Sylbie at Lockerly

Sylbie Yon on Bridge photographed by Jeff Zablow at Lockerly Botanical Gardens, Millidgeville, Georgia

Back in May 2017, I wanted to see new Georgia locations, see them for their botany and the butterflies. Sympathetic to my tales of often finding myself lost on those linearly long Georgia state roads (Georgia on maps looks small . . . then I  drove Georgia, and discovered that that state of Georgia is Huge, and maps, for their own reasons, distorts the relative size of this Peachtree state, making it appear much smaller than it actually is), Sylbie offered to give me a tour of some middle Georgia botany and fauna destinations.

The drive to Millidgeville wasn’t too long, and after a quick tour of two impressive universities, George College and State University and Georgia Military College, we drove a short distance to Lockerly Arboretum. Extensive acreage featuring dozens and dozens of standout trees and shrubs, all planted by the once-time owner of this sylvan 60 acres. A fine breakaway place to take in wondrous trees and habitat.

Sylbie smiles to us here on a bridge over a flowing creek. She also does yeoman’s service as a right-hand woman to the founder and soon re-creator of Butterflies and Blooms in the Briar Patch Habitat II, now redesigned and relocated just a mile north from its 2017 location. This is a photo of a can-do, get the job done, no excuses former County Commissioner, the kind of folk who operate behind the scenes, and are instrumental in nurturing land and habitat conservation.


Happy Pup and Happy Jeff

Butterflies and Blooms in the Briar Patch Facebook Feature

Butterflies and Blooms in the Briar Patch Facebook Feature

Whenever I post images of Petra, traffic here just zooms up. When I saw this one, boy did Virginia Linch score a homerun/touchdown/swisssh bucket!

Petra loves the Briar Patch. No doubt she remembered her 2015 visit. She got the royal treatment from Virginia, Stanley, and the tireless volunteers from Ritz Carlton (there to help assemble a huge canopy ahead of the Earth Day 2016 festivities).

Me? I love the Butterflies & Blooms in the Briar Patch. Eatonton, Georgia, the county seat of Putnam County, where Br’er Rabbit and Br’er Fox became ink to paper. My mother read me those stories when I was a child in Brooklyn, New York. Lookee here! I am in the same town, and just 200 feet from the Br’er Rabbit museum, whose docent, Georgia Smith gave me the tour of a lifetime last year.

When Virginia shared this look, there I am, the photographer as subject, with his fantastic pup, in this wondrous place, with its special people, just a place that gives, and doesn’t ask for a thing, but your enthusiasm. Southern butterflies, as gracious and beautiful as you’d expect.