It seems that with every generation, we lose craftspeople, whether they be jewelers, welders, goldsmiths, harriers, writers, composers, violinists or ballet dancers.
Me? I have little contact with such gifted artists and creative folks. What I do value is my time, real-time in the field, amidst great beauty. Just weeks ago, in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas, I stood there, admiring an Erato Heliconian, a Malachite, a Julia Heliconian and a Red-Rimmed butterfly and then a Mexican Bluewing, and a Common Mestra. They are butterflies all of extraordinary beauty.
Yes, the tailors who sewed decades ago are gone, the painters of the Hudson River School and the great Flemish painters and Rembrandt are gone, the men who built the Chrysler building in NYNY are gone, and the jewelers of bygone Tiffany? Gone. Yet I am thankful, for as I shot away at this pair of HolyLand Copper butterflies in Neve Aviv, Israel, I knew that H-s finest works continues on, as it will.
It’s Skipper time. Here we were, at Clay Pond Reserve in western New York State. My eyes are peeled for Satyrs, Viceroys, Monarchs, Wood Nymphs, Angle wings. Rare and/or beautiful wildflowers are also appreciated.
The grass is thigh high, and the going is slow, for though the pond is only 50 feet away, this is a very wet read very wet meadow.
You see what I saw. A very beautiful skipper on a lush, colorful bloom. Arrgh! I try to make believe that I don’t see handsome skipper butterflies, because there are so many species of them about and I never did develop a working ID program in my head, to tell one from another skipper species.
That moment though, I thought, Hey! this is one of the more interesting Skipper species, it is totally occupied as it nectars the full flower head, and it’d make a fine image, if I can capture what I see and share it well.
June 2017, and I make this as a Long Dash skipper, nicely adorned, eyes good and proboscis well extended. And Barbara Ann, he is sipping at this (what kind do you think this is?) bloom.
Eight days in Texas, Mission, Texas. What a cavalcade of butterflies greeted me at the National Butterfly Center! At Bensten State Park and at the nearby, much celebrated ‘Wall.’ Imagine, December 21st through December 27th, and yet, we were seeing so, so many butterflies. One of those days saw the thermometer rise to 80F?
I can’t tell you how many different Hairstreaks we saw, I saw. Many fled before I could grab an image. So many of those AWOL hairstreaks were rare, and all were new to me. I did cache some really special exposures, among them Gold-bordered hairstreak and Tropical greenstreak. Very soon, I will have those scanned, and want you to see them when I do. I fly to Southern Texas, in the last week of December, and am greeted with gorgeous, rare Hairstreaks. Neat, Huh?
All that led me to thinking of HolyLand hairstreaks. This beaut, found on Mt. Meron, in the Upper Galilee, is Strymonidia spini melantho. She, as some hairstreaks do, ‘posed’ for me, as she methodically nectared.
It just reminds me how Thankful I am that, me and my Macro- (100mm/2.8) Canon lens have made so many successful approaches, and enjoyed as many good-enough hairstreak images, as we have scored.
A consistent winner, this Kedesh Trail, just 10 minutes south of Kiryat Shimona, in Israel’s Upper Galilee. Rare butterflies, fresh and earnest, have been my reward for driving to this exceptional trail, with its meadows, rocky outcrops, and rising cliffs and both sides. The HolyLand, April 2017.
With a break in the airborne action, my eyes revert to searching for wildflowers. These dainties lined a good part of Kedesh. I had a mental meeting with me, myself and I, and it was decided. I would look for a richly colored, well lit, healthy bloom, and attempt (hand held, no tripod) to get a good one.
Wow! Scarlet Pimpernel aka Anagallis arvensis.
What say you?
Which Old City? The Old City, in the most fought over city in the world. What a crazy world we live in, where the most Holy city, Jerusalem, arouses so much enmity.
Ever since this image was shared on wingedbeauty.com, I have tried to cajole my friends here to travel to the HolyLand, as I have done many times. So many of your are firm believers, so many are devout Christians. I have assured you that Jerusalem and the rest of Israel are safe, secure and will take your breath away. Truth be told, I cannot say that over these last 6 years, my persuasions have brought a single butterfly lover to an international boarding gate.
This is only 1 of 2 Turkish Meadow Brown butterflies that I have ever seen. This was 2009. We stayed some 3 days in an apartment that overlooked the Kotel (the Western Wall itself). You opened your window, there was the Kotel. It took my breath away. Vice President Pence was there just 2 days ago.
I was sure that there must be butterflies thereabouts, and sure enough, see this Brown, on ancient walkway steps, almost shouting distance from the site of the First Temple! I shoot film with a Macro lens. This Turkish Brown butterfly and I played a little game. I approach, it flies, some 15 or so feet away. I approach, and it flies, some 15 or so feet away, and so on.
Shooting butterflies, within earshot of the Kotel. Wow!