It’s riveting to be in a region you’ve only been to once before . . . and at that time for 3 days only. The aim of course is to spot, photograph and identify butterflies. This morning in the northern most Golan had me pumped to accomplish all of that. No distractions, well almost none. Forget that we were close to two heavily contested borders (Lebanon and Syria), or that these trails had there own unknown challenges (flora and fauna). Remain focused. Alert. Keep your peripheral vision on max alert for butterfly sighting. Waste not a moment. Don’t forget to drink (Here in Israel you must remember to drink, even here in March), no snacking, no daydreaming. Didn’t you fly 2 hours from Pittsburgh to JFK and fly 13 hours from JFK . . . and then take the train for 2 hours and then drive for another 5? Can you waste one nanosecond now that you are on trail in the Golan?
Fine. Then where are the prize-winning macro- photos of the butterflies of the northern most part of Israel? The entire world knows the Middle East. Arid, proud, contested, fortified, ancient, missiles, armies, biblical . . . well, hard to fathom. The butterflies of Israel mirror the region. They are faster, more unapproachable, more elusive and unpredictable. They exemplify all of the mores.
So this morning I never knew what to expect next. The skippers we saw were rocket propelled. Couldn’t be approached. Approach? Zip, gone!
We bring this Mallow skipper to you with your permission. Yes, we would have like to have been closer. Closer was not to be an option.
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