Why do we marvel at Praying Mantis’ Egg Masses?

Coming Soon, Real Soon . . . .

Winged Beauty Butterflies

Mantid egg case photographed by Jeff Zablow
Who can resist? June 2014, and there in Doak field, in the field, we discover . . . a Praying Mantis (Mantis Religiosa) egg mass. Butterflies are why we’re out there, but, who can resist stopping for a moment to examine this wonder of wonders?

What is inside? Eggs. What is the outside material? A substance produced by the female, that hardens, and . . . and serves many roles, one of them is it repels birds. It discourages birds from eating the eggs within. Impressive.

When it is 0 degrees F in that field in January 2015, those eggs remain viable. Suspended on this twig, the entire egg mass never comes in contact with the snow that covers the field, again and again throughout the winter.

Spring arrives, and the eggs hatch. The tiny mantids chew their way through the outer covering of the egg mass, and grow…

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Love the Blues, I Do

Common Blue Butterfly at Mt. Hermon, Israel

Common Blue Butterfly at Mt. Hermon, Israel photographed by Jeffrey Zablow ©2010, http://www.wingedbeauty.com

Tell me how many problems you have with the ‘common’ species name that they gave this butterfly, on the slopes of majestic Mt. Hermon, in Israel? The name? Common Blue Butterfly.

A blue that Frank Sinatra, Ole Blue Eyes, would’ve loved. The kind of blue that you drown in when you look into the eyes of anyone lucky enough to sport same. The class of blue on the finest china services of the very spoiled.

Here is my basis for continuing to shoot Fuji film. Love rich blues, browns, reds and more.

A ‘Common’ blue male, resting peacefully in the northernmost tip of Israel, in the Holyland, as surprised to see me as I was pleased to drink-in its privileged blue with my color thirst eyes.

Jeff

A. jesous . . . in the HolyLand (Israel)

Azanous Jesous butterfly photographed by Jeffrey Zablow at Mt. Meron, Israel

Azanous Jesous butterfly photographed by Jeffrey Zablow at Mt. Meron, Israel

Our paths crossed in 2013, while I was working that fabulous trail on the slope of Mt. Meron. I was seeing butterflies each of the mornings that I stayed there, and many were . . . lifers. Israel. The HolyLand. Rachel was now living there for 5 years, met Uri, married, and was Happy!

This tiny beaut flew in and began nectaring. I had no idea what it was. That’s a downside of shooting film, for this one was very quickly vamoose! and over the course of a morning of shooting, looking, watching my footing, I forget details that I saw earlier. Looking by the way across the north, right into Lebanon, into the stronghold of Hezbollah, a very, very bad bunch of boys.

When my slides returned from being processed by Dwayne’s Photo, and flipped open my A Field Guide To The Butterflies of Israel (Dubi Benyamini) and found this butterfly . . . Azanous jesous. Jesous? ID’d in 1849 by Guerin, I to this day consider this name. ?.

What did Guerin, with an accent over the ‘e,’ have in mind? Any feedback much appreciated.

Mary? Sylbie? Jim? Cathy? Curt? Joe? Kim? Kelly? Nancy? John? Robert Michael Pyle? Jeffrey? if, I’ve left you out, please feel free to . . . .

Jeff

 

Booking A Showstopper

Palamedes Swallowtail Butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow in Big Bend Wildlife Management Area, Florida's Panhandle

Rolling into Big Bend Wildlife Management Area that day, I was psyched even before I rolled to a stop in the small parking pad. The last 100′ I’d been passing . . . big, gorgeous Palamedes Swallowtail butterflies. I hadn’t seen them since many years ago in Mississippi. These Florida Panhandle Palamedes were much bigger than most other swallowtails, were mostly vividly hued, fresh and few were bird-struck (had bits of hindwing plucked by birds during unsuccessful attack).

Virginia discovered Big!! in May in the Butterflies & Blooms Briar Patch Habitat (Yes, Eatonton, Georgia). A pair of Queen (!!!!) caterpillars. Never sen there before, Queens? Field guides show them no closer than a 2.5 hour drive south and east. They’re now eclosed and magnificent. No sweat as to what to nourish any future progeny with. The BBBPatch Habitat has about 100 Asclepias (milkweed) plants, poised and available.

Connect the dots? Virginia mentioned in April that she’s planning to set in Redbay trees/shrubs (?) to attract Palamedes swallowtails, like this instant one. Now many know that when this whirling dervish of a woman sets out to do something, Las Vegas’ line is very, very favorable. Palamedes in the Georgia Piedmont? Rare, but they have been historically seen there. Dare you bet against Miss Virginia?

Jeff