Knowing Moths? at Ft. Federica

Unidentified Moth photographed by Jeff Zablow at Fort Federica, Saint Simons Island, GA

Ft. Federica, the National Monument on St.Simons Island. This coastal fort, once a thriving village on a coastal river, was the other side of fascinating. Standing there where the fort and village once stood, I stopped alot. It triggered my rich life experience, too many times challenged by threat and impending risk/danger. My artillery unit (155 mm howitzer, towed) didn’t go to ‘Nam, but we sure thought we were going, and being a green 2nd Lt. gave some pause, for sure. Dangerous guys back then in Brooklyn had to be kept on the radar, constantly, and yes, there were times I was steeled for trouble. Riding the subway each day, through a notorious part of NYNY, alone, always was much. Working as a Dean at John Adams H.S. (knives, guns, riots, murders and Gotti’s crew’s kids)  . . . a rich life of kind of tight-rope walking. Thank You G-d.

I tried to imagine myself a junior officer at the fort. back then in what, 1738? Imagine a Spanish Armada appearing down river, headed to overwhelm the fort and the village, full of homes with women and children.

Good that there were butterflies flying in the meadows surrounding the fort, as Virginia had hoped. That was when I spotted this fascinating moth, motionless amidst the foliage.

I don’t know the hundreds of moths found in the southeastern USA, so I was unable to ID this one. I admired those lipstick red spots on each wing, and that white stripe across the abdomen?

I see so much in the field that I want to know. Curt? Barbara Ann? Virginia? Phil? Angela? David K? David Wagner?


Ceraunus Blue Butterfly

Ceraunus Blue Butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow in Big Bend Wildlife Management Area, Florida's Panhandle

New is exciting, and that’s how I felt when I spotted these tiny Ceraunus blue butterflies. We were in the Spring Creek Unit of Big Bend Wildlife Management Area. This particular Florida Panhandle refuge was proving to be a gold mine, full of butterflies and wildflowers that were new to me.

While driving deeper into Spring Creek, I pulled over at a promising spot, discovering sandy low dunes abutting a farm field. Working the semi-trail that skirted the farmland, several species of low-flying butterflies were kicked up by my boots, and among them, some Ceraunus blue butterflies. Jackpot! New to me, ‘though I can’t say that they much shared views of their luscious dorsal blue.

I took an immediate liking to these Hemiargus ceraunus. Don’t ask why I share only this particular image, head obscured by foliage. Tiny, yes, and elusive nevertheless. Share I will though, 850 miles from home, hanging out with some very cool little blue butterflies.