Petra, My Russian Pup, and her Eleventh Birthday

Jeff Zablow and his dog, Petra photographed by Jenny Jean Photography

Many of you have puppies and kittens. I’ve enjoyed reading of your love for your kitty cats and your pups. I’ve paused at times, when some of you share the sadness and pathos with the passing of those ‘best friends.’

Petra celebrates her 11th birthday in May 2021. She still loves life, though our walks have shortened and her naps lengthened. I still know that few will risk entering our home to do naughty things, for at 98 pounds, she looks too formidable, too able to respond. This ‘boy’ from Brooklyn has appreciated that, this last decade.

On walks, strangers have stopped and asked of her, and asked how old she is. On hearing that she is 10 years old, inconsiderate folks have said, “Oh, I’m sorry.” I’ve shot back “Sorry. Why sorry?” Them: Oh because those large breeds usually don’t live more than 9-10 years . . . . It’s happened 3 or 4 times, and it rocks my boat, it upsets.

How do I fortify myself for what necessarily must come? I ask. Losing Frieda A”H (“OBM”) was shattering, it was.


Winged Beauty Butterflies Makes Top 15 List of Butterfly Blogs and Websites to Follow

We are proud and happy to announce ((drumroll please)) our inclusion in Feedspots’ 2020 Top 15 Butterfly Blogs and Websites to Follow!

What does this mean, you may ask? In the big picture, like many other lists these days, this one has been created from a combination of algorithmic and human curation. Ranking is based on relevancy, blog post frequency and consistency, age of the blog, traffic rank, social media engagement and a couple of other things that you can read about here.

On a more personal note, we’re proud to be ranked with the likes of Monarch Watch, Rebecca’s Butterfly Reflections, Lep Log, Butterfly Conservation of Ireland and Butterflies of Singapore. We’d like to thank you, dear readers, for your support over the years and all the wonderful queries and comments on our favorite topic of butterflies.

Petra Is 7 Today!

Jeff Zablow and his dog, Petra photographed by Jenny Jean Photography

Jeff Zablow and his dog, Petra photographed by Jenny Jean Photography

We’re now 28 hours back home, that long drive up from Eatonton, Georgia. This Petra’s 8th trip to the fabulous Piedmont region of central Georgia. Lush, green beauty filled with wildlife. That and the Joy! of “Hellos!” “Good Mornings!” “Thank You’s” “Excuse Me’s” “How are you doing today’s” and a delicious plate of so many more sincere greetings. Very inviting, those.

We visited the Butterflies & Blooms Briar Patch Habitat many, many times, Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge and Hard Lake Creek Spate Park. On the very last day, my trusty 100mm/2.8 Canon macro-lens refused to focus, and well, that was that. Yummy Zebra Swallowtails, that Virginia captured so well.

Petra loves to travel on long trips, and is a pleasure to take along. Although I struggle to nap, when I can, she enables easy, trouble-free sleep in those North Carolina-Virginia-West Virginia rest areas.

Today is her 7th birthday, my Black Russian. Petra? She thinks she’s three, and still a bust-out pup!

Happy Birthday Petra!!


Announcing A New Feature: Butterfly Destinations

Northern Pearly Eye Butterfly, photographed by Jeff Zablow at Raccoon Creek State Park in Pennsylvania

That personal wind to my sails drives me to seek native butterflies, farther and farther afield. Absent a cadre of field-savvy compadres to guide me to find butterfly caches, we’ve found many. The names and places have become familiar to many of you, and the time is here to highlight them, for they are special, and they produce. They produce rich, exciting interaction with extraordinary butterfly habitat. G-d willing, in this year just beginning, I will visit all of them again, and even add new places to hike and amaze.

These Butterfly Destinations include:  Raccoon Creek State Park, PA, USA (Where I met this Northern Pearly-eye butterfly), Butterflies & Blooms In the Briar Patch Habitat, Eatonton, Georgia, USA, Audubon Community Nature Center, Jamestown, NY, USA, Rock Hawk Effigy & Trails, Eatonton, Georgia, USA and last but not least, the SPNI Nature Centers, Israel.

Select (click) this new feature in our expanding menu, and add to your list of siren song destinations. All will deliver new butterfly and travel treats.


Very Exciting News! Jeff’s Earring . . . .

Earring Series - Blackswallowtail butterflies coupled, photographed by Jeff Zablow at "Butterflies and Blooms in the Briar Patch," Eatonton, GA

With much pleasure, I finally, invite you to enjoy my extraordinary and exciting! interaction with fresh, exquisite Eastern Black Swallowtail butterflies. We encountered this pair in August 2016, they coupled together, me stunned by their beauty. We were all at the Butterflies & Blooms Briar Patch Habitat, in Eatonton, Georgia.

By the end of this saga, I was adorned with an earring unequaled in beauty, beyond the ability of the workshops of Tiffanys, Cartier’s, David Webb and all the rest.

Sylbie Yon was there, at the right time, in the right place. The 6 featured images were captured by her. The Eastern Black Swallowtails and I will always be thankful for Sylbie’s images.

To view them, see the top of this wingedbeauty window, and click on ‘Jeff’s Earrings’ – Part 1 . . . after reading and viewing, go above once again and click on ‘Jeff’s Earrings – Part 2 . . . and then click on ‘Jeff’s Earrings’ – Part 3.

This sweet series was zippity-doodah! for Sylbie and for me. How I hope that you will provide us with feedback. Tell us what other wild butterfly earring experiences you’ve seen . . . .