Find A Tamarck Pine – Find Bog Coppers

Tamarack Pine Tree, photographed by Jeff Zablow at Allenberg Bog in New York

We found Allenberg Bog. That western New York State bog was a treat. Tamarck Pine, bog Cranberry, Pitcher Plants and Sundew were there in abundance. They together verified that this was a true acid bog, a Sphagnum bog.

Allenberg also sported the Copper butterflies that I was searching for, Bog Coppers. The Cranberries were just finishing their flowering and the Bog Coppers were reaching the end of their flight. That means that the images I score, of Bog Coppers, did not 100% satisfy my determination to bring home good images of fresh Bog Coppers.

Barbara Ann is willing to once again join me, in search of that near impossible to find trail leading to Allenberg Bog. University owned (U. of Buffalo ?), I’m anxious to traipse the soft-spongy acid bog again, this time a bit earlier in June. The Tamarck Pines will greet me again, and the tiny Bog Coppers, will they dance for me as they did before?


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.


What’s To Like Here?

Coupled Lycaena Thersamon Butterflies photographed by Jeff Zablow in Neve Ativ, Israel

They remained locked for 20 minutes that I know of. Lycanea Thersamon coppers, engrossed in that primary urge, the production of a new generation of copper butterflies. On the slope of Israel’s Mt. Hermon, we were away from the snow covered peak, away from the intercine battles fought that April 2017,  just down on the other side of Hermon. That meadow was blanketed with these little yellow blooms, and no shortage of perches there for interlocked butterflies.

I shot away, from many different angles. Months later, viewing the best of that series of images, I was pleased. I found much to like in several of the slides that I scored.

What did I like here? The rich color of the female on the right. Her distinct right eye and the brightly spotted right antenna. The crisp orange/black markings of the marginal spotting of her forewing and hindwing. The balanced positioning of her right legs. The satisfactory bristling of her wing borders. The discrete but muffled view of their terminal couple. His left antenna and his blurred, but still deep copper red dorsal tint.

Valued too is the seriousness of their look. Purposeful and important. Finally, I am reminded how much I like her spotting, and the whitish framing of each and every wing spot.

Shareable, that always my goal.


Lycaena Thersaon in the HolyLand

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

I actually wanted to repeat. Repeat that fantastic day in June 2008, on the peak of Mt. Hermon, at the very northern extreme of Israel. Where scores of men died battling for the mountain, and where even in ’08, Eran called me over to warn me, Jeff, stays on the trails, because his boot was pointing just ahead of him, at a very healthy looking landmine, left there decades before, and still sort of grinning up at us, as in ‘Dare you to tickle me with your big  toe?’

I so wanted to return there April 2017, but no guides would do it. Down on then northern base of Mt. Hermon, were the regular Syrian forces , ISIL butchers, the Syrian rebels, the Russians, Hamas, Hezbollah, the Iranians, maybe North Koreans here and there, the Kurdish forces and surely some highly trained American ‘advisors.’ The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) weren’t allowing civilians on Hermon. Rats!

So what did I do? I drove up the base of Hermon, on a very narrow, very curvy, for me, very scary road. Sharing the road with 18-wheelers, all aggravated at this boy from Brooklyn (flat land, the Dutch once called it).

I worked the perimeter of the village of Neve Ativ, on the slope of Mt. Hermon. With much success and with total focus.

Found this pair of coppers, Lycaena Thersamon. Coupled together. Male on the left, female to the right. They were handsome and fresh, and they were on the safe, peaceful side of the mountain, unhurried, striving to assure future generations of HolyLand butterflies. I cannot image how any or many of their cousins can be left, amid the ordinance being  exchanged on the other side of majestic Mt. Hermon.