What’s To Like Here?

Coupled Lycaena Thersamon Butterflies photographed by Jeff Zablow in Neve Ativ, Israel

They remained locked for 20 minutes that I know of. Lycanea Thersamon coppers, engrossed in that primary urge, the production of a new generation of copper butterflies. On the slope of Israel’s Mt. Hermon, we were away from the snow covered peak, away from the intercine battles fought that April 2017,  just down on the other side of Hermon. That meadow was blanketed with these little yellow blooms, and no shortage of perches there for interlocked butterflies.

I shot away, from many different angles. Months later, viewing the best of that series of images, I was pleased. I found much to like in several of the slides that I scored.

What did I like here? The rich color of the female on the right. Her distinct right eye and the brightly spotted right antenna. The crisp orange/black markings of the marginal spotting of her forewing and hindwing. The balanced positioning of her right legs. The satisfactory bristling of her wing borders. The discrete but muffled view of their terminal couple. His left antenna and his blurred, but still deep copper red dorsal tint.

Valued too is the seriousness of their look. Purposeful and important. Finally, I am reminded how much I like her spotting, and the whitish framing of each and every wing spot.

Shareable, that always my goal.


Orchids Seduce

Orchid photographed by Jeff Zablow at Cedar Bog, Ohio

June 2017 came and that 4 hour drive to western Ohio held out the double promise of several days with Angela, Barbara Ann, Dave, Janet, Flower, Roger and Joe. Serious naturalists, with deep experience with orchids, butterflies and botany. Orchids were the priority for this multi-day field experience, but I knew that we had to also encounter good butterflies. We just had to, judging from what they shared about our several critical destinations.

Ahead of all that, I wanted to see Showy Lady’s Slipper orchids, finally, once and for all. Jackpot! We met Showys in Cedar Bog. They were as large as advertised, though they were now hours past their peak. You just stood there, as you would if you were steps away from the Royal Family of Great Britain, well aware that you were in the personal space of extraordinary people. Here in Ohio, make that extraordinary orchids, opulent, very, very rare, and regal, very regal. We shared my image of the Showys in a blog several weeks ago.

At Cedar Bog, near Dayton, Ohio, the trail cut its way through wetland, and there these petite, seductive orchids sung to me. Their draw was unmistakable. They cajoled me, asking that I disregard my plan to save my Fuji Velvia 100 film for butterflies, and work to capture what they expressed in abundance, seductive glamour, natural and fleeting. I did, and share the result.

Grass pinks (Calopogon tuberosus). Certainly they are worthy of a more bewitching common name?



The Shoot Me! Moth

Moth photographed by Jeff Zablow at Prairie Road Fen Reserve, Ohio

We saw it at several wetlands that Angela, Janet, Barbara Ann and the rest of us visited. Never having seen it before, this moth at first seemed well, plain. I’d never seen it anywhere in western Pennsylvania, but there it was, in more than one habitat in very southern Ohio.

Angela had a name for it, but names just don’t stick so fast for me. Visuals do. I remember faces I’ve seen before, remember them for a very long time. I remember butterflies and moths that I’ve seen before, just about 100% of the time.

As with many butterflies that were lifers for me on that June 2017 trip, this one was new. The thing about it was, though determined to conserve my use of my Fuji Velvia film, that moth seemed to be sending me telepathic messages:  Shoot me! Shoot me!

This agreeable image shares that yellow head, finely paired antennae, and an almost complete ‘Peace’ symbol on those crisply matched wings.

Another Shoot Me! moth at Prairie Fen Reserve in Clark County, Ohio.

Haploa clymene. Thanks Angela.


HolyLand Armament

Severe Thistle photographed by Jeff Zablow at Neve Ativ, Israel

The Middle East. Just yesterday, President Trump announced this. Half the world cheered him on. It seems that the other half of the world went livid at his every word. The subject? Jerusalem. The Middle East. Preferred to the ‘Middle East?” Better than calling it the Middle East? I much prefer the ‘HolyLand.’

President Trump demonstrated to all the volatility of much of that wonderful part of the world. Thousands of years of strife, bloodshed and Hope.

Standing there on the slope of Israel’s northernmost, tallest peak, Mt. Hermon, in the village of Neve Ativ, I could not resist. This plant was armed from base to tip, along all lateral stems. Needle-sharp daggers everywhere, hundreds of them. I shot away, hoping to capture the Ouch! of this botanical dagger-fest.

You see many heavily armed plants in Israel, and you get it! You understand that this is necessity, some unwritten necessity for long-term species survival in a land stained with the blood of so many violent pieces of history.

But for now, G-d seems to have these knife-sharp leaves and stems remain withdrawn and warding off all, with their menace of instant cut.

I could not resist sharing this, as 99.6% of you have never navigated TSA on your way to the HolyLand. April 2017.


Down and Back!

Jeff Zablow and his dog, Petra photographed by Jenny Jean Photography

Our iMac and its fab 27″ screen crashed and died. The Apple Store able crews confirmed that the graphics card on that 2011 desktop was kaput! That said that they no longer make them, and anyway, the card would have put us back some $700.00. So, along with the crescendo of expenses recently experienced, we went ahead and ordered the new 27″ iMac that sits before me.

We were down for more than a week. Now back, it’s a struggle for me to relocate some of those critical bookmarks that we depend up. Little by little, we’re approaching full throttle.

So, just before Christmas and Chanukah, in the year of the Zebra heliconian and the modest upsurgence in Monarchs, we’re back! Here the image searcher and the security department.