I was just scrolling down some Facebook group sites and my eyes were again and again disappointed. People were posting their images of different tiny Israeli butterflies. I was especially drawn to images of rare, Protected Aricia butterflies. Most of their posts were of males, with their delicious reddish-orange spots along the margins of their wings.
Now I have spent hours seeking those same Aricia butterflies, with some success. Some, for they fly at breakneck speeds, making me rush after them, as they alight on a wildflower for 2.31 seconds, and then again speed away, to a similar bloom 20 feet down trail. Exjhilirating/Exhasuting. Both.
Their shares on FB had orange spots that were limpid, weak or washed-out. I remembered my own favorites, and it seemed to me that mine were richly hued. I didn’t hesitate for a moment to go to our Media Library of images, to see if my recollection was correct.
Here’s a favorite of mine. Aricia Agestis agestis. See my smile? I followed those bad boys for several mornings in my time, and I can now safely smile, for I like what I captured here.
That 12 hours flight, the drive to my daughter’s home, and days later, the 2.3 hour drive to the Golan region of Israel, an SPNI field house at SPNI Hermon. It’d blow your mind, as we used to say. Butterflying in the HolyLand.
Watching plane loads of people arriving at Ben Gurion International Airport, reminds me that groups visit the HolyLand from every corner of the world. There have been times that I just sit there, waiting for my own flight, and playing a guessing game, Where Are They Arriving From? Chile? Nigeria? Sweden? Taiwan? Azerbizian? Portugal? Iceland? Japan? Myanmar?
You? I’ve urged my wingedbeauty friends to visit the HolyLand, sharing maybe 100 posts from there, or more. It’s safe there, very, and starkly beautiful. The dry desert area, buildings built of stone block and the emotional rush of seeing what you imagined back in Sunday school, make for lifelong memories, meaningful memories. If you prefer, luxury hotels abound, as do many other hotels.
What I do ask you to think about is driving your rental car out of Tel Aviv, Jerusalem or Eilat, and spending 2 or 3 days in search of what we Love, butterflies. My most beloved destinations are in the north of Israel, the upper Galilee and the Golan Heights. Stay like I do in an SPNI (Society For The Protection of Nature in Israel) guesthouses (reservations must be made in advance) and explore the many nature parks and roadside flora for butterflies. The roads are excellent, and the signs are 98% Hebrew/English.
Delight yourself in June/July when you spot this Danaus butterfly, the Plain Tiger butterfly. Just as our Monarchs and Queens do here in the USA, these HolyLand butterflies are milkweed butterflies, laying their egg on milkweed.
I’ll reward anyone who takes this suggestion, with an extra special Giant lollypop, made in America.
I wanted images of the 2 Tarucus butterflies found in the HolyLand. I was in an SPNI field house in the Golan, and my plan was to drive south to a place I’d never been to, with no guidance other than the maps in an Israel field guide. The more than one hour drive skirted the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee, past Capernum, to scout out probable habitat for these black and white nifties.
Found them! Here is Tarucus rosaceus, sweetly nectaring in a spot some 3/4 of a miles or so from the Syrian border. His markings are striking, and I was very happy that I made the effort to add Tarucus to my ‘I Really Want To Locate These Butterflies’ itinerary.
I did stand there and marvel at how close I was to villainous, murderous demons, the Syrian butchers, the mercenary Russians and their high tech ‘toys,’ Iranian Thugs who call themselves the Iranian Guard, for hire North Korean Satans, ISIL monsters who kill and behead Christians and whomever else, Hezbollah Haters who train 7 days a week to kill Jews, Chinese technicians who are there to do what?, Hamas murderers and . . . All of them madmen less than a mile away, and there I am breaking my own rule, getting down on my belly to cop a shot of a tiny Tarucus butterfly (thus offering myself up to ticks, scorpions and Middle Eastern pit vipers-of the no known serum type).
A grown man acting like a boy, all to catch a good look at G-d’s work.