Beauty Seen & Never To Be Forgotten

Earring Series - Blackswallowtail butterflies coupled, photographed by Jeff Zablow at "Butterflies and Blooms in the Briar Patch," Eatonton, GA

I was in the Butterflies & Blooms Briar Patch Habitat. Yes, I had seen hundreds (many) of butterflies there, making my 13+ hour drives from Pittsburgh easily worth it. Sometimes I saw the most beautiful butterflies I’d ever seen, ever. The possibility of seeing magnificence was always tantalizingly present.

My strategy was to get there as early as possible, at least before 8:30 A.M. in the morning. I especially liked finding butterflies that flew out of their night perches, and stood on leaves, soaking in the rays of the morning sun. Those trips south paid off, with exceptional images and joy, real joy!

That morning I arrived early, and went straight to a spot that gets full sun from the East. I scanned the perrenials for signs of butterflies, just as we learned to do in basic training at Ft. Dix, New Jersey (Viet Nam has begun to boil over, and we took that training deadly serious).

I saw them, in low perrenials and . . . I could not believe it. I saw one of the most beautiful sights I’d ever seen. A pair of eastern Black Swallowtail butterflies, coupled tighter, about 18 inches above the ground. Look at them, see how fresh they were, how vivid their colors.

I wasted no times, robotically making my ‘patented’ approach. What was I thinking? The ever recurring thought was that G-d had set this stage for me, and I’d better not waste it. I shot away, maybe 20 exposures.

Sylbie arrived in the Habitat minutes later, and the rest is . . . History.

Feast your eyes on this female, her patches of blue defying words! After, I thanked G-d for this experience, as I always did for such incredible moments, even this many years after Frieda’s A”H passing.

Jeff

Upon First Seeing A Malachite

Malachite butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at the National Butterfly Center, Mission, TX

It was Christmas week, when my friends pointed out my first and only encounter with this Malachite butterfly.

It was so so fresh, its colors vivid and it was calm, remaining where it was for Oh! nearly 25 minutes. Me? I considered whether or not G-d sent this Gem there, for reward for I am not sure what?

I shot away, from different angles, there in that darkened understory of The National Butterfly Center trail, we in Mission, Texas.

I ask that you compose a short Ode to Malachite.

Would you do that for us?

Jeff

 

Edwards Hairstreak Finery

Edwards Hairstreak Butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at Lynx Prairie, OH

This was a day that remains vivid in my memory. Angela, Barbara Ann, Dave & Joe led the way, to this largish prairie relict in Lynx Prairie Reserve, southern Ohio, just a handful of miles from Kentucky.

These Edwards Hairstreak butterflies were new to me, and this for sure was a fresh flight of them. Close approach to these tiny hairstreaks wowed! me, for their color palette was strikingly beautiful.

Shooting with my Fuji Velvia 50 slide film, I shot away, determined to capture those reds and blues amongst that handsome grayish brown, and sharp white and black.

This one will do just fine. I tried so hard to meet one universal goal of mine, capture the butterfly’s eyes in good focus, but the depth of field bugaboo denied my 100% success with that.

Winged beauty? Yep.

Jeff