This Is The Rocking Chair, Where . . .

Habitat Porch rocker photographed by Jeff Zablow at the Butterflies and Blooms Habitat in Eatonton, GA

The work of I think 2 talented men, this is the rocking chair on the faux porch, overlooking one of Americas’s Top butterfly destinations. NABA-certified, the Butterflies & Blooms in the Briar Patch Habitat has probably logged more Oohs! and Aahs! than MIT’s whiz kids can keep track of.

Fight to get there at or before 8:00 A.M., gear up. load my film, and on so many mornings I have compared myself to a whirling dervish, spinning here, then there, there over there, to track and shoot images of fresh, gorgeous butterflies of the southeast . . . and northeastern U.S..

Rolls of film are consumed, disappointments nag, interspersed with . . . triumphs! Two, two decades of wanting a sweet image of a Giant swallowtail, and then there goes a worthy beaut, and . . . and . . . he heads to a Mexican sunflower bloom, and Pop! Pop! pop! go my exposures.

Now exhilarated, Thankf-l for all this and for my being here in very special Eatonton, Georgia, it dawns on me that I 1) haven’t had enough water to drink and 2) am ready to treat myself to my usual, a scrumscious Coco Loco bar. Where?

Bee-line to the ‘porch’ with its 2 rocking chairs, beckoning me. Ahhh, so good to sit and see many dozens of winged  beauties aloft in front of me. The palette of color is phenomenal, flowers and butterflies. And, who is that pulling up from Oak Street? Virginia? Stanley? Sylbie? Jim? Susan? Cathy? Lisa? Perfect. Good times at the Briar Patch Habitat, March to November!


Georgia: What Each of Us See

Georgia Satyr Butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow in Big Bend Wildlife Management Area, Florida's Panhandle

August 2015. My first trip to photograph butterflies in . . . Florida. My destination? Big Bend Wildlife Management Area, in Florida’s Panhandle. My hotel accommodations in nearby Perry, Florda were OK. 20 minutes from there to Big Bend’s Spring Creek Unit was good, just right.

I had objectives. Butterflies I had never thought I’d get to meet. When I got there that first morning, a greeting party of Palamedes swallowtails (see yesterday’s post) met me at the parking lot (4 vehicles big). Fresh, Big! and hysterically nectaring on lush thistle, they launched my enthusiasm meter instantaneously!

Georgia was the Big Golden Ring (as in Coney Island, Brooklyn’s celebrated carousel). With no one to guide me, and a vast Big Bend WMA, would I find this elusive, rare beauty? Love browns, love satyrs, and love the challenge of finding rare, brown, satyrs.

Those 4 mornings I spotted 4 Georgias. Four! The Georgia satyr ( Neonympha areolata ) and I met on hot, sunny, mornings. The air? Super saturated. This image here will not earn your Oohs! & Ahhs! Why should it? What you see belies the Elixir that this experience was for me. The Brooklyn boy, from concrete/asphalt gets down on his belly, in the Florida Panhandle, sans guide, and with the sweat running down over his Dicks headband, shoots away at Georgia. All the challenges, all the triumphs, those setbacks, the paucity of support . . . face to face with Georgia.

Know that in a few weeks I will return to Georgia. Heading my ‘Bucket list?’ Capture images of Georgia that please . . . me, that do justice to this beauty.

Always on my mind= What do you see when I post? What do I see when I post, and  . . . how will you know the backstory??