Extraordinary People: Extraordinary Experiences

Barbara Ann photographed by Jeff Zablow near Allenberg Bog, NY

Some years back, I was stymied. I so wanted to find and shoot new butterflies, and new botany. Stymied because the United States is big, very big. How can you find new butterflies, when almost no one was willing to show me where they can be found. Almost no one.

Why folks refused (a strong word, but true) to invite me to drive 2, 4, 6, 8 or more hours, and be shown the habitat where new butterflies can be seen . . . long baffled me. Why would folks decline to show me? Why would they refuse/remain silent when I was willing to drive so many hours to meet them on trails, at park, refuge offices, etc.? If you’ve got a guy who is in young shape (Thank Y-u), reveres and respects habitat and the plants that live there, is very savvy and no namely pampby (thanks to my coming up on the real streets of Brooklyn), hikes well and for hours, loves butterflies and Never, Never collects or wields a net, and on and on, why?

When I met Barbara Ann on Facebook, she was posting about her beloved orchid excursions. I like orchids, know not too much about them and knew that trips to orchid habitat also end up encountering many many butterflies. I asked to join such, and Barbara Ann agreed to allow me to tag along.

That led to several trips from Pittsburgh to western New York State and Ohio, and more recently from Georgia to New York State and Ohio. So much new, so much beautiful and so much to long remember.

I met Angela through Barbara Ann, she another extraordinary lover of orchids and wildflowers and ephemeral and more.

Here’s  Barabra Ann carefully searching for wildflowers and more at Allenberg Bog, home of sundew, pitchers plants, bog cranberries and Bog Copper Butterflies.

Locating much that we share here becomes easier, when you encounter extraordinary people. They open extraordinary experiences, of indescribable beauty and learning.

Jeff

Eye Candy on Mule Wallow Road?

Long-Tailed Skipper Butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow on Mule Wallow Road trail in Big Bend Wildlife Management Area, Florida's Panhandle

All that was missing was Johnny Mathis, sweetly serenading as I worked the edges of the trail known as Mule Wallow Road. It took  awhile, but there I was last August 2015, the proverbial kid in a candy shop, pirouetting from one new butterfly to another, new wildflowers, new flies, new insect, new botany. All those years enjoying the shares of others, in Florida, requited, for there I was, for 4 days, in Big Bend Wildlife Management Area, in the northern Florida Panhandle.

This Long-tailed skipper butterfly was fresh and clean, and the Tall Ironweed blossoms must have been sweeter than sweet. How am I sure. This usually skittish butterfly almost totally disregarded my approach, and allowed me the honor of shooting away. The background here, green. A soothing, rich green. Johnny is still singing, I can just hear him.

Short of a nasty late summer tropical storm, the plan is to return to Georgia on the 8th of September, when the Liatris are in full show. They say that when that happens, butterflies flock to them. Sometime after the 8th, my goal is to get down there for about 4 days, staying in Perry, Florida. Alone again, naturally.

You know, you know how expectant I can be. Diagnosis? Just about incurably expectant. Guilty as charged. Doing what for me, comes . . . . . . . . y!

Jeff