Brushfoot Butterfly Seen In The HolyLand (?)

Brushfoot Butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at Mt. Meron, Israel

Here’s a Brushfoot butterfly that I met on a trail in Mt. Meron in the HolyLand (Israel). I was on a trail I had hiked several times over the years. Many of the butterflies I had seen on that wondrous trail were new to me, and some were ‘Protected’ butterflies, few in number or now found in limited habitat. June was the month.

When this mystery one appeared and landed on this rocky outcrop, some 2/3 up the northern face of Mt. Meron, I blossomed with excitement. I knew I’d never met this one before, and I knew, as happens, I might not meet it again for years, many years. The usual ‘Comments’ are anticipated: I’m too far away from this magical butterfly or We’d need a dorsal image of its wings to make an ID!

It is what it is, and I do want to know what it is. Much time pouring through Dubi Benyamini’s field guide has not left me with that.

This time, I hope that Israeli butterfly authorities Yaron or Oz or . . . .

Jeff

A Pleasing Result of a Posting

Lasiommata Megera butterfly photographed by Jeffrey Zablow at Mt. Meron

Yesterday I was pleased to be in contact with a respected photographer of Israeli/HolyLand butterflies. He wrote well of an image that I shared with y’all, the recent image of Pararge aegeria aegeria. That left me feeling good, and led to my spending some time remembering my 13? 15? or so trips to Israel, and the unforgettable field work I enjoyed there, all of it alone, as usual, with nary a soul to reminisce with.

Recent family events have saddened me, although my life ahead, well it promises much happiness and joy! Having so accomplished a photographer as Yaron share positives, even at this point in my rich, unique life, that meant much to Jeffrey L.

Not quite a rare as Pararge, this Lasiommata megara emilyssa male is a fine example of his species, and you have no idea how cautious I was to make this approach to him, on that high trail on Mt. Meron in Israel’s Upper Galilee. Who too hiked this mountain? King David? Jesus? Joshua? You?

Jeff

A Rare HolyLand Butterfly & Crazed Killers

Pararge Aegeria Butterfly photographed by Jeffrey Zablow in Northern Golan, Israel

I am very pleased that I captured this image of a rare, protected brush foot butterfly, in the very northern Golan region of Israel, the HolyLand. When you meet one such as this, vivid and fresh in color, you stop to appreciate how fortunate you have been! He required a very cautious, robotic approach, and that he held his ground and accepted a few camera clicks, Fantastic!

Parage aegeria are only found in the very northernmost reaches of the Galilee region and in the mountainous north of the Golan region. This is where Jesus and his Disciples walked and where the greatest of the Jewish Prophets lived. Amazing, lush green regions, watered by the Mt. Hermon range, so they are not desert-like, but instead vivid green and full of life.

‘Crazed Killers’ nearby. Yes. Now. It is reliably reported that thousands of Hezbollah, Iranian and Syrian fighters have moved close to there, to near the northern borders with Syria and Lebanon. Why? These barbarians hope to use that as a launching base to attack and destroy Israel, i.e., Jews, children and women.

Those who think of ‘2019’ as a year when the world has moved to new heights of civility? Guess again, cousins.

Rare, shy, sweet butterflies in the nothing-like-it HolyLand.

Jeff

Imbibing Sweet Nectar In The Briar Patch

Male Black Swallowtail Butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow in the Briar Patch Habitat in Eatonton, GA

The Tithonia (Mexican Sunflower) achieved enormous growth there in the Briar Patch. Virginia’s tiny seeds produced 8 foot tall Tithonia. She’d tell you that yes, they were not native to Georgia, but, they were strong, robust sunflowers, easily tolerate the Piedmont’s long bone-dry summers, self-seeded and nourished legions of butterflies, year after year.

I’ve planted Mexican Sunflower here in my own Eatonton garden, and their vigorous growth and absence of pests enables them to provide nurture for butterflies from June to November. For the price of a packet of seeds, you get Tithonia that neatly fills whole corners of your sunny garden spots and summons squadrons of swallowtails, brush foot butterflies, hairstreaks and many skipper species.

I suppose that they must also make fine cut flowers for your home vases, and if grown in your front garden beds, they’ll have your neighbors asking, “What is that gorgeous big flowering plant you’re growing there?”

This Eastern Black Swallowtail is fully involved, methodically working this Tithonia flowerhead. His golden yellow flashes, blue patches and shot of red/red, against black wings and black body handsomely fitted with white spots, works nicely here with the developing Tithonia bud and sweet Tithonia flower, all set in a clump of Tithonia, that blocking the sunlight that brightens the rest of the Butterflies & Blooms Briar Patch Habitat.

The richness of plants and butterfly here is real and as with all we share, the color of it all, real-time.

Jeff

‘R’ is For Red Rim Butterfly

Red-rim butterfly at rest photographed by Jeff Zablow at the National Butterfly Center, Mission, TX

Our 2nd post of the Red Rim Butterfly. Sure it’s a bit far away, after it was on that bait log in the National Butterfly Center, in Mission, Texas. When it flew from the bait log, it flew into that small tree. The excitement we felt was spontaneous. This butterfly is cited in Swift Guide to Butterflies of North America (Glassberg, 2017) as “R” for Rare!

So, I moved robotically to the edge of the trail, and leaned over, just inches from the trench that dropped a few feet, and shot photograph after photograph.

Biblis hyperia is an eye-full, just beautiful. No wear, not birdstruck. That red submarginal band on the hind wings! Oh, if only I had such a cape or something like it on the streets of Brooklyn. It would signal: Stay where you are, I’m toxic!

Jeff