Who’s For You?

Appalachian Brown Butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow in Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge, GA

As the dialogue continues, with my new friend from the other side of this world ( Sri Lanka ) I find my mind aboil with interesting questions. This new acolyte to butterfly questing has thrown several questions at me, questions that only someone fresh to this field of interest might ask.

Reluctant to overwhelm new enthusiasts, I struggled to limit my ‘constructive criticism’ of her image shares to one or two possibles. Yesterday I urged that she work all of the butterflies that she has seen and choose just one, and shoot it out, and make herself a moderate expert on that one, and own that right to discuss it, after a body of serious field time observing it.

Well, since that share, all of these thoughts have been springing out in my mind. This image here, of an Appalachian Brown satyr, derives from several earlier discussions popped on wingedbeauty.com. Some of them go all the way back to those certain stores on Madison Avenue in NYNY in the 1980’s, when I had the grease to go into men’s clothing stores and come out with brown fedoras and brown ( Oh, so chocolate brown ) shoes.

Past the 2 decade mark, I now know that the majority of visitors here will give short shrift ( i.e., spend little time viewing ) a post we might make here of a brown butterfly, or of a skipper butterfly. Monarch? Heavy traffic. Gorgeous fresh Eastern Black Swallowtail? Heavy traffic. A Mourning Cloak in full regalia? Good traffic.

This sweet look snapped in Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge in middle Georgia, USA, with its really likable ‘eyes?’ Well I shall only expect light to moderate traffic, for many very, very prized visitors and friends just don’t get whooed by browns.

So friends, if you’re really in it for them all, then go ahead and share the browns, for they are most certainly G-d’s creatures. Do though, anticipate that traffic will be . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Jeff

‘Let Me Count The Ways’

Baltimore Checkerspot Butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow in Jamestown Audubon Center, NY

We’ve grown. An increasing number of folks now follow wingedbeauty.com. Well, China, South America and Africa still lag behind in those who follow us here, but they are more than offset by our increased reach here in the United States, in Europe, Canada, the Middle East, Australia, Japan, and much of the Far East ( Vietnam, Japan, Korea, Sri Lanka ). I am so very pleased with knowing that friends from so far afield come to visit, and return again and again.

Growth here at home and abroad comes with interesting challenges. Many come along, and then share their own image captures. It doesn’t take more than a nanosecond for me to recall the images that I was scoring as many as 20 years ago. They were done with such determination, zeal and, absent in the field mentors, enough well, confusion, to make me shudder at how much I wanted to get OMG! looks, and how far I was from doing that, regularly.

A new friend arrived from Sri Lanka, very interested and very appreciative of whatever advice I might share. Share too much, and you risk overwhelming, share nothing at all, and me, I know how that vacuum feels . . . .

So I return to one of my most valued images, this Baltimore Checkerspot butterfly, met at the Jamestown ( NY ) Audubon Center, before it’s name changed. This look tickles me a lot, for it gives you a whole host of this beauty’s beauty, from wingtip to wingtip, from palps to posterior end of its abdomen, and then those antennae, the head, eyes, the color sings too, as do the distinct markings that I’ve noted challenge Tiffany’s and Cartier and the living and long gone artisans of those jewelry workshops.

A favorite image, I ask, how many ‘standing ovations’ must it give you? How I’d Love to know your responses to this last query??? Peggy, Kelly, Virginia, Holly, Cathy, Jim, Sherrie, Katarzyna, Ian, Phyllis, Laurence, Angela, Lois ,Jim, Kathryn, Marcie, Kathy, Jill, Leslie, Paula, Barbara Ann . . . .

Jeff

2017’s Closing Weeks for Leps

Little wood satyr butterfly photographed at Raccoon Creek State Park, PA

The 2nd week of October 2017, here in the USA (our audience has grown across several continents). Butterflies continue to be met, but we all are counting the days, until 1) they fly south (Monarchs, Painted Ladies) 2) Their chrysalises and caterpillars move into the leaf litter and endure the winter there (fritillaries and skippers) 3) Search for and find crevices in tree trunks and suitable spaces under your wooden back deck (Mourning cloaks).

2017 has been a fine year for butterflies. Monarchs showed up, Zebra heliconians delighted us as they pushed their northern boundary northward and Goatweed leafwings made more appearances than usual.

Me? I’m very, very much looking forward to 2018. The Briar Patch Butterflies and Blooms Habitat comes alive in its new, larger site in Eatonton, Georgia. Israel? The peak of Mt. Hermon in Israel, would be a return for me to those super rare Middle Eastern Holyland butterflies. Texas? Vancouver Island? My return to Angela’s Adams County, Ohio summer wonderland of butterflies, wildflowers and orchids? Ontario?

I’m blessed to be able to continue heading up mountains, into mucky swamp, through rich prairies and into that amazing Butterflies and Blooms in the Briar Patch Habitat. Then too will I finally meet Kathryn, Lois, Peggy, Marcie, Joanne, Roger, Holly and Katarzyna? Dare I dream of rendezvous with new friends in Australia, the Netherlands, Poland and India?

2018? Oh, please reward us, me and all those who go out to score images of sheer beauty!

Jeff

Briar Patch Habitat I – Virginia and James

James Murdock and Virginia Linch photographed by Jeff Zablow at Butterflies and Blooms in the Briar Patch Habitat, GA

For the Historical Archives. It’s 2017, and Virginia here is introducing James Murdock to the hostplant beds at the Original Butterflies and Blooms in the Briar Patch Habitat, in downtown Eatonton, Georgia. The record books reflect that James was one of some 313 visitors to the Briar Patch Habitat this 2017,  to receive a personal tour, provided by Virginia C Linch, herself.

As word spread throughout Georgia and points east of the Mississippi, the town of Eatonton resolved that with the growing popularity of the Briar Patch Habitat, and its potential for future high numbers of visitors, the municipality would offer a new, very desirable site in town for Virginia’s Butterfly Miracle.

Summoning her closest circle of Habitat supporters, Virginia considered the offer . . . and then agreed to the Herculean task of uprooting the Habitat’s thousands of perennials, shrubs and trees, as well as the tower, Papa’s Porch, and the other hand-made structures there.

With the new location to open in 2018, there’s talk of new attractions, and soon, Butterfly Celebrations, culminating in annual Butterflies and Blooms  Conventions. Middle Georgia, and Lake Oconee and Lake Sinclair? Poised for a butterfly Convention feat, that will attract visitors from here, there and everywhere.

Jeff