That Monarch Moment!

Monarch Butterfly In High Grass photographed by Jeff Zablow at Clay Pond Preserve, Frewsburg, NY

I keep my eyes peeled. Looking for beautiful fresh butterflies as well as good, unique looks. It’s constant scanning your periphery, searching for fliers, butterflies at rest, butterflies busy nectaring, coupled together, and always, fresh, beautiful butterflies. This blog is so much like a magnificent tiger in an enormous compound, for wingedbeauty’s visitors like it regular and as fresh as can be.

Mucking through Clay Pond Wildlife Management Area, in Falconer, New York (in very western New York State), I was keen on finding wetland butterflies, and especially satyrs. We did well, finding them here and there, mostly kicking them up as we struggled through the high wetland grasses. Late June, 2017.

What I did not expect to find was this rich, brilliant reddish orange, amidst the 3 – 4 foot grass. Whoa! This is not a satyr, not a Wood Nymph! A Monarch moment! Danaus plexxipus, at rest in this luxuriant marsh, just broadcasting this most beautiful smash of color. Know that I did not make my usual Macro- approach, for I did not want to disturb her Majesty, the Monarch.

(I do shoot only film ( Fuji Velvia ) and this rich, real-time color in this image delights me, truth be told).


Arroyo Habitat

Arroyo in White Mountains Regional Park, Phoenix, AZ photographed by Jeff Zablow

Where you are “standing” in this photograph, is in an Arroyo in White Mountains Regional Park. Phoenix is just east of this site. Thirty years ago, the drive from Sun City west to this arroyo, passed 25 homes. Make this  drive now, some 30 minutes, and you pass thousands of homes, and the pressure on this lovely park’s existence is very challenging.

We see here a thriving xeric upgrade that forms the wall of the Arroyo. December, January and February have been very wet. The bounty of that moisture is this great show of wildflowers. They in turn were responsible for large numbers of butterflies.

I keep my eyes peeled for repeat wet winters in Arizona. There are so many Arizona butterflies that I haven’t yet introduced myself to, and these are Xeric butterflies that fly in that unique super dry habitat. It’s the same habitat where my earlier post warned, “Arroyo Spells Caution.” This is an environment where water is more valuable than gold or diamonds, and it’s where the same sun that soothed you in Pennsylvania might be much too hot in the arroyo.