In the Presence Of G-d’s Beautiful Tiger Swallowtail Butterflies

Tiger swallowtail butterfly photographed by Jeffrey Zablow at Raccoon Creek State Park in Pennsylvania

Flashing through  my mind are those times I’ve relished, alone and in the presence of extraordinarily beautiful butterflies. What triggered this? Moving through the images in wingedbeauty’s Media Library, I stopped here, at this image of an early morning moment, an eye-popping female Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly, she resting on a trailside leaf in Raccoon Creek State Park in Hookstown, southwestern Pennsylvania. That’s some 7 and 1/2 hours drive due west of New York City.

I knew, and I savored knowing that I was staring (gaping) at G-d’s finest work. That I was able to score exposures of this beauty much pleases me. So much that we see is Photoshopped. Not here. This was her amazing, very real.

I’m a very visual guy, and I cherish many mental images of beauty, both of butterflies and of women I’ve been fortunate to have crossed paths with. Those memories buoy me, especially in this interesting times.

Friends smile remembering horses, cars, eclairs, their paintings, puppies, enterprises they’ve nurtured, photographs of landscapes, gardens created . . . . Me? The above.


Cloudless Sulphur at the Briar Patch

Cloudless Sulphur butterfly on tithonia photographed by Jeff Zablow at the Butterflies and Blooms Habitat in Eatonton, GA

After some 104+ efforts to follow, approach and ‘shoot’ these large Phoebis yellow butterfly Spring-Summer ’16, the frustration continued to build. Shooting our yellow butterflies usually results in disappointing images, due I suppose to the yellow itself, a complex soup of visual light spectrum physical principals, I suppose. Almost all of these exposures were at the Butterflies & Blooms in the Briar Patch Habitat in Eatonton, Georgia.

They are so big, so eye-popping, and so numerous in the Briar Patch that I have to consciously control my impulse to keep shooting, shooting and shooting . . . till I get it right. Mostly I am successful in that, remembering the co$t of my Fuji Velvia slide film, Dwayne’s Photo processing and Rewind Memories Scanning.

Back home in chilly Pittsburgh months later, I pitched Oh! too too many into the trash can. This one survived that culling.

She is a fine looking Phoebis sennae, sporting the greenish-yellow wing color and hindwing white spots (2). What she cannot do, is repair that huge missing part of her left hindwing (and forewing). A fighter jet would be grounded in the same situation, happy to have made it safely down. Sweet Phoebis here enjoys no such attention, and continues to fly very well, as I witnessed. No medical centers, PCP’s, Urgent Care offices or local clinics for butterflies. That fly on as able.


The Perils of Playing Favorites

Tawny Hackberry butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at Raccoon Creek State Park, PA

Tawny Hackberry butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at Raccoon Creek State Park, PA

Just saw a movie last night, Netflix provided “August, Osage County” produced by the Weinstein brothers. Sadder than dirt. Family strife and fracture in the plains of Oklahoma. Much of it featured unfulfilled dreams, childhood abuse and neglect, and  especially the perils of playing favorites.

We worked hard to not ever do that with my 4. I think we did well. I’ve seen the effects of it in extended family and friends and acquaintances, and it pains to see the sadness and misery that it breeds.

Scrolling down our Media Library, I stopped here. Reminded how I so value this image of a Tawny Emperor female. I will  always remember that morning. She was eye-popping, as she rested there in the early morning sun’s first rays. Had never seen the likes of her before. She did not give me the brushoff, but suffered my close approach! I shot, shot, shot and shot, shot, shot, then it struck me. The only reason a beauty like this would remain in place, was . . . she must be ill. Moments later, defying my diagnosis, this Tawny flew, no, better, zoomed away at the speed of one of those new F-35’s.

This image pleases me, reminds me, triggers me to remember, and always treats my eyes to delicious eye-candy. It hangs in my living room, and there are 2 more original prints out there, archivally framed and hanging in homes, and I hope pleasing whomever regularly enjoys them. This is one of my favorites.