Eight Hours West of the Empire State Building I See a Compton Tortoiseshell Butterfly!

Compton Tortoiseshell Butterfly on the Ground photographed by Jeff Zablow at Raccoon Creek State Park, PA

Many will open this wingedbeauty.com post, puzzle over why this Jeff guy didn’t get a closer, better image, and close it and for a second time shrug, Why didn’t Jeff do better here?

The chance of seeing a Compton Tortoiseshell butterfly in Florida? 0%. Georgia? 0%. In North Carolina? 0.003% Ohio? 0.011% Pennsylvania? 0.03%. Ottawa (Canada)? 0.9%. These figures are my own estimations, and they are not for sightings in one’s garden. They are for sightings of Compton in the field, sightings for those out seeking Compton Tortoiseshells.

Still wondering why Jeff didn’t cop a better, closer shot? Been using a Macro- lens these years. It can revert to more distant captures, but they will then lack the detail that I so much seek. Another reason? I’ve seen Compton Tortoiseshell Butterflies some 5 times in these decades. The closest I was ever able to get to one was some 10 feet away. That time in the wildflower Reserve at Raccoon Creek State Park, the Compton passed me on a trail, inexplicably stopped on a tree stump, and, when I SOOOO cautiously approached it, fled, even before I could robotically set my left knee down on the ground, to shoot away. There I was, 10 feet away from a tree stump, watching that Compton swiftly fly down the trail, Gone!

How many of you have also seen this ‘R-LU (Rare to Locally Uncommon)’ Brushfoot butterfly?

At Raccoon Creek State Park’s Nichol Road Trail, some 8+ hours west of The Empire State Building in midtown New York, New York.

Jeff

Two Black Spots Make this Cabbage White Butterfly a Female

Female Cabbage White Butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at Raccoon Creek State Park, PA

Are we seeing fewer and fewer of them? I remember when we saw many more of them in the ’60’s, ’70’s and 1980’s. When I seriously began photographing them in the 1990’s, what did I discover? They are inexplicably difficult to photograph! Their white wings discombobulate the camera/film, and most exposures of them disappoint. That is why I am pleased with this image.

I used to call them “European Cabbage White butterflies.” Most everyone called them that. Now, accepting that they are here to stay, all seem to now use ‘Cabbage White’ butterfly.

She sports those 2 black spots on her dorsal forewing, ID’ing her as a fine female.

Raccoon Creek State Park, southwestern Pennsylvania. Eight hours or so west of the Empire State Building.

Jeff

My Most Viewed Butterfly?

This female Easter Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly remains one of my viewed wingedbeauty images, ever. Taken at Raccoon Creek State Park in southwestern Pennsylvania, some nine hours west of the Empire State Building in New York City.

One of my most viewed ever.

Do be so kind as to share with me. Why have so many of you taken the time to have a look at this particular butterfly?

Jeff