I Finally Saw this Special Butterfly at Fort Indiantown Gap near Harrisburg Pennsylvania

Full dorsal view of Regal Butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow in Fort Indiantown Gap Military Reservation, PA

Wanted to meet the elegant regal Fritillary Butterfly, and I waited years and year for the opportunity. When I finally first saw this special butterfly, at Ft. Indiantown Gap near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, I was moved, ecstatic and moved. Yes! It was as beautiful and I had anticipated it would be.

This male was happily nectaring on Butterfly Weed, and tolerated my approach. He evoked such rich memories. When I was a kid in Brooklyn, New York, I used to slip away from those street games, and head into the undeveloped ‘lots’ nearby. We lived on the edge of oncoming development, and in those 1940’s lots I found cottontail rabbits, butterflies and black widow spiders.

I learned some years ago that George Washington’s men marched through my very neighborhood, on their way to battle the British. They probably could have seen Regal Fritillaries. I never saw them there, in East Flatbush, for they were extirpated (gone) long before I arrived. Development and new neighbors are great, but when they come, butterflies . . . .

My mind at this moment? The lyrics of ‘When You Wish Upon A Star‘ sing When you wish upon a star, Your dreams come true (Walt Disney Music Co).

Never met most famous folks, but my dream did come true, for I met and photo’d the extraordinary Regal Fritillary Butterflies.

Jeff

‘When You Wish Upon A Star, Makes No Difference . . . ‘

Northern Pearly Eye Butterfly, photographed by Jeff Zablow at Raccoon Creek State Park in Pennsylvania

Had to be more than a decade, me working that productive Nichol Road trail at Raccoon Creek State Park. That southwestern Pennsylvania trail partly skirted a tiny, always moving creeklet. That’s where I ocassinaly saw Northern Pearly-eye Butterflies.

The trouble was, they almost never allowed me and my trusty Macro- lens to get close enough . . . We who do this have wishes, wishes of butterflies we’d like to photograph, REALLY want to photograph in all their, fresh, healthy glory.

My wish list? Northern Pearly-Eye used to be way at the top of my List. Others? Satyrs, Goatweed Leafwing, Metalmarks, King’s Hairstreaks and Giant Skippers. Oh, and Elfins, lots of Elfins?

When I was working Nichol Road trail, I spotted this spectacular Northern. My approach was especially cautious. I went down in my patented way, down to rest on my left knee pad. Good. I could have begun to serenade, with “When you wish upon a star, Makes no difference who you are, When you wish upon a star, Your dreams come true.”

Our star Northern stay in place, as if posing for me. Magnificent. Beautiful. Incredibly elegant, all these applied. The images? I prize 3 of them, they among my most beloved.

Happy Jeff.

Jeff