Is it My Monarch or Yours?

Right side view of Monarch butterfly on Tithonia, photographed by Jeff Zablow at Butterflies and Blooms in the Briar Patch Habitat I, Eatonton, GA

Legions of us love them. Monarch butterflies, beloved for so many reasons. Relax in your yard with friends, family, or washing dishes in the kitchen, keeping your eyes on your garden, or walking through your neighborhood . . . and a Monarch flies in. Their flight is graceful, their search for nectaring flowers is a purposeful ballet. Their perch-time on flowers may be brief or prolonged. Their flight away from that flowerhead, quick, surprisingly quick. It’s all good, therapeutic, for it clean washes your mind, replacing whatever with sweetness, peace.

Most of us, who visit and like the site, have seen a lifetime’s worth of Monarch butterfly images. Though that is true, we examine more and more of them. Who dismisses a Monarch photo, without pausing to study it?

Our Monarch here, I’m thinking a male, flew last July in the Butterflies and Blooms in the Briar Patch Habitat in Eatonton, Georgia. My processed slides were returned from Dwayne’s Photo in Parsons, Kansas, and after culling out dozens of disappointing slides, I louped and relouped some, and sent most of them onto Rewind Memories in Pittsburgh. I kept this one.

Sharing a Monarch slide? Me, I want to feel that when you see my image, after seeing your own Monarch looks, and the Monarch images shared online, in NABA magazines, and in hundreds of commercial applications, from fabrics, to accessories, to advertisements and beyond . . . I want you to stop, examine this fine beast, and I want to evoke something from you, pleasing, appealing, nurturing, or even tag way back in your brain’s memory bank.

My Monarch here? The right hindwing I like, for its soft orange color, dramatic thick black veins, exquisite rows of milk white dots at the trailing margins of the wing. Right forewing? Depth of field realities leaves it dreamy, and richly colored. Head? Good, sporting nice white dots against the black, great antennae, right eye teasing you to locate it, and proboscis set firmly into a flowerlet in the Mexican sunflower flowerhead. Feet? As if I worked with him to set them in the most agreeable way. The Tithonia bloomhead? Richly colored, flowerlets OK, and the whole flowerhead not in the routine dead center of the image, but just enough to the left of center to my satisfaction. Background? That real-time green, that Fuji Velvia film does so well with.

Jeff likes your Monarch shares. Jeff likes this one, his. Kudo’s to the D-signer, Susan.


HolyLand Thistle Plus . . .

Honeybee Flying to Thistle photographed by Jeff Zablow at Mishmarot, Israel

Know from earlier posts, that we remain impressed by the saber-sharp armament borne by HolyLand thistles, and many, many other wildflowers in Israel. This healthy flowerhead was so armed. The needle-sharp points and the attractive purple of the whole flowerhead earned a long look. I searched a goodly number of these flowers, and chose this one, abutting the agricultural fields of Mishmarot, Israel. A 20-minute drive west to the Mediterranean Sea, and a 55-minute drive to Tel-Aviv, this valley bears rich farmland, and wildlife.

Shooting a goodly number of exposures, to insure getting a suitable one, this honeybee showed up, and that was good. The oranges, tangerines, pomegranates, lemons, grapefruit, grapes, figs and other fruit of this valley all depend on these honeybees for pollination. It’s that thing about being in the Land of Milk & Honey.