I Photograph Butterflies

Gray Hairstreak photographed by Jeff Zablow at Fort Federica, Saint Simons Island, GA

It’s frustrating to watch sylvan habitat lost to development. I’ve been bemoaning the loss since as far as I can recall. That must have begun when I was some 12 years old, and fine ‘bay-side’ land was invaded by bulldozers in the Arverne Section of Rockaway Beach, in New York City’s Queens. I roamed those acres before the ‘dozers came, and their loss, even for a wide awake 12-year old, was forever irreversible.

We didn’t travel at all, and I had no idea how vast the United States were. Pre-teen me thought that soon there’d  be nothing left between Brooklyn and Los Angeles (where many of my friends ended up moving to).

It sure may well be that I still retain that apprehension that butterflies and orchids (didn’t know about natives back then) and bumblebees and darners and such will disappear, on my ‘watch.’ It’s true that back in about the 4th grade, in Public School 244 in Brooklyn, my teacher told us that bald eagles, beavers, and mountain lions would all be gone, during our lifetimes. I’ll never forget that, for it was clear that I’d never even get a chance to see them, except for those sad, forlorn captives in the Prospect Park Zoo in Brooklyn.

So there I was celebrating the losses sure to come, of so much, including plants and animals that were then unknown to me: wildflowers, trees, snakes, lizards, birds (I still hate knowing that the Ivory Billed Woodpecker is lost), bison, the Eastern Timber Wolf, the Regal Fritillary Butterfly that flew where my East 58th Street, Brooklyn house stood, when the British and Hessians marched through there, as they prepared to make their pincer attack on New York, New York.

I am thrilled to go into the bush to find and photograph butterflies. They are still flying, and often in good enough numbers to dissuade me from believing my 4th grade teacher.

There are way too few of us, who seek and shoot butterflies, but that’s what we are doing, and will seek to continue to do. My move, 2 years ago to central Georgia’s Piedmont region pleased me, for there I’ve seen so many new butterflies, some of them in my own yard, it, now busy with hostplants whose siren aromatic signals draw butterflies that we greet with Oohs! and Aahs!

I photograph butterflies, as for example this spiffy Gray Hairstreak.

Jeff

Oh Where Have You Gone, Jeffrey Boy, Jeff Boy . . .

Pink Lady's Slipper Orchid, photographed by Jeff Zablow in Chapman State Park, PA

Headed back today to Chapman State Park, in the Allegheny National Forest. This is northwestern Pennsylvania, near the New York border.

On Friday, June 3, I will enjoy my PowerPoint presentation at the Jamestown Audubon Center. Brownbag lunch after, followed by a . . . field walk. I’ve chosen some of my favorites images, and Boy! I wish you could come. I’d foot the admi$$ion charge, if that’s what it takes!

Will be in my cabin at Chapman through June 7th, and Petra will be even happier than I. Field work those days, mostly headed to bogs and wetlands, for bog butterflies and . . . Orchids!

Oh i’ve gone to Jamestown, to seek me a Bronze Copper (or Showy orchid (I can dream)), it’ll be the  Joy of my Life . . . . From a childhood song I mostly recall.

Jeff (offline ’til I return home)

Thoughts Upon Finding Them . . .

Pink Lady's Slipper Orchid, photographed by Jeff Zablow in Chapman State Park, PA

The objective? Find Pink Lady’s Slipper ( Cypripedium Acaule). Well here are 2 blooms at Jake’s Rocks Reserve, in northwestern Pennsylvania. June 2015.

I love these extraordinary flowers. Despite a nice library of their images, every few years I’m out, searching for more.

When these came into view, thoughts raced: Can these be real? How stately (a word little used nowadays). How do these delicate blossoms go unscathed, in this wild habitat? Cartier, are you and Tiffany’s and Van Clef & Arpels capable of such finery? and How delicate and beautiful are Your creations.

Jeff

On a Whim!

Whimsical hat on quirky boulder, Jake's Rocks, NY State Reserve

Jake’s Rocks in Northwestern Pennsylvania was another treasure trove of Pink Lady’s Slipper Orchids, and a teaser with orchids that were no longer in bloom (Oh, if I’d only been there a few weeks before).

Here you savor the riches of a northeastern state that cherishes its land, and works hard to conserve critical habitat, including almost bewildering fields of godzilla-sized rocks here at Jake’s Rocks.

Hiking through the moderately wooded Reserve, I met this rock. Now Jake’s Rocks has lots of huge boulders, left when the glaciers carried them there. Then there was this whimsical boulder, tinier than the other monster ones, and, some out of character, I set my field hat on it, and am now sharing it with y’all. Whimsy in the field. Yes?

Jeff