Butterfly’s “Eyes”

Common Wood Nymph butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow in Clay Pond,  NY

I’m a guy who searches for eyes. Mine are blue, but that has nothing to do with this now. I travel much, to find butterflies with extraordinary eyes. When I find a butterfly with outstanding ‘eyes’ I will follow it until I can score alot of images. It’s all about getting exposures with comely, sharply focused eyes.

Eyes on the head of the butterfly? No. We’re after the ‘eyes’ found on the wings of many species of butterflies. They’re in italics because those are not the eyes that see. They are instead decorations on the wings. Their reason for being there has been much discussed, but there is no sure determination of why butterflies have retained their wing’s eyes for those thousands of years?

A trip of several days may be declared a major success if I’ve gained several good exposures of butterfly wings sporting great ‘eyes.’

This Wood Nymph butterfly rang my Alert! bells when I saw it. That large forewing ‘eye’ was crisp, prominent and film worthy. The smaller ‘eyes’ strung along next to it along sung to me.

I remember several people I have run across in my life, people with strikingly remarkable eyes, as that Afghan girl on the cover of National Geographic some years ago. Another, that girl who walked into my Biology HS classroom back at that Pittsburgh high school. From September to June, I was transfixed by them.

Winged beauties often stop such as us in our tracks, The Eyes! The Eyes!

Clay Pond, very western New York State.

Jeff

Unknown Flier

Unidentified Fly photographed by Jeff Zablow at Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge, GA

Those 700 miles bring much that’s new. Scouring the Woody Pond perimeter at Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge produced this new fly.

I’m not sure what it is. I was sure that it was film worthy, and I had no doubt that you’d help us ID it. I’ve never seen this one before, and I’m guessing that its found in the southeastern United States.

ID?

Jeff

What’s A Bear’s Breech?

Syrian Bear's Breeches wildflower photographed by Jeff Zablow at Ramat Hanadiv, Israel

Many of you have noted, Jeff, you shoot film, isn’t that a bit . . . expensive? Yes, it is, but the purist in me balks at not sharing with you, the same view that I see in the field. Film continues to provide better real-time color. That’s the way it looks.

But that concern, that Fuji slide film, and its processing/scanning is expen$ive, disappears when I encounter butterflies and wildflowers that tickle my imagination.

When I re-visited Syrian Bear’s Breeches here at Ramat Hanadiv’s reserve trails, in March 2016, I stopped. I marveled. I was reminded of the infinite complexity of this plant and the milieu that is its habitat. Acanthus syriacus is said to have inspired certain ancient architecture. Found in northern Israel, it produces its blooms for a short time in the HolyLand spring season.

I was there. I admired this unique native plant. I stood there, and tried to liken it to any other that I’ve known. There came that imagination tickle, and I shot away, butterfly or no butterfly, this plant was film worthy, for sure.

Then came the more difficult concern, would a share of this image tickle others?

Jeff

Darner Dragonfly at Work

Darner, photographed by Jeff Zablow at Jamestown Audubon Center, NY

The Jamestown Audubon Center was a Western New York treat. Their butterfly garden was large and lush with wildflowers. Ponds provided wildlife habitat, and home for butterflies that prefer watery environs. There is an extensive meadow, and that borders heavily wooded edge.

The sum total of all this generates rich photographic opportunities. It also supports a good-sized darner population.

Wingedbeauty supporters visit in good number when we post darners, and that does not go unnoticed.

This darner flew in, and in 1/100 of a second I decided that it was surely film-worthy. Don’t you agree?

She is a Common Whitetail, though for this trailman, there is noting common about her.

Jeff