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

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

 

 

 

Giant Swallowtail Butterfly At Thistle

Giant swallowtail butterfly sipping nectar from thistle, photographed by Jeff Zablow at Wildlife Management Area, Kathleen, GA

A sight that makes your eyes smile! Mike and I were at a National Wildlife Refuge near Kathleen, Georgia. We were just 2 miles from Donald’s Frito-Lay plant, the largest chip producing plant in the U.S.A..

The Refuge was lush, free of other folks, and loaded with wildlife.

These Thistles caught my eye. Thistles always do. I have this thing for Thistles, always have. Usually those 10 minutes spent waiting near a Thistle bloom for butterflies to come, ends in frustration.

This time, this gorgeously colored Thistle bloom (Ellen, which Thistle is it?) gave me a jolt! Why? This sizable Giant Swallowtail showed up, and spent good minutes nectaring on the Thistle.

A sight to behold! Giant on Thistle, in unique Wildlife Refuge, guided by Mike, one of Georgia’s most knowledgeable naturalists, and just 2 miles from a Kettle Chip plant par excellence.

Jeff

P.S. I ordered a box of masks online. They were delivered yesterday. Last night I opened the package, and the box reported that the MASKS WERE MANUFACTURED IN WUHAN, CHINA. Nope, I don’t want to open the box or wear them. Wuhan?

Count Me Among The Fortunate

Edwards Hairstreak Butterflies on Butterflyweed photographed by Jeff Zablow at Lynx Prairie, Ohio

Don’t we occasionally need to be reminded how fortunate we are? I had one of those epiphanies that morning when I entered that meadow in the Lynx Prairie Reserve in Adams County, Ohio.

Look and see what I saw. A trio of totally fresh Edwards Hairstreak butterflies, enjoying the rich nectar of just as fresh Butterflyweed blooms. Three gorgeous hairstreaks, they only yards away from the forest border and their hostplants there, Bear Oaks.

I shot away, copping this image, me the entire time thinking: How happy I was at that time, counting myself among the fortunate. There are perhaps 193,509,227 people living east of the Mississippi River. How many of them have ever seen this, as I did, in that meadow, just a handful of miles form the Kentucky border?

Jeff

Decades of Love

Viceroy Butterfly on Sumac (Woody Pond) photographed by Jeff Zablow at Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge, GA

I imagine that you have yours, for I know that I have some myself. These decades of searching for butterflies in North America and the Middle East (Israel) have produced a very short list of butterflies that I especially love.

Here at Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge, along the Georgia coast, my imagination was caught by this native Sumac bush. It grew within. a foot or two of Woody Pond. That pond is the home of herons, storks, ibises, rails, egrets and alligators. Ellen Honeycutt has written of the Sumacs native to Georgia, and this Brooklyn boy was fascinated, Fascinated because 1/2 of my adult life, spent in and around New York City, I’d always heard that Sumacs (alien) didn’t belong, despite that there were 10’s of millions of alien Sumacs thriving thereabouts.

As I was examining this Woody Pond Sumac, it just beginning to bloom, who flies in? One of my butterfly favs, this Viceroy butterfly (Limenitis archippus). The Sumac kept it in partial shade, but the deep, rich color of this Viceroy was compelling, and there I was admiring a handsome specimen of one of my favorites, most beloved butterflies.

Decades of Love triggered, at Laura’s Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge.

Jeff