Where will we Find an Appalachian Brown Butterfly in 2021?

Appalachian Brown Butterfly II photographed by Jeff Zablow at Prairie Fen Reserve, Ohio

I seek and photograph butterflies because I love it. I totally enjoy arriving at our refuges, parks and incredible roadside spots, with the goal of finding and sharing images with you. We are a select group, esthetes who appreciate the finite beauty of butterflies, especially fresh, robust butterflies.

2021 is already yet a year I will not ever forget. I need an elixir, truth be told to restore in me, the calm and assurance that I usually feel. My hope is to fill that Rx with frequent drives to find and approach the butterflies of Georgia, northern Florida and nearby Alabama. Some of this will be solo, and I’m encouraged that some of it will be with the assistance of new and recent friends. They’ve offered their time and participation, and that is great news!

I sure want to find these Appalachian Brown butterflies in April, May and June. Where? In wet wooded areas, mostly near swamps. Keep your ears pealed for my war whoop! if I’m successful, for it will sound as a faint, brazen yell, coming to you from some pristine, amazing and remote place! Thanks Kim.


The Beauty Of An Eyed Brown

Appalachian Brown Butterfly II photographed by Jeff Zablow at Prairie Fen Reserve, Ohio

We scoured Prairie Road Fen, Angela and Barbara Ann for orchids and wildflowers, with me keeping an eye out for butterflies. Near Dayton, Ohio, I was again and again impressed with the richness of Ohio reserves and parks.

They found their orchids, here at Prairie Fen Reserve and almost everywhere else, they with much experience with orchids and near relentless in their pursuit of them.

Me? I was reintroduced to several butterflies of the northeastern USA that are hard to find. This Eyed Brown butterfly was such, one I rarely see over the years. It’s home? Wet meadows.

Once my Fuji slides were returned from Dwayne’s Photo, I was thrilled by this image. Glassberg’s A Swift Guide to the Butterflies of North America cites Eyed Brown’s as “LR-U” at the southern edge of range,” and that made our meeting even more serendipitous. Rare to Uncommon brings a smile, for that 6 hour or so drive west from Pittsburgh, for such moments, made sense, much sense.

Studying the rich play of color on this left hindwing, I think of the subtle beauty it displays, those tiny eyes, shining as little spotlights, the jagged lines that enable us to differentiate this butterfly from the closely related Appalachian Brown butterfly, the rich hues of brown that I’m on record as . . . loving and the good capture of the head, legs and antennae.

The beauty of an eyed brown, a fresh eyed brown.


The Shoot Me! Moth

Moth photographed by Jeff Zablow at Prairie Road Fen Reserve, Ohio

We saw it at several wetlands that Angela, Janet, Barbara Ann and the rest of us visited. Never having seen it before, this moth at first seemed well, plain. I’d never seen it anywhere in western Pennsylvania, but there it was, in more than one habitat in very southern Ohio.

Angela had a name for it, but names just don’t stick so fast for me. Visuals do. I remember faces I’ve seen before, remember them for a very long time. I remember butterflies and moths that I’ve seen before, just about 100% of the time.

As with many butterflies that were lifers for me on that June 2017 trip, this one was new. The thing about it was, though determined to conserve my use of my Fuji Velvia film, that moth seemed to be sending me telepathic messages:  Shoot me! Shoot me!

This agreeable image shares that yellow head, finely paired antennae, and an almost complete ‘Peace’ symbol on those crisply matched wings.

Another Shoot Me! moth at Prairie Fen Reserve in Clark County, Ohio.

Haploa clymene. Thanks Angela.