No Anaphaeis Aurota, Irregardless

Caper White Butterfly photographed by Jeffrey Zablow

Years fly by, and as they do, we learn more, and understand more. Several years ago, I was charmed by a sizable flight of Anaphaeis aurota in picturesque Binyamina. This Israeli town is now much sought after by new homeowners, and houses are being built throughout the town. Found north of Tel Aviv, it is a short drive from Caesaeria ( with its Roman and Greek ruins, tony  restaurants and newly built villas ) and Netanya ( featuring a French Riviera type beach ), and with a train station there, Binyamina is an easy train commute to Tel Aviv.

Binyamina is located in a vast, fertile valley, that provides Israel with much of its beloved crops: oranges, tangerines, grapefruit, avocados, mangos and bananas. The government wisely has insured that extraordinary valley’s farmland remains agricultural, and that is good, for those same farmlands give nurture to butterflies and wildlife along its margins. This sweetheart of a male was seen and photographed along a dirt road amongst those Binyamina orchards.

Home just days now, , I so wanted to meet Anaphaeis aurota again, and get good looks at females, they slightly larger than males, and a bit differently marked.

But time has taught me that you can’t will that you see a butterfly, for . . . though your visit is finite, butterflies fly when they fly, and this one flies in Israel from the middle of June to early December. I arrived in late March and flew home to Pittsburgh on April 25th, departing from Ben Gurion airport at just 45 minutes after midnight.

Irregardless of your schedule, butterflies have theirs. They fly when their hostplants are about, and to see them, you must do the same, fly in when the plants that their caterpillars eat are in full vigor, and when the adult butterflies can do as this one is doing, nectaring on suitable flowers, or drinking available sap, or depending upon sufficient scat, dropped here and there.



4 thoughts on “No Anaphaeis Aurota, Irregardless

  1. aha! the teacher (within) appears. and rightly so…too many people expect to find butterflies wherever a bloom appears, and you may have clarified that a bit here…all depends on nature and the infinite wisdom of the creator who set all in motion…always such a treat to delve into your photos and words, and this elegant and glistening subject says it all as you brought it, without having to speak a word (thanks to yours)

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  2. Hi Jeff,

    Glad you got back safely. Lovely image from your files…look forward to your new ones.

    You are correct, of course, that we cannot will to see a certain butterfly and expect to see it. In addition to all you wrote about the timing of host and nectar plants, there is the element of grace too.

    Sometimes grace comes upon us in abundance and unexpectedly – but we can never demand it. Yet we can be open and ready to see it fluttering by… :-)

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  3. Absolutely beautiful shot, and a gorgeous butterfly. Looking forward to seeing more about your adventures during the recent trip also.

    Sent from my iPad


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