What Happened in 2004?

Pittsburgh South Vo-Tech public school field trip participants - May 2004, photographed by Jeff Zablow in Raccoon Creek State Park, PA

Our field trip, kids from South Vo-Tech High School, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in May 2004. Thirteen (13) students and one teacher seen here. Me? I’m taking the picture. Each year I’d be sure to shoot my kids on our Wetland Studies field trips. The following year, I’d show my pics as slides, on our trusty tripod-legged screen. Those shown would gain near Oscar-night fame throughout the school, and that was so special for them, for they’d surely never again be lauded on a ‘big screen’ again.

We’d search out all that we could find in the 2 or 3 Pennsylvania State Parks we’d visit. Butterflies for sure. Wildflowers, trees, ferns, more. Birds. Lizards, snakes. We’d talk about the amazing community that it all fostered.

How, what do you think those experiences nurtured in my students? Good kids, few if any college-bound. How did such benefit our forever wild lands? Our conservation of flora and fauna in our cities, suburbs and undeveloped refuges?

Did I leave any legacy back in Pittsburgh? I’m asking what you think.

Jeff

Mirror Time for Jeff

Jeff Zablow at '3B' Farm, Pittsburgh, PA

A victory lap for . . . me. We’re at Three B’s Farm, just outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. An eight hour drive, nearly straight west from New York, New York. It’s a magnificent June 2018 day, and my children and my grandson thought that picking blueberries and raspberries would be a Fun! idea. Bingo!

The berries? Magnificent! Plump, at peak and very tasty. Life berries, I can say.

This morning I surveyed wingedbeauty’s Media Library for a good choice of an image to post here, now. I stopped, decided that I’d play with this one, for this one is special.

Here I am, a big boy now, struggling yet to overcome Frieda’s A”H (OBM) loss, frustrated recently, and more, but . . . my full, rich life, up from the streets, much $uccess in the private sector, only to have knaves wrest it from me, 4 wonderful children, once again uprooted from ‘home,’ and look, Jeffrey, look at me.

Mirror time. I’m close to realizing Don’t Look back. No more carrying cold steel in my front right pocket, no more mismatched clothing to choose from, no more false friends and the backstab. My ‘good looks’ have propelled through all, my vigor and strength (Thank Y-u) still enabling swamps and medium-sized mountains, my gusto! and sense of humor still Pesci-esque. I’m here with family, and Thankful for that.

Too, I pursue what I Love, finding, stalking and photographing butterflies, to share the beauty that G-d . . . .

Mirror time for this Jeff.

Jeff

Success by Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ralph Waldo Emerson And . . . The Garden I Said Goodbye To In ’12

Winged Beauty Butterflies

Jeff Zablow's Perennial Beds Pittsburgh, PA, 7/10/07

I have read this often, and attempt to emulate it in my own life, whether gardening to attract winged beauties, or with family and friends, in my spiritual life, and in the field, as I attempt to capture ever more beautiful images of butterflies, darners, wildflowers, whatever . . . .

Success

To laugh often and to love much . . .
To win the respect of intelligent persons
and the affections of children . . . To earn
the approbation of honest critics and to
endure the betrayal of false friends , , ,
To appreciate beauty; to give of one’s self . . .
To leave the world a bit better whether by
a healthy child, a garden patch, or
a redeemed social condition . . .
To laugh and play with enthusiasm and to sing with
exultation and to know that one life
has breathed easier because…

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Excitement on Beechwood Boulevard

Monarch butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at Raccoon Creek State Park

Monarch butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at Raccoon Creek State ParkA

A sight for sore eyes! Petra and I arrived home last night, completing an 188 miles drive down from Frewsburg, New York. This image was captured in Raccoon Creek State Park in Beaver County, southwestern Pennsylvania. This very morning I looked out of our window, to the side yard, and its ‘peanut’ garden. And what did I see? A female monarch butterfly, like this one, flying to and fro amongst my 26 common milkweed plants. Yippee! She may then head to the 30 or so milkweeds in the front garden, and . . . set her eggs nicely there, too.

This is the 4th year that our milkweeds ( Asclepias syriaca) are in, purchased from Monarch Watch at the University of Kansas. They are beautiful this year, 5-6 footers, with big round flower heads.

We pushed off for this most recent trip on June 12th, and arrived back home on June 21st. Adams County in the south of Ohio was our destination. We met other naturalists there, and spent days visiting fens, wooded trails and prairies. Fantastic , it was, with knowledgeable friends, discovering rare orchids, showy orchids, rare botany. Why, why did America allow its prairies to be developed? They are habitat of boundless life and beauty.

My slide film ships to Kansas tomorrow, and I wait. Images of Northern metalmarks, coral hairstreaks, Baltimore checkerspot caterpillars, Zebra swallowtails on butterflyweed(!), Common ringlet, robust pipevine swallowtails and Edward’s hairstreaks, abound. I simply cannot wait to share.

Pumping that anticipation is my desire to see the fruit of my new Cannon 100mm/2.8 lens, with, with image $tabilizer. Will it, can it, deliver?

Appreciative, I am.

Jeff

Our 2016 Travels: Revealed

Jeff Zablow and his dog, Petra, photographed by Jenny Jean Photography.

Jeff Zablow and his dog, Petra, photographed by Jenny Jean Photography.

What a year 2016! We sought butterflies all the way back to March. Sitting here tonight, coursing through Facebook, Kim’s, Virginia’s, Stanley’s, Phil’s, Cathy’s, Marcie’s, Barbara Ann’s, Angela’s, Joan’s,Vicki’s, Nancy’s, Erica’s, Terry’s, Joanne’s, Lisa’s, Jennifer’s, Peggy’s, Leslie’s . . . all of your beautiful butterfly posts this year got me to a melancholy place.

Petra and I hit the road aboard the trusty ’06 Toyota Tundra, on the hunt for newer, better butterfly images, and time and time again, images of butterflies I’d never seen before!

Petra and I traveled to: Chapman State Park (NY), Oxford (MD), Frewsburg (NY), and we made 3 trips to Eatonton (GA).

My Black Russian travels very well, in fact loves to travel. She made history this year, the only pooch in the history of Interstate 20 (Georgia to South Carolina) who enjoyed a meal served to her in her bowl, on the median line on the eastbound lanes (well, due to that 2.5 hours parked delay, the result of a very scary looking 18-wheeler wreck).

We now have more than 140 new images to share over the coming months. Good news that.

Petra does have difficulty understanding why we aren’t on the road now, and why we won’t spin those wheels until, well, March 2017. Anyone know how to get her to get that?

Jeff