Nordmannia Myrtale ( Mt. Hermon )

Nordmannia Myrtale butterfly photographed by Jeffrey Zablow at Mt. Hermon, Israel

I take great pleasure from this photo. I hired a guide, we drove up to the Golan ( Israel ) and I kept my wits about me as we took the lift up, 7,000 feet, to the peak of Mt.Hermon. Managing my reluctance to scale heights wasn’t a picnic, but I did it.

The peak of this giant mountain, at the northeastern reaches of Israel, was not what I expected. The peak was enormous, and somewhat flat. The temperature reached the mid-90’s that June day. Eran toted many liters of water. We saw butterflies, many species of very rare butterflies. Eran spotted that very evil looking land mine, and during the later half of the day up there, I stayed mostly on those ancient trails that cross here and there.

The view of Syria, down the north face of the mountain, was picturesque and serene. Today? Down there today, Syria, is rated the Most Violent place in the world today.

This tiny Lycaenidae butterfly, Nordmannia myrtale is Protected, a very rare butterfly that few have ever seen. I saw it, and that pleases me, Truth be told.

Jeff

Lycaena Phlaeas on the Slope of Mt. Hermon

Lycaena Phlaes Butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at Neve Ativ, Israel

I was seeing a whole lot of Lycaena thersamon those 3 mornings on the slope of Mt. Hermon. Two threatened Coppers, Lycaena asabinus and Lycanea ochimus fly there, but they begin to eclose in June. I was there in April. No problema. I was sure that sooner or later I’d spot another Copper, Lycaena phlaeas.

Three mornings of driving up that torturous mountain road, big time driving for me, reaching sharp curves and would you not know it, enjoying (?) 18-wheelers come down as I meet the near hairpin turn! Nope. Not giving into my mountain road discomfort. Learned that in Ft. Dix, New Jersey. Press on, show confidence and feel confident. You can do it. I mostly have, ever since Papa Company.

Day 2 on the mountain, in the fields surrounding Neve Ativ. Scoping the tiny Coppers as they worked these itty bitty yellow blooms, and there he was, finally. Lycaena phlaeas. A handsome looking male, and he was serious nectaring intently.

He’s a play in orange, black, white red, black spots and more.

Coppers on the biblical Mt. Hermon, way, way up on the mountain, thankfully on the peaceful side. No rockets or mortars coming over those days. Just coppers and more.

Jeff