Long Dash Skipper– a Polites mystic

Skipper Butterfly II photographed by Jeff Zablow at Clay Pond Preserve, Frewsburg, NY

It’s Skipper time. Here we were, at Clay Pond Reserve in western New York State. My eyes are peeled for Satyrs, Viceroys, Monarchs, Wood Nymphs, Angle wings. Rare and/or beautiful wildflowers are also appreciated.

The grass is thigh high, and the going is slow, for though the pond is only 50 feet away, this is a very wet read very wet meadow.

You see what I saw. A very beautiful skipper on a lush, colorful bloom. Arrgh! I try to make believe that I don’t see handsome skipper butterflies, because there are so many species of them about and I never did develop a working ID program in my head, to tell one from another skipper species.

That moment though, I thought, Hey! this is one of the more interesting Skipper species, it is totally occupied as it nectars the full flower head, and it’d make a fine image, if I can capture what I see and share it well.

June 2017, and I make this as a Long Dash skipper, nicely adorned, eyes good and proboscis well extended. And Barbara Ann, he is sipping at this (what kind do you think this is?) bloom.

Jeff

Galilean Willdflower Beckons

Wildflower photographed by Jeff Zablow at Kedesh Trail, Upper Galilee, Israel

A consistent winner, this Kedesh Trail, just 10 minutes south of Kiryat Shimona, in Israel’s Upper Galilee. Rare butterflies, fresh and earnest, have been my reward for driving to this exceptional trail, with its meadows, rocky outcrops, and rising cliffs and both sides. The HolyLand, April 2017.

With a break in the airborne action, my eyes revert to searching for wildflowers. These dainties lined a good part of Kedesh. I had a mental meeting with me, myself and I, and it was decided. I would look for a richly colored, well lit, healthy bloom, and attempt (hand held, no tripod) to get a good one.

Wow! Scarlet Pimpernel aka Anagallis arvensis.

What say you?

Jeff

Are You Amongst the 1.4% ?

Rare Asclepias photographed by Jeff Zablow at Lynx Prairie Reserve, Ohio

Angela, Barbara Ann, Joe, David and Janet kept spotting a new one, in Adams County, Ohio, just miles from the Kentucky Border. That June 2017 trip, about 6 days long, delivered, as we used to say, ‘Big time.’

Never a drinker, or a smoker, and despite the skepticism of some, there were zero (no, nada, zilch!) drugs or Mary Jane in Samuel J. Tilden High School back then. That’s 5,200 students. Me? I have always gotten my ‘rush’ from unscheduled sightings of never before seen butterflies, wildlife and botany. Lately it’s been orchids.

I remember Angela spotting this rare flower on a trail in Lynx Prairie Preserve, also in the Adams County. If memory serves, she and others had seen this Ascelpias (milkweed) before, but for sure they said it is difficult to find, and is never found in any numbers.

I stared at it as if it was one you’d expect to see, maybe on Mars? My field guides are still in boxes, so the name eludes me. The name, no? Recollecting when we met it? Yes, for sure. Angela? Barbara Ann? David? Phil? Whatdoyouthink?

I really, really enjoy such wildly fascinating plants, and count myself, happily, amongst the 1.4% or make that the 0.026% of Americans who have seen such starkly beautiful living things that I have been so fortunate to see.

I wonder is that 0.026% figure is appropriate too for Vancouver Island, Frewsburg, New York, Sri Lanka,  Whidbey Island, Washington, Poland, Hamilton, Canada and Latvia?

Jeff

Would You Contemplate a Thistle?

Spiny Thistle photographed by Jeff Zablow at Mishmarot, Israel

Absent a steady menu of butterflies, my mind and my eyes scan for beauty, the new, the yet unknown, and I forever look for the inexplicable. It’s the inexplicable here in the native growth along the berm of an unimproved agricultural dirt road in Mishmarot, Israel.

My Handbook of Wildflowers of Israel – Mediterranean Flora by Darom and Shmida, is written in Hebrew, so I am at some disadvantage. Nonetheless, this would be Notobasis syriaca, and the timing is right, with this viewed in April 2017.

The oft asked question, for me, is, is this film worthy? Your response, remains a question for me. Me? The color, severe angles and impressive armament of this plant evokes much for me, mostly of a life in Brooklyn, and on the subways, when I too carried long cold steel, in my pocket.

Standing there, shooting away, trying for a good look ar Notobasis, I rattled off in my mind the HolyLand Patriarchs and Matriarchs who must surely have also stopped at these wonders of Creation, and admired, just as I did.

Jeff