Lilliputian Metalmark

Little Metalmark butterfly, photographed by Jeff Zablow at Shellman Bluff, GA

Nancy and John had a proven spot to find Little Metalmark butterflies. I was very, very excited to finally meet them. When we arrived at the spot, I was amazed. Amazed.

The Little Metalmark butterflies were tinier than tiny! Photograph them? You had to crouch down and constantly move your camera, as they methodically worked the equally tiny flowerhead of these yellow blooms.

Scoring a good image? A Big Challenge. They move, you adjust your camera. They move again, and again and again. My goal was to catch those silver-looking bands as they gloriously reflected the strong Georgia coastline sun.

I’d find an especially fresh Little Metalmark, only to watch it fly to another flower. I’d have to get up once again, from hugging the ground, and reposition myself. I did this over and over and over again.

The late morning sun was merciless, the sweat ran down my forehead, and these Cartier-like gems kept doing there bounce from bloom to bloom hunting.

Here’s one of my more satisfying images. Lilliputian Gems, those Little Metalmarks.

Jeff

Middle Eastern Swallowtail Butterfly

Papilla Machaon butterfly, photographed by Jeff Zablow at Ramat Hanadiv, Israel

So many trips to Israel, and so few chances to photograph Papilio Machaon Syriacus. I’d think of how pleased I’d be to bring you a good image of these swallowtail butterflies, found throughout the Middle East. That was tempered by how difficult it is to shoot a butterfly like this one, a butterfly that refuses to allow you to approach it.

The excitement that I experienced here was electric. I was on a trail at Ramat Hanadiv, the heavily visited wildlife preserve north of Tel Aviv, and very close to the Mediterranean Sea. These yellow blooms were aplenty along the trail, and he flew in to nectar. He must have been very hungry, for he allowed me to approach (robotically) and he tolerated my many shutter clicks.

Fresh, spectacular and for several moments, tolerant. The yellow, the black, the blue and the red-orange . . . Yummy!

Jeff hopes to return to Israel in 2020. Jeff, Thankful.

Jeff