Pearly-Eye At Ancient Bog

Northern Pearly Eye Butterfly (Profile), photographed by Jeff Zablow at Allenberg Bog in New York

So many likes of mine are seen here: I Love and Fantasize at acidic Shagnum bogs; Shots with unusual backlighting intrigue me; and I get excited each and every time I find a Pearly-Eye butterfly. When these and I think other ‘likes’ of mine converge, Wow! I feel of Rush of joy! that is slow to leave me.

This Northern Pearly-Eye butterfly was spotted at mystical Allenberg Blog, near Frewsburg in very western New York State. When I look carefully, I’m able to see those sweet white ‘pupils’ of the hindwing eyes. Nice! Very nice!

Barbara Ann Case OBM” led me to Allenberg. I recently wrote of how difficult the hike must have been for her, and how the BAS should/could have made it somewhat more doable for her. Quit? Nope, after rest after rest, she insisted on seeking the bog. We did, as you see here. On our last attempt, the next year, once again the BAS rebuffed her, we tried without clear mapping, and we did not find the bog, she, exhausted, concerning me that we might need EMS to come . . . and try to find us (no cell coverage). I shall not soon forget the BAS’s lack.


Happy Pearly-eye New Year!

Northern Pearly Eye Butterfly, photographed by Jeff Zablow at Raccoon Creek State Park in Pennsylvania

Happy New Year to All! We have grown in number and enthusiasm. Shared so much new: new butterflies, new places and new ways of seeing those wingedbeauties.

Perfect example here, this one of 3 images that didn’t get pitched into the circular file (AKA trash can). So many of us know the Northern Pearly-eye butterfly. I almost wrote them off as well, seen them, done that . . . until I met this comely Pearly-eye on that trail at Raccoon Creek State Park. Guaranteed to frustrate, this one remained in place . . . and rocked my boat!, for I saw that I was looking at a stunner! An especially handsome Northern.

I shot it out, hoping that my manual compensations for aperture and shutter speed would deliver, despite the challenging lighting.

I say to you here, I will not take long known  butterflies for granted, for amongst them, may be a Bedazzler, as I rate this one. Those hindwing eyes, with the sweet tiny white pearls in their centers, That’s why they are  . . . Pearly-eyes.

On to 2017, taking nothing for granted, and hoping to meet them . . . and You! out there.


Levantine Marbled White Butterfly

Melanargia titea butterfly photographed by Jeffrey Zablow at Mt. Hermon, Israel

A white adorned butterfly with ‘eyes’ on its hindwings. Melanargia titea is a very purposeful butterfly that flies in and gets whatever nectar it can get, and leaves. Cats and dogs have distinct personalities. They interact with us in mostly predictable ways. I find this to be true for butterflies. Years in the field have enabled me to expect certain minimal, but discernible interactions with most butterflies. The Monarch butterfly that turned to look  at me, the Mourning cloak butterfly that caused me to tear up, the jolly little duskywings that escort you down the trails you hike. I find Levantine marbled whites to be very aloof and business-like. Come, nectar, go. Unlike the female tiger swallowtails that will tolerate my presence, with some ‘complaint,’ as they work the wildflowers.

This one was on the top of Israel’s Mt. Hermon (2008) when there was unseen military presence, and Eran, my guide and I roamed the mountain top, encountering lots of butterflies, grazing cows, shy lizards, eagles and 1 ugly, old land mine.

Levantine marbled whites are found throughout the northern half of Israel. This satyr-type of butterfly flies from April to August. It’s host plants are native grasses.

Boy do I wish I could get back up on Mt. Hermon.