Butterfly Enablers Competition

Mike in Kathleen, photographed by Jeff Zablow at Wildlife Management Area, Kathleen, GA

These 20 years have provided many insights and more puzzles. Pennsylvania butterflies came first, because that’s where I live. There were enough Penna species to challenge. I have now seen most, but not necessarily all butterflies that can be found in my adopted state.

As the years have passed, wingedbeauty.com presented new appetite. It was clear, that to most enjoy my shares, and grow my audience of friends who like butterflies and enjoyed eye-pleasing beauty . . . the time had come to travel, to find and score new butterflies to post/share. Arizona and Maryland were my choices along with Israel. I had family in those places, and those places had butterflies.

The challenges, with time now less of a challenge after I retired, included moderate challenges . . . and Big challenges. The moderate challenges were in order, $, $, and $. The Big challenge was Very Big! How to find new species in new U.S. states, and even bigger than that, how to find rare butterflies. The prominent butterfly experts refused to meet, share, guide, suggest, map. Don’t go Pysch 101 on me here. They just never  . . . .

Cherished are those, Enablers, who knew their butterflies, and urged me to come, we’ll hike and we’ll show you where they are, and we’ll step aside, let you shoot away, and Jeff (here come the magic words!) ‘Take your time, we are in no hurry.’ This I place on the same scale as an Old fashioned ice cream Frappe, Blueberry pancakes with maple syrup and Breyers Mint Chip ice cream with chocolate mini-chips sprinkled on top.

Have I found a state with Enablers? You bet. Georgia. Virginia, Rose & Jerry, Phil, Nancy & John, Sylbie and pictured here in Oaky Woods Wildlife Management Area, Mike.

Many of the images I’ve share in 2015 and 2016 and now in 2017 have been the fruits of the unselfish sharing of these heroes of mine.

wingedbeauty.com has steadily increased the number of ‘Followers.’ It has been fun, fun, fun for me. It has brought me in contact with fantastic new friends.

I mull over the absence of reach-out to me from so many states on the East coast of the U.S.? Should I list? Nah? G-d bless Georgia. It has a certain quality that I have been fortunate to benefit from.


Gulfs Make Lousy Models

Gulf fritillary butterfly sipping nectar on thistle, photographed by Jeff Zablow at Wildlife Management Area, Kathleen, GA

We’d left the Zebra Heliconican ballet performance near Mikes home in Kathleen. Kathleen, Georgia. I was totally juiced, exhilarated. Meeting Zebras in habitat, for the first time, is well, exciting. Knowing that I had planted my left foot on an ant hill, and felt stinging bites on that leg, was also a type of negative exhilarating.

We went and shot butterflies at Mike’s own garden, Zebras, Gulf fritillaries, Monarchs and more. Concerned that this northern boy might be cooked, in that summer 92F weather, Mike asked if I still wanted to head over to Oaky Woods Wildlife Management Area? Still within the limits of Kathleen, how could I say no to a name as inviting to the visitor as . . . Oaky Woods?

I drove, Mike directed, we passed that Enormous Lays potato chip plant, incredibly plunked down in that rural corner of Kathleen, and there we were at Oaky Woods. I politely declined Mike’s urging, and did not drive into the Management Area on that unimproved trail. 4 x 4 or no, I left her at the trail head.

Oaky Woods delivered. Butterflies and wildflowers. We met nectaring Gulf fritillaries, and they send subliminal messages out to me . . . ‘Shoot us if you can, Jeff!’  Sucker I am to Gulfs, I did a quick calculation of how much film I brought to Georgia, how much I’d exposed so far, how much I brought today/exposed, and in the end, irregardless of how difficult it is to get Gulfs to just stop for a nanosecond . . . there I was, shooting away, going for that goal, capturing those  silver-white hindwing markings and pinkish hue on the inner forewing.

They make lousy models. Just don’t stop. Move, move, move. This one was on a luscious set of blooms, blazing star?

I like what I see here, and wonder if you will too?


Oaky Woods Darner

Dragonfly, photographed by Jeff Zablow at Wildlife Management Area, Kathleen, GA

Mike brought me to the Zebra Heliconian butterflies. We watch their in-air ballet moves, and I shot them as I could. I was so pleased, knowing that I would long remember this extraordinary day, the day that the Zebra long wings (their other commonly used name) came on stage for me. Appreciative I was to meet Mike, who led me to a butterfly that is commonly seen in Florida, but unexpected, unless you knew Mike, in Kathleen, Georgia. Virginia enabled this field work, and I thank you Virginia, once again.

Mike and I shot out the area surrounding these Passionflower habitat. That done, we headed out in my Tundra for Oaky Woods Wildlife Management Area. Oaky Woods was off road from a HuGe Lays potato chip plant, huge being an understatement. Oaky Woods was a fine destination for wildflowers, and there we met this good-looking dragonfly. I’ve been known to write that when a fine darner allows my close approach, I shoot away.

Darners attract, and this one is attractive. You like?