Regal Surprises JZ

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

I’ve got to rethink this. This is my 3rd post of a butterfly I thought I’d never get a chance to meet. Start at the Maine/Canada border and drive down to the Keys, and you will have passed only a single population of these Regal Fritillaries. Rarer than rare. Over a decade, I would contact those who could get me through to the military post where they live, and I would enjoy not a single response. Frustration led to Oh well! those butterfly mucky mucks . . .  and I let it go, until someone posted on Facebook, that the annual Open House to view Regal Fritillaries was to be for four days in June.

Booked it, Licketysplit! Then June 10, 2015 arrived, and Thank You G-d! there I was at Ft. Indiantown Gap, Pennsylvania, some 40 minutes east of Harrisburg (known on Jeopardy! as the capitol of Pennsylvania).

I was The Kid in the Candy Shop. Would you look at this male! His ancestors flew within ¼ miles of my childhood street in Brooklyn, New York, and now you need a military escort to see him.

Speyeria idalia, extirpated from Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, New York, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, West Virginia, District of Columbia, North Carolina, and maybe, maybe Virginia (a secret that may or may not have basis).

Why have I entitled this post Regal Surprises JZ? Uh, because the 2 posts of Regals I’ve already shared . . . barely created a ripple on this blog and our social media outlets. Funny how it is when the $challenged kid finally enters the candy shop. Where are the bugles and drums to celebrate the enormity of the moment?

Jeff  a.k.a
The Kid in the Candy Shop

Orange Sulphur Butterfly

Cabbage white butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at Raccoon Creek State Park

July 21, 2011. Like a kid in a candy shop, our Colias philodice joyfully sips nectar just minutes after the ‘chow’s on!’ signal rang. I arrived here at the Phipps Conservatory’s Outdoor Gardens at 8:20 A.M. to photograph. There weren’t any butterflies at the nectar-pumping blooms, yet. Hundreds of thousands of nectar bearing flowers were waiting for their butterfly pollinators to arrive. Then some 45 minted later, there they came, butterflies of several species, single-mindedly going for nectar! After 15 minutes of heavy action: Poof! gone, no butterflies. A 15 minutes pause and once again in flew the squadrons of butterflies. Has this been examined?

Orange sulphurs in the U.S. northeast can be seen flying during as many as 10 months of the year, March to November. One brood produces the next, and so on. This butterfly (male? female?) surely enjoyed its flight. After 2 or 3 weeks if they still are active, they are faded and their wings show much physical stress with a heavy loss of scale.

How does the species get through the rough winters of northeastern states? They overwinter in pupae form.

Much to consider about a butterfly that is here and then gone in seconds.