Nordmannia Myrtale ( Mt. Hermon )

Nordmannia Myrtale butterfly photographed by Jeffrey Zablow at Mt. Hermon, Israel

I take great pleasure from this photo. I hired a guide, we drove up to the Golan ( Israel ) and I kept my wits about me as we took the lift up, 7,000 feet, to the peak of Mt.Hermon. Managing my reluctance to scale heights wasn’t a picnic, but I did it.

The peak of this giant mountain, at the northeastern reaches of Israel, was not what I expected. The peak was enormous, and somewhat flat. The temperature reached the mid-90’s that June day. Eran toted many liters of water. We saw butterflies, many species of very rare butterflies. Eran spotted that very evil looking land mine, and during the later half of the day up there, I stayed mostly on those ancient trails that cross here and there.

The view of Syria, down the north face of the mountain, was picturesque and serene. Today? Down there today, Syria, is rated the Most Violent place in the world today.

This tiny Lycaenidae butterfly, Nordmannia myrtale is Protected, a very rare butterfly that few have ever seen. I saw it, and that pleases me, Truth be told.

Jeff

“The Most Dangerous Place . . . . “

Cow Grazing on Mt. Hermon photographed by Jeff Zablow at Mt. Hermon, Israel

Chilling. I just read that this serene, picturesque landscape is no more. I was there in June of 2008. Frieda A”H passed away in January of 2008. Rachel left her SEC job that same month, and emigrated to Israel. She joined a large CPA firm there, in Tel Aviv. I visited to see her, see family there, and find rare butterflies on the peak of Mt. Hermon. At the northernmost extreme of the Golan Region, Mt. Hermon boasts as many sas 12 species of butterflies that can be found nowhere else in the world.

I hired Eran Banker, a guide, and off we went. Rode the cable car up to the top, a HuGe show of guts, for I am very uncomfortable with heights, and 7,000 feet is very, very high. Eran is a big man, and he lugged liters of water for us up there, in sun 100% of the time, temperatures in the low 90’s, and drier than dry.

We found some of those very rare butterflies, many of those images shared here in wingedbeauty.com posts. Eran gave me a heads-up when he called me over, and showed me a very scary looking land mine, in an area on the peak that I was working, in my search for butterflies. Chilling! Waiting since the Six Day War for?

We also saw cattle browsing on the peak, cattle owned by Syrians at the base of the northern side of Hermon. This hefty bovine is calmly seeking desirables amid the rock strewn peak. Huh? I looked at them, they looked at us, and went on munching.

The background you see is Syria. Minutes before I began this post, I read that it’s brimming with Syrian army and irregulars, Syrian rebels, Iranian army regular, Iranian irregulars, Russian advisors and technicians (and ?), Hezbollah terrorists, North Korean technical advisors, Pakistani technical advisors, U.S. technical advisors and special forces and who know who else, is “the most dangerous place in the world” now.

2008 and my search for butterflies on Mt. Hermon. 2018 and war, across the very same arid land that you and this cow can see. Will this merit your Comment?

Jeff

American Butterflies Magazine (Summer 2017) & Parnassian Mnemosyne

Parnassius mnemosyne butterfly photographed by Jeffrey Zablow at Mt. Hermon, IsraelLevantine marbled white butterfly photographed by Jeffrey Zablow at Mt. Hermon, Israel

I finished reading Harry Zirlin’s article in the Summer 2017 issue of American  Butterflies (NABA), and ‘Go Tell It On The Mountain’ by Zirlin is a tour of the US Parnassian butterflies. Funny that, I’ve not yet met an American parnassian butterfly, but did have that exciting meet-up with Parnassius mnemosyne syra on the peak of Mt. Hermon at the northern limits of Israel.

Harry brought back exciting memories of that day in June, and especially exciting was the moment when this beaut flew in and nectared on these ground-covering blooms!

This Israeli parnassian, distant cousin to the swallowtail butterflies, is a threatened species, and is found only on this 7,000 foot high mountain peak. It survives in an austere habitat, that also features still undiscovered land mines, from earlier battles on the mountain (Eran and I found one, before it found me!).

Jeff

Love the Blues, I Do

Common Blue Butterfly at Mt. Hermon, Israel

Common Blue Butterfly at Mt. Hermon, Israel photographed by Jeffrey Zablow ©2010, http://www.wingedbeauty.com

Tell me how many problems you have with the ‘common’ species name that they gave this butterfly, on the slopes of majestic Mt. Hermon, in Israel? The name? Common Blue Butterfly.

A blue that Frank Sinatra, Ole Blue Eyes, would’ve loved. The kind of blue that you drown in when you look into the eyes of anyone lucky enough to sport same. The class of blue on the finest china services of the very spoiled.

Here is my basis for continuing to shoot Fuji film. Love rich blues, browns, reds and more.

A ‘Common’ blue male, resting peacefully in the northernmost tip of Israel, in the Holyland, as surprised to see me as I was pleased to drink-in its privileged blue with my color thirst eyes.

Jeff