Red Admiral (Israel)

Red Admiral butterfly photographed by Jeffrey Zablow at Ramat Hanadiv, Israel

The world cooks this and that scenario to bring ‘Peace’ to the ‘Middle East.’ The media paints a dark picture of that region, and its viewers imagine a place of tension, strife and conflict, everywhere. Meantime, our Vanessa atalanta savors the real peace, calm  and tranquility of Ramat Hanadiv, an hour’s drive north and west of Tel Aviv, and within minutes of the Mediterranean sea. A much better barometer of realities on the ground, imbibing sugary nectars in a land planted decades ago, and now awash in Milk and Honey.

This was March 12th, and I was working the perennial beds of their vast botanical park. Papilio machaon were seen that morning, but only for a moment, mimicking as they do Israeli Phantom jets, Whoooosh! Gone. Archon apollinus (known as False Apollos) rushed down the trails of Ramat Hanadiv, they too maintaining top speed. So, no Wow! photos of Swallowtail or False Apollos those 3 mornings there in March. Too bad, too, because March brings the end of Israel’s winter. Not a winter like we enjoy in Pittsburgh, USA (lots of snow, ice and low temperatures of 0 to 10 degrees Farenheit). Israel’s winter is cold and slightly bone dulling, with night time temperatures down to perhaps 40-45 degrees Farenheit.

We look again, this time more closely, at our Red admiral as its proboscis captures those sweet carbohydrates, mixed with pollen and imperceptible other nutrients. We eye the smashing reds of fore wings and hind wings, and we are pleased with the stark arctic white splashes set hard amongst sheer black and with a little bit of eye strain. There is one of those sweet blue patches along the margin of that right hind wing.

Let the haters and plotters and criminals and fanatics run their bloody  games. This is the vision of this Land that is real.

Jeff