Embattled Butterflies Seen?

Regal Fritillary Butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow in Fort Indiantown Gap Military Reservation, PA

Searching my Media Library of images, I stopped here. A butterfly so endangered, that used to be found from Maine to Florida, and now exists solely in a broad meadow in a Pennsylvania military base. The Regal Fritillary. A Super Rare butterfly.

Just back from a long walk with Petra, I find myself reminiscing. What other superarbutterflies have I met these last two year in the U.S.?

Georgia satyr (Georgia & Florida). Bog Copper (New York State). Creole Pearly-eye (Georgia). Salt Marsh Skipper (Georgia). Little Metalmark (Georgia). Eastern Pygmy Blue (Georgia). Zebra Heliconian (Georgia). Juniper Hairstreak (Georgia). Cassius Blue (Georgia).

Folks ask why I spend so much time traveling to Georgia? The answer to that lies above. Trail savvy Georgians have generously invited me to join them and seek hard to find butterflies, and have gone out of their way to insure that our efforts are successful.

All this whets my appetite for 2017! How much do I look forward to continuing my hunt for embattled butterflies? Spread your hands as far apart as you can. That much! Any tentative objectives? Yep. Georgia. New York. Maine. Ohio & Vancouver Island, Canada.

Missing from my list? North Carolina, West Virginia, Virginia, Florida & New Jersey. Folks in these states may just be too busy to find the time . . . . No matter, ’17 may well be a bust-out year!

Jeff

Regal Fritillaries and the U.S.A

Regal Butterfly sipping nectar photographed by Jeff Zablow in Fort Indiantown Gap Military Reservation, PA

How many of you have ever seen this super rare butterfly? Regal fritillaries exist east of the Mississippi River because they are protected. Yes, protected by the U.S. armed forces, on a military base. Their prairie/meadow habitat has been so heavily developed, that the only safe haven left is smack dab in the middle of Ft. Indiantown Gap Military Reserve, Pennsylvania.

When I heard that I could go there, with the invite of the Army post, I went. Thrilled, I was! to see this butterfly, and many other Regals.

If we, Americans, manage to maintain our heads, and keep this U.S. of A. strong and healthy, we will protect the Regals, our sanity and the home that we’ve worked to build for all of us.

I’m speaking for our butterflies, our neighbors, and our children and grandchildren.

Jeff