Showy Ladys Slipper (Ohio)

Showy Ladies Slipper Orchid, II photographed by Jeff Zablow at Cedar Bog Prairie Reserve, Ohio

I had long wanted to see Showy Ladys Slipper Orchids, those magnificent native USA orchids. Angela and Barbara Ann (OBM”) urged me to join them on their visit to several Ohio refuges. Sounded better than Good, for I’d have a very good chance to see Showys and other rare orchids, and at the same time I’d keep my eyes open for . . . butterflies.

That trip? Spectacular! I saw hundreds of butterflies, many I’d never seen before. I am very fond of tiny metalmark butterflies, and finding a fresh flight of Northern Metalmark butterflies, all fresh, energized me. Meeting my first Edwards Hairstreak butterflies? Fantastic, no better than Fantastic!! Seeing my first Coneflowers growing in their native habitat? Eye-opening!!!

Best of all (I think)? Kneeling for the first time before my first Showy Lady Slipper Orchids took my breathe away. How beautiful are they? Kenne? Deepthi? Angela? Leslie? Lisa? Laura? Phil? Caron? Curt?Julie? Elisse? Donna? Joanne? Nishani? Lisa? BJ? Andrea? Vicki? Virginia? Sultana? Nancy? Paula?

Jeff at Cedar Bog Preserve, Ohio. . . . . Gapeing still at G-d’s work

Red’s Unscheduled Stops

Red Admiral butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at Raccoon Creek State Park, PA. Jeff blogs about the art and science of butterflies at http://www.wingedbeauty.comForget making an appointment to meet a Red Admiral butterfly. They just never show up! It’s futile to think that if you at a certain garden or trail, at a certain time, that you’ll meet up. Does not happen.

This is the butterfly of Unscheduled Stops. Seemingly no itinerary, they make fly in and nectar briefly, ‘though most of the time they disregard your blooms, and if do they show, they land on your garden walk, inspect that all  is as it should be, and are soon gone.

When they do make an appearance, experienced butterfly lovers recognize that immediately, what with those bright reddish-orange stripes crossing each forewing. There’s nothing like  them.

Me? Their name, Vanessa has always transfixed me. Vanessa, such a mystical name. Then my mind goes to that actress whom I have no patience for, Vanessa Redgrave, whose politics leave a bad taste in my mouth. Why did she have to get such an otherwise wild name?

I’ve not seen many Red Admirals this 2017. The last one I saw was in Lynx Prairie Preserve, in Adams County, Ohio. Of course I saw it for moments, as it  promptly left, as is their habit, leaving you abruptly, wondering, “What’s the rush?”

Jeff