The Virtue of Right Time, Right Place

Apharitis Cilissa butterfly photographed by Jeffrey Zablow at Mt. Meron, Israel

It’s a rare, protected little butterfly, that flies in June, a very short flight time. It only flies in a limited range in Israel’s Upper Galilee Region. Ian Lawson just shared an Apharitis image from eastern Turkey, and I immediately thought it was time to share my fav Apharitis with you.

I so much wanted to see Apharitis cilissa. That it was a Protected species of butterfly called out to me. More than that the challenge beckoned. Short flight time, very limited range, and I’d have to find it without anyone’s help, for there was no one to guide me, or even pinpoint where to search?

On Mt. Meron, I was startled by the realization that I DID find them! They were tiny as expected. Those silvery spots shone so exquisitely when reflecting the powerful Middle Eastern sunlight. I found that they liked to nectar, and they also would perch, prominently and did tolerate very brief approach.

I stayed with their small colony for some time, noticing that they would actively move their hindwings, as hairstreaks often do. Oh, how I wanted to capture a good image, with the shiny spots glistening and some upper wing revealed.

You know I shoot film, and once exposed, I have to wait some week or two or more, for my slides to be FeExed back from Kansas. I waited. They were delivered and out came the lightbox.

This survived the culling. My best of Apharitis cilissa, an endangered butterfly of the HolyLand, on a comely mountain bloom.