Jeff in the Briar Patch

Jeff photographing Georgia's Butterflies and Blooms in the Briar Patch

One key do’er, Virgina Linch decided to single-handedly prime the pump, and began a campaign to reinvent a brownfield site in her town, Eatonton, Georgia. She energized a small group of friends, and they together produced an oasis for butterflies, bees, hummingbirds, moths, hundred of other insects as well as birds, reptiles, amphibians . . . did I leave anything out?

One and ¼ hours east of Atlanta, this grew to be a destination for butterflies. Southern species like Gulf Fritillary, Giant Swallowtail, Long-tailed Skippers, Variegated Fritillaries and so many others. Lacking images and experience with southern U.S. butterflies, I was on the lookout for some such destination in 2015. Came across Virginia’s Facebook page, and, having met cold reception so many times from others, noted that I would love to . . . WELL THEN, COME ON DOWN! was just about how she replied.

Just 2 years in the making now, it is a fabulous couple of acres. They have it all there, drawn by an overflow of native hostplants, beckoning butterflies with their nectar and assurance that their caterpillars will find exactly what they need to nourish them and nurture them.

Here I am on a fine morning, dressed in green shirt, tan hat, and blue jeans. My trusty Canon camera sports its macro- lens (100mm, 2.8) and yes David, I am shooting Fuji slide film. The sweat band gets little use in Toronto, but is invaluable in central Georgia.

Three minutes from town hall and the Putnam county seat, it’s 1 minute from the Uncle Remus Br’er Rabbit Museum, where Georgia Smith was someone you want to meet. My beloved Mom (A”H) read me the Uncle Remus stories when I was a tyke in Brooklyn, New York. Jeff, full circle and happy as a duck.


Horace’s Duskywings Coupling

Duskywings Indelicata photographed by Jeff Zablow at Raccoon Creek Park, PA, 5/05/08
May 5th on Nichol Road trail in Raccoon Creek State Park. I almost missed seeing this. Male and female, after completing their appraisals of one another, now successfully coupling. Minutes went by. They remained motionless.

Provide butterflies and all other creatures with undisturbed habitat, fostering the host plants their caterpillars feed on, and the nectar or alternative food (scat, fruit, sap) that nourish the adults, and they will replenish their numbers. No need for corporate, or volunteer or government intrusion. Just don’t destroy the land they call their home, don’t indiscriminately release pollutants to the air and water, and … voila! generation after generation of amazing and beautiful butterflies.

No instruction manuals or how to videos, or coaches were to be seen. Vital, necessary behavior, after the ravages of a long, hard winter of zero degree temperatures.