Spicebush Swallowtail Visitor

Spicebush Swallowtail Butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow in the Briar Patch Habitat in Eatonton, GA

My morning check of how our young Macon natives garden was in full swing, when that big Smile appeared on Brooklyn’s face, for what did I see. A female Spicebush Swallowtail butterfly was at one of our newish Sassafras trees (all 18″” of it), setting eggs on her hostplant. Moments later she left it and searched a bit, soon finding another Sassafras and depositing egg on it too. When a Spicebush Swallowtail comes to YOUR garden and leaves its eggs on your Sassafras or on your Spicebush, well, that’s a sweet sight.

We’ll now be on the lookout for the caterpillars that hatch from those eggs, taking them in if necessary (we have such a butterfly enclosure cage). What would be the best? The best would be if Spicebush Swallowtail butterflies establish themselves here, rent-free.

This one you see here is a male Spicebush, photographed in the Butterflies & Blooms Briar Patch Habitat in Eatonton, Georgia. For those of you out of the country, we’re in the American southeast, 2 hours and 15 minutes from the Atlantic Ocean.

Jeff happy? Yes, yes.


Giants Delight!

Giant swallowtail butterfly, photographed by Jeff Zablow at "Butterflies and Blooms in the Briar Patch," Eatonton, GA

Our 800 Georgia Natives Garden in our new home is just now in its 3rd month. It excites us daily, with amazing butterflies flying in. On Saturday, a Giant Swallowtail butterfly appeared, and she searched our trees, bushes and perrenials until she found the Hercules Club young tree that we set in one week before, A larger than usual potted Hercules Club, we were overjoyed when it looked healthy days after we planted it (we made sure to add lots of sand to the mix).

Saturday’s Giant remained at the hostplant of Giants for some 8 or 9 minutes, setting eggs here and there. When we brought the Hercules Club home from Jim & Debi’s Nearly Native Nursery (Fayetteville, Georgia) it already had eggs on it. With the set of new eggs, we felt like expectant grandparents.

When a Giant flies in, its stop what you’re doing and gaze. When you arrive at the Butterflies & Blooms Briar Patch Habitat (Eatonton, Georgia) early, very early, and find this huge Giant male warming its wings in the first warming rays of the morning sun . . . How can I fully share the JOY?


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 . . .