Winter Antidotes IV

Parnassius mnemosyne butterfly photographed by Jeffrey Zablow at Mt. Hermon, Israel
How do I view a day like today? Mid-January and a ‘balmy’ 41F. With caution I think, because the extended forecast for us here includes snow showers, cold and lots of cloudy, cold days. In the middle of winter, we are. Still more winter to go, therefore . . . need additional winter antidotes.

Noted recently that this 2015 I am looking forward to travel, to meet butterflies I’ve never met before in Colorado, Arizona, Georgia, Illinois, Maine, Ontario and Israel.

Israel? Today’s news, encountered almost everywhere, features tiny, little Israel, beloved to Christians, Land of Milk and Honey. IAF rockets directed at terrorists on the Syrian side of the mountain, and it revealed that they struck terrorists and Iranians. An Iranian general was amongst the casualties. Huh, what’s an Iranian general doing on the other side of that mountainous border? Surrounded on all sides by governments, militia, Hamas, Hezbollah, ISIS that wish its children dead. How’s that for a downer of a thought?

OK, I was there 6 months ago, and if, if, you haven’t traveled to Israel, you have no idea how moving, beautiful, youthful, safe (Yep!) and Now! a place it is. This Parnassius Mnemosyne Syra butterfly was on the peak of Mt. Hermon, sipping nectar in the blazing heat of the mid-day sun. Rare, when I got my slides back and verified that this image was that species, I was elated! Want to see one, travel thousands of miles, drive to the northern tip of Israel, Hope that the military allows you to go up to the top, bring many liters of water (Or else!), watch for land mines! when you step off of the primitive trails, and then maybe, just maybe you’ll encounter this butterfly, with its almost transparent wings. She was flying low along the ground, fast, but stopped for these blooms. Made my approach, and shot away . . . 10 or 12 exposures later, sped away. Yay!!

Can, will I be back in April? Will they allow me to ascent to the mountain-top? If I can and they do, it will be Muy Hot. Just warms me up, thinking about it. Winter Antidote, that.


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