Blue Butterfly at Lynx Prairie

Eastern-Tailed Blue Butterfly II photographed by Jeff Zablow at Lynx Prairie Reserve, Ohio

The big boys at Lynx Prairie Reserve were there, flying in good numbers to Butterflyweed, Coneflower, and other wildflowers. Examining those great Spangle Fritillary butterflies, Edwards Hairstreaks, Monarch butterflies and those other butterflies I saw there.

I was on the lookout for other fresh butterflies. Adams County, Ohio was just what Angela said it could be, a rich land, nurturing rare wildflowers and orchids, as well as big flights of butterflies, moths and other insects.

What and how would I react to say a fine, fresh Eastern Tailed Blue butterfly? Shoot it of course. I did and here it is.

Jeff

Zebra, Lynx & Edwards With Weed

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

I was still kind of stunned to be in prairie . . . in Ohio! Somehow, through good fortune and the wisdom of folks who fought to protect Lynx Prairie Preserve, this very, very unique eastern prairie has been preserved, for all to enjoy. Fortunately, most don’t visit there; they are lost to the allure of asphalt, brick, concrete, steel, neon and such. Me? I grew up with that stuff, asphalt, concrete, brick. Following Angela, Joe, Barbara Ann and Janet into  a prairie? Words can’t be summoned to properly describe how happy I was to finally see my, my prairie.

I’m telling you it was lush. June 2017, and an open prairie full of wildflowers. Full too with butterflies! My beat. Butterflies.

Here, very healthy Butterflyweed is deep in that comely shade of orangish-red, and must surely be pumping sugary nectar like a micro-gusher. In came this Zebra swallowtail butterfly, joining an Oh! so fine Edward Hairstreak, all on the Lynx. They are doing weed as is appropriate.

Jeff

Edward Hairstreak at Lynx

Edwards Hairstreak photographed by Jeff Zablow at Lynx Prairie Reserve, Ohio

What makes you go all gaga? OK. That’s you. Me, it’s meeting a new butterfly for the very first time. All stops. Everything around me slips back into the margins of my existence. My eyes are US Airforce locked on this brand new, gossamer-winged wonder.

These words are about the best I can do at to the moment. It’s this rapture that I think, to respond to those who ask why I pursue and photograph butterflies as I do. Family, friends and most acquaintances avoid the subject, even when it’d be natural to mention it. They, I believe, can’t wrap their heads around the Why? of it. Collect antique cars? Sure, they get that. Raise mushrooms, unique one, OK, a bit out there, but you can eat some of them, no? Restore collectible old boats and cars? No doubt about that. Magazines Love to find and write of such men (isn’t it always men?) and, you can $ell them easily, once you tire of a particular one. But search for and attempt to score superior images of butterflies? Well, I guess that it gives you . . .

It sure does. I’ve grown up on the street of NYC, earned my BS, served in the NYARNG (and after OCS, commanded men in uniform), taught in Big NYC high schools, served as a Dean (for misbehavior, like guns, knives, gangs, fights), had a taste of NYNY real estate, and often carried cold steel folded nicely in my pants pocket. I’ve seen and I’ve done. I savor life, beauty, botany and animals, especially butterflies. Me.

When Angela and Joe and Barbara Ann and Jeff entered Lynx Prairie Preserve, the prairie set all my sensory systems abuzz! What were those tiny butterflies that were active at the abundant butterflyweed? This very same Edwards Hairstreak butterfly. A good sized flight of Satyrium edwardsii. Tiny, fresh and just delicious to these eyes. Right where they should be, nectaring in a bonafide prairie, close by the oaks that serve as their hostplants. I can’t quantify how Happy!! I was that morning. Happy Jeff, Thankful that I met these wonderful, patient, giving friends, and Thankful for the opportunity to meet this Sweet! Sweet! gift from G-d.

How many understand this here Jeff. Well, not a whole lot. Treasure those who do. I think.

Jeff