When we select ‘3 or 4’ of our images to be printed and hung on our our Macon, Georgia walls, this one may well be among them. I remember that morning in the Butterflies & Blooms Briar Patch Habitat, as if it were yesterday.
I’d gotten there early, that Eatonton, Georgia morning, and I was near shocked to find this pair of Eastern Black Swallowtail Butterflies, coupled together on a smallish plant. Quick examination left no doubt, this was one of the most beautiful possible visions that one could possibly see.
My thinking, my own thinking at such times? That G-d’s creative crafting, as I crouch there, looking at it, far exceeds that of anything ever crafted by the world’s finest jewelry workshops! That’s what I thought then and there, that warm, sunny morning in Butterflies and Blooms in the Briar Patch Habitat
Sylbie shoots away, and the pair of Swallowtail Butterflies move to my upper arm.
Part of our cherished ‘Jeff’s Earring’ series of photo images, the coupled pair of Eastern Black Swallowtail Butterflies pause, he holding her and himself firmly to my right arm. Sylbie Yon is shooting photographic slides with my Canon Elan 7e film camera.
Moments later, they will have found their way up to my right ear, and, with G-d’s exquisite beauty adorning me, Frieda A”H (OBM”) gone, Georgia at my feet, and Sylbie with sure hand and eye, tears did well up, but, Brooklyn born, I foolishly refused to let them run.
Hope this makes sense on Valentine’s Day?
Butterflies & Blooms Briar Patch Habitat I, Eatonton, Georgia.
I was still kind of stunned to be in prairie . . . in Ohio! Somehow, through good fortune and the wisdom of folks who fought to protect Lynx Prairie Preserve, this very, very unique eastern prairie has been preserved, for all to enjoy. Fortunately, most don’t visit there; they are lost to the allure of asphalt, brick, concrete, steel, neon and such. Me? I grew up with that stuff, asphalt, concrete, brick. Following Angela, Joe, Barbara Ann and Janet into a prairie? Words can’t be summoned to properly describe how happy I was to finally see my, my prairie.
I’m telling you it was lush. June 2017, and an open prairie full of wildflowers. Full too with butterflies! My beat. Butterflies.
Here, very healthy Butterflyweed is deep in that comely shade of orangish-red, and must surely be pumping sugary nectar like a micro-gusher. In came this Zebra swallowtail butterfly, joining an Oh! so fine Edward Hairstreak, all on the Lynx. They are doing weed as is appropriate.
I cannot ever forget the morning in 2016. I’d seen coupled butterflies in the field, lots of times. My favorite to date was that pair of Zebra swallowtails on the tiny beach at Mason Neck State Park, on Virginia’s Chesapeake Bay shoreline. They were super fresh, incredibly beautiful, and they unabashedly tolerated my presence, off and on for more than ½ of an hour. Paw Paw trees were nearby, and bald eagles were diving for lunch in the Bay. I was alone, naturally, and just beside myself with thankfulness, for the being there, then.
These Eastern Black Swallowtails above startled me, they did, when I noticed them in the perennial bed at the Butterflies & Blooms Briar Patch Habitat. I’d seen so much eye candy there, that I was just beginning to get a teensy bid jaded to it all. Then I spotted them. Fresh, awash in sharply defined color. What a jolt! of excitement that was. I began the special silent pleading I do when I happen onto butterflies that I absolutely want to shoot, something that happens a fews times each year. I am pleading with the Almigh-y Above ( That’s a me thing. ).
And look, I scored the image I wanted. This is before Sylbie Yon entered the Habitat, totally unexpected. What followed is highlighted in the feature at the top of your screen, “Jeff’s Earrings.” The drama/excitement continued, culminating in that Sweet! front page newstory in the Eatonton Messenger ( Thursday, March 9, 2017 edition ).
The female shown in full dorsal ( super) display is gorgeous, and the male, too is a buster!
Jeff has been to many pre-sale exhibitions of Magnificent Jewelry at New York’s Sotheby’s, Christie’s and Doyle auction galleries. My eyes have seen. Trust me then, please, that this is Black Swallowtail Magic.
With much pleasure, I finally, invite you to enjoy my extraordinary and exciting! interaction with fresh, exquisite Eastern Black Swallowtail butterflies. We encountered this pair in August 2016, they coupled together, me stunned by their beauty. We were all at the Butterflies & Blooms Briar Patch Habitat, in Eatonton, Georgia.
By the end of this saga, I was adorned with an earring unequaled in beauty, beyond the ability of the workshops of Tiffanys, Cartier’s, David Webb and all the rest.
Sylbie Yon was there, at the right time, in the right place. The 6 featured images were captured by her. The Eastern Black Swallowtails and I will always be thankful for Sylbie’s images.
To view them, see the top of this wingedbeauty window, and click on ‘Jeff’s Earrings’ – Part 1 . . . after reading and viewing, go above once again and click on ‘Jeff’s Earrings – Part 2 . . . and then click on ‘Jeff’s Earrings’ – Part 3.
This sweet series was zippity-doodah! for Sylbie and for me. How I hope that you will provide us with feedback. Tell us what other wild butterfly earring experiences you’ve seen . . . .