March 2012 in northernmost Golan region in Israel. Never been along this trail before. Lush vegetation on either side of the trail and a good number of Israeli butterflies nectaring on very healthy looking wildflowers. There had been ample rain during the winter that recently ended, and this luxurious habitat was the payoff for ample precipitation just weeks before.
We had looked forward to our 2nd chairlift ride to the top of Mt. Hermon…but no, it was covered with a blanket of snow. (We’ve booked for May-June).
So here we were not far from the base of that mountain, shooting exposure after exposure of familiar and not seen before butterflies and wildflowers.
There was a small stream that could just barely be seen from the trail. Off I went to search its banks and was soon rewarded with my first encounter with Pararge aegeria aegeria. Chocalatiers would enjoy the rich browns that bounce off of his wings to your eye.
This butterfly is found only in the northern Golan and we don’t have an english name to share, because the available field guides don’t included one.
What we can share is that this individual remained on exposed rock surfaces in the stream and upon approach flew from the middle of the stream to the banks along it, but never more than 10 feet from water.
As with almost all of the butterflies in Israel, it was difficult to approach. So…I followed it from rock-top to rock-top to shore to nearby shore to rock-top to shore to shore….never able to close the distance to ideal macro- range.
So I am delighted to present this image to wingedbeauty’s followers. A superior image would require (for lots of us) a 13-hour flight followed by a 5 hour-drive and the right season and even then you’d be bouncing from rock to ……..