Great Spangled Fritillary on a Bulging Flowerhead

Great Spangled Fritillary Butterfly on Common Milkweed II photographed by Jeff Zablow at Lynx Prairie Reserve, Ohio

For many, this pleasing view will bring memories of meadows, roadsides, home gardens, Botanical gardens and bucolic small USA farms, with Asclepias syriaca plentiful amongst and about rows of healthy corn.

We are ripping to hike those late June, July trails, headed to stands of Common milkweed, Teasel, Butterflyweed and Dogbane. When will we reach those bulging flowerheads, with a fresh Great Spangled Fritillary butterfly, like this one, methodically working the dozens of individual flowers, for sugary nectar, mixed with a cocktail of proteins, dissolved pollen, and numerous other nutrients?

Where was Jeff when he set his eyes on this truly American fritillary. Kamamama Prairie Reserve in Adams County, Ohio. Same old story here. Jeff already has good images of Great Spangleds, but this photograph was so necessary to take!

Necessary? It was Late June, 2017. For all the yelling, screaming, marching, whining– here we were in Real Time. Real Time? Yep. For all the background media noise, here it is, proof positive. Halt the ‘dozers.’ Conserve the Land. Then, those wise enough to make the trip, will be treated to joy, peace, tranquility, connection to H-s beauty.

There was a time in my life when I managed apartment buildings in NYNY. I had hundreds of tenants who desperately needed to spend time such amidst the Great Spangleds and Milkweed. Sadder than dirt, for most of those hundreds of people had no idea that the remedy for their isolation, fear, depression, neurosis was not too very far away. Most of them suffered one depravation or another. Butterflies and Blooms is the best, nearly reachable medicine, in Eatonton Georgia.

Jeff, no need of a License to dispense here.

Jeff

Tomorrow or the Next Day?

Monarch butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at Phipps Conservatory, Pittsburgh, PA

Each day more reports are shared of Monarchs spotted here and there, east of the Mississippi River. These sightings shimmer with the excitement of seeing a Monarch in your town, city or county, after so many months of 3′ snowfalls and so many days of zero degree F weather.

My personal estimate? I’d say that some 21,653,208 additional milkweed plants have been added to home gardens and perennial beds in the last year. All this to set the table for returning Danaus Plexippus. Nary a single one of us regrets the effort, cost or emotional investment.

Me? I’ve seen Monarchs this year in the Jamestown Audubon Center in northwest New York, in Frick Park in Pittsburgh and in the Briar Patch Butterfly Habitat in Eatonton, Georgia. Today is June 28th, and I think the table is set for their return. So many knowledgeable folks are striving to insure their success, that I am encouraged that we will soon enjoy them. Tomorrow or the next day.

Jeff

August 12th: Butterflies of Raccoon Creek at Wildflower Reserve Interpretive Center on US 30

Butterflies of Raccoon Creek
Raccoon Creek State Park
Wildflower Reserve Interpretive Center on US 30
Sunday, August 12, 2012 • 1pm – 3pm

Pennsylvania is home to many species of butterflies. Join Jeffrey Zablow, a biologist with a passion for photographing butterflies, on a delightful tour of these jewel-winged insects. Jeffrey will highlight his butterfly photography in the park, and give a guided tour, allowing participants to see the park’s butterflies. Butterfly identification via field guides and how to bring these lovely visitors to your home gardens will be discussed. You can preview Jeffrey’s photographs at https://wingedbeauty.com/

This program is sponsored by Raccoon Creek State Park, Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. For further information contact the park at (724) 899-3611.

If you need an accommodation to participate in this park activity due to a disability, please contact Raccoon Creek State Park at 724-899-2200 or the Pennsylvania Bureau of State Parks at:
888-PA-PARKS (voice)
888-537-7294 (TTY)
or
800-654-5984 (PA AT&T Relay Service)

Painted Lady Butterfly

Painted Lady Butterfly at Raccoon Creek State Park

Here it was the first week in October and you would think that butterflies would be few and far between. Nope. Our Vanessa cardui, challenged by the limited selection of nectaring wildflowers, has settled for a meal of Boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum) sugars.

Judging from the condition of this individual, it would appear that it was produced by a late in the season brood.

Our other posts of Ladies included several that triumphantly were scored after stealthy stalking up to the butterfly. Not necessary this time, because our instant butterfly is 100% engrossed imbibing nectar. Only a reasonably careful approach was necessary.

An occasional visitor to home gardens, their visit is usually a very brief one, and then whooost, gone!

Not known to overwinter here in eastern U.S., the last brood flies all the way to the Mexican plateau. Very impressive, that.

Jeffrey