While Planting A Large Hercules Club Today . . .

Giant Swallowtail Butterfly on Tithonia photographed by Jeff Zablow in the Briar Patch Habitat in Eatonton, GA

We came home from Nearly Native Nursery (Fayetteville, Georgia, just south of Atlanta) with a large Hercules Club. What a terrific addition to our 800 garden. Hercules Club grows to become a small tree, and it is a hostplant for that amazing butterfly of the South, the Giant Swallowtail butterfly.

We now have 2 Hercules Club plants, and the excitement builds, for several days ago, while the large Hercules Club was still in its large bucket, a female Giant came along and I watched, pleased as a peach, while it returned again and again to lay eggs on the Hercules Club, though it was still in bucket!

Searching through our Media Library, I’ve chosen this image to share, an image of a Giant Swallowtail nectaring on a Tithonia bloom (Mexican Sunflower) in the Butterflies & Blooms Briar Patch Habitat in Eatonton, Georgia. Just hours ago we set that sizable plant into the ground here, added sand to the soil (they enjoy soil with sandy texture) and I so look forward to the years ahead, with our 2 Hercules Club plants, and we hope a steady stream of Giants flying gracefully in the deposit their eggs and to nectar on our 800 Tithonia, Zinnias, Joe Pye, Bricktellia, and so much more.

Jeff

Red Rim & New York’s Madison Avenue?

Erato heliconian butterfly (Dorsal view) photographed by Jeff Zablow at the National Butterfly Center, Mission, TX

Facebook Friends have been asking this brain energizing question today. It’s New Years Day and they’re asking what was the most exciting/amazing butterfly or bird or darner that you’ve seen this 2019?

Opened my Media Library on winged beauty.com and I went ahead and scrolled down through our what, 900 images?

Here’s where I stopped and day-dreamed. We were at the National Butterfly Center’s own trails, Nancy, John and I. It was the last week of that year. Brooklyn Boy here was reveling in the balmy 80’s that we were enjoying there, just 2 miles from the Mexican border and quite near the famous border wall.

There it was!! They told me that it was a Red Rim butterfly ( Biblis hyperia ). A super rare butterfly, seen by few of us, ever, and this one was so starkly fresh as to earn that coveted word, “gorgeous.” Glassberg’s A Swift Guide to Butterflies of North America ( page 238 ) describes it as “Rare.”

For this me, it evoked those years when I was paying my way through college by being a Messenger boy in Manhattan, daily after classes. Too, it brought back memories of those 14 years that I was a realtor in that very same Manhattan. I was a wide-awake kid/guy, and I always noticed the rare excellence of women and men in that wonderland of an island.

Madison Avenue there was the most likely place to enjoy such sights. I love when butterflies conjure up memories . . .

Jeff