Peru? Bolivia?

Close Up of Pipevine Swallowtail  Butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow as it perched on Bergamot flower at Raccoon Creek State Park in Pennsylvania, 7/31/14

Life sure has a way of intruding on your plans. Paul’s brother Fred dazzled me with anecdotes of his studies in the interior of Bolivia and Peru. He’s an academic, and travelled there to pursue birds. The things that he found, leave you speechless. Birds and butterflies of almost indescribable beauty and mystery. His telling of the dangers that he confronted chastened me, for after the streets of Brooklyn, thank you, I do not want to be one of the poor souls who are in a bus the goes over the side of a cliff, on one of those unimproved mountain roads!

Me? I’m very happy to travel here in the U.S.A to more predictable destinations, like this one. Doak field in Raccoon Creek State Park in southwestern Pennsylvania. Imagine us there, with Bergamot blooms blanketing this enormous meadow, as a Pipevine swallowtail butterfly floats in. The pipevine is anxious for the rich sugary nectar of the Bergamot. Distracted, I cautiously move in closer, and what I see there, erases my thoughts of Peruvian rain forests, their ferocious mosquitoes, the very real threat of being ambushed/kidnapped ( my son was kidnapped there, and Thank G-d he and Rene were released unharmed ), or caught in the middle of a firefight in Lima, between army and rebels.

America is a butterfly magnet, and for good reason. My Fuji slide film shoots color real-time, and this year, I hope to please you with butterflies of much beauty, amidst green foliage that is honest in its share of green.

Jeff

Ordering A La Carte

Palamedes Swallowtail Butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow in Big Bend Wildlife Management Area, Florida's Panhandle

Counting the days, until I return to the Florida Panhandle (northernmost Florida). This will be my second trip to Big Bend Wildlife Management Area, near Perry, Florida. The first visit there, in 2016 was better that I could have expected. The thistle was in good bloom and the liatris had just begun to open flower. Milkweed was abundant. The butterflies? I almost want to say everywhere!

That first visit was in the last week of August. This April trip?  The Spring/Summer 2015 issue of American Butterflies (NABA) reported that 84 species of butterflies were recorded there in September, and 70 species seen in Big Bend in April. That “70” jumps out at me, and is the siren’s call to revisit.

When I gaped at this Palamedes Swallowtail butterfly in the last week of August 2016, the high of the day was in the mid-90’s Fahrenheit. Working to shoot as Georgia Satyr, the sweat was pouring down over my eyes, having coursed over my headband, and the salty sweat nearly blinded. April 2019? I can only dream . . .

Taking orders at this time, let me know what you’d like me to find?

Jeff

Mirror Time for Jeff

Jeff Zablow at '3B' Farm, Pittsburgh, PA

A victory lap for . . . me. We’re at Three B’s Farm, just outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. An eight hour drive, nearly straight west from New York, New York. It’s a magnificent June 2018 day, and my children and my grandson thought that picking blueberries and raspberries would be a Fun! idea. Bingo!

The berries? Magnificent! Plump, at peak and very tasty. Life berries, I can say.

This morning I surveyed wingedbeauty’s Media Library for a good choice of an image to post here, now. I stopped, decided that I’d play with this one, for this one is special.

Here I am, a big boy now, struggling yet to overcome Frieda’s A”H (OBM) loss, frustrated recently, and more, but . . . my full, rich life, up from the streets, much $uccess in the private sector, only to have knaves wrest it from me, 4 wonderful children, once again uprooted from ‘home,’ and look, Jeffrey, look at me.

Mirror time. I’m close to realizing Don’t Look back. No more carrying cold steel in my front right pocket, no more mismatched clothing to choose from, no more false friends and the backstab. My ‘good looks’ have propelled through all, my vigor and strength (Thank Y-u) still enabling swamps and medium-sized mountains, my gusto! and sense of humor still Pesci-esque. I’m here with family, and Thankful for that.

Too, I pursue what I Love, finding, stalking and photographing butterflies, to share the beauty that G-d . . . .

Mirror time for this Jeff.

Jeff

Angela Said It Would!

Edwards Hairstreak Butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at Lynx Prairie, OH

Barbara Ann made a new friend, Angela. They scheduled a trip to the southern tip of Ohio, Adams County, on the Kentucky border. There was no way this was not going to be anything other than an excellent several days of orchids, wildflowers and . . . butterflies. Angela assured me that I’d be fine going with them, and Joe, David, Flower and one or two others, and she assured me that butterflies there were plentiful and special.

It was and more so. We started our week further north, near Dayton, Ohio, and there I finally met my very first Showy Lady Slipper Orchids. That should/shall always remain a clear, happy memory for me.

Our small group then drove down to Adams County, and more days of new, amazing, Wow! and success.

Lynx Prairie and Kamamama Prairie were extraordinary. Wildflowers of pastels and more boasted large numbers of butterflies, nearly all fresh, and some never before seen.

Lynx Prairie Reserve had a fresh flight of this butterfly, Edwards’ Hairstreak. They stop often to rest, as seen here. When they nectar, they tolerate close approach. Their colors were strong, distinct and eye-candy.

I shot away, dozens of Fuji Velvia exposures, all the time so wanting to cop an image of those rich colors. I feel like I did just that.

That voice in my brain is urging me to return in June 2019, for there was that phantom Fritillary butterfly that I almost photographed, ‘cept it fled, and I had no spotter to tell me where it . . .

Jeff

Middle Eastern Swallowtail Butterfly

Papilla Machaon butterfly, photographed by Jeff Zablow at Ramat Hanadiv, Israel

So many trips to Israel, and so few chances to photograph Papilio Machaon Syriacus. I’d think of how pleased I’d be to bring you a good image of these swallowtail butterflies, found throughout the Middle East. That was tempered by how difficult it is to shoot a butterfly like this one, a butterfly that refuses to allow you to approach it.

The excitement that I experienced here was electric. I was on a trail at Ramat Hanadiv, the heavily visited wildlife preserve north of Tel Aviv, and very close to the Mediterranean Sea. These yellow blooms were aplenty along the trail, and he flew in to nectar. He must have been very hungry, for he allowed me to approach (robotically) and he tolerated my many shutter clicks.

Fresh, spectacular and for several moments, tolerant. The yellow, the black, the blue and the red-orange . . . Yummy!

Jeff hopes to return to Israel in 2020. Jeff, Thankful.

Jeff