I Finally Saw this Special Butterfly at Fort Indiantown Gap near Harrisburg Pennsylvania

Full dorsal view of Regal Butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow in Fort Indiantown Gap Military Reservation, PA

Wanted to meet the elegant regal Fritillary Butterfly, and I waited years and year for the opportunity. When I finally first saw this special butterfly, at Ft. Indiantown Gap near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, I was moved, ecstatic and moved. Yes! It was as beautiful and I had anticipated it would be.

This male was happily nectaring on Butterfly Weed, and tolerated my approach. He evoked such rich memories. When I was a kid in Brooklyn, New York, I used to slip away from those street games, and head into the undeveloped ‘lots’ nearby. We lived on the edge of oncoming development, and in those 1940’s lots I found cottontail rabbits, butterflies and black widow spiders.

I learned some years ago that George Washington’s men marched through my very neighborhood, on their way to battle the British. They probably could have seen Regal Fritillaries. I never saw them there, in East Flatbush, for they were extirpated (gone) long before I arrived. Development and new neighbors are great, but when they come, butterflies . . . .

My mind at this moment? The lyrics of ‘When You Wish Upon A Star‘ sing When you wish upon a star, Your dreams come true (Walt Disney Music Co).

Never met most famous folks, but my dream did come true, for I met and photo’d the extraordinary Regal Fritillary Butterflies.


Tigers That Please

Tiger swallowtail butterflies photographed by Jeff Zablow at Raccoon Creek State Park, PA

I grew up on the streets (Brooklyn). Fought I don’t remember how many times. Had friends who were . . . ‘Connected (very).’ Served as an artillery officer during Nam (they never sent our 155mm towed). Served, yes, as a riot control platoon leader, trained more than you can imagine, for orders to take to the streets after Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated (Thank G-d we were not ordered to go out, for my men were mostly NYC police officers and NYD Dept of Sanitation guys (and afraid of . . . nothing)). I was a Dean (for Discipline) in a Queens, NY high school for 5.5 years, stood there as the first student to be murdered in a NYC school expired. Rode the NYC subways to college everyday for 4.5 years (I was totally poor and had to work after school), with long cold steel on me.

This rioting that is going on now, ignited and fueled by Socialist/Communist elements, they loaded with dollar$ does displease me, that word not quite telling what it does to my blood pressure. America has prospered, for so many these last 40 years, and those who did well, have done a poor job of raising their children. Their tantrum throwing kids are now, wearing fine clothes and stupid masks, throwing their tantrums in front of adoring TV cameras.

Yes, life is tough, I mentioned “poor” above. There were times we had NO FOOD in the house. Me? Never gave up. Never complained. I watch these kids, so adoringly filmed by cameras and cell phones, and . . .

So why do you, Mr. Smarty Pants/Tough Guy seek and photograph butterflies? Look at this young male, an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterfly. Apolitical, purposeful, elegant and determined. He’ll fly for endless hours, for many days to seek his mate, and while dong that, I met him, he taking a rest, before flying aloft again.

Here’s a Tiger that pleases, and one that so calms this Brooklyn guy, now happily ensconced in Georgia, USA.