We’re Setting the ‘Table’ for Red-spotted Purples

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

We’re in our new home, of 3 months now. We moved from Eatonton, kind of sadly leaving our backyard, some 120′ x 120.’ That yard now has more than a hundred ( 3 hundred?) natives Georgia plants, set in 8 new, extensive beds. Almost all are hostplants for butterflies native to or occasional migrants to middle Georgia.

We moved to Macon area, and our new backyard already had about 20 large azaleas and others plants. Again we’ve been adding Georgia natives, including Black Cherry trees (3), Linden (Bee tree or Tilia) (2)  and our neighbor next door now has two rare Florida Willow trees set in along the creek running through his property.

Native cherries, Linden and Willows are the hostplants for this attractive butterfly, the Red-spotted Purple. They fly throughout Georgia, and they have been my trail companions for decades, as Jeff quietly sang “I’m Just A Lonely Boy, Lonely And Blue, I’m All Alone With . . . .” especially during the years that Frieda L”H was valiantly battling Cancer. Often they’d follow me on trails, in the very same Raccoon Creek State Park (southwestern Pennsylvania) pictured here.

Our Black Cherry, Bee Tree and the neighboring Florida Willows are in and all growing robustly. We’ve set the table for Red-spotted Purples and we await their arrival, much.

Jeff

How Many Long-Tailed Skipper Butterflies?

Long-Tailed Skipper Butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow in the Briar Patch Habitat in Eatonton, GA

Glassberg’s Swift Guide to the Butterflies of North America introduces you to 16 Long -tail Skipper butterflies, historically seen in the continental United States. That’s a whole lot more Long-tail skippers than I’ve seen to-date. Most of those I’ve not yet seen fly in the southwestern United States.

This is the Long-tailed skipper butterfly that I’d see occasionally in the southwestern Pennsylvania area. This Long-Tailed Skipper Butterfly (Urbanus proteus) is seen daily here in middle Georgia. It’s one of those butterflies that make you smile, and I do when I see my first Long-tail each morning. Why do I smile when I see them? This one here is is a bit worn, but me? I just love when they fly in to where I’m searching for butterflies, and next they take a perch, much like our cat Jasmine seems to like being near me, but always keeping a bit of distance.

Where’d I meet this one. In the Butterflies and Blooms Briar Patch Habitat I in Eatonton, Georgia, in middle Georgia’s Piedmont region.

Long-tailed Skippers bring it on.

Jeff

Monarchs That Bring Joy!

Monarch Butterfly, photographed by Jeff Zablow at Raccoon Creek State Park in Pennsylvania

We’re near the end of February here in middle Georgia, U.S.A.. Some days hit 60 degrees Fahrenheit, others struggle to reach 49 degrees. I’ve not seen a Monarch butterfly since very early November 2019.

Working through our wingedbeauty.com Media Library and I stopped here, at this enchanting image of a female Monarch, in our 303 Garden (our own yard). She has stopped to deposit eggs on our Milkweed (Asclepias  spp).

Just another image for me? No. No. No. What you’re seeing made me smile, instantly. Joy to my heart, seeing Monarchs, as I did  back in Brooklyn, New York, back then. She striving to insure that the next generation of Monarchs ecloses, whether it be then in East Flatbush section of Brooklyn or now, in beautiful Eatonton, Georgia.

Joy! is always good medicine. Monarchs bring Joy!

Jeff

She’s The Sweetest Little Rosebud, That Texas Ever Knew . . .

Texan crescent butterfly (male) photographed by Jeff Zablow at the National Butterfly Center, Mission, TX

We saw quite a few of them in the National Butterfly Center in Mission, Texas. They fly low, and perch often. They were my first Texan Crescents. I took a liking to them.

I wanted to capture and share their rich coloration. This Texan female pretty much fits the bill.

Some say that are occasional migrants to my middle Georgia, though in these 4 years of visiting the Georgia Piedmont, I’ve never seen one.

It’s in my thinking to return to the Lower Rio Grande Valley late in 2019. I know where to stay, I’d rent a car, but I know of no one who will aid me in finding the hotspots there: Falcon Heights, Santa Anna National Wildlife Refuge, Edinburg Wetlands or Boca China/Rd 4?

Oh I cried so when I left her that it nearly broke my heart, and if I ever find her we never . . .

Jeff

Change Your Place, Change . . .

Monarch butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at the Butterflies and Blooms Habitat in Eatonton, GA

700 miles. That’s how far I moved last year. Family and friends know how much I enjoy this pursuit of butterflies, and they’ve heard of why I do what I do.

It’s 55 degrees F in my former home now, and its’s a whopping 80 degrees F in middle Georgia, the Piedmont region. Back there, in Pittsburgh, the Monarch butterflies were singletons, and you might see 3-5 any given year. They would be seen until mid-September each of those 27 years, and October might shake out a stray Cabbage White butterfly, maybe.

Today! Today in my 1-year old natives garden, I went out to give Petra some exercise, and there in Bed #2 of my garden, together on a group of giant Tithonia (Mexican sunflower plants) . . . were Five (5) Monarchs, males and females at the Tithonias, the nectar bar for thousands of butterflies this year. Five! I’ve never seen such a grouping together, ever.

I’ve driven down here, beginning back in 2015, and butterflies fly well into November. I L-U-V it!

Change your place, many Moms say, and you Change . . .

Jeff