People Plan . . . & G-d Laughs?

Jeff Zablow at Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge, GA

JLZ at Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge on the Georgia coast. I gaze at this pic of me, and . . . I’m good with it. Gave up long, long ago comparing myself with make-believe folks, like Hollywood stars, TV personalities and Mickey and Roger and Michale Jordan and what was the name of that NY Giants football great? I stare at this, the me of me, and smile, the street kid in very real Brooklyn, the kid who took the subway to the National Golden Gloves Finals, boxed in Boys Club, took the NY subways for those years to college w/ long steel on me, kinda had Connected friends, but knew that would not be good for the future, Dean (for Discipline) in a New York City high school, managed a Staten Island multi-family and smiled as the last Connected Guy living there moved, was an artilleryman and graduated from OCS, managed buildings in New York’s Chelsea, East Village, SoHo, West Village, Upper East Side, Upper West . . . .

Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Success and a firm belief in G-d are the wind to my sails now. Wealth . . . gone. Friends . . . elusive. Family . . . ‘Dad you shoot “Bugs?”‘ Hey, I LOVE seeking and photographing butterflies. I more so enjoy when YOU come along and ‘Like.’ More than that I LIKE when you ‘Comment.’ You are folks I enjoy, admire and regret that I hardly ever meet!

2021 beckons. Election over, Idiot 20-somethings disappear from the MSMedia . . . 2021 is the year I look forward to busting-out!! I want to shoot, shoot and shoot again. I’ve already received real, not imagined invites to come and be shown destinations heretofore unknown to me in Ohio, Arizona, southwestern Georgia and on the Georgia coast. The ‘Little Boy In The Candy Shop’ is so looking forward to going and meeting Facebook and WordPress friends and together investigating 2021 habitat that they know.  Budget? Meager? Heart? Doc always says “Excellent.”

The generation gone always cautioned, “People Plan . . . and G-d Laughs.” What I haven’t mentioned yet is that I’ve always been a species of Optimist. How else could I have survived the stuff written above, the knives, guns, fists, wrecks and the treachery that ended my  . . . .  Frieda A”H in her last years always (firmly) told me to go, go photograph. Some just hope to see and shoot very, very rare butterflies. Me? I expect that to happen at every turn of the trail.

People Plan . . . & G-d Laughs [at their Plan].

Jeff

The ‘What Is This One’ Butterfly

Appalachian Brown Butterfly II photographed by Jeff Zablow at Prairie Fen Reserve, Ohio

Just yesterday someone on Facebook shared an image of this one, an Appalachian Brown Butterfly, and as is often seen, they asked all who saw, What is This One? We understand their surprise, when finding a butterfly that is solitary, rarely seen, and resides in wetlands. Folks explain that they’ve been out doing field photographing for butterflies for years, and they’d never seen this one before. I enjoy hearing this, for such people are excited, and it assures that they will go out again and again in the future, wondering what new butterfly they may see.

Me I too feel that way. Each year I discover new butterflies, and it is so invigorating to know that the sylvan, undeveloped habitat hold so many new finds for us to enjoy.

Add to that the challenges, as in . . . is this an Appalachian Brown or the closely related Eyed Brown? We were in the Prairie Fen Reserve in Ohio, where both of these species fly. After some minutes comparing the 2 species with this image, I’m sticking to Appalachian Brown, to await what Harry, Bob Pyle, the Other Harry, Curt, Phil, Rose & Jerry, Dave, Joe suggest?

Jeff

Butterflying In The Upper Galilee

Aricea Aegestis butterfly  Nahal Dishon National Park, photographed by Jeff Zablow at Upper Galilee, Israel

I know that some of you dream of doing just this. Seeking and photographing butterflies in the Upper Galilee region of Israel, the HolyLand. With my daughter Rachel and her sons living north of Tel Aviv, I’ve done what perhaps you’ve dreamed of doing.

I rented my Hertz rental car, and drove up to this breathtaking land, where towns are few, and you go hours without seeing a soul. The roads are excellent, and the signage is easy to follow, all signs clearly written in Hebrew and English.

Knowing that I was walking where Th-y walked, really moves you there, and finding such as this, a rare, fresh Aricea Aegestis butterfly sent me to such: Fly me to the moon, Let me play among the stars, Let me see what Spring is like on Jupiter and Mars . . .

Jeff

Coppers In The Galilee (Really)

Lycaena Phlaeas butterfly, photographed by Jeff Zablow at Nahal Dishon National Park, Upper Galilee, Israel

We have many wingedbeauty Followers who love to see posts of butterflies in the HolyLand (Israel). I am happy to share some, for photographing in the pristine, almost unspoiled wilds of the Upper Galilee, Golan and the Golan’s Mt. Hermon, is thrilling, truth be told. To think that They walked these same ancient trails, and stopped to examine/admire the same butterflies, is very sobering, very profound.

So it was here, an encounter with this male Lycaena phlaeas timeus, a copper, met in Nahal Dishon National Park in the very Upper Galilee. He’s very vivid in color and marking, and he sports those classy blue spots, seen on the outer margin of his hindwing.

Photographing butterflies in the Galilee and the Upper Golan, wild, you don’t see anyone for hours. You’ve never done that yet, have you?

Not showing off, just stating the facts, M’am.

Jeff

What Am I Shooting For?

Northern Pearly Eye Butterfly, photographed by Jeff Zablow at Raccoon Creek State Park in Pennsylvania

I smile when I look back on those first what?, 10 years of photographing butterflies. Film was cheaper then, Fuji Velvia slide film. Processing the exposed film was less expensive, and scanning too didn’t break your budget. I went out on a typical morning, and returned home with 10 or more rolls shot. I just about chased and photographed any butterfly that I found.

Nowadays, things have changed. My film is very expensive, processing and scanning the slides has also become more expensive. I have also changed. I no longer follow or stalk butterflies that are worn or bird-struck. When I see a spectacular Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterfly (female) or an OMGoodness! Question Mark, I pause, gather my thoughts, and move on. My sizable collection of slides happily includes excellent images of same. Once in a while, I wonder what will happen to that collection, that includes many rare and declining species?

I’ve also given up on waiting for the Butterfly cognoscenti (how do I explain that to y’all?) to come along and visit. As on the streets of Brooklyn, back with ‘them,’ no names. That puzzle awaits I don’t know what.

What, then am I shooting for?

I’m now near ready to share that. I continue with the same energy and anticipation this 2019 . . . for us. For me and for you. I want to find and capture on film the finest, freshest butterflies. They must be of excellent color and form, male and female, if we can determine such.The color of my work must be exactly as it looks in the field, real-time. Film continues to be used worldwide because the color it delivers accurately reveals true field color. More than 25 years in the field confirms that. I shoot rolls of 36-exposures, and cull those slides out, usually keeping 2 or 3 per roll, at the most.

Once Katie Funaki has scanned them, I want you there, and me here, to pause for a sec, and whisper, “Wow!” Then, me? I hope you think G-d has really created boundless beauty.

This Northern Pearly-eye Butterfly met me at Raccoon Creek State Park, in southwestern Pennsylvania, USA. That about 380 miles west of where Benjamin Franklin printed his newspapers.

Jeff