Spicebush Swallowtail Visitor

Spicebush Swallowtail Butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow in the Briar Patch Habitat in Eatonton, GA

My morning check of how our young Macon natives garden was in full swing, when that big Smile appeared on Brooklyn’s face, for what did I see. A female Spicebush Swallowtail butterfly was at one of our newish Sassafras trees (all 18″” of it), setting eggs on her hostplant. Moments later she left it and searched a bit, soon finding another Sassafras and depositing egg on it too. When a Spicebush Swallowtail comes to YOUR garden and leaves its eggs on your Sassafras or on your Spicebush, well, that’s a sweet sight.

We’ll now be on the lookout for the caterpillars that hatch from those eggs, taking them in if necessary (we have such a butterfly enclosure cage). What would be the best? The best would be if Spicebush Swallowtail butterflies establish themselves here, rent-free.

This one you see here is a male Spicebush, photographed in the Butterflies & Blooms Briar Patch Habitat in Eatonton, Georgia. For those of you out of the country, we’re in the American southeast, 2 hours and 15 minutes from the Atlantic Ocean.

Jeff happy? Yes, yes.


Giants Delight!

Giant swallowtail butterfly, photographed by Jeff Zablow at "Butterflies and Blooms in the Briar Patch," Eatonton, GA

Our 800 Georgia Natives Garden in our new home is just now in its 3rd month. It excites us daily, with amazing butterflies flying in. On Saturday, a Giant Swallowtail butterfly appeared, and she searched our trees, bushes and perrenials until she found the Hercules Club young tree that we set in one week before, A larger than usual potted Hercules Club, we were overjoyed when it looked healthy days after we planted it (we made sure to add lots of sand to the mix).

Saturday’s Giant remained at the hostplant of Giants for some 8 or 9 minutes, setting eggs here and there. When we brought the Hercules Club home from Jim & Debi’s Nearly Native Nursery (Fayetteville, Georgia) it already had eggs on it. With the set of new eggs, we felt like expectant grandparents.

When a Giant flies in, its stop what you’re doing and gaze. When you arrive at the Butterflies & Blooms Briar Patch Habitat (Eatonton, Georgia) early, very early, and find this huge Giant male warming its wings in the first warming rays of the morning sun . . . How can I fully share the JOY?


Kudos To The Designer

Edward Hairstreak Butterfly (Full ventral) photographed by Jeff Zablow at Lynx Prairie Reserve, Ohio

How many design features do you count on the right 2 wings of this Edwards’ Hairstreak butterfly? We’re in that magical meadow at the Lynx Prairie Reserve refuge in Adams County, Ohio. I’m sure that this butterfly is totally fresh, probably eclosing (having left its chrysalis) that very morning, or just the day before).

I would Love to find Edwards’ in my new Macon garden. We’ve set in Butterflyweed, for at Lynx they were aggressively nectaring on that milkweed, and we set in 2 Bear Oaks trees, this small Oak a favorite of Edwards’ Hairstreaks. Range maps show their range to extend nearly as far south as Macon, and it’d be a Hoot! to wake up one morning and . . . find Edwards’ nectaring and setting eggs on our Bear Oaks.

There are so few of us who seek butterflies, so finding rarer ones, like these, does leave me with a feeling of unique accomplishment. I’ve always regretted not having interacted with the Native Americans who lived here before us, and I’ve no doubt that they too marveled over the design features and absolute beauty of such a Hairstreak butterfly.

Am I being to gushy here, or is my thinking shared?