What’s A Bear’s Breech?

Syrian Bear's Breeches wildflower photographed by Jeff Zablow at Ramat Hanadiv, Israel

Many of you have noted, Jeff, you shoot film, isn’t that a bit . . . expensive? Yes, it is, but the purist in me balks at not sharing with you, the same view that I see in the field. Film continues to provide better real-time color. That’s the way it looks.

But that concern, that Fuji slide film, and its processing/scanning is expen$ive, disappears when I encounter butterflies and wildflowers that tickle my imagination.

When I re-visited Syrian Bear’s Breeches here at Ramat Hanadiv’s reserve trails, in March 2016, I stopped. I marveled. I was reminded of the infinite complexity of this plant and the milieu that is its habitat. Acanthus syriacus is said to have inspired certain ancient architecture. Found in northern Israel, it produces its blooms for a short time in the HolyLand spring season.

I was there. I admired this unique native plant. I stood there, and tried to liken it to any other that I’ve known. There came that imagination tickle, and I shot away, butterfly or no butterfly, this plant was film worthy, for sure.

Then came the more difficult concern, would a share of this image tickle others?

Jeff

Copper News!

American Copper Butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at Raccoon Creek State Park. Jeff blogs about the art and science of butterflies at http://www.wingedbeauty.com

I figured that’s it. That’s it for those sweet little butterflies, the Coppers. Shown here is an American Copper, photo’d several years ago. I’ve not seen an American copy this 2016, not a one!

No shock that I Love these Coppers. I’ve seen Bronze Coppers, thought few and far between, in western Pennsylvania and at Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge in coastal Maryland. Other species of Coppers are found in the few cranberry bogs still remaining east of the Mississippi, and in northernmost Maine. Others are found west of the Mississippi, beckon, and I don’t know when??

But I have News! On Monday, July 11th and again on Tuesday, July 12, 2016 I hiked through backcourtry in Cattaraugus County, western New York State, and headed to a wild cranberry (acid) bog. Bog Coppers were flying their low, very-difficult to follow flight! Tiny ( 0.9″ from wing-tip to wing-tip) Lycaena epixanthe males and females! Eureka!!! Super rare, always threatened butterflies.

Two gorgeous mornings, with sun, moderate temperatures and no wind. But, I don’t recommend this to most of you. Every, every, every, every step you take in such a bonafide ancient bog, has your feet sinking, with the mud grabbing at your boots/watershoes. Meaning, every step must be followed by effort, effort to pull your foot out of the muck grabbing at it. Not only is that weird, but by that second morning, my calves began to Ache! I mean seriously ache!!

I was tickled pink! with many exposures of Bog coppers. Yes, I’m not ready to share one yet, ’cause again, ‘Yo shoots, film. Fuji slide film. So the wait begins. Mail film to Parsons, Kansas. Have slide processed and returned to me. Review slides on lightbox, cull out the best, and then, then, bring those to Rewind Memories to be scanned.

Sooooo why share this American copper image now. C’mon do I have to list the many motives for that?

Bog copper images, ASAP.

Jeff

Blue Connections in the HolyLand

Polyomattus Icarus butterflies photographed by Jeff Zablow at Ramat Hanadiv, Israel

A good thing to see. Healthy Common Blue butterflies locked together on a trail in the Ramat Hanadiv reserve, just a shout and one-half from the baby blue Mediterranean Sea. It was March 2016, and following a moist enough Middle Eastern winter, these Israeli Polyomattus icarus juno butterflies were fulfilling the life’s mission for a normal Blue butterfly: Find a very suitable mate, and generate a new generation of Healthy Common blues.

He on the left, she on the right. Jeff there too, pleased with another boost to a very Good morning on a very productive trail.

Jeff who has completed his teaching, his real estate saga, and who daily Thanks G-d for enabling him to see the beauty, rich color and everyday meaning of this Amazing World.

2017? Anybody?

Jeff

Guess Where We Met?

Mourning Cloak Butterfly photographed by Jeffrey Zablow in Toronto Canada

Mourning Cloak Butterfly photographed by Jeffrey Zablow in Toronto Canada

Oh Super! the caption affixed to this image gives it away immediately. I was going to offer Borneo, Cuba, Kenya and Mongolia . . . but you now know we met in Toronto.

Favorite ice cream? Breyer’s Mint Chip. Favorite meat? Grilled Lamb chops. Favorite trail? Nichol Road trail in Raccoon Creek State Park. Favorite state? Pennsylv/eorgia.

Favorite butterfly? This Mourning cloak butterfly. They fly in March, April, May, June . . . then you can’t find them until . .  September, October and maybe, maybe a bit into November. When you see one like this one, Busting with rich color, it’s like that time when you were 16 or 17 and you entered the . . .  and there she/he was and you almost couldn’t . . .  And it’s about the same, you’re thinking don’t, don’t leave stay there and let me get my act together, ’cause . . . .

It was one like this one that busted me up  that morning on Nichol Road trail, so soon after she passed . . .

From Maine down to northern Florida, and across North America.

Citing favorites is a fool’s errand, but you do expect me to not hold back here, so . . . it’s this one, the Mourning Cloak.

Jeff