Where To Go To See SouthEastern Butterflies?

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There was a dearth of butterflies in the U.S. northeast, this 2016. It began, puzzled many, and never ended. Species of butterflies usually seen, never appeared. Finding a single flier of many butterflies species became, well, exciting! This absence of butterflies concerns (scares!) those of us who look for, and seek them.

I made 3 trips down to Georgia in ’16. My destination? The Butterflies & Blooms In The Briar Patch Habitat in central Georgia, a little more than an hour east of Atlanta. Eatonton is a county seat, Putnam County. It’s a very hospitable town, with very friendly people in it. I’ve made 7, 7 trips to the Habitat in 2015 and 2016. The warmth, friendliness and welcoming you receive is Real and so pleasing. So when you take my advice and go there, you will see legions of butterflies, flying morning and afternoon, and flying in OMG! plenty.

If the founder of this Miracle! (who worked with her volunteers, tirelessly, for several years now), Virginia Linch get winds that you are going to visit the Habitat, she will make sure to give you the above reception (‘warm, friendly, welcoming’).

But to the point, it’s almost always sunny, and the thousands of hostplants and nectar-producing plants insure that your head will be aswirl with flying butterflies. If you’re not already living in the South, many butterflies will be new to you. (Also the home of the childrens’ books including the Briar Rabbit series & the writer of The Color Purple).

Footnote: The tremendously popular Lake Oconee is nearby, and has been a beacon for 2nd homeowners from the northeast and the midwest. Know that thousands, many thousands of folks from your home state own nearby. You’ll see them in the Publix parking lot, and you’ll see their license plates here, there and everywhere.

Totally citizen formed, nurtured, planted, maintained, loved and, well without any PR or advertising. Go. Go. And let me know when you do.

Jeff

Salute to the Red Admiral

Red Admiral Butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at Raccoon Creek State Park in Pennsylvania

Red Admiral Butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at Raccoon Creek State Park in Pennsylvania

I’ve seen them everywhere I traveled to this 2016. Southwestern Pennsylvania, western New York State, northwestern Pennsylvania, the Maryland Shore (mid-shore and lower shore), the Habitat in Eatonton, Georgia, Rock Hawk in Eatonton, Georgia as well as Monroe, Georgia, Athens Georgia and the fabulous islands of the Georgia coast: Skidaway Island, Jekyll Island and St. Simons Island, and in unforgettable Shellman Bluff, Georgia.

If all works out, I look forward to seeing them in Big Bend Wildlife Management Area near Perry, Florida, the Florida Panhandle.

In this year where much of the USA East has a dearth of butterflies, the Red Admiral has joined me, everywhere I went! Preoccupied with the search, it’s . . . Battle Stations!! when the stark beauty of a red admiral flies in. Another battle ensues, your mind knows you have some wonderful images of them in your slide cabinet, but, but, your heart differs, urging, go ahead, it’s spectacular!

Vanessa atalanta thrills above and below. Below, not shown here, flashes that set of colors that trigger adrenaline flow, red, white and blue one against the other. My mind accelerates back to P.S. 244 in Brooklyn, where the installation of patriotism was fixed in my heart.

I kid you not.

Jeff