Tropical Leafwing Treat

Tropical leafwing butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at the National Butterfly Center, Mission, TX

More than 20 years of wanting to photograph a Goatweed Leafwing butterfly, without a single image to my name. I’ve seen Goatweeds, in Pittsburgh and in the Mississippi Delta, but yes, not a single image.

This was a Happy! shock to me, when Nancy and John pointed out this Tropical Leafwing, she not too distant from our trail at the National Butterfly Center in Mission, Texas near the border wall. She did fly from one perch to another, but she at least gave my minutes each time to s-t-r-e-t-c-h as far as I safely could to shoot her.

I shoot Fuji Velvia slide film, this 100 ASA for less than sunny locales. My film is wonderful for real-time color, and this is a fine example of the rich, deep, satisfying color of our butterflies. She was just as striking in appearance as you see here.

Don’t always agree with their political leanings, but truth be told, the National Butterfly Center attracts butterflies that you never, never forget!

Jeff

N.B., I plant Alabama Crotons in my Georgia garden, just in hope of attracting those elusive Goatweed Leafwings, they very native to Georgia.

What’s A Bear’s Breech?

Syrian Bear's Breeches wildflower photographed by Jeff Zablow at Ramat Hanadiv, Israel

Many of you have noted, Jeff, you shoot film, isn’t that a bit . . . expensive? Yes, it is, but the purist in me balks at not sharing with you, the same view that I see in the field. Film continues to provide better real-time color. That’s the way it looks.

But that concern, that Fuji slide film, and its processing/scanning is expen$ive, disappears when I encounter butterflies and wildflowers that tickle my imagination.

When I re-visited Syrian Bear’s Breeches here at Ramat Hanadiv’s reserve trails, in March 2016, I stopped. I marveled. I was reminded of the infinite complexity of this plant and the milieu that is its habitat. Acanthus syriacus is said to have inspired certain ancient architecture. Found in northern Israel, it produces its blooms for a short time in the HolyLand spring season.

I was there. I admired this unique native plant. I stood there, and tried to liken it to any other that I’ve known. There came that imagination tickle, and I shot away, butterfly or no butterfly, this plant was film worthy, for sure.

Then came the more difficult concern, would a share of this image tickle others?

Jeff