When You See A Rare One In The HolyLand

Nordmannia Myrtale butterfly photographed by Jeffrey Zablow at Mt. Hermon, Israel

Eran Banker was my guide, who went with me to the top of Mt. Hermon, in the HolyLand ( Israel ). Israel on the south face of the mountain, Syria on the north face. Why? More than 10 species of butterfly are found on that mountain peak, but no where else. That really enticed me. Eran lugged liters of water that 95F day, and we spent many hours up there, in full, unrelenting sun.

Did we see ’em? Yes, I saw many rare, Protected Species. Not a one nectared peacefully on those sparse little blooms up there. All flew in fast, nectared faster, and left just as quickly. I was unable to photograph many, trying to negotiate large rock . . . and later, a bit shaken when Eran called me over to show me a landmine, lurking there for decades. Landmines? set just where the butterflies fly. Hmmm.

I tell you, seeing and being able to shoot Protected Species is a very satisfying experience. You pause after, to applaud yourself for your great success, and soon you dwell on how privileged you have been to have met such a rare winged beauty.

Our female Nordmannia myrtale evoked such joy and introspection. It flew in, landed on that flat leaf, and happily suffered my cautious approach.

Me, the street kid from Brooklyn, on the peak of Mt. Hermon, with G-d’s winged gems . . . .

Jeff

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