Northern Metalmark In Southcentral Ohio

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

I go to find beauty, beautiful butterflies. Sometimes I travel alot to do that, as I did here, arriving in southern Ohio after coming there from Georgia. There was never any doubt that the sites that Angela had planned to be would be somewhere between excellent to incredible. They were, starting near Dayton, Ohio and ending in the meadow you’re viewing here, in Adams County, Ohio. miles from the Ohio-Kentucky border.

I struck Gold that day, at Lynx Prairie Reserve, when I found (Yes I did) a fresh flight of Northern Metalmark butterflies. I’d never seen one before, and the more than 50 I saw that morning (Again, Yes I did) were a feast of beauty. They were in a meadow I kind of stumbled into, a sizable meadow. When I saw the first Northern, I could have screamed for JOY! When I kept seeing more and more, Oh My Goodness!

This is a very small butterfly, and they are great to shoot, for they rest often, and when those metallic-lines that run along the outer margins of their wings face the full sun of an Ohio morning, they shine until my smile goes from ear to ear! Honest.

Jeff

Angela’s Answer? A Rare Asclepias (Milkweed)

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

We were methodically working a trail in Lynx Prairie Reserve in Adams County, Ohio.  So many butterflies and plants that I’d never seen before. Lynx Prairie was just a handful of miles from Kentucky, and knowing that I was seeing the best of both Ohio and Kentucky? Exciting. Very exciting.

When we came to this one, Angela ID’ed it as an Asclepias, one of the many species of Milkweed that Monarch butterflies deposit their egg on. I stopped and stared, and stared, as the others continued ahead on the trail. Most of them were accomplished botany enthusiasts. Me, well I’ve got lots to learn. An Asclepias?

For those who are complacent, thinking they know ‘it all,’ come into the field, and Zap! That epiphany, that there is so much you don’t know, and so much that you can know. Me? G-d sure created a whole lot!!!

Jeff

The Love Butterfly

Coral Hairstreak Butterfly on Oxe-eye Daisy photographed by Jeff Zablow at Lynx Prairie, OH

Butterflies are loved by so many. Most people know little about butterflies, and maybe, maybe can name one or two of them. It’s fascinating to ponder why we graduate so many students from our school systems and private schools, with often zero familiarity with these utterly wonderful insects, often living on their own street, in their own yard.

Ask those who know and seek butterflies to name those that they especially hold to their heart, and time and time again, this one will be named, the Coral Hairstreak butterfly.

They fly in about 47 states in the United States and are often scarce and hard to locate. I don’t see them every year, fact of the matter is I often don’t see them for several years, making them a rare butterfly. How do many of us time our field work to see Corals? They LOVE Butterflyweed, a milkweed ( an Asclepias ) and when milkweed is in bloom where you are, the best time to see Corals is when the milkweed has just opened its gorgeous flowers, when they are fresh and vibrant.

I don’t Photoshop my images, this is a tad dark, but the elegance of the Coral Hairstreak surely can be seen. I’ve been to Sotheby’s, Christies, Doyle, 47th Street, etc.. Those coral orangish/reddish patches on the right hindwing so closely resemble coral, a very, very valuable gemstone. They evoke such memories of my wife Frieda A”H and her love for coral and fine jewelry. Yes, it gets personal . . .

This Coral was resting on a leaf in the early morning in Lynx Prairie Reserve in Adams County, Ohio, that June morning. Hard to find yes, but know that a short distance away, there was luxurious Butterflyweed . . . calling out the siren’s song to . . .

Jeff

Kudos To The Designer

Edward Hairstreak Butterfly (Full ventral) photographed by Jeff Zablow at Lynx Prairie Reserve, Ohio

How many design features do you count on the right 2 wings of this Edwards’ Hairstreak butterfly? We’re in that magical meadow at the Lynx Prairie Reserve refuge in Adams County, Ohio. I’m sure that this butterfly is totally fresh, probably eclosing (having left its chrysalis) that very morning, or just the day before).

I would Love to find Edwards’ in my new Macon garden. We’ve set in Butterflyweed, for at Lynx they were aggressively nectaring on that milkweed, and we set in 2 Bear Oaks trees, this small Oak a favorite of Edwards’ Hairstreaks. Range maps show their range to extend nearly as far south as Macon, and it’d be a Hoot! to wake up one morning and . . . find Edwards’ nectaring and setting eggs on our Bear Oaks.

There are so few of us who seek butterflies, so finding rarer ones, like these, does leave me with a feeling of unique accomplishment. I’ve always regretted not having interacted with the Native Americans who lived here before us, and I’ve no doubt that they too marveled over the design features and absolute beauty of such a Hairstreak butterfly.

Am I being to gushy here, or is my thinking shared?

Jeff

Indian Paintbrush In Our Middle Georgia Garden?

Indian Paintbrush Wildflower photographed by Jeff Zablow at Lynx Prairie Reserve, Ohio

When I entered that Lynx Prairie Reserve meadow, there it was! Indian Paintbrush. I’ve always wanted to meet this native wildflower. Seeing it in bloom, robust, was a Wow! for me. Incredible Adams County, at Ohio’s border with Kentucky.

We moved 2 months ago, and we’ve already added much to our garden, many to bring in butterflies, they being hostplants for butterflies and moths: Hackberry trees, Alabama croton, Butterfly weed, Asters. (several), Black cherry trees, Sassafras (5!), Bear Oak, Buttonbush, Linden trees (2), Coneflower, Cocosmia, Passionflower, Hercules Club, Liatris, Atlantic White Cedars (3), Hibiscuses, Shasta Daisy, Pignut Hickory, Sweet Leaf (one of the most difficult Georgia natives to get – that thanks to a friend)), Post Oak, Schlumberger Oak, Devil’s Walking Stick and some more.

The COVID-19 Ongoing has produced large numbers of visitors and happily (for the nurseries) emptied them of things we wanted, for now: Dogwoods, American Plum and additional Black Cherry trees.

Most of these natives are in their infancy. Next year? Truth be told, we really look forward to fine, active butterfly and moth traffic here at 800.

Now, comes the question? Indian Paintbrush set in in Georgia’s Piedmont, north of Macon? What think you? Ellen, Phil, Virginia, Leslie, Roxanne, Laura, Angela, Dave Kuene, Robert Michael Pyle, one and Jerry Payne?

Jeff