Handsome Eastern!

Black Swallowtail photographed by Jeff Zablow in Traci Meadow, Fayette Township, PA

We were in Traci’s Meadow (Fayatte Township in southwestern Pennsylvania). At the top of the gentle rising land nearby, a new development of houses stood. Traces Meadow? You see it here, lush, vibrant and full of wildflowers. Traci shared that they developer of the nearby homes wanted to extend his building to this vulnerable meadow, but was for the moment blocked by environmental issues.

This male Eastern Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes) few in, and he sports fresh, spectacular coloration. His yellow pm spot band is unusually extensive and bolder than most, and his sup apical yellow spots, at the front on that left forewing, are positioned somewhat differently. He is his own butterfly, adorned boldly to catch the eye of females.

I’ll need your help in ID’ing the wildflower he is on. It must be a fine nectar pump of a flowerhead, for he remains on it long enough for me to score an acceptable image.

At the time I told Traci that I soooo wished that some conservation group would jump at the opportunity to seize this meadow as a forever conserved refuge, for it was rich in butterflies and so much more.


Palamedes Plus

Palmed Swallowtail Butterfly, photographed by Jeff Zablow at Big Bend Wildlife Management Area, Florida

Much of the world has the Corona virus on its mind. Blame them? No, for they fear for their safety, the health of their kids, parents, brothers, sister, friends and neighbors. They fear too for their jobs, incomes and for what their lives will be like in the coming weeks. Months?

Me? My own thinking is personal, though I will remind that I’ve waves bye bye to my 40’s, 50’s and more. I’ve seen much, and survived much.

Butterflies? What a fantastic antidote to your virus fears! Butterflies come to my garden in Eatonton, Georgia. On a sunny day, hundreds visit. Yesterday it was visits from Red-banded Hairstreaks, Cloudless Sulphur and several species of Skipper butterflies.

Most of you can get in your cars and drive less than an hour to a State Park, National Wildlife Refuge, National Monument, private refuge or reserve or National Park . . . or along roadsides full of wildflowers.

This image of a show-stopping Palamedes Swallowtail butterfly, in the Florida Panhandle, rocked my boat, for it struck my as Palamedes Plus, that is, a sight for sore eyes!! Beauty beyond beautiful. All that and in the kind of place listed above: Extreme Social Distancing for tens of millions of Americans . . . and for you in France, Estonia, Hungary, China, Canada, Sri Lanka, Ireland, Japan, India, Pakistan, Gold Coast, Kenya . . .


Zebra, Lynx & Edwards With Weed

Zebra Swallowtail Butterfly and Edwards Hairstreak on Butterflyweed photographed by Jeff Zablow at Lynx Prairie Reserve, Ohio

I was still kind of stunned to be in prairie . . . in Ohio! Somehow, through good fortune and the wisdom of folks who fought to protect Lynx Prairie Preserve, this very, very unique eastern prairie has been preserved, for all to enjoy. Fortunately, most don’t visit there; they are lost to the allure of asphalt, brick, concrete, steel, neon and such. Me? I grew up with that stuff, asphalt, concrete, brick. Following Angela, Joe, Barbara Ann and Janet into  a prairie? Words can’t be summoned to properly describe how happy I was to finally see my, my prairie.

I’m telling you it was lush. June 2017, and an open prairie full of wildflowers. Full too with butterflies! My beat. Butterflies.

Here, very healthy Butterflyweed is deep in that comely shade of orangish-red, and must surely be pumping sugary nectar like a micro-gusher. In came this Zebra swallowtail butterfly, joining an Oh! so fine Edward Hairstreak, all on the Lynx. They are doing weed as is appropriate.