The No Respect Butterfly

Red-Spotted Purple butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at Raccoon Creek Park, PA, 8/24/07

Mr. Rodney Dangerfield (RD) would commiserate with this butterfly. Johny Carson would goad him on, and ask Rodney if he [Rodney] felt akin to this butterfly. This would send RD on a 5-minute tear, likening how he and this Red-Spotted Purple butterfly get “no respect.”

I’m not seeing many Red-Spotted Purples here in Georgia, but in early summer they were very, very common back in Pennsylvania. I loved them, and played a little game with myself, challenging JLZ to find an individual with very prominent red spots at the margins of those forewings.

I like them. For 2 decades, they would appear on the trails that I worked, we repeating over and over again the routine: I approach on the trail, they fly up no more than 2 feet up, to a new spot 12 feet up trail. I continue my hiking, reach them, and again they fly up a bit, and take a new spot, again some 12 feet up trail. Trail companions they were, reminding me of my trusty black Russia pup, Petra.

Find a stunner of a Red-Spotted Purple, and you wonder to yourself, Why do some of us search the wilds of Brazil, India, Bolivia or Myanmar, when here in the USA, you may find a Red-Spotted that equals any of the rare stunners in any corner of the world.

Maybe it’s because you almost never see them nectaring atop beautiful wildflowers? Maybe that truism, ‘Familiarity breeds contempt.’ Some really, really want to find aberrant types or like the Lower Rio Grande Valley stalwarts, want to spot and report a butterfly not seen there for what, “10 years!”

They remain, my vote for the No Respect Butterfly, seen as we sail down trails, but infrequently offered the respect and attention they richly deserve.

Jeff

Them And Me (Mine)

Lasiommata Megera butterfly photographed by Jeffrey Zablow at Mt. Meron

It’s mid-winter here in the Georgia Piedmont. I did see a sluggish Cloudless Sulphur Butterfly last week, on a 67F day, in my yard. That said, the general butterfly hiatus is some challenging. That’s especially so when I open Facebook and the Ian’s and Bill’s photos from the likes of what Peru, Indonesia and Bolivia, India. Mike and Javi put me over the top, when they share butterflies just seen in the Lower Rio Grande Valley in Texas!

Their sweet images of impossible butterflies tease out the little boy in me, and I start thinking of images I have gleaned that ‘they don’t have.’

My many trips to the HolyLand jump out at me as I scan my Media Library, and here’s one that sure qualifies for an exciting find. This Lasiomatta megara emilyssa jumpstarted my blood pressure when I spotted him sunning on a rock on a trail on Mt. Meron, in the very northern Galilee region of Israel. HolyLand butterflies dislike close approach, and for that I stopped where I did, Macro- lens and all, for closer approach would have left me with zero images. They flee, and they flee at high speed.

This butterfly is not uncommon, but at the same time is rarely seen.

Do I plan to travel to Indonesia, Chile or Slovenia? No. But I’m booked for the Lower Rio Grande Valley, and kind friends continue to beckon me, to far, far away locales.

Jeff