Hackberry Emperor in the Briar Patch

Hackberry Emperor Butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow in the Briar Patch Habitat in Eatonton, GA

Now, now I can write, Hackberry Emperor in the Briar Patch, back in 2015. An invitation to come and photograph the Butterflies & Blooms in the Briar Patch had come in 2014. My Dad, Jack Zablow, had spent months in 2015 in the Dublin, Georgia VA Hospice. The invite to visit and shoot out the Briar Patch enabled me to see me father (A”H), my brother Stanley, and be almost overwhelmed by the hordes of southern butterflies that visit this Eatonton, Georgia mega-site for the nectar that butterflies love.

Four trips to Georgia sadly included the funeral for my father, and his burial at the Glenville, Georgia US Military cemetery, some 1.5 hours northwest of Savannah. He served in WWII, told me that I’d never have to wear the uniform, because They made sure that would not happen again, and enjoyed 100 years of life.

The Briar Patch was a great comfort to me. I met new friends, and they are wonderful, talented, good people. Those mornings and afternoons, poised with camera in hand, slide film at the ready, and water, lots of water, yielded superb images, memories. With a 360 degree surround of butterfly beauty, I had the serenity I needed.

After 100’s of Gulf frits, Black swallowtails, Tiger swallowtails (many, many black form females), Variegated frits, Cloudywings, Long-tailed skippers, Buckeyes, Monarchs, Giant swallowtails, checkered skipperrs, Carolina satyrs . . . it was a treat to find myself face to face with this Asterocampa celtis. He’s been around the block some, but his forewing spots of white, yellow, black and orange sung out to me.



Skipper Butterfly

Skipper butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at White Mountains Regional Park, AZ

We throw our hands up in absolute surrender to a moment in time.  It was September 2008 at 9:05 A.M. in the White Tank Mountains Regional Park, southwest of Phoenix, Arizona. Every never before seen butterfly brought welcomed excitement to my photographic endeavors. Of course that excitement was tempered by the stark reality of a brown skipper.  It was on the large side of medium, with forewing spots. You know that without an experienced butterflier at your side, the next step, identifying this individual, was going to be between guesswork and fruitless.

The photographic image is good. Its composition is OK. The slide begs the question: “Post it or not?” I’ve taken a chance and  posted it with the hope that generous NABA and Xerces folk will contribute their feedback.

Eufala skipper. Quien sabe?

Place your bets.