This Magic Moment

Milbert's Tortoiseshell Butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at Raccoon Creek State Park

What was it like? Jay and the Americans helped with that:  And then it happened, It took me by surprise, I knew that you felt it too, By the look in your eyes.

I was at the Nichol Road trail, hiking into Raccoon Creek State Park (Hookstown, Pennsylvania). I waded into a stand of Teasel wildflower, and waited by those 6.5 foot flowerheads, waited for butterflies to fly in. With the sky a baby blue, I knew that if I could get lucky, and butterflies flew in, captures of them with the blue sky in the background would be good, very good.

Instead, look, LOOK what flew in. My very first ever Milbert’s Tortoiseshell butterfly. An uncommon, very uncommon butterfly. Look at that glimpse of the upper surface of its forewing! Words cannot adequately describe how beautiful that dorsal  (upper) surface is.

What was missing that morning? You, there with me, to feel it too, and enable me to confirm how magical those minutes were, by the look in your eyes.

Those surreal moments have almost always been solitary ones, and that is how it is. No?


Winter Antidote VIII

Monarch Butterfly on Goldenrod Blooms photographed by Jeff Zablow at Raccoon Creek State Park in Pennsylvania, 9/5/14
August 2014, we all remember, made us all anxious. Internationally, things were bizarre. Here in the U.S., almost no Monarchs were seen. The fear of losing these magnificent winged beauties was saddening. Young kids have their cell phones, Xboxes, and all those other devices that monopolize their attention. Those privileged to not be so addicted, have the blue sky, flower blooms and Monarch butterflies. Monarchs that have seen Mexico and New Orleans, at least.

With ice covering almost everything this morning, we share this exhilarating images of the rest of the story. September 5th, and our heroine breakfasted that morning on the nectar of goldenrod blooms, millions of them from which to choose. We’re in Doak field, Raccoon Creek State Park in southwestern Pennsylvania. An 8 hour drive west from New York, New York.

She is truly a winged beauty. Her colors and hues fresh, and a winter antidote, for your eyes to savor. Agree?

The reports from Mexico are encouraging. Improved numbers, besting the dismal counts of 2014. Jeff is ecstatic. There will be Monarch butterflies to anticipate in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Kansas and Maine this year, G-d willing.