Little Wood Satyr Posing

Little Wood Satyr Butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at Raccoon Creek State Park in Pennsylvania, August 2014
I thought that it was too late in the season to meet up with the Satyr butterfly, but here we are together, on an August 2014 morning. They are sooo predictable, flying just above ground, just where forest meet trail. They almost never fly onto the trail, always moving along the outer tree line.

When you see Megisto Cymela and you’re like me, camera at the ready, there’s that predictable debate = Jeff (to myself), you already have several good images of this satyr, save your film (Fuji slide, ASA 50 or in this case ASA 100). You see the result, the boy in me wants to capture those eye spots, besting any in the slides in my Neumade slide cabinet.

Time to vote? OK, Yes, I love this butterfly. It’s brown reminds me of the delicious hat store I used to frequent on Madison Avenue in NYC, in an earlier life. You know those eye spots transfix me. Thirdly, this is a very comely butterfly. Guilty as charged, magistrate.

Cech and Tudor, in their superb Butterflies of the East Coast, share a happy bit of new, that Little Wood Satyrs are “a successful species.” Good news that, no?


Savannah National Wildlife Refuge’s Gulf Fritillary Butterfly

Lots of gulf fritillaries were flying this particular morning at Savannah National Wildlife Refuge, with its blue skies and very comfortable temperature. Nearly all of them presented themselves as they would rest on a suitable flat leaf with their swings spread apart. I had enough photos of gulf frits with upper wing surface fully extended. This one came along and began to nectar on flowers at just the right elevation … not too close to the ground and also not to high off of the ground.

Thankfully, it was so intent on getting nectar that it tolerated my calculated approached. I was now no more than 15” from it. I wanted to obtain a nice photo of the underside of its wings.

It was the white wing patches and spots that I targeted, and I also wanted to get those beautiful eyes. I am very comfortable with the result.

The beauty of this Agraulis vanilla and the seriousness of its focus speak out. Just 15 minutes from one of America’s most beautiful cities…Savannah. Wow!