Gulf Frit in Kathleen

Gulf fritillary butterfly on Tithonia, photographed by Jeff Zablow at Kathleen, GA

Gulf Fritillary butterflies are, well, ubiquitous in Georgian gardens, reserves and flower beds. Once you’ve shot out some, you soon turn your attention to other species flying about. That’s fine, and the way it is.

Serious photographers of butterflies live with a persistent, muffled, and nagging desire. Get an image, get images that REALLY show Gulf frits at their best. Score a super fine dorsal image, with rich reddish-orange, bright White spots, super-fine head, spots glaring, and more. Get a ventral image with those white spots and oblongs declaring, “White, white, white” in the reflecting sun.

I labor with these siren songs in my head when I’m in Georgia, and hopefully this year in other southeastern states.

This one was taken in Kathleen. Kathleen, Georgia that is. Mike invited me to come and see if we can’t find . . . Zebra Heliconians! (We did!!!)

There’s some to like in this capture of a Gulf fritillary. What think you?


With Dazzling Red Hindwing Spots, a Hairstreak Butterfly Warms Herself in the Morning Sun

Gray Hairstreak Butterfly at Phipps Conservatory, Pittsburgh

It’s early in the morning and our Gray Hairstreak is resting and warming herself in the morning sun. Her hindwing spots are a dazzling red.

This dorsal image of Strymon melinus features stunning rich-red spots at the trailing ends of her hindwings. Just as striking is the red spot on her head.

Found perched on shrubs and other plants of moderate height, gray hairstreaks are solitary butterflies, rarely seen with other grays.

Often seen nectaring, they are among the most cooperative butterflies, preening for the camera lens and found along trail edges.

No confusion here, the gray hairstreak is gray on both dorsal and ventral wing surfaces.

Soon, very soon.