Roger, Angela, Barbara Ann, Debra and Jim Fowler have been sharing scrumptious orchid photos on Facebook, this many weeks. I admit to not looking for orchids, ever . . . until I met Barbara Ann and Angela. I should not write ever, for some years ago I did marvel at Pink Lady Slipper Orchids at Bear Run in the Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania. I stood in front of those breathtaking blooms, and the connection between those orchids and the Almighty was Oh! so clear.
So many of you who visit here are firm believers, and know of Capernum, The Sea of Galilee from Sunday school and such. I though it poignant that these Pink Butterfly Orchids were found on Mt. Meron in the Upper Galilee region of Israel. I’ve no doubt that the Christians and Jews who we revere stopped on their journeys to reflect on these incredibly delicate orchids. No doubt at all.
The Galilee region and the Golan are verdant wildernesses, with small towns (moshavs) sprinkled here and there. I tease with this, for I so want to one day be told that one of you traveled to the HolyLand, inpart due to something I shared . . . .
It happens. Barbara Ann and I mucked through nearly 3/4 of a miles of over grown trail, to once again explore the wonders of Allenberg Bog in western New York State. Ultra-humid, mosquito rich trail, over fallen trees, large puddles and much mud. It happens meaning? Meaning that the trail didn’t show any evidence of having been used for a very long time, and much of it simply could not be deciphered. This was just last month, June 2018.
Had flown in to Pittsburgh with 2 objectives, see my family, and especially see my grandson, and to also revisit Allenberg Bog. This is an ancient sphagnum moss bog, rich with pitcher plants, sun dew and cranberries. Those cranberries host Big Copper Butterflies. Last years photos of those Bog Coppers were OK, but the butterflies were all of a single flight, all slightly worn. On this 2nd go-around, I was hoping to see a fresh batch of Bog Coppers. Then, I’d triumphantly share with you my newest, OMG! images . . . . Nope, didn’t happen. Barbara Ann tried so hard to get us there, but it was a labyrinth, and we ended the morning exhausted and a tiny bit discouraged.
Perk up though, for here I share a tiny orchid that Allenberg Bog dished up for us last year. So delicate, so fascinating and so beautiful. Beauty and grace, resplendent amidst all of the hazards that this acid bog surely delivers, day and night. Amazing, No?
Yes, She told me its name, and yes I can’t recall it. Barbara? Angela? Debra? Jim Fowler?
Some of us go beyond, way beyond to find and photograph . . . butterflies. Ian is currently abroad, doing just that.
Me? Two years ago I was standing right at the base of this photo, trying to score this shot. Was in a village in the upper Galilee, and we are looking to the northeast. That is Mt. Hermon, snow covered that March morning.
This morning, USA time, the Israeli IDF (Israeli Defense Forces’ IAF) intercepted and shot down a Syrian fighter jet that flew into Israel. On the north face of Mt. Hermon, Syria is at war with its own “rebels.” It’s more complicated than even that, for the Syrian Army has Iranian regulars, Hezbollah, Russians, North Koreans, Pakistanis and more fighting with them. Who live on the face and base of this Mt. Hermon? Israelis in bucolic little villages, with one or two small cities widely separated.
In 2008 I was there on that 7,000 foot high Mount Hermon, photographing very, very rare butterflies.
Butterflies and air battles? Not a wholesome mix. No?
Funny. I so often see TV reports with crowds of people yellling for “Peace.” Tsk! that they are too Pollyana to understand how to achieve that of which they yell for.
This Painted Lady Butterfly is placidly sipping the sparse (?) nectar dribbled out by these low lying blooms.
Where are we?
Pennsylvania? Barbara Ann?
Georgia? Virginia? Kelly? Phyllis?
Vancouver Island? Peggy?
The Lower Rio Grande Valley? Javier? Mike?
South Carolina? Marcie?
West Virginia? Elisse?
Answer? Mt. Hermon, Israel.
The take away from this? Painted Ladys are considered to be the most universal of all butterflies, found on all continents. This one here mirrors all the others, with very subtle differences.
It seems that when certain butterflies fly into my vicinity, I have them on a mental list, of photo objectives I have. For the tiny Metalmark butterflies, I want better views of those scintillating shiny metal lines that shimmer from their upper wing surface. Mourning cloaks are high on my list. I have a special connection with Mourning Cloaks, a very personal one. I can’t wait for the Spring day when an excitingly fresh one decides to strike a pose for me, and I capture that maroon upper, with the delicious blue spots and those yellow borders. Monarchs? I have 2 or so dozen images in my slide storage cabinet, yet I want a killer image of a Monarch with those strange eyes, deep orange-rust color and body/head aburst with those white explosive dots.
Another chance to shoot that Common Mestra that teased me on the National Butterfly Center trail, would be nice, it not affording my a single exposure. Now that I’m getting a tad Gimme! here, I sure would like to remeet a fresh Compton Tortoiseshell butterfly, this time close enough for my Macro- lens to do what it does, with this heavy favorite of me, the Compton. That Georgia Satyr back in Big Bend Wildlife Management Area in the Florida Panhandle jumps out to me here, for with the sweat pouring down over my eyes those last days of August, my vision was blurred, and image scores turned out to be Eh!
Not true here with this Pipevine Swallowtail butterfly. I wanted to get that shimmering blue that you see on the inner side of those coral spots. I pretty much did, and that is good.