Thought I had, as I sought butterflies that day in northernmost Israel, the village of Hanita, less than ½ of a mile from the Israeli-Lebanese border. I continue to meet folks who seek to find and study butterflies. The more I travel, the more fascinating people I meet. 2015 was just a wonderful year, in Pennsylvania, Israel, New York, Georgia and Florida. Many have earned the status of authority, with keen minds, command of a great wealth of butterfly knowledge, limitless energy and thankfully, are anxious to share and spread their love of these winged beauties.
I love my time spent in the field with them. Hurtling through habitats, over logs, through brambles, attentive to the possibility of reptiles, chiggers, ticks, mosquitoes, at the same time heeding their there it goes, yes there, no there, Oh, its now headed to there. In Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge, Georgia, the lowland swampy terrain’s air was thin, super moist, and I would not admit that at times I could barely catch my breath. Satyrs, creoles, browns, OMG! That with the most patient, supportive butterfliers teaming up with me.
In Hanita, I gazed at this sign and fence, and it struck me, though such experts have substantially more field experience than I, they surely have never followed a flying butterfly to this. A stark NO! Do not enter Here, for you will surely be blown to smithereens!! Very common in the north of Israel, uncommon elsewhere. The product of past war. You’ve never seen this, ever.