Here was a Butterfly I had Never Seen Before: a Lesser Fiery Copper

 Lesser Fiery Copper butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow in Binyamina, Israel

Here is a reminder of one of the reasons that some of us love to photograph butterflies. It’s November in Binyamina, Israel. My family has hosted us, and it’s a joy to be there with them. Regrettably, we haven’t rented a car. So, on several mornings we walk a moderate distance and explore the agricultural roads that surround Binyamina. What can we expect to find in mid-November, with the fields dormant and wildflower bloom limited on our left and on our right?

Camphor weed (Heterotheca Subaxillaris) was the only significant bloom extant. Several species of butterflies were coming in to eat nectar, in waves, so to speak. Large Salmon Arabs, Caper Whites and Small Whites, plus one or two Plain Tigers. They would suddenly fly in, and 10 minutes later all would be gone. Then 15 minutes later, they were back again. Were they the same ones I suppose?

On this mid-morning, I did a double take. There was a butterfly I had never seen before: a Lesser Fiery Copper. She was fresh, vividly colored and eating nectar with great energy and movement. I shot as many exposures as I could, following her from one plant to the next, from this side of the road to the other. Then she flew away and that was that. It was a chance encounter with Lycaena Thersamon, or was it? It was a small butterfly and oh, such a pretty one. This one does not waste a single second. It’s a butterfly of purpose.


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