Marvelling at Rarities at Lynx

Very Rare Moth on Rare Spurge Wildflower photographed by Jeff Zablow at Lynx Prairie Reserve, Ohio

I tried to wrap my mind around what I was seeing. This evokes that startling time back in the late ’80’s. I was alone in the elevator, going down from Al Gorin’s office in the very tony French building at the corner of Madison and East 57th Street, itself a super 4-way in NYNY. It stopped, the door opened, and in strode a very comely women. Tall and handsomely dressed, Diana Ross and I chatted as we descended down to the building lobby, with its priceless deco elevator doors and lobby decor. Used to seeing stars in Manhattan, always at some distance, Diana was just gorgeous. Me? Well, I was Happy. Vegas’ odds of me riding an elevator with a beauty (me who seeks butterflies and visited Sotheby’s & Christie’s regularly ?) like Miss Ross, like impossible.

Felt the same when Dave and Joe called us to this small Spurge wildflower at Lynx Prairie Reserve in Adams County. As Janet, Barbara Ann, Angela and I all leaned into these tiny blooms, they Id’d this moth as a very, very rare, threatened moth that, along with the Spurge, is mostly unknown and unseen. The moth was almost never seen, and lacked a permanent name. What! Another plant and moth shoved to the edge of the species precipice? I stood there, as I did in the elevator, struggling to grasp the extraordinary moment and the wealthy of beauty before me.

What’s that word? Hyperbole? No hyperbole here, honest. Curt?


Showy Biz!

Showy Ladies Slipper Orchid, II photographed by Jeff Zablow at Cedar Bog Prairie Reserve, Ohio

How often am I asked, ‘Why do you photograph butterflies?’ Well, I’m asked that a lot. And what surprises me? I’m surprised and a bit amazed that those folks really are (or seem to be) baffled by my passion for finding and shooting out butterflies. They really want to  hear my response. It seems that they cannot fathom any reason to pursue butterflies over any extended period of time. faithful recall my Christie’s/Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewelry experiences. They also recall that I like the challenge, making an approach to this wild critters, who themselves are equipped with very efficient sensory warning systems. Making that approach, and doing so successfully. They surely have figured out that I am very pleased when I share a Good image of a beautiful, fresh butterfly. Some may remember my experiences with the Elite Model agency in NYNY. The most loyal may even remember that dressing room dream visit, me 19 years old, to the Radio City Music Hall Rockettes, the Rockettes laughing and joshing me, and me, well like I was dropped into a vat of Breyers Mint Chip Ice Cream, with a helping of chocolate mini chips added!

Challenges. New places. Working to best the images already stored in my sweet slide file cabinet. Meeting new, fascinating folks.

Round out my reasons for seeking butterflies with this! I get to experience diverse plants and animals, i.e., I get to enjoy the beauty and intricate wonderment of H-s creations. This if Big for me, very Big. When Nancy shares the birds and butterflies of Panama, Georgia, Mexico, Costa Rica and Texas, I am stunned by the beauty I see. When Peggy shares her work on Vancouver Island, OMG! Virginia’s Georgia captures too. Laurence in France. Angela’s Ohio orchids and rare wildflowers got me into my truck, headed to Dayton, Ohio and then to southern Ohio, to that amazing Adams County, Ohio. Seeing beauty, well I seem to not every savor enough beauty.

Barbara Ann and Angela became friends, and next thing you know, Barbara Ann was talking about heading to Ohio, and seeking orchids, with Angela and Dave and Flower and Joe. Now, Barbara Ann had already introduced me to native orchids in northwestern Pennsylvania and southwestern New York.

Truth be told, I had a strong desire to finally, finally see my first Showy Ladies Slipper orchid. Wanted much to see them. Much. Angela signaled sure, if we time your visit correctly, I could see my first Showy Ladies Slipper, and Barbara Ann could see the first one she’d seen in many, many years.

Few have ever seen them, the very large, very magnificent Showy Ladies Slipper Orchid. Elegant, stately, demure, and big as life. This one here in Cedar Bog Preserve, Ohio, thanks to Angela. What did the Showys evoke for me. That elevator ride in the Fuller building on Madison Avenue and tony East 57th Street, me and Miss Ross. She was big as life, radiant, warm smile, me pleased, very pleased. Art Deco elevator cab, comely Superstar, relaxed conversation.

Showy Biz!


Wow! A Revelation Revisited

We’re now solidly through 2017 . . . A re-read of this Important Post would be good, very good, for very many, we think. I’ll bet Leslie, Virginia, Angela, Barbara Ann and Cathy would vote with me on this!

Winged Beauty Butterflies

Hibiscus Flowers photographed by Jeff Zablow at Phipps Conservatory, Pittsburgh, PA, 7/29/10
This flawless, magnificent Hibiscus bloom was growing at the entrance to the Phipps Conservatory’s Outdoor Gardens in my hometown, Pittsburgh. The earlier post we made, with this same flower, shared that despite alot of time spent posted right there, there were no insect visitors. None, and I was there in the middle morning, when flies, bees, butterflies, beetles and others are at their busiest. Nothing flew or walked or crawled to get the nectar of this stunning giant of a flower.

Recently, a visit to Kathy at Sylvania Natives, a Pittsburgh nursery that devotes itself to selling native plants, led to her recommendation that I read Douglas W. Tallamy’s Bringing Nature Home (Timber Press, 2007). It was slow getting into it, then . . . . Wow! The Revelation? It was something that has puzzled me for much of my life. I remember the gardens, carefully coiffured, of the…

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