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 . . .


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 . . .


Sylbie at Lockerly

Sylbie Yon on Bridge photographed by Jeff Zablow at Lockerly Botanical Gardens, Millidgeville, Georgia

Back in May 2017, I wanted to see new Georgia locations, see them for their botany and the butterflies. Sympathetic to my tales of often finding myself lost on those linearly long Georgia state roads (Georgia on maps looks small . . . then I  drove Georgia, and discovered that that state of Georgia is Huge, and maps, for their own reasons, distorts the relative size of this Peachtree state, making it appear much smaller than it actually is), Sylbie offered to give me a tour of some middle Georgia botany and fauna destinations.

The drive to Millidgeville wasn’t too long, and after a quick tour of two impressive universities, George College and State University and Georgia Military College, we drove a short distance to Lockerly Arboretum. Extensive acreage featuring dozens and dozens of standout trees and shrubs, all planted by the once-time owner of this sylvan 60 acres. A fine breakaway place to take in wondrous trees and habitat.

Sylbie smiles to us here on a bridge over a flowing creek. She also does yeoman’s service as a right-hand woman to the founder and soon re-creator of Butterflies and Blooms in the Briar Patch Habitat II, now redesigned and relocated just a mile north from its 2017 location. This is a photo of a can-do, get the job done, no excuses former County Commissioner, the kind of folk who operate behind the scenes, and are instrumental in nurturing land and habitat conservation.


Bubbling With Excitement!

Plaque photographed by Jeff Zablow at Habitat, Eatonton, Georgia

This beautiful painting on metal graced the entrance to the Butterflies and Blooms In The Briar Patch Habitat. Virginia would have to share who created this Happy artwork? It was one of several handsome works of art that met you as you stepped into that wonderland of Butterflies, wildflowers, bees, hummingbirds, and more.

Reread above and note,  past tense. Why? The Habitat Butterfly Garden has moved to a bigger, better location in Eatonton, Georgia. Virginia C Linch and her band of stalwarts and semi-stalwarts are busily replanting about 195,083 trees, bushes and perennials, from the original site, to the new site. The new site will be fully prepared for the flying hordes, with the town of Eatonton graciously preparing to provide town water to the site.

This was the year that saw the appearance of Zebra Heliconian butterflies at the Habitat, and then came those reports throughout middle Georgia. Zebras here, zebras there, zebras seemingly everywhere.

This painting will once again greet at the entrance to Butterflies and Blooms in the Briar Patch Habitat II. There’ll be nothing like it from Maine to the Florida Panhandle, and from the Atlantic to the Mississippi. Nothing. Book Now!