A. jesous . . . in the HolyLand (Israel)

Azanous Jesous butterfly photographed by Jeffrey Zablow at Mt. Meron, Israel

Azanous Jesous butterfly photographed by Jeffrey Zablow at Mt. Meron, Israel

Our paths crossed in 2013, while I was working that fabulous trail on the slope of Mt. Meron. I was seeing butterflies each of the mornings that I stayed there, and many were . . . lifers. Israel. The HolyLand. Rachel was now living there for 5 years, met Uri, married, and was Happy!

This tiny beaut flew in and began nectaring. I had no idea what it was. That’s a downside of shooting film, for this one was very quickly vamoose! and over the course of a morning of shooting, looking, watching my footing, I forget details that I saw earlier. Looking by the way across the north, right into Lebanon, into the stronghold of Hezbollah, a very, very bad bunch of boys.

When my slides returned from being processed by Dwayne’s Photo, and flipped open my A Field Guide To The Butterflies of Israel (Dubi Benyamini) and found this butterfly . . . Azanous jesous. Jesous? ID’d in 1849 by Guerin, I to this day consider this name. ?.

What did Guerin, with an accent over the ‘e,’ have in mind? Any feedback much appreciated.

Mary? Sylbie? Jim? Cathy? Curt? Joe? Kim? Kelly? Nancy? John? Robert Michael Pyle? Jeffrey? if, I’ve left you out, please feel free to . . . .



3 thoughts on “A. jesous . . . in the HolyLand (Israel)

  1. my thoughts allowed? an exquisite being tending its life despite the bad guys all around, knowing that at least one- in this case, Jeff, will celebrate this moment in the Holy Land that was blessed by that Creator so long ago


  2. Well, if we try to decipher the French meaning, we will be lost. “Aza-” means “radio” (which wasn’t yet invented in the days of Guérin). “Je” means “I” and “sous” means “under”. “Nous” means “we” but I think the butterfly is actually “nus”. Hopeless…none of that makes sense.

    However, if we remember that the life cycle of the butterfly involves transformation, we might discover meaning on another level. It hatches from the egg appearing rather like a worm, then it enters a cocoon during which time it appears dead, later emerging with a glorious new form.

    We cannot help but be reminded of a certain very holy and humble Jew who is said to have emerged from the grave in a new and glorious state. Is it a coincidence that the name of this butterfly so closely resembles the name of this Jewish man?

    As I have written elsewhere, butterflies are one of the proofs of the existence of God. Most likely Guérin knew this but wanted to give this butterfly a more scientific-sounding name lest his discovery be discredited.

    Hence, he hid this holy truth ever so slightly, that those with eyes to see would recognize it (but the rest would just see a pretty new butterfly).

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