Eastern Tiger and Diana Ross?

Tiger swallowtail butterfly photographed by Jeffrey Zablow at Raccoon Creek State Park in Pennsylvania

I turned that bend of Nichol Road Trail in Pennsylvania’s Raccoon Creek Park, early on a summer morning. Early morning sun strikes the leaves along the upcoming trail berm. I’d seen butterflies perched on those 8:30 AM berm leaves before, and that turn of the trail always had me poised for OMGoodness! moments.

And there she was. A gorgeous Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterfly. Stop. Think. Slowly, slowly approach her, me down enough to shoot her, she at 18″ above the ground. Pop! Pop! Pop! many times.

Her blue flashes? Well just look at them. The rest of her. Fine, very fine.

She sure makes me reminisce that time when I was leaving Mr. Gorin’s office in New York’s tony Fuller building, at the very fancy intersection of Madison Avenue and East 57th Street. I stood there as the Art Deco decorated elevator arrived at my floor, and those decorative doors opened, and . . . there was Diana Ross, standing there, alone. She smiled, and I walked into the elevator.

My guess was that she’d finished a meeting with one of the lawyers in a floor above. I’d worked in Manhattan for years, and I say, she was impressively beautiful. We chatted, and reached the Lobby level. We exchanged goodbyes, and she went her way.

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterfly and Diana Ross. Neither to be forgotten. Both elegant and especially beautiful. Both met unexpectedly.


Viceroy Butterfly Resting

Viceroy Butterfly at rest (right side), photographed by Jeff Zablow at "Butterflies and Blooms in the Briar Patch," Eatonton, GA

She is resting in the Habitat flora on a hostplant. Males have been making their moves on her, fine as she is, and between nectaring and shooing suitors, she must be bushed. Judging from her distended abdomen, she may well have a goodly number of Viceroy caterpillar eggs developing. That must make the attention of those males all the more exasperating. Don’t they get it?

We are in the Butterflies & Blooms Habitat in Eatonton, and Georgia sports those especially colorful Viceroy butterflies that the South is so proud of.

Hiding, the morning sunlight nicely streaks through her hindwings, and I like that. I like this little vignette, seen on  summer morning in one of the most beautiful places east of the Mississippi. Do Not doubt me.