Mallow Skipper

Mallow skipper butterfly photographed by Jeffrey Zablow at Mishmarot,  Israel

Two mountains in Israel provided me with very exciting experiences. Mt. Hermon, even though closed to civilians, offered many butterflies along its base. Mt. Meron was just too much fun, and the #1 goal of that effort, good images of the breathtaking Two-Tailed Pasha butterfly, remains yet to be realized. Once I found Pasha habitat, once I figured out the strategies that were needed to photograph them Macro, it was time to load the rental and return it to Haifa. Now that’s an experience. Drive to Haifa to return the rental car, through busy, curvy roads, without a Hebrew vocabulary of more than 15 words and stopping here and there to ask directions of men whose English vocabulary also consists of 15 words. But, I did it. Then, the rental people told me that the train back to Binyamina was just across the avenue and down the street. Ah, NO. With few people down the avenue and across the street, I had to seek advice from  two young men. It’s been a bit since my hardscrabble days on the streets of New York City, where then, you had to immediately know who was benign and who required your 100% full attention to remain healthy. These 2 guys were OK, and were walking to their fast-food jobs. They got me to my train, and from then on helpful folks enabled me to get to Binyamina station. Turns out they liked my business cards printed by Moo and I enjoyed their questions and interest.

Our Carcharodus alceae met me in the agricultural fields near my daughter’s home in Mishmarot. North of Tel Aviv and not too far from the Mediterranean, these fields are among the millions of acres of farmland that cover Israel. Easy to forget that those millions of acres had turned back to desert over thousands of years. Israel north of Beersheva is mostly green. Food supermarkets are loaded with excellent fresh fruits and vegetables, the produce of those very same fields. Pity that much of the world is unable or unwilling to favor this land of Milk & Honey.

The Mallow skippers were mostly perching on dried flowerheads in this June field edge. Even though it was early June, it was more than 90 degrees Farenheit. As I passed each one of these pookies, they would leave in a huff! and within a minute or so, return to that very same tiny perch. This female tolerated my approach and I shot away! Yes, she is not the OMG! type of butterfly that jolts my senses… but once you take the time to get to know her better … she bedazzles!


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