Red-Banded Delight

Red-Banded Hairstreak butterfly, photographed by Jeff Zablow at "Butterflies and Blooms in the Briar Patch," Eatonton, GA

You’ve got to keep your eyes peeled for them. I now know where to find them in the Butterflies & Blooms in the Briar Patch Habitat. I know when to look for them there, where, and I know that you have to look for them, because at 1″ across, wing to wing, they are ‘t’ as in tiny. A Red-banded hairstreak.

They fly roughly from Pennsylvania down to Florida, and have several broods (generations), raising the likelihood that you’ll see one . . . again, if you look. I am always looking, especially here in central Georgia. Why? Well, the southern Red-bandeds have broader, more prominent red-orange bands across their hindwings. I’m a sucker for those red-bands, truth be told.

This gent was camera ready. That band, bordered in white, those 2 pairs of tiny tails, that light blue patch, adequate eyespots, neat spotted legs and antennae and . . . those perky eyes and palps. The whole package.

You can’t help but perk up! when your eyes set on a fresh Red-banded hairstreak like this guy. A Red-banded delight!


Darner at Rest (Mishmarot, Israel)

Darner dragonfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at Mt. Meron, Israel

Darner dragonfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at Mt. Meron, Israel

July 2014 in an agricultural field on the coastal plain of Israel, at Mishmarot. Up at 4-ish, 5 minute hike to this spot. Camera ready, blousing garters in place around my ankles, knee pad on my left knee, macro-lens cleaned, film (Fujichrome Velvia 50) loaded, with 5 rolls ready in my left pocket, and 2 lengths of steel on my person (feral dogs).

I was ready for butterflies, with my eyes trained for any and everything wild. Darners were here and there, and as usual, they were very territorial. When I saw this one, I was interested. I made my ‘Technique‘ approach. It startled a bit, twice, but stayed on its perch. When I could not risk getting any closer (It’s Macro-!) I shot away.

On this frigid November morning in Pittsburgh, this 7:50 A.M. image just delights me.

How often do I stop, in places like this, and look up, and say, Thank You!

Thank you too for the growing numbers of friends who come, savor, and revisit.

Was is not worth the sweat and tears of all of those who fought to conserve and grow the wilds and edges of the U.S. and Israel, here?


NB, I don’t know the common name or species name of this sweet Darner.