I Finally Saw this Special Butterfly at Fort Indiantown Gap near Harrisburg Pennsylvania

Full dorsal view of Regal Butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow in Fort Indiantown Gap Military Reservation, PA

Wanted to meet the elegant regal Fritillary Butterfly, and I waited years and year for the opportunity. When I finally first saw this special butterfly, at Ft. Indiantown Gap near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, I was moved, ecstatic and moved. Yes! It was as beautiful and I had anticipated it would be.

This male was happily nectaring on Butterfly Weed, and tolerated my approach. He evoked such rich memories. When I was a kid in Brooklyn, New York, I used to slip away from those street games, and head into the undeveloped ‘lots’ nearby. We lived on the edge of oncoming development, and in those 1940’s lots I found cottontail rabbits, butterflies and black widow spiders.

I learned some years ago that George Washington’s men marched through my very neighborhood, on their way to battle the British. They probably could have seen Regal Fritillaries. I never saw them there, in East Flatbush, for they were extirpated (gone) long before I arrived. Development and new neighbors are great, but when they come, butterflies . . . .

My mind at this moment? The lyrics of ‘When You Wish Upon A Star‘ sing When you wish upon a star, Your dreams come true (Walt Disney Music Co).

Never met most famous folks, but my dream did come true, for I met and photo’d the extraordinary Regal Fritillary Butterflies.

Jeff

It’s A . . . Banded

Banded Hairstreak Butterfly photographed by Jeffrey Zablow in Raccoon Creek State Park

There are many things that you just don’t see too many times in your life. For me that includes Presidents of the United States, National Football League players, and red heads with green eyes.

I have seen very rare butterflies on the peak of Mt. Hermon, Diana Ross in that elevator, and my children graduate from universities. Black Widow spiders, Kirk Douglas, wild boar, Eastern timber rattlesnake, and many grandchildren.

I’ve seen this butterfly, the Banded Hairstreak two times these 25 years, this one in Raccoon Creek State Park, 45 minutes west of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and another two in a city park in Toronto, Ontario. They fly where there are oak trees and hickory trees, and they are solitary butterflies and for sure, uncommon.

Their blue and orange spots sing, and their tune is one I wouldn’t mind, some more times.

Jeff