My Heart Beat Jumps when I see a Milbert’s Tortoiseshell Butterfly

Ventral View of a Milbert's Tortoiseshell Butterfly on a Teasel Flowerhead photographed by Jeff Zablow at Raccoon Creek State Park, PA

Your heart beat jumps when a Milbert’s Tortoiseshell Butterfly flies in! Mine does. You just never see them in pairs or threes, and do you expect to see one? No. East of the Mississippi River, they are a northern butterfly.

When this one flew in, and set on this Teasel flowerhead, I was so Thankful for being there, being there then. Add to that the Milbert’s slowly worked the Teasel flowers, one by one, methodically. Better yet, it did not flee when I made my long, protected Macro- lens approach. Icing on the tiramisu cake was that the one was . . . gorgeous. Just look at that flash of nourishing orange on the dorsal surface of that right forewing.

I’m humbled by such limited experiences. I expect that few of you have been so fortunate as I’ve been, to have met and spent many minutes with Milbert’s (this one went to several Teasel flowerheads before it flew).

Raccoon Creek State Park, Nichol Road trail, southwestern Pennsylvania, about an 8-hour drive from the Statue of Liberty boat landing.

(Teasel is an alien plant, FYI, although truth be told, many, many butterflies adore its nectar (as do bees, such as the one shown on the far side of the Teasel)).

Jeff

The Year 2021 will be Good, Very Good

Earring Series - Blackswallowtail butterflies coupled, photographed by Jeff Zablow at "Butterflies and Blooms in the Briar Patch," Eatonton, GA

Our Blog’s Media Library of hundreds of images? I love moving through it. Re-meeting images that remind of exhilarating moments some time ago.

This one, of a pair of Eastern Black Swallowtail butterflies jumped out at me this morning. I found them, motionless they were, some 2 foot above ground, in the Butterflies & Blooms Briar Patch Habitat I in Eatonton, Georgia. She, her dorsal surface in full view, closest to us, and he, wings closed, below her. They are procreating. Those of you who got to see their offspring, how fortunate you have been.

2020’s quickly coming to its end, and this image, impresses me that 2021 will be Good, Very Good.

Jeff

This Magic Moment

Milbert's Tortoiseshell Butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at Raccoon Creek State Park

What was it like? Jay and the Americans helped with that:  And then it happened, It took me by surprise, I knew that you felt it too, By the look in your eyes.

I was at the Nichol Road trail, hiking into Raccoon Creek State Park (Hookstown, Pennsylvania). I waded into a stand of Teasel wildflower, and waited by those 6.5 foot flowerheads, waited for butterflies to fly in. With the sky a baby blue, I knew that if I could get lucky, and butterflies flew in, captures of them with the blue sky in the background would be good, very good.

Instead, look, LOOK what flew in. My very first ever Milbert’s Tortoiseshell butterfly. An uncommon, very uncommon butterfly. Look at that glimpse of the upper surface of its forewing! Words cannot adequately describe how beautiful that dorsal  (upper) surface is.

What was missing that morning? You, there with me, to feel it too, and enable me to confirm how magical those minutes were, by the look in your eyes.

Those surreal moments have almost always been solitary ones, and that is how it is. No?

Jeff

A Very Special Image Of A Pygmy Blue

Little Metalmark butterfly at rest, photographed by Jeff Zablow at Shellman Bluff, GA

As we prepare for our August drive to the Golden Islands of the Georgia coastline, this image brings back sweet memories of my first trip to that region, with Nancy and John. I wanted to meet, for the first time, Eastern Pygmy Blue butterflies and Little Metalmark butterflies.

My old friends knew where to search, and we found them! All of them!

I Love this image of the dorsal (upper) surface of an Eastern Pygmy Blue Butterfly. You must know that this is one of the USA’s tiniest butterflies, and they fly just inches above the ground. It is written that they almost NEVER open their wings to show their dorsal surface.

When your own image of a butterfly’s upper features is finer than that of the 2 best field guides, that warms the heart, encourages the Will. Pleases Jeff a whole lot.

Jeff