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?

Jeff

He Stood, Awestruck!

Coneflower photographed by Jeff Zablow at Lynx Prairie, Ohio

Nurseries? I love visiting new nurseries. Always I enter a new one, hoping that it’s a good as nurseries visited in the past (one, in the Berkshires in western Massachusetts, for instance, that I will never forget). I’m the kid in the candy shop in nurseries, as in good hardware stores, and in benched dog shows.

These last several years have changed me. I now look, search for native plants, those not heavily hybridized. In the nurseries of Pennsylvania (Sylvania Natives the exception), I always, always expect that just about every plant I see is from some far away place, as in tropical (a not much used word nowadays) Central or South America, or at least the Great Plains of the USA or the habitat of the very southwest, say New Mexico.

Walks with Petra in next door Frick Park were a combination of pleasure and sadness. The sadness was the realization that, by my reconnaissance, maybe 70% of the greenery there was alien.

When Angela and her friends led me to Lynx Prairie Reserve, a private wildlife reserve in Adams County, very, very southern Ohio, I entered, and shortly stood there, Awestruck! There, right there were several Coneflowers!! Native, resident and luxuriant!!! Purple coneflower, I  would guess. Not found only many many state lines to the west, but right there in this rare, closely watched Ohio prairie habitat.

Great Spangled Fritillaries came and went, constantly, as did other butterflies. Busy times at the nectar Bar.

Angela may remember how they had to patiently pause, while Boy Blue Eyes stood there, enraptured!

They were strong, deeply hued and magnificent. Doesn’t take much to ignite me, Huh?

Jeff

Stop, Stare & Admire . . . .

Spring Larkspur Wildflower photographed by Jeff Zablow at Raccoon Creek State Park, PA

Spring Larkspur Wildflower photographed by Jeff Zablow at Raccoon Creek State Park, PA

What stops you in your tracks? Increasingly, less and less sets our emergency brakes, in this ever more sophisticated world. That’s unless you are a ‘naturalist.’

A naturalist consciously sets out from home to destinations near and far, for the purpose of  feasting on  natural beauty. Genuine naturalists stop often, to stare, ponder and admire. They refuse the urge to pick, touch, upset, or nudge the botany and animals that good luck sets before their eyes. What do they want to happen? They want to come upon unique ferns, wildflowers,  mushrooms, herbaceous plants, woody plants, carnvirouous plants, wetland plants, plants of fens, bogs and swamps. Plants of arid  habitat, boreal habitat, subtropical habitat, mountainous habitat, and plants of valleys, crevices, and microhabitats.

We’re sharing this wildflower that always stops Jeff in his tracks. Spring larkspur. Uncommon, of fascinating flower form and blessed with color that nears indescribable. Who? How? Where? Why? Jeff stops, stares and admires.

Jeff