Monkey Pea and Me?

Monkey Pea wildflower photographed by Jeff Zablow at Harris Neck State Park, GA

I’ve seen Monkey Pea plants occasionally these 5 years I’ve scoured Georgia for butterflies. This plant here introduced itself to me in Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge on the Georgia coast. I set out to find butterflies, but when a wildflower glows, I often stop and shoot it.

We’re now 5 full months in our home in North Macon, Georgia, squarely located in the Georgia Piedmont. As plants appear in our sizable backyard, we are charmed by some, puzzled by others, and displeased when alien plants show up. Just days ago, a newbie chose to flourish. It looked promising, so I photographed it, and sent an image along to my fav authority, Ellen. After staking one up, and tieing it to the stake, back came the response, our possible new star of the garden was not what we wanted at all, the non-native Chamberbitter!

Our good news (??) is we now have Monkey Pea, and we throw out to y’all, are we in luck? Is Monkey Pea a boon or a bust. Does it boost butterfly traffic, and does it behave itself? Is it native?


Corn Poppy . . . Middle East

Papaver Umbonatum, Israel Corn Poppy, photographed by Jeff Zablow in Mishmarot, Israel

Working the trails in Israel reminds me of Sol’s candy store in my old Brooklyn, New York. So many delectable choices, most never tasted to-date. This Upper Galilee trail is several hours north of Tel Aviv, in the hills that continue east to the Mediterranean Ocean, and rise steadily to the west, up to the peaks of the Golan Heights.

Corn Poppy was at it peak last March of this year 2015, and the Madison Avenue crowd knows that this rich hue is a spring trap for healthy folks of the male gender. It sure caught my attention, TBT.

How much butterfly traffic does it create? I did devote some minutes to study that question. Not a single butterfly visited, on either of the 2 mornings that I worked this trail.

This post I won’t mention any bad boys of the Middle East. Just a smashing bloom, set down there, then, for Jeff’s enjoyment and imagination.