Working that beautiful Qedesh trail in the Upper Galilee, that recurring thought keeps popping up. How fortunate am I to be here, in the early Spring in the HolyLand, seeing fresh, rare butterflies in the meadows that flank the trail?
This one? Anthocharis Damones, taking a moment to nectar on these tiny orangish blooms, allowing us to gaze at its dorsal (upper) surface and also to see some of the ventral (lower surface) of its right wings.
My eyes drink up this image, and always drift to the right of this photo, up coming a smile, at that extra tiny, yet luscious purple flower.
Spring, on a verdant trail in the uppermost Galilee region of Israel, where Th-y too went at one time, to see and ponder.
What a coup! A male Anthocharis Damone Syra butterfly, protected because of its scarcity, in the Upper Galilee region of the HolyLand, Israel. I very much wanted to score an image of this richly colored butterfly, and I met them in March 2012 and again in March 2015.
Images shared in field guides often disappoint, for in the printing, color usually loses its real life richness. I’m sitting here with an Israeli field guide for butterflies, and the images of this Anthocharis is not only washed out looking, but it’s an image of a pinned, collected butterfly.
My images are shot with Fuji Velvia slide film, and I do that for, I am told, I’m a purist, and want real-time color. The image here very much approximates the hues of this butterfly that I saw on Kedesh trail, south of Kiryat Shemona, in the uppermost Galilee.
Our next chance to revisit Israel’s Galilee and Golan regions (lush, green and hilly to mountainous = not the arid desert some imagine when they think of Israel) may well be in May or June of 2020.
Hey, did you notice that sharp little purplish bloom in the right of the image?
Scouring the Upper Galilee region of Israel for butterflies is a Joy! that I’ve done, many times. 99% alone, the entire time, amidst fields of fresh Spring wildflower blooms, I Thank G-d for the opportunity. I tell you I often stop, scan the meadows of the Kedesh trail, and struggle to understand why more folks don’t do the same? Thousands of years ago, They stopped their important missions, to amaze at those same species of butterflies, and here I am fortunate to do the same.
I am especially fond of Satyr butterflies, and this trip to Kedesh trail produced a good discovery. I was scanning the tiny stream that runs along part of the trail, it mostly dry, but recent rains left the stream bed wet enough to nurture a brown satyr that flew in. I quickly made my approach. Daddah! A handsome satyr butterfly. I carefully moved in and was thrilled to see this was a rare, Protected satyr, Parage aegeria aegeria.
Hot diggity dog! Those in my field guides bore tiny white eyespots, but this buster’s eyespots featured big, prominent white centers. I shot away, and quicker than that, he flew. Away and out of sight.
I love finding rare HolyLand satyrs. No scholar I, but, I have no doubt I’d just shared moments treasured by Them, thousands of years ago. I like that.
That March hike along the Kedesh Trail in the Upper Galilee region of Israel. Me searching for butterflies, especially rare little blues. It’s hard I tell you, for my eyes kept locking in on fetching beautiful wildflowers. 20% counterproductive, for most cannot look for butterflies and notice new wildflowers at the same time. Fascination for the one means you will well miss the other.
But that’s my struggle, Barbara Ann, Ellen, Virginia, Caron, Deepthi, Jim, Roger, Peggy, Marcie, Pam, Phyllis, Cathy, Angela, Debra, Leslie . . .
These were just beseeching me to stop and admire them. Great Stork’s-bill (Erodium gruinum).
Me, just like They, thousands of years ago, admiring the sweet March blooms of the HolyLand.
A consistent winner, this Kedesh Trail, just 10 minutes south of Kiryat Shimona, in Israel’s Upper Galilee. Rare butterflies, fresh and earnest, have been my reward for driving to this exceptional trail, with its meadows, rocky outcrops, and rising cliffs and both sides. The HolyLand, April 2017.
With a break in the airborne action, my eyes revert to searching for wildflowers. These dainties lined a good part of Kedesh. I had a mental meeting with me, myself and I, and it was decided. I would look for a richly colored, well lit, healthy bloom, and attempt (hand held, no tripod) to get a good one.
Wow! Scarlet Pimpernel aka Anagallis arvensis.
What say you?