Eran agreed to guide me along the peak of Mt. Hermon. We were there, on that 7,000 foot high peak, at the northeastern corner of the HolyLand, this the mountain that looks down on the Golan Heights. We were there to find and shoot butterflies. Did we? More than I could have dreamed. Many of them were rare, only found on this mountaintop. Working this enormous Biblical mountain top, mostly alone, in that nearly boiling Middle Eastern heat . . . was exhilarating!
Was it dangerous that day? Not so much then, we knowing that Israeli, Syrian, Lebanese and U.N. lookouts had us in their binoculars and other advanced surveillance equipment.
Eran is seen here gazing down to Lebanon, where today, tens of thousands of Hezbollah fighters are massed, thinking that they, and their ballyhooed 50,000 or more missiles will massacre the children, women and men of Israel.
Keep your eyes peeled for news that the Hezbollah ‘Army’ has begun to move. Know that G-d will be there, and will deliver those ‘fighters’ up. You will retain this image in your mind of minds, I hope. Butterflies and barbarians, Yikes!
Butterflies have so enriched my life, so bolstered me when I needed reassurance that I was who I wanted to be. Frieda’s Passing A”H, betrayal in business, enduring many life threatening situations, serving as an artillery officer when ‘Nam got boiling hot, raising children of much accomplishment . . . so much happened, and these last decades found a way to continue to be me, the street kid from Brooklyn whom few have understood, truth be told. It’s difficult to bring folks to understand who you are, isn’t it?
Searching for butterflies is a joy for me, and, when I find very rare butterflies, on difficult to work mountain tops, that joy is sweet, so very sweet. That’s how it was when I met this fritillary butterfly. I was on the peak of Mt. Hermon, a biblical mountaintop at the very northern border of Israel.
I went there knowing that more than 12 butterflies were found only on Mt. Hermon. I knew that fritillaries were among those preciously rare butterfly species. When Eran and I found this fresh Melitaea Persia montium, I was so so so excited. I just knew that we’d found a butterfly that few had ever seen, it flying only on the peak of this 7,000 foot mountain.
The late morning heat was burning (at least 93 in full Middle Eastern sun, the Hermon peak with desert like humidity), other butterflies had been very difficult to approach, that land mine that Eran found, in an area I was heading toward and the realization, gnawing in my mind, that this could be my one and only trip here for a long time (lifetime?) . . . all caused me to SOOOO plead with G-d that this OMG! butterfly enable/allow me to score images of it.
Today? I checked again and Google continues to include this image, when you or any of the world’s 6.9 Billion folks Google M. Persia Montium. That lites my fire. Yes it does.
My many trips to Israel, the HolyLand produced thousands of images, most of those Fuji Velvia slide exposures ended up in the circular file (the garbage). Those trips to the Golan, Galilee, Rosh Hanikra, Netanya area, Jerusalem, Ein Gedi, Mishmarot and so much more yielded some images that brought great joy to me, though few knew of these spectacular captures that I made. wingedbeauty.com enables me to share them with you, and we can all agree that the beauty and diversity of the amazing Earth is boundless.
This female Gonepteryx Farinosa Farinosawas seen on Mt. Hermon, at the northernmost point of the Upper Golan, in June. They are only found on the top of that 7,000 foot high peak, and I was there just when they were fresh, and aloft.
On this day, Fathers Day in the USA, seeing this image, and remembering my excitement when I shot away, pleases me, alot.
I watched the full tourist buses enter and leave the National Park at Capernum. The entire time I was standing there, they were coming and going. Being me, I wondered how many of those folks broke lose from their tours and explored on their own.
Me? I’ve not been on an Israeli tour for decades. Really. I find much deep meaning in exploring the Upper Galilee, the Golan, Ramat Hanadiv on the Mediterranean, Binyamina and more. I’m seeking Israeli butterflies and at the same time I’m totally immersed in the Land, in the HolyLand. Few, including my own family, understand. I’m fine, for I understand. My roots there go back, all the way back to King David, Moses, Aaron, Joseph, Benjamin, Rachel, Leah, Jacob, Isaac and Abraham & Sarah.
This very rare HolyLand butterfly, Nordmannia Myrtale was shot on the peak of Mt. Hermon. I knew at the time that the top of that mountain hosted butterflies not found anywhere else, and seeing her, as Joshua and Jesus must have, Rocks! me, it does. Rocks me!
Where did I see this very Rare Parnassius Mnemosyne Syra butterfly? When did I see it? Why did I see it there? How confident was I that I’d see it?
I secured a guide to find especially rare butterflies, species only found on the peak of Mt. Hermon in the HolyLand(Israel). He picked me up in Tel Aviv and we drove the 3 hours to the Golan. The next day we took the lift up the 7,000 feet slope, and WOW! The peak of the mountain was so much larger and more expansive than I ever imagined. Eran lugged many liters of water for us, vital on that scorching 95F June day. We met birder there, they from Germany, who were seeking migratory birds. Eran spotted a land mine, a menacing man-made monster, in an area I was working in my search for butterflies. The mountain had been a battleground.
Eureka! We found many rare butterflies there, including this one. It was kind of exciting to know that our every move was being observed by the IDF, United Nations Observers and for sure Syrian troops.
The peak of Mt. Hermon is no longer open to us, for Syrian has recently been the world’s worst killing field, and because there are now more than 50,000 Iranian troops on the north base of Mt. Hermon, they wearing Syrian uniforms and driving Syrian marked military vehicle. That’s almost as dangerous a place to be as downtown New York, downtown Portland, Oregon or downtown Minneapolis. Irony of ironies.
I treasure this image. Really. How many have such?