Dishing up Memorable Butterflies and Beautiful Blooms at Phipps Conservatory

Female Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterfly resting on a tall Verbena blooms photographed by Jeff Zablow at Phipps Conservatory Outdoor Gardens, Pittsburgh, PA

You wait for those moments, those that offer so much promise. Moments when a memorable butterfly flies in, and nectars on beautiful blossoms. Most days don’t dish up such. Once in a while, it happens.

This was such a moment. I was working the perennial beds at the long entrance walkway to Pittsburgh’s Phipps Conservatory. She flew in and I was ecstatic. A Black Form Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly, her wings were a rich soft black, her hindwing blue flashes were gorgeous, her marginal wing spots were an elegant bone white color, and the hindwing trailing spots a rich coral in color.

The Tall Verbena flowers must have been pumping nectar steadily, for she lingered on each tiny flower, and that helped me capture lots of images, shooting away as if I had no concern of the dollar$ that the Fuji Velvia slide film were costing me.

I look again and again at this image, and you want the truth? I Thank G-d for enabling me to enjoy such moments. That my friends, is the Truth.


Checkerspot Butterfly seen in the Perennial flower beds at the National Butterfly Center

Theona Checkeerspot Butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at the National Butterfly Center, Mission, TX

You’re always to share the where of it? This Checkerspot butterfly was seen in the Perennial beds of the National Butterfly Center in Mission, Texas during Christmas week. At the time, I think my friends shared that this was a Theona Checkerspot butterfly.

Now I’m carefully studying this image, wanting to be sure that these nearly fully displayed wings are the right dorsal forewing and the right dorsal hindwing. Working from there, I am struggling with images I compare it with, in Glassberg’s A Swift Guide to Butterflies of North America. 

Is this a Theona Checkerspot? I can’t be sure. I know that like humans, butterflies can vary some.

Help in ID’ing would be welcomed?


What’s Our Huge Mission, Texas Monarch Doing?

Mating Monarchs on Milkweed photographed by Jeff Zablow at the National Butterfly Center, Mission, TX

Most of you are experienced butterfly photographers. Some of you are folks who have excellent taste and superior interests. All of you know what’s worthwhile.

This Monarch was met in the perennial flower beds of the National Butterfly Center in Mission, Texas. We’re here less than 2 miles from the ever famous Mexican border wall. Command our male Monarch in English or Mexican Spanish? I’m not sure which he will prefer.

I ask you, what is extra special about this image? What is this male doing? Why is he doing this?


Eastern Black Beauty

Black Swallowtail butterfly and chrysalis, photographed by Jeff Zablow at Butterflies and Blooms in the Briar Patch, Eatonton, GA

Early. Its was nice and early when I arrived at the Butterflies & Blooms in the Briar Patch. Good things happen when I arrive at prime habitat early. This was just that kind of a day.

I scrutinized the perennial beds for cooping butterflies, still in their night sleep poses. Things were going well, the morning was just right, and the Briar Patch Habitat was delivering nicely.

Then I saw this Eastern Black Swallowtail. Nice, very nice. The oranges shot orange, the blue was eye-soothing, the black was jet black, the white spots on the body beamed white and so much more.

I shot away, and am fond of this image of Papilio polyxenes. More than that, this may be one of the butterflies in the soon to be published Jeff’s Earring series. You are going to want to see that 1 in 1,000,000 share.

The shocker for me, when I got this slide back from Dwayne’s Photo, was . . . this chrysalis. I do not know if this butterfly emerged from it, or if it is still active, TBT I didn’t even notice it as I bombed this beau with many, many exposures.

Jeff just never knows what he’ll find in the field. And that folks, makes the anticipation exponential.


Small White Butterfly in Ramat Hanadiv’s Perennial Flower Beds

Small White Butterfly photographed in Ramat Hanadiv by Jeffrey Zablow

It was July 9th, although Artogeia rapae leucosoma flies throughout the northern 2/3 of Israel throughout the year. They are very common in Tel Aviv as well as in Jerusalem.

This little white butterfly was methodically nectaring in the perennial beds of Ramat Hanadiv, well before 11 AM. My limited experience with Small whites notes that they are easier to approach than the Cabbage whites in North America. They fly more slowly also. This is truer of the populations outside of cities. The Small whites in cities fly faster.

Our female here was appreciated because her appearance filled in the intervals between larger butterflies with more pizzaz.