Hackberry Emperor in the Briar Patch

Hackberry Emperor Butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow in the Briar Patch Habitat in Eatonton, GA

Now, now I can write, Hackberry Emperor in the Briar Patch, back in 2015. An invitation to come and photograph the Butterflies & Blooms in the Briar Patch had come in 2014. My Dad, Jack Zablow, had spent months in 2015 in the Dublin, Georgia VA Hospice. The invite to visit and shoot out the Briar Patch enabled me to see me father (A”H), my brother Stanley, and be almost overwhelmed by the hordes of southern butterflies that visit this Eatonton, Georgia mega-site for the nectar that butterflies love.

Four trips to Georgia sadly included the funeral for my father, and his burial at the Glenville, Georgia US Military cemetery, some 1.5 hours northwest of Savannah. He served in WWII, told me that I’d never have to wear the uniform, because They made sure that would not happen again, and enjoyed 100 years of life.

The Briar Patch was a great comfort to me. I met new friends, and they are wonderful, talented, good people. Those mornings and afternoons, poised with camera in hand, slide film at the ready, and water, lots of water, yielded superb images, memories. With a 360 degree surround of butterfly beauty, I had the serenity I needed.

After 100’s of Gulf frits, Black swallowtails, Tiger swallowtails (many, many black form females), Variegated frits, Cloudywings, Long-tailed skippers, Buckeyes, Monarchs, Giant swallowtails, checkered skipperrs, Carolina satyrs . . . it was a treat to find myself face to face with this Asterocampa celtis. He’s been around the block some, but his forewing spots of white, yellow, black and orange sung out to me.



As Beautiful as any Fine Jewelry, a Variegated Fritillary Butterfly

Variegated fritillary butterfly photographed at Black Water National Wildlife Refuge, MD

It’s early afternoon at Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge in Cambridge, Maryland. As a rule I only photograph in the morning. I try to quit by 11 A.M., before the sun overhead denies my images of all of the creases and shadows that make an image memorable.

But there I was at Blackwater, and it was teeming with fresh butterflies of many different species. So there I was on October 6th. I had lots of water and so I violated my own working rules = don’t photograph after 11:30 A.M and stop when it gets hot. So I shot away!

Euptoieta claudia so reminds me of why I enjoy doing what I do. It is as beautiful as any fine jewelry produced by the finest jewelry designers. When I’m 12″ away and see what you’re seeing, it’s uplifting. Yes it is.

And like magnificent jewelryyou see ityou admire it . . . and then it’s gone.