in very southern Ohio. I entered a sizable prairie, alone, and soon discovered a fresh flight of dozens of Northern Metalmarks. Dozens!

I spent hours (?) attempting to capture the sunlight, reflecting back from those metallic jagged lines.

Who knew such exquisite beauty existed?

Jeff

Bear Oak & Edwards’

Edwards Hairstreak Butterfly in 1/2 Shade photographed by Jeff Zablow at Adams Lake Preserve

My 2 foot tall Bear Oak (purchased from Nearly Natives Nursery in Fayetteville, Georgia, an A+ natives nursery) will never be a 100′ tall giant. It is one of the ‘small oaks,’ and I would love to live and see it reach some 20 feet. Its leaves are unique looking, and it acorns, well I’ll have to wait some for them to be produced.

I’ve enriched my grasp of the plants and animals of these United States, to include those of southeastern America. Bear Oak is native to the US, and to America’s South.

The first time I saw Edwards’ Hairstreak butterflies was in June, 2017. They were a fresh flight, some 35 or so Edwards.’ I was struck by their rich, stunning reds, blues, white and black. They are usually described as ‘Locally Rare,’ and that morning, in. Lynx Prairie Reserve in Adams County, Ohio, I was so Thankful that we were there that week, to savor that artists palette of color, against a solid background of grayish-brown.

My young Bear Oak? Glassberg’s A Swift Guide to Butterflies of North America range map shows Edwards’ Hairstreaks flying just about as far south as my backyard. and Bear Oaks are their preferred hostplant.

Would it not be AmaZing! if one showed up next year? What’s that rock n’ roll song of maybe I’m a dreamer? Two or 3 more Bear Oaks?

Jeff

“Zebra Swallowtail!”

Zebra Swallowtail Butterfly and Edwards Hairstreak on Butterflyweed photographed by Jeff Zablow at Lynx Prairie Reserve, Ohio

You’re out seeking butterflies, and one of you shouts, “Zebra Swallowtail!” All stop what they were doing and respond, “Where?” Comes the question, Why? Why do seasoned butterfly seekers and those new to the search, become so excited when a Zebra is spotted?

They are scarce, rarely seen butterflies. They fly in with grace and beauty and they are surely coming to flowers that are pumping nectar. During this 2019 a typical day might score 2 Monarchs, 3 Pearl Crescents, 1 Pipevine Swallowtail, several Duskywings, an Eastern Comma, 4 Tiger Swallowtails and 1 Red-Spotted Purple. Zebra Swallowtail on that ‘typical day?’ No, not a one.

Rewarded with a look at such a beaut as this one, resplendent in its whites, black, red and blue, you feel special, fortunate to see what few see, a magnificent American butterfly, one of our most eye-pleasing.

This one was shot in Lynx Prairie Reserve, Adams County, Ohio. It’s on Butterflyweed, a milkweed, native to the USA. Also enjoying the milkweed nectar there is an Edwards Hairstreak butterfly, it too is a reason to feel good. Seeing both of these uncommon butterflies, reason enough to travel to Lynx Prairie in late June.

Jeff

Angela Said It Would!

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

Barbara Ann made a new friend, Angela. They scheduled a trip to the southern tip of Ohio, Adams County, on the Kentucky border. There was no way this was not going to be anything other than an excellent several days of orchids, wildflowers and . . . butterflies. Angela assured me that I’d be fine going with them, and Joe, David, Flower and one or two others, and she assured me that butterflies there were plentiful and special.

It was and more so. We started our week further north, near Dayton, Ohio, and there I finally met my very first Showy Lady Slipper Orchids. That should/shall always remain a clear, happy memory for me.

Our small group then drove down to Adams County, and more days of new, amazing, Wow! and success.

Lynx Prairie and Kamamama Prairie were extraordinary. Wildflowers of pastels and more boasted large numbers of butterflies, nearly all fresh, and some never before seen.

Lynx Prairie Reserve had a fresh flight of this butterfly, Edwards’ Hairstreak. They stop often to rest, as seen here. When they nectar, they tolerate close approach. Their colors were strong, distinct and eye-candy.

I shot away, dozens of Fuji Velvia exposures, all the time so wanting to cop an image of those rich colors. I feel like I did just that.

That voice in my brain is urging me to return in June 2019, for there was that phantom Fritillary butterfly that I almost photographed, ‘cept it fled, and I had no spotter to tell me where it . . .

Jeff