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

Green Vista: The Golan Heights

Move This To The Top Of Your Travel Plans? The Golan..

Winged Beauty Butterflies

Golan Heights Landscape seen from Yehudiya National Park, photographed by Jeff Zablow at Golan Heights, Israel

Working the trails at Yeyhudia National Park in Israel’s Golan Heights, for butterflies. March 2016 it was, and there I was alone for hours, often stopping to Thank G-d for the opportunity to walk these ancient paths. I refrain from sharing too many landscapes here on wingedbeauty. On this trip to Israel, the Land was so lush, so verdant, that I realized that this rule of mine had to be slightly adjusted.

The recently ended winter produced average precipitation, and that insured that the Land of Milk and Honey would green from end to end, from Rosh Hanikra to Eilat. For decades now, Israel has been taking the husbandry and conservation of its resources very seriously.

This is the land that Americans never see. Our media prefers to blast the orchestrated, ready for camera/prime-time noise that they sniff out. Those 5’3″ settlers who began coming in the 1890’s and continued…

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Theirs and Mine (the Golan)

Aricia Agestis butterfly, photographed by Jeff Zablow on Qedesh trail, Israel

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.

Jeff

Exotic Blooms in the Land of Milk and Honey

Just One Hour To . . . Capernum

Winged Beauty Butterflies

Scilla wildflowers, photographed by Jeff Zablow in Society for the Protection of Nature Hermon, Israel

Two Unforgettable flower stalks, perched on a rocky hill edge, overlooking the verdant (OMG! green) northern border of Israel. I was determined to save my film for butterflies, but c’mon, how could I not succumb to this temptation? March 2015 in the Golan Heights region of Israel. A wet winter insured the arrival of a Spring with flowers blanketing the land, and rare wildflowers determined to capitalize on the excellent growing conditions.

These Hyacinth Squill blooms (Scilla Hyacinthoides) dotted the sides of these hills, on the SPNI Hermon Reserve. They enjoy a short growing season, and are listed as a Protected Species. The expanse of view looks to the northwest, into Lebanon. Lebanon, a country wracked with violence. A pastoral view then, with bad-boy land to the horizon.

Yes, this is primarily a butterfly blog, but . . . the camera made me do it!

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Bust Out Butterflies

Plain Tiger butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at Mishmarot, Israel

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.

Jeff