Back to Phoebe!

Melitaea Phoebe butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at Mishmarot, Israel

In the Run-up to my flight on February 23rd, let’s share this reminisce. He was perched on this dried twig with the 8:00 A.M. morning sun warming him up. The nights in Israel are cool, and he needed to warm up before he could fly off at a safe speed. In a field at Mishmarot, a field now destined for development, he was a 5 minute walk from my daughter’s home. This butterfly was fresh, proud and self-confident: a buster.

Melitaea phoebe telona is a common Israeli fritillary, and flies over much of Israel from Mt. Hermon south to the Negev. I expect to see Phoebes again. My objectives include field work along the Mediterranean coast near Haifa (butterflies and orchids), in the uppermost Galilee region (right up along the testy border with Lebanon), and in the middle of the Golan region (in and around Yom Kinneret (Sea of Galilee)). Posts of several FB friends have reminded me that I will be in and around many places cherished by Jews as well as places beloved by Christians. With air fares unusually low at the moment, I still could not entice a single FB stalwart to meet me there.

I will be careful, I will not autograph the signs at the Lebanese (Hezbollah) border or the Syrian border. (Syrian regulars, Iranian forces, ISIS, al Queda, Hezbollah, Russians, and ???) I promise.

I could see this Phoebe’s grandkids. Actually I tabbed quite a few butterflies there I’ve not yet met, so there’s lots to get done.

Like her mother, Rachel’s a terrific cook. Hertz will be the rental, and I have my Cocoa Loco bars packed, for field snacks.

I will not be posting until I return in late March. Will be missing the run-up to the RNC/DNC conventions, so I leave that to y’all to get right.


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