Things Changed . . . Ohio!

Edwards Hairstreak Butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at Lynx Prairie, OH

New or familiar, you may have read of how I have near zero folks to guide/lead me to new butterflies. As one decade lead to another, this absence of willing guides did sort of displease me.

In 2017, I think it was, Barbara Ann made friends with Angela, just over the border in Ohio. Angela invited some to explore Ohio, and I requested to go too. Request approved, and soon I was with them in the very southernmost county of Ohio, Adams County. Wow!

Here’s one of my many new finds there, in Lynx Refuge Preserve. They must have nearly all eclosed (left chrysalis) the day before, or . . . that morning.

Edward’s Hairstreak, in one of Lynx’s several pristine meadows. I loved them from first sight, those red epaulets and that patch of blue/blue. Those white stripes. Edward’s Hairstreak were more than just a new Lifer butterfly for me. They were placid in the early morning, posing gracefully, and enabling lots of camera shots, lots.

I’d lived next door to Ohio for what, 23 years, with no one inviting me to see zip. Barbara Ann and Angela introduced me to Ohio, and what with Showy Orchids and dozens of new butterflies and wildflowers to me, Ohio is a treasure, much of which I have yet to open.


Georgia’s Skipper Butterflies

Skipper sipping nector photographed by Jeff Zablow in Hard Labor Creek State Park, GA

Georgia was a dreamland for me. After so many years of poking around different states and countries, I longed for finding a person who would take the time to show me habitat, and enable me to find new butterflies. I can share I spent lots of time and miles searching, and getting skunked (ending up with little success). Arriving at Welcome Centers, I would be told that a) The woman at the desk is the Naturalist Ranger or b) No one here has any idea where you might find that particular butterfly in the park, but it should be here!

Georgia was different. Virginia, Sylvie, and Stanley connected me with real people. Imagine that; real, experienced people. Dave, Rose, Jerry and Phil, plus several of Dave’s friends. I began getting calls, offering to help me, meet me and . . .  “Did I have the time to come out and look for . . . ”  OMGoodnes!

We spotted this skipper at Hard Labor Creek State Park, within an hour east of Atlanta. At the time, Park Ranger Phil’s encyclopedic ID-memory shared its name with me, but I don’t take notes when I’m out. Since then Phil reminded me that this is a Clouded Skipper on a Spurred Butterfly Pea.

Hard Labor Creek State Park, rich with wildlife, and richer more with helpful staff.


So, I’m Thousands of Miles . . .

Iris, photographed by Jeff Zablow in Society for the Protection of Nature Hermon, Israel

So, I’m thousands of miles from home, out on the trails of SPNI Hermon, on a sunny March 2015 morning. To give perspective, this site shown in the image is less than 5 miles away from where Russian fighter jets are now flying combat missions in Syria. G-d willing, this ground remains as peaceful and remote as it was that March day. Israel remains strong, and this mad world of ours respects strong.

So I’m traversing the trails of this large SPNI reserve [Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel (sort of like the US Audubon Society)] and with my hunt for new butterflies, I’m being stopped repeatedly, because, Wow! what plant is this? OMG! I’ve never seen a flower like that!! 7,000 miles away, in the heart of the Middle East, encountering blooms that they admired thousands of years ago.

My Hebrew? 4% efficient. My field guides are in Hebrew, and the text remains a mystery. Despite a serious difference in color, it would appear (don’t you love that phrase) that this blossom is Barbary Nut (Gynandriris Sisyrinchium).

Sometime soon I will exhaust my images of that recent trip to Israel. Still, these catches thrilled me, and I must, with substantial enthusiasm, share them with you. The Holy Land is gorgeous.