American Zebras

Zebra heliconian butterfly, photographed by Jeff Zablow at Kathleen GA

These 4 years visiting Georgia? So many beautiful and new to me butterflies. Brooklyn, Queens, Long Island and Pittsburgh sure had beautiful butterflies. Georgia had them and some, opening my eyes to a whole slew of new Leps.

These Zebra Heliconians that Mike led me to, in Kathleen, Georgia, ignited a ‘fireworks’ of thoughts that day, when I first met them. First among those recollections were the dancers of the American Ballet, that year shortly after the Ballet opened in Lincoln Center, NYNY. We watched them dance, effortless, lighter than air grace, elegance plus. Zebra heliconians fly with that same beauty. You’ve never seen one? Oh, you must, for I do not exaggerate here. Seen one in a ‘cage’ in a local museum or arboretum? I regret to offer that that is just not the same.

When I was a kid in bricks and mortar/asphalt Brooklyn, New York, relief from the urban stale life was to watch movies (before video) of zebras on the African veldt. Those Zebra Swallowtails in Mason Neck State Park, Virginia and Zebra heliconians like this one have forever replaced the African zebras in my mind. You say ‘zebras’ now, and this is what I bring up!

Jeff

On Pins and Needles . . .

Apharitis Cilissa butterfly photographed by Jeffrey Zablow at Mt. Meron, Israel

My timing? Perfect for finding a flight of Apaharitis Cillisa, on Mt. Meron in the upper Galilee, the HolyLand, Israel.

After seeing quite a few fly, I wanted to catch a good shot of those teeny, tiny wings as they gently undulated back and forth. Why? Because when those hindwings moved back and forth, the exquisite coppery-red color of the upperwing peeked out, and it was a treat to see it. Here you see my best result, a pleasing share of both dorsal and ventral wing. I wanted to capture this sweet look, and I think I did.

Just 2 days ago, Dwayne’s Photo (Parsons, Kansas, USA) emailed me. My 27 rolls of Fuji Velvia slide film has been processed, and my slides will arrive tomorrow, NLT noontime.

Pins and Needles. That’s how family used to describe how it felt to wait for something that they really, really wanted badly.

I got my Swift Guide of North American butterflies (Glassberg) in the mail yesterday. John and Nancy strongly recommended it. Last night I poured through it. Pins and Needles!!

Will my slides be keepers? Will those fantastic exposures of mating, hard to find Mexican fritillaries be worthy of sharing. Will those of the largest, most gorgeous Monarch butterflies I’ve ever seen, shot before and during their coupling, meet my own standards?

Imagine my ‘bated breath’ as I recall shooting Erato heliconian, Red-rimmed, Malachite, Gold-bordered hairstreaks, Menstras, Fatal metalmarks, Tropical leafwing, Texas crescents, Julia heliconians and many, many more rare and new to me butterflies. Pins and needles. Needles and pins.

Jeff

Greetings!

Jeff Zablow and his dog, Petra, photographed by Jenny Jean Photography.

Merry Christmas!! Happy Chanukah!! and a Happy New Year!!! to you all.

What an extraordinary year it’s been, and how Thankful I am to have shared so many of our happy surprises with you. You.

I’m off to very southern Texas, NABA-land to make the acquaintance of a whole slew of new (to me) butterflies. Those common to the southwestern USA and perhaps some rarities (let’s hope!).

Petra prefers this look at both of us, as it hides some of her 95 pounds of Black Russian heft.

To ’18 and Health and Happiness for us all!

Jeff