Made In China?

Mantid egg case photographed by Jeff Zablow

I used to find these in that empty ‘lot’ around the corner from my house in Brooklyn, in the 1950’s. I took for granted that like I, this mantid egg case was all-American. An American mantis’ eggs. Sturdy, resilient, strong for having weathered that long, low in the ’20’s winter before.

Not too long ago, I learned Uh Uh! No American, but instead an egg case for Chinese Mantids. What a bummer! For our many friends from other countries, that means what a Disappointment.

The great number of alien, non-native animals and plants in the United States, tens of thousands of species or more, is a shocker when you spend time thinking about that.

China? Sri Lanka? Norway? France? Mexico? New Zealand? And the wingedbeauty Friend from Estonia . . . do you see as many alien plants and animals in your country as we do in the United States?

Jeff

On Pigeon Mountain

Pink Wildflowers photographed by Jeff Zablow at Pigeon Mountain, GA

Last year’s trip to the north Georgia mountains led us to David, a native of that beautiful region. David led us to Pigeon mountain, and its pair of pristine meadows.

The #1 goal was to find and shoot Diana Fritillary butterflies. All was seemingly perfect: A mountain meadow, full of nectaring blooms, sunny, windless weather, and all the hikers that we saw stayed below those meadows, leaving us to ourselves and our search.

Dianas? Nope. I’ve still not seen my first. Giants? Huge Giant Swallowtails, usually seen in groups of 3 or 4. Memories? Wonderful ones, on a mountain in north Georgia.

Still to be done? Need to get an ID on these nice wildflowers, growing in those Pigeon mountain meadows, along the perimeter tree line.

Ellen? Virginia? Rose? Barbara Ann? Angela? Jeff?

Jeff

Unknown Flier

Unidentified Fly photographed by Jeff Zablow at Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge, GA

Those 700 miles bring much that’s new. Scouring the Woody Pond perimeter at Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge produced this new fly.

I’m not sure what it is. I was sure that it was film worthy, and I had no doubt that you’d help us ID it. I’ve never seen this one before, and I’m guessing that its found in the southeastern United States.

ID?

Jeff

Knowing Moths? at Ft. Federica

Unidentified Moth photographed by Jeff Zablow at Fort Federica, Saint Simons Island, GA

Ft. Federica, the National Monument on St.Simons Island. This coastal fort, once a thriving village on a coastal river, was the other side of fascinating. Standing there where the fort and village once stood, I stopped alot. It triggered my rich life experience, too many times challenged by threat and impending risk/danger. My artillery unit (155 mm howitzer, towed) didn’t go to ‘Nam, but we sure thought we were going, and being a green 2nd Lt. gave some pause, for sure. Dangerous guys back then in Brooklyn had to be kept on the radar, constantly, and yes, there were times I was steeled for trouble. Riding the subway each day, through a notorious part of NYNY, alone, always was much. Working as a Dean at John Adams H.S. (knives, guns, riots, murders and Gotti’s crew’s kids)  . . . a rich life of kind of tight-rope walking. Thank You G-d.

I tried to imagine myself a junior officer at the fort. back then in what, 1738? Imagine a Spanish Armada appearing down river, headed to overwhelm the fort and the village, full of homes with women and children.

Good that there were butterflies flying in the meadows surrounding the fort, as Virginia had hoped. That was when I spotted this fascinating moth, motionless amidst the foliage.

I don’t know the hundreds of moths found in the southeastern USA, so I was unable to ID this one. I admired those lipstick red spots on each wing, and that white stripe across the abdomen?

I see so much in the field that I want to know. Curt? Barbara Ann? Virginia? Phil? Angela? David K? David Wagner?

Jeff

Green Lynx Spider and Alphabetland

Green Spider on Tithonia photographed by Jeff Zablow at 303 Garden, GA

Never saw such in Pittsburgh. Not in Long Island or Brooklyn. The first one I saw here in Georgia was in my own natives garden. I’ve seen many of those little crab spiders hiding in blooms when out on my butterfly searches, but never had I seen this larger spider.

This Green Lynx Spider so reminds me of growing up, hard and on the streets of Brooklyn. You had to know where you were all the time, and be aware, always aware. I remember when I began seeking little multifamily properties in NYNY. Savvy people, back in the very late 1970’s and early ’80’s urged me to have a good, long look at the East Village in NYNY. Back then it was rough, very rough, with the hint of violence very, very near. Those same people also carefully warned, “Don’t cross Avenue A!” Why? Because beyond that side of ‘A,’ you had better be prepared for . . . anything. I heeded their advice, but did get involved, of course, on the more pacified side of ‘A.’ Today? Alphabetland, as they now call it, became a “HOT” address, and condos there go for $1,000,000 or more. Did I ever see the dark side of that area? Yes, 2 or 3 times, but ‘though in suit and tie, I did enjoy some level of comfort, with long steel in my pants pocket. Realities.

For butterflies, there are uncountable perils, beyond getting whomped on your car’s front grille or your windshield. Blue Jays, Mockingbirds, darners, lizards, snakes, beetles at night and . . . this strikingly beautiful Green Lynx spider, patiently waiting for a butterfly or bee, its attractive green color giving it extra invisibility.

I had one of these lay her eggs in my Mountain Mint, and not long after had a nest of perhaps 50 Green lynx spiderlets (?). I let it be, this is H-s plan.

Jeff