Trail of Galilee Memories

Apharitis Cilissa butterfly photographed by Jeffrey Zablow at Mt. Meron, Israel

It was a trail of surprises, this one on Mt. Meron in the Upper Galilee. So many butterflies, and so many surprises. This was the trail I worked, to find my goal for that week’s butterfly search. With no guidance, I reasoned that if I was in the right place, at the right time = June, just maybe I might find a flight of this rare (Protected) hairstreak butterfly.

I was booked for 5 days in the SPNI Meron reservation, in one of their field houses for visitors. I set out very early that first morning, on the main trail in the SPNI reserve. Some 1/2 miles or so down the trail, at a modest clearing with tiny flowers, there they were. Apharitis cilissa. Tiny, perky little hairstreaks, their upper wing surface speckled beautifully marked underwing surface. Most of them kept their wings closed as they nectared or perched. Some did undulate their closed wings, showing hints of lovely burns orange upper wing.

I worked hard and long to score a shot of those wings fully open. This male glowed in the early morning light, and here he is, resplendent in that flowerbed, along a trail in the very Upper Galilee.

Irony. Just some 2-3 miles north of here, the border with Lebanon, and the murderous Hezbollah, armed and financed by Iran, the same butchers who murdered our brave U.S.Marines.

Jeff

Pink Butterfly Orchid In The Galilee

Pink Butterfly Orchid (2 stalks), photographed by Jeff Zablow at Mt. Meron, Upper Galilee, Israel

Roger, Angela, Barbara Ann, Debra and Jim Fowler have been sharing scrumptious orchid photos on Facebook, this many weeks. I admit to not looking for orchids, ever . . . until I met Barbara Ann and Angela. I should not write ever, for some years ago I did marvel at Pink Lady Slipper Orchids at Bear Run in the Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania. I stood in front of those breathtaking blooms, and the connection between those orchids and the Almighty was Oh! so clear.

So many of you who visit here are firm believers, and know of Capernum, The Sea of Galilee from Sunday school and such. I though it poignant that these Pink Butterfly Orchids were found on Mt. Meron in the Upper Galilee region of Israel. I’ve no doubt that the Christians and Jews who we revere stopped on their journeys to reflect on these incredibly delicate orchids. No doubt at all.

The Galilee region and the Golan are verdant wildernesses, with small towns (moshavs) sprinkled here and there. I tease with this, for I so want to one day be told that one of you traveled to the HolyLand, inpart due to something I shared . . . .

Jeff

Next Year? War or No War?

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

I was reminded to take pictures of the HolyLand (Israel) by Cathy. I remembered to stop and gather significant images as I worked the Golan Heights region and the Upper Galilee region. I also shot away when I stopped my rental car when Capernum loomed in the distance. Cathy was right, these places so pull at our heartstrings. I’ve sought to induce you to go there, travel there, and luxuriate in the reality, that same reality that you listened to in Sunday school back when.

This particular view was captured when I paused on a trail in an Israeli National Park in the Golan. I was there to search for Golan butterflies. Butterflies, not so many that late morning, but look at this view. Those whom we revere saw almost the very same landscape, and They Loved it.

Life events made a trip there this 2018 impractical. 2019? I want to go. I really want to be there again. See Rachel and her sons. Eat the sun drenched fruit and vegetable that abound in the supermarkets and tiny fruit stands. I want to ride the trains across the country, and admire the thousands of soldiers, men and women, mostly very young, who travel those trains every day. Bright, young, athletic, disciplined, well trained and serious, Oh so very serious.

That Golan mountain range is home to many very rare, very “U” (Uncommon) butterflies.

Green landscape, mountains, clear streams, expanses empty of people . . . Just Jeff and the Golan, the Galilee.

You are viewing what most strategists consider the most dangerous territory in the world. I’ve hiked it since 2008, after Frieda A”H passed. It’s moving, very moving I tell you.

Next year there? Yes if Iran, Syria and Russia don’t do the unthinkable. Maybe, if Iran and its evil allies bring War to this very place.

The Joker here? The current White House looks upon Israel as its little kid brother, and we all remember what a mistake it was to bully the skinny little kid, when his big brother was notorious for his ferocity and love of his brother.

I opened up a bit here, didn’t I?

Jeff

HolyLand Copper Butterfly

Lycaena Thersammon photographed by Jeff Zablow at Mt. Meron, Israel

What with memories of the Lower Rio Grande Valley’s butterflies still fresh in my mind, I’m especially intent on finding butterflies that are fresh, colorful and vital. This look at Lycaena thersammon sure fills this menu.

I had worked my favorite trail on Mt. Meron, in the Upper Galilee region of Israel, taking it to its end. I had copped many promising images of butterflies, but my trips to Israel are always too short, and I wanted more and better.

This sweetie rested on a twig, not too far from the trail’s starting point. Color? Rich. Tails? Intact. Spots? Stark and dramatic. Condition? Fresh! Eyes, head and antennae? Excellent! So I shot away.

That twig that the Copper butterfly is resting on is just some 2-3 miles from Lebanon, an armed camp overrun with Hezbollah, Iranian fanatical ‘advisors’ and their claim of 100,000 missiles aimed at Israel.

Butterfly stunners and young men pledged to murder in the same space. Such is the Middle East of today.

Jeff