Me and Br’er Rabbit?

Briar Rabbit statue photographed by Jeff Zablow at Butterflies and Blooms Briar Patch Habitat, Eatonton, GA

Br’er Rabbit at the entrance to the Butterflies & Blooms Briar Patch Habitat in Eatonton, Georgia. I now live 1 mile from this, Virginia Linch’s 2nd launch of this butterfly wonderland. Brooklyn to Eatonton? How, why, where and when?

Back in the ’40’s my mother Mary A”H read books to me, I sitting on her lap. A favorite was the tales of Br’er Rabbit in the Briar Patch. She said I’d ask her to read it again, and again, and again and . . . was launched in 2011. My stalwart early blog followers were loyal, fascinating people. As time went by I sensed that they were steadily tiring of only seeing butterflies of the U.S. northeast, of Israel and of Arizona and Toronto. My decision was to score photos of southeastern USA butterflies.

But how? At that time, no one was willing to meet me in any of the states of the U.S. South, and lead me to butterflies, common or rare. Travel to Arkansas, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Florida, South Carolina & North Carolina . . . with no one to guide me. I’d get skunked after each and every 500-880 miles drive!

About that time, I noticed mention, on Facebook of one Virginia C. Linch. Long story short, she FB msg’d me “Come on down!!”

The butterflies in then Butterflies & Blooms Habitat I were incredible! Hundreds would be flying at any given time, and I counted 29 species there, one morning alone.

Snow, ice, cold-shoulders in Pittsburgh after 27 years there, and an unhappy domestic situation, and where to go next, Jeffrey? Well . . . Eatonton, Georgia.

For my kids it’s not the city, and I am kind of different down here, unable to shake my roots and my Brooklyn twang. That said, I love the patience and kindness of Georgians, the 25% lower prices of groceries and so much more, the gorgeous weather and short “winter” and this garden, my new natives garden. Butterflies flying in early February, not late April! My lifelong dream.

Mommy read to me of Br’er Rabbit, Br’er Fox, Bear, that Turtle and the Tar Baby and more, and now the Briar Patch Museum is some 600 feet from our home.

Thanks Mom, and thanks Joel Chandler Harris, the gifted author of the Briar Patch tales! He an Eatonton native.

Now back to my practicing my “Y’all,” which still comes out kinda . . . Brooklyn.