You Still Haven’t Booked?

Tour Bus entering Capernum National Park, photographed by Jeff Zablow at Lake Kinneret, Golan Heights, Israel

Three days before New Years Day. Just 3, with 2017 beckoning! This will be your year. There is a new excitement in the air here in these butterfly-rich United States of America.

You’ve worked hard all your life, ever since those post-Sunday School days. Lots of you boast kids grown, and out.

The news is full of Trump, Obama, and promising, optimistic, real change. Heroics are in the air. President Obama snakebit Israel, President-Elect Trump promises to finally send the UN out to get a branch, and come back for a ‘likin.’

Get online, book a round trip on El Al Airlines, finally, finally, see Jerusalem, Bethlehem, the Galilee region, and be on this bus here, as it takes you and your new friends right to Capernum!

You be the one on the bus, and return home and revel your family and friends with the Wonder of It!

Know too that the Galilee region, the Golan region, the hills surrounding Haifa, as well as the land surrounding Jerusalem are rich with them . . . butterflies!

Jeff

And Who are You?

Rare Grasshopper, photographed by Jeff Zablow at Yehudiya National  Park, Golan Heights, Israel

Working the trails at the Yehudiya National Park in the Golan. This northeastern part of Israel is lightly settled, and features lush green valleys, bordered by low mountains, all pointing north to majestic Mt. Hermon. The drive from here to Mt. Hermon is about an hour and a half. On the bottom of Mt. Hermon’s northern face, right there . . . Syrian regulars, ISIS, “Rebels,” US ‘advisors’ and aircraft, Russian ‘advisors’ and aircraft, Hezbollah from you-don’t-want-to-go-there Lebanon, Turkish forces, Kurdish militia and Iranian regular and irregulars . . . are all in a deadly minuet of kill, kill.

Here there’s peace, tranquility and G-d’s creatures. Butterflies were OK that morning, but I cannot say they were abundant. The wolves that roam this park and this region, well, I did not see them these 5 days here, even though I roamed freely, and was “alone again” me, myself and I.

Smack dab in the Middle East, knowing that so many of you, yes you, yearn to visit there??? And, who did I ‘bump’ into? This nicely camoflouged . . . grasshopper? It allowed a lengthy, close approach, just moving around that boulder a bit (boulders strewn everywhere, as if G-d was sprinkling giant salt).

I presume a grasshopper? If my Israeli friends come by, perhaps we will learn more. For the meanwhile, I have to say I was fascinated. It was about 92 degrees hot, 92F in the Middle East is way hotter than it is in Brooklyn, or Pittsburgh. 92F and our little cutie here is sunning itself on a boulder, for a good many minutes. Wow!

April 2017! Sound enticing, anyone?

Jeff

Back to the Golan Heights in 2017?

Golan Heights Seen from Belvoir Mountain National Park, photographed by Jeff Zablow at Golan Heights, Israel

A view you have never seen before. I was up on Mt. Belvoir, in the lower end of the Golan region of Israel. My search for butterflies on the mountain was so-so successful. The botany up there filled those hours, especially the other-worlds Bear’s Breeches (recently posted here).

There I was up on this mid-sized mountain, March 2016. Never been there before, and never ever saw this view. It takes some time to integrate what is shown here, and then consider that just beyond the background area shown, is Mt. Hermon.

On the north face of Mt. Hermon, is the world’s current, and bloodiest battlefield. There, now, as you read this. Scan the valley that fills the mid-ground of this image. Quiet, largely unoccupied, and green, with several very large agricultural fields here and there. Move your eyes to the line of windmills. Israel is very hip, current and windmills are that, hip and current, and if seen here in Israel, where little is wasted, I am sure, efficient.

Now just over the crest of the hill, beyond the last windmill, is the beginning of Mt. Hermon’s footprint. Down on the other side of Mt. Hermon, Syrian government forces, “Rebel” forces, ISIS forces, Hezbollah forces, Iranian forces, Russian forces, Kurdish forces, U.S. regular and irregular (CIA, Special Opps, NSA, and only Huma knows  . . . ?), Turkish forces, elements of Hamas, Al Queda are all either fighting, or circling one another like wrestlers at the 2016 Summer Olympics.

So you see, this modest exercise in Golan geography also has us almost peeking into the reason that hundreds of thousands of Syrians are pouring out from Syria and walking to Europe and North America. Their life has been like some recent Hollywood movies, with legions of bloodthirsty people and aliens coming into bucolic Syrian towns and farmland, destroying, mortaring, murdering and raping the people who live there.

Israel remains So Strong, that this nexus of armies and mercenaries and crazies stops at the border. No one wants to be met by F-15’s piloted by well-trained young men and women, themselves very adept at using the very latest tech equipment that they have at their finger tips, Thank G-d.

Footnote: I hope to return to this green, verdant Golan region in Spring ’17 to again hunt for butterflies & visit my grandsons, too.

Jeff

Butterflies, Capernum, Bethlehem and Jerusalem

Capernum, photographed by Jeff Zablow at Lake Kinneret, Golan Heights, Israel

I know that this image will sing to so many of the wonderful folks who visit wingedbeauty.com. Do you recognize it? I’m standing at it’s entrance, and we are looking across The Sea of Galilee. The hills across the Sea are wonderful natural heights that effectively separate Israel from its neighbor to east, Jordan.

I was here, on my way back from photographing butterflies further south, very, very close to the Jordanian-Israel border. The dark clouds and light drizzle that dogged my fieldwork that morning had burned off here.

This is Capernum National Park. Capernum, the same Capernum that you may have tried to envision, back in Sunday school, sometime back.

Butterflies, Capernum, Bethlehem and Jerusalem. Some of you have the wherewithal, others of you are 1 lottery ticket away from it. If this post triggers any one of you to book your flight to the HolyLand, let me know. Maybe we can coordinate 2017 Victory trips. No?

Jeff