Coupled Coppers at Golan Israel

Coupled Copper Butterflies I photographed by Jeff Zablow at Neve Ativ, Israel

The carnage just miles away in Syria prevented me from going to the peak of Mt. Hermon. Wanting to find and photograph the rare butterflies of the mountain, I settled on the meadows surrounding Neve Ativ. This tiny town is on the slope of Mt. Hermon. Neve Ativ looks like what I think a little Swiss village would look like.

Blues and coppers were flying, low as they do, in those flower covered meadows. An occasional fritillary butterfly showed, but they never landed for more than 2.1 seconds. Mid-way through that morning (photographing butterflies in Israel, even as we are here in April ’17, is near humanly impossible in the afternoon heat as it is a very arid country).

When I spotted this mated pair of Lycaena thersamon omphale, if you were there with me, you’d surely tell me that I had a face lit up, happy-look as a puppy with . . .

I chose to share this now, for it reminded me of how readily available beauty, peace and G-d’s work is for those tens of millions of you who work day in and day out. Me, I started working after school at age 13. When I retired I had worked for decades and decades. I am gifted in that I do still smell the roses, and hike to find eye fulls like this = sheer, unadulterated Beauty. Earnest, innocent and 0% politicized.

Jeff

HolyLand Copper Butterfly

Lycaena Thersammon photographed by Jeff Zablow at Mt. Meron, Israel

What with memories of the Lower Rio Grande Valley’s butterflies still fresh in my mind, I’m especially intent on finding butterflies that are fresh, colorful and vital. This look at Lycaena thersammon sure fills this menu.

I had worked my favorite trail on Mt. Meron, in the Upper Galilee region of Israel, taking it to its end. I had copped many promising images of butterflies, but my trips to Israel are always too short, and I wanted more and better.

This sweetie rested on a twig, not too far from the trail’s starting point. Color? Rich. Tails? Intact. Spots? Stark and dramatic. Condition? Fresh! Eyes, head and antennae? Excellent! So I shot away.

That twig that the Copper butterfly is resting on is just some 2-3 miles from Lebanon, an armed camp overrun with Hezbollah, Iranian fanatical ‘advisors’ and their claim of 100,000 missiles aimed at Israel.

Butterfly stunners and young men pledged to murder in the same space. Such is the Middle East of today.

Jeff

Who’s For American Coppers?

American Copper Butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at Raccoon Creek State Park in Pennsylvania, August 2014

Facebook has been a great boon for the growing admirers of butterflies. FB let us share our images of butterflies from all corners of the United States. FB brought us closer together, enabling me to introduce myself to Virginia, Barbara Ann, Angela, Peggy, Phil, Cathy, Rose and Jerry, Laurence, Marcie, Deepthi, Lois and so many more fantastic people.

Over these last years, FB has, I think, contributed to much of my travel abroad, in search of butterflies, as with Ian, and my own images of HolyLand butterflies, knowing that they will have a good platform to be seen and enjoyed.

What I have noticed, is that as the number of butterfly seekers increases, there is the search for rare, ‘uncommon’ butterflies. NABA, aka the North American Butterfly Association, in a way pushes this quest for rarities. FB often shares extra special finds at the National Butterfly Center in Mission, Texas. I was there in December 2017, and you sure get caught up in it, for in that week, I saw Erato heliconian, Red-rimmed, Mexican fritillary, Tropical leafwing, Gold-border hairstreak and more, much more. It was Wow! Wow! Wow! daily.

With the ability of almost ea$y travel to once remote American habitat, me thinks that there has been a concurrent near dismissal of more familiar USA butterfly species. Who among the well known butterfly photographers share shots of American coppers, for example?

This richly colored American Copper, at Raccoon Creek State Park in southwestern Pennsylvania easily compares with the often worn, bird-struck super-rare posts so more common nowadays.

After all, Who’s for American Coppers in 2018?

Jeff

Finely Crafted Coppers In The HolyLand

Coupled Copper Butterflies II photographed by Jeff Zablow at Neve Ativ, Israel

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.

Jeff