A Rare American Skipper

Leonard's Skipper Butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at Raccoon Creek State Park

Sometimes I review my images and I’m pleased that I have some that are just plain unusual, “rare.” Jeffrey Glassberg in A Swift Guide to the Butterflies of North America notes that this Leonard’s Skipper butterfly is “LR-U,” locally rare to uncommon. Good, for I remember when and how I scored this sweet image.

It was well into September at Raccoon Creek State Park in Southwestern Pennsylvania. I wanted to go there that morning, but had an internal debate, ‘Why go when it was so late in the season and everything that could be seen by me, was?’ I went.

She flew onto a mowed trail in Doak’s 100+ acres meadow. ??????? What was she? I’d never seen such a sweety before. And she was a stunner!!

She my first Leonard’s. A rare skipper that first appears in very late summer!

A rare American skipper butterfly, and  . . . Never say never! Thanks Fuji, for your Velvia slide film caught her lush color just fine.

Jeff

Salute to the Red Admiral

Red Admiral Butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at Raccoon Creek State Park in Pennsylvania

Red Admiral Butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at Raccoon Creek State Park in Pennsylvania

I’ve seen them everywhere I traveled to this 2016. Southwestern Pennsylvania, western New York State, northwestern Pennsylvania, the Maryland Shore (mid-shore and lower shore), the Habitat in Eatonton, Georgia, Rock Hawk in Eatonton, Georgia as well as Monroe, Georgia, Athens Georgia and the fabulous islands of the Georgia coast: Skidaway Island, Jekyll Island and St. Simons Island, and in unforgettable Shellman Bluff, Georgia.

If all works out, I look forward to seeing them in Big Bend Wildlife Management Area near Perry, Florida, the Florida Panhandle.

In this year where much of the USA East has a dearth of butterflies, the Red Admiral has joined me, everywhere I went! Preoccupied with the search, it’s . . . Battle Stations!! when the stark beauty of a red admiral flies in. Another battle ensues, your mind knows you have some wonderful images of them in your slide cabinet, but, but, your heart differs, urging, go ahead, it’s spectacular!

Vanessa atalanta thrills above and below. Below, not shown here, flashes that set of colors that trigger adrenaline flow, red, white and blue one against the other. My mind accelerates back to P.S. 244 in Brooklyn, where the installation of patriotism was fixed in my heart.

I kid you not.

Jeff