Vesta Crescent in Mission Texas

Crescent butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at the National Butterfly Center, Mission, TX

All those years of enjoying the antics of Pearl Crescents, and that handful of Phaon Crescents that introduced themselves to me in Mississippi, Georgia and Florida didn’t prepare me for this, my first meet-up with a Vesta Crescent.

She was taking a break in the National Butterfly Center, in Mission, Texas. Phaon? Pearl? a gentle mix of closely related Crescents?

I was more than pleased to much later discover that she was a Vesta Crescent. Places that Vesta butterflies call home are in Texas, Oklahoma and Mexico.

Another new butterfly for Jeff, and ongoing acknowledgement that the Cr-ator has been very busy.

Jeff

Singing the Blues in Israel

Incoming . . . Blue!

Winged Beauty Butterflies

Polymattus Icasus Z. butterfly, (dorsal view) photographed by Jeff Zablow in Neve Ativ,  Israel

They would be coming down the trail or crossing the small meadows that lined this Qadesh Trail Valley. They would not heed my requests to stop, and allow me a better view, and the opportunity to capture a few precious images. Israel in March 2015, following a wet winter = good, very good.

As the tiny blue butterflies shot from here to there, I buzzed with expectation. Most would be commonly seen here, but every once and awhile, one of them would be lots more than that, uncommon to highly threatened species, and very, very photo worthy.

This male blue was good to me, pausing to very methodically nectar at these little yellow blooms. Alone there in this lush valley, my ID is Polymmatus Icarus Zelleri, the Common Blue. I’m not certain though, and I note those yellowish tips on the antennae. So, is it possible that . …

View original post 43 more words

Petra Is 7 Today!

Jeff Zablow and his dog, Petra photographed by Jenny Jean Photography

Jeff Zablow and his dog, Petra photographed by Jenny Jean Photography

We’re now 28 hours back home, that long drive up from Eatonton, Georgia. This Petra’s 8th trip to the fabulous Piedmont region of central Georgia. Lush, green beauty filled with wildlife. That and the Joy! of “Hellos!” “Good Mornings!” “Thank You’s” “Excuse Me’s” “How are you doing today’s” and a delicious plate of so many more sincere greetings. Very inviting, those.

We visited the Butterflies & Blooms Briar Patch Habitat many, many times, Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge and Hard Lake Creek Spate Park. On the very last day, my trusty 100mm/2.8 Canon macro-lens refused to focus, and well, that was that. Yummy Zebra Swallowtails, that Virginia captured so well.

Petra loves to travel on long trips, and is a pleasure to take along. Although I struggle to nap, when I can, she enables easy, trouble-free sleep in those North Carolina-Virginia-West Virginia rest areas.

Today is her 7th birthday, my Black Russian. Petra? She thinks she’s three, and still a bust-out pup!

Happy Birthday Petra!!

Jeff

Variegated Fritillary Butterfly in . . . October . . . Seen in . . . ?

Variegated fritillary Butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at Black Water National Wildlife Refuge, MD. Jeff blogs about the art and science of butterflies at http://www.wingedbeauty.com
This here 2016 has produced many surprises for me. In Georgia, in Maryland, in western New York, in Israel and in My Own Pennsylvania.

Count the biggest surprises, the absence of butterflies I’ve seen here in western Pennsylvania, countered by the wild abundance of butterflies in Georgia.

Elevated we were, sun bright and friendly, as we reached the front fence of our garden. 10/5/16 should not merit a close look at the bed of giant zinnias. It’s too late here for most butterflies, No? On Friday I did see a worn Monarch female at these same zinnias, and yesterday I marveled at a fresh (fresh!) female Gray hairstreak.

So we stopped, and Huh? Do I see what I see? A Variegated fritillary butterfly, just like this one (at Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, Cambridge, Maryland). A female I think. Methodically working one zinnia bloom head, and the next and the next. Cech and Tudor’s Butterflies of the East Coast‘s range map shares that in my state they are ‘scarce/seasonal range.’ They report that there is evidence of limited overwintering, probably as adults.

Will her days end in Pennsylvania, USA, as the days grow colder? Will she find a crevice in a local park tree, and endure our zero degree winter days?

Finally, I just returned from Georgia, and saw many Variegated frits in the Butterflies & Blooms Habitat in Eatonton. Oh, are they difficult to photograph! My 52 rolls of slides just arrived today, courtesy of FedEx. Who knows if I will have a single Variegated image that qualifies as a  . . . keeper.

But just an hour ago, on my own October surprise giant zinnias, there was this southeastern winged beauty, though Petra truth be told, paid no attention.

Jeff

Salute to the Red Admiral

Red Admiral Butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at Raccoon Creek State Park in Pennsylvania

Red Admiral Butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at Raccoon Creek State Park in Pennsylvania

I’ve seen them everywhere I traveled to this 2016. Southwestern Pennsylvania, western New York State, northwestern Pennsylvania, the Maryland Shore (mid-shore and lower shore), the Habitat in Eatonton, Georgia, Rock Hawk in Eatonton, Georgia as well as Monroe, Georgia, Athens Georgia and the fabulous islands of the Georgia coast: Skidaway Island, Jekyll Island and St. Simons Island, and in unforgettable Shellman Bluff, Georgia.

If all works out, I look forward to seeing them in Big Bend Wildlife Management Area near Perry, Florida, the Florida Panhandle.

In this year where much of the USA East has a dearth of butterflies, the Red Admiral has joined me, everywhere I went! Preoccupied with the search, it’s . . . Battle Stations!! when the stark beauty of a red admiral flies in. Another battle ensues, your mind knows you have some wonderful images of them in your slide cabinet, but, but, your heart differs, urging, go ahead, it’s spectacular!

Vanessa atalanta thrills above and below. Below, not shown here, flashes that set of colors that trigger adrenaline flow, red, white and blue one against the other. My mind accelerates back to P.S. 244 in Brooklyn, where the installation of patriotism was fixed in my heart.

I kid you not.

Jeff