Copper News!

American Copper Butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at Raccoon Creek State Park. Jeff blogs about the art and science of butterflies at

I figured that’s it. That’s it for those sweet little butterflies, the Coppers. Shown here is an American Copper, photo’d several years ago. I’ve not seen an American copy this 2016, not a one!

No shock that I Love these Coppers. I’ve seen Bronze Coppers, thought few and far between, in western Pennsylvania and at Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge in coastal Maryland. Other species of Coppers are found in the few cranberry bogs still remaining east of the Mississippi, and in northernmost Maine. Others are found west of the Mississippi, beckon, and I don’t know when??

But I have News! On Monday, July 11th and again on Tuesday, July 12, 2016 I hiked through backcourtry in Cattaraugus County, western New York State, and headed to a wild cranberry (acid) bog. Bog Coppers were flying their low, very-difficult to follow flight! Tiny ( 0.9″ from wing-tip to wing-tip) Lycaena epixanthe males and females! Eureka!!! Super rare, always threatened butterflies.

Two gorgeous mornings, with sun, moderate temperatures and no wind. But, I don’t recommend this to most of you. Every, every, every, every step you take in such a bonafide ancient bog, has your feet sinking, with the mud grabbing at your boots/watershoes. Meaning, every step must be followed by effort, effort to pull your foot out of the muck grabbing at it. Not only is that weird, but by that second morning, my calves began to Ache! I mean seriously ache!!

I was tickled pink! with many exposures of Bog coppers. Yes, I’m not ready to share one yet, ’cause again, ‘Yo shoots, film. Fuji slide film. So the wait begins. Mail film to Parsons, Kansas. Have slide processed and returned to me. Review slides on lightbox, cull out the best, and then, then, bring those to Rewind Memories to be scanned.

Sooooo why share this American copper image now. C’mon do I have to list the many motives for that?

Bog copper images, ASAP.


From Savannah Carolina to a Georgia Briar Patch

Little Wood Satyr Butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at Raccoon Creek State Park in Pennsylvania, August 2014
What a joy to spend so many days with butterflies in Eatonton’s Briar Patch Habitat! Eatonton is a wonderful town, southeast of Atlanta, Georgia. An active citizen and town leader initiated the conversion of this one-time aluminum  plant site from hardscrabble empty lot to . . . Butterfly Habitat. Virginia Cartwright Linch got her hands dirty, and pulled, tugged, dragged, shoveled her way through that 3-acre site. Top soil, mulch, straw, seeds, seedlings were brought, donated, and offered by an increasing cadre of volunteers.

With my father and brother living not too far from Eatonton, I had been seeking a good destination to find Southern U.S. butterflies. I noted their website, visited it, and was immediately greeted warmly. As the months went by, I was invited to come down and enjoy the progress of this start-up, a butterfly dream-world.

Virginia’ s description of the Habitat was right on the money. This June 2015 visit was rich in butterfly sightings. Caterpillars and eggs were everywhere. Too much fun for Jeff!

The slides now go to Kansas, and upon their return (this time they will not be stolen) they’ll be scanned at Rewind Memories, here in Pittsburgh.

I took a moment to explore the tree-line bordering the Habitat. As I ran my eyes across an opening in the trees–Hey was that a Little Wood Satyr, like the one shared here? No! No! It rested on a shaded leaf, and its dorsal wing surface did not have eyespots. No eyespots!! A Carolina Satyr. Dadah! I haven’t seen one since a trip to the Savannah National Wildlife Refuge, some years ago.

On June 18th I finally was able to photograph it, wings closed this time. My film will travel from Pittsburgh to Kansas to Pittsburgh. If my images merit it, then to be shared. Time will tell.