The Fine Natural Elixir of a Viceroy Butterfly at Traci’s Kelso Swamp

Viceroy Butterfly, photographed by Jeff Zablow in Kelso Swamp, Fayette Township, PA

Scrolling down through our hundreds of Media Library images, I stopped here. Why? Every time I catch a glimpse of this image, it stops me. I look at it, and I smile, a feeling of ease and peace soothes me. I have no doubt that my blood pressure drops a tad.

Often, my mind wanders to the children (4) whom I rarely hear from (?), the grandchildren who almost all can write and hit those cell phone buttons . . . but don’t, my personal losses, the child 4 doors away who at 3 left us just 3 days ago, the business skullduggery that insured that I would not be worth 9 figures, my inability to travel to far corners of this world to seek butterflies . . . . . . . . . as I imagine most of you too experience wandering mind.

This image snaps me out of that foolishness. I Thank G-d for all I’m Blessed with now. Now. I am reminded that the Followers of wingedbeauty.com are who you are, something I shall always cherish.

Yep, this Viceroy butterfly, in Traci’s Kelso Swamp in Fayiette Township, west of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is a home spun elixir for all that vexes you. No?

Jeff

Who Knows the Harvester?

Harvester butterfly photographed at Raccoon Creek State Park, PA

What do I think? I think that 1 in 71,209 Americans know this butterfly. Critics probably argue that 1 in 94,456 Americans know of it.

True, my interests run to butterflies, but true again, when hikers come along trails I’m scouring for butterflies, trails rich with butterflies, I always stop them and ask, “Have you seen any butterflies along the trail?” The answer is alway, “No.” I smile, and they continue along their way. They are not attuned to looking for butterflies, and just don’t notice them as they work their way along trails.

Kind of the opposite situation exists when I work trails and habitat in the western United States (or on occasion in the eastern U.S., where farmer have told me they have seen Cougars, and park rangers and park office staff always defuse any possibility that Cougars live east of the Mississippi River). West of the Mississippi, I am a bit distracted, for there have been times that my sense of being watch rises to its highest . . . .

This Harvester butterfly, Feniseca tarquinius is “LR-LU” (Locally Rare-Locally Uncommon). It is found nowadays in Parks, Refuges & Habitat Reserves, where Alder trees/bushes grow and running streams are not far away.

The more I get deeper into pursuing butterflies, the more it tickles me that otherwise heavily university educated, expert so in their own interest or pursuit, know zero of butterflies, and the Harvester might as well be a John Deere!

Raccoon Creek State Park in southwestern Pennsylvania, 8 hours by car, due west of New York, New York.

Jeff