Imagine Seeing a American Snout Butterfly 1,800 Miles from Home

Snout Butterfly on a blooming flower photographed by Jeff Zablow at White Tank Mountains Regional Park, Arizona

We travel and we await all that’s new. Travel some 1,800 miles from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to Phoenix, Arizona, and my visits to White Tank Mountains Regional Park, west of Phoenix delivered just that. How exciting to anticipate new butterflies, new plants, new birds and new lizards at any moment, any minute, anywhere! How much more fulfilling to find new, new, new.

Imagine. Imagine my surprise to find a ‘friend’ there, a butterfly that I’d see occasionally back home then, in Pittsburgh. I was working my way along an arroyo (dry river bed . . . Shhh! That I was not supposed to be down in, because of flash flood! risk . . . Angelic Jeff?) strewn with big rock. It was bone dry, and there were few, very few flowers at all. What flowers there were, were visited by butterflies and bees. I stationed myself at those flowers found, and here is an example of the reward I reaped, for patiently waiting on butterflies to arrive.

I was impressed much that the American Snout Butterfly was near identical to those back at Raccoon Creek State Park in southwestern Pennsylvania. It was sort of nice to meet a ‘friend,’ so far away from home, and in a mysterious, a bit risky dangerous and drier than dry bone arroyo.

This Post here in part because of memories it elicited, I there visiting my Mother-In-Law, Eda Lehman A”H, who lived near there in Sun City West, Arizona, a Phoenix suburb. Eda Lehman was a slave in Nazi concentration camps for 5 and 1/2 years, somehow survived those killing fields, and passed away 3 days ago, having lived to 100 years of age. Butterflies can come with memories and such . . . .

Jeff

‘I Want To Go Home, Where I Belong, I’m Just A . . . . ‘

I’m not totally sure why this song popped into my head, but it well sums up those many years of seeking butterflies, without you there with me. Having you there to together eyeball the terrain and vegetation for butterflies makes the quest for fresh, unique, new and rare butterflies so much more successful Talking while on trail does not cause them to flee, for they do not much hear human speech.

Those of you who are expert in plant ID are a big boon to finding butterflies, for being able to identify flowers, leaves, hostplants, fruit and all gives you advantage, for it helps anticipate what butterflies you may meet here and there. Barbara Ann Case A”H and Mike Barwick and Rose and Jerry Payne, Phil Delestrez, Nancy and John Crosby and Jerry Amerson all excelled when I was lucky enough to work trails with them.

2020 is slowly coming to a butterfly-seeking close, and 2021? I very, very much want to Bust-Out in this 2021. So many write of the disappointment of 2020 I’ve felt them too, and what tantalizes me? Several folks have nicely offered, without me asking, to show me destinations. Destinations! 2021, the Kid from Brooklyn (originally LOL) maybe meeting knowledgeable, good and sharing folks who know, and who guide us to potent destinations? WoW!

With former friends dismissive of what I (we?) do, and family no keen too (“Bugs!”), 2021, traveling to meet new friends who are steeped in knowledge of butterflies and where to find them, has my brain erupting in song, as this Rock ‘N Roll song, that somehow connects here, ‘I Want To Go Home, Where I Belong, I’m Just A . . . . ”

Shown? Nichol Road Trail, Raccoon Creek State Park, southwestern Pennsylvania, U.S.A.. If you’d been there, Oh My Goodness!

Jeff

“Oh Where, Oh Where Should This . . . .”

Jeff Zablow on Peak of Mt. Hermon Israel

This? One of the highlights of the last decades, JLZ, Me, on the peak of Mt. Hermon in the HolyLand. At 7,000 feet plus, you see distant Lebanon behind me. I am standing in Israel, and calamitous Syria, that killing field, is roughly at the 4 O’Clock point in this image.

Why was I there? For butterflies that fly only on the mountain top. It’s easy for me to daydream of Joshua, Jesus, Jacob, Israel, Rabbi Akiva and Menachem Begin standing on this very same stop, awed and grateful to G-d.

Butterflies will still fly here in Georgia through November, then only on mild winter days.

I am daydreaming too of next year. The eternal optimist, I’m thinking of where my quest for new new (for me), rare and gorgeous butterflies . . . to meet and photograph.

Few in the last decades have offered. Offered that I drive hundreds of miles to their home base, and join them on their trails, and their secret butterfly habitats. Now, me a bit seasoned, several have thrown out the butterfly ‘lifeline’ to me for 2021. I am Bigtime grateful to those of you who did.

I respectfully ask you where do you suggest that I travel in 2021 to meet my new butterflies? “Oh where, Oh where should this – – – – – boy go?”

Jeff

The ‘What Is This One’ Butterfly

Appalachian Brown Butterfly II photographed by Jeff Zablow at Prairie Fen Reserve, Ohio

Just yesterday someone on Facebook shared an image of this one, an Appalachian Brown Butterfly, and as is often seen, they asked all who saw, What is This One? We understand their surprise, when finding a butterfly that is solitary, rarely seen, and resides in wetlands. Folks explain that they’ve been out doing field photographing for butterflies for years, and they’d never seen this one before. I enjoy hearing this, for such people are excited, and it assures that they will go out again and again in the future, wondering what new butterfly they may see.

Me I too feel that way. Each year I discover new butterflies, and it is so invigorating to know that the sylvan, undeveloped habitat hold so many new finds for us to enjoy.

Add to that the challenges, as in . . . is this an Appalachian Brown or the closely related Eyed Brown? We were in the Prairie Fen Reserve in Ohio, where both of these species fly. After some minutes comparing the 2 species with this image, I’m sticking to Appalachian Brown, to await what Harry, Bob Pyle, the Other Harry, Curt, Phil, Rose & Jerry, Dave, Joe suggest?

Jeff

So You’ve Seen A Red Rim Butterfly in Texas. Now What?

Red-rim butterfly on fallen branch photographed by Jeff Zablow at the National Butterfly Center, Mission, TX

Graduation from PS 244 in Brooklyn. Graduation from JHS 285, and after from Samuel J Tilden HS. Graduation from Hunter College in New York City. Graduation from OCS. Earned a Masters Degree from Pace University. Married. Four healthy children, all graduated from schools we had confidence in. Sat through graduations in some of America’s finest universities and graduate schools.

Me? I taught Advanced Placement Biology and I introduced sylvan habitat to some of the toughest kids in New York City and later in Pittsburgh. I built successful (very) real estate business, only to have it wrested away from me by despicables. With my wife’s (A”H) help, I did not . . .

I’ve done this and more. Hundreds of trips near and far to meet new butterflies, and it’s become ever more interesting, for look, I’ve seen and photographed the Red Rim butterfly at the National Butterfly Center, in Mission, Texas, near the border wall with Mexico. That same trip I met and shot the Erato Heliconian butterfly, the Common Mestra, the Mexican Bluewing, the Tropical Leafwing . . . and so many more.

Now what?

Jeff