Melitaea Phoebe (Israel)

Meliteae Phoebe butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at Mishmarot, Israel

I was visiting my daughter Rachel in Mishmarot, Israel. The kibbutz’s orchards were just a 3 minute walk from Rachel’s home. The sun in Israel rises like it does in Arizona, early. Those July 2014 mornings, after Rachel gave birth to Boaz, I did it. I got up at 4:30 A.M. those mornings, had my breakfast/coffee, and went to the fields that surrounded the orchards. I usually was there by 6:30 A.M..

Butterflies in arid regions begin their day as early as they can, so that they can warm in the pleasant morning sun, and can get first dibs at the nectar that the flowers begin to pump.

This female fritillary was as you see her, when I reached that good, good stretch of field. Look at her, richly patterned in burnt orange, black and white trim. Cautious approach, her acceptance that she was at no risk.

Good. Very good. What fine work!

Jeff

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