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

From Texas to Mount Meron Israel

Blue spotted hairstreak butterfly photographed by Jeffrey Zablow at Mt. Meron

Eight days in Texas, Mission, Texas. What a cavalcade of butterflies greeted me at the National Butterfly Center! At Bensten State Park and at the nearby, much celebrated ‘Wall.’ Imagine, December 21st through December 27th, and yet, we were seeing so, so many butterflies. One of those days saw the thermometer rise to 80F?

I can’t tell you how many different Hairstreaks we saw, I saw. Many fled before I could grab an image. So many of those AWOL hairstreaks were rare, and all were new to me. I did cache some really special exposures, among them Gold-bordered hairstreak and Tropical greenstreak. Very soon, I will have those scanned, and want you to see them when I do. I fly to Southern Texas, in the last week of December, and am greeted with gorgeous, rare Hairstreaks. Neat, Huh?

All that led me to thinking of HolyLand hairstreaks. This beaut, found on Mt. Meron, in the Upper Galilee, is Strymonidia spini melantho. She, as some hairstreaks do, ‘posed’ for me, as she methodically nectared.

It just reminds me how Thankful I am that, me and my Macro- (100mm/2.8) Canon lens have made so many successful approaches, and enjoyed as many good-enough hairstreak images, as we have scored.

Jeff

On Pins and Needles . . .

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

My timing? Perfect for finding a flight of Apaharitis Cillisa, on Mt. Meron in the upper Galilee, the HolyLand, Israel.

After seeing quite a few fly, I wanted to catch a good shot of those teeny, tiny wings as they gently undulated back and forth. Why? Because when those hindwings moved back and forth, the exquisite coppery-red color of the upperwing peeked out, and it was a treat to see it. Here you see my best result, a pleasing share of both dorsal and ventral wing. I wanted to capture this sweet look, and I think I did.

Just 2 days ago, Dwayne’s Photo (Parsons, Kansas, USA) emailed me. My 27 rolls of Fuji Velvia slide film has been processed, and my slides will arrive tomorrow, NLT noontime.

Pins and Needles. That’s how family used to describe how it felt to wait for something that they really, really wanted badly.

I got my Swift Guide of North American butterflies (Glassberg) in the mail yesterday. John and Nancy strongly recommended it. Last night I poured through it. Pins and Needles!!

Will my slides be keepers? Will those fantastic exposures of mating, hard to find Mexican fritillaries be worthy of sharing. Will those of the largest, most gorgeous Monarch butterflies I’ve ever seen, shot before and during their coupling, meet my own standards?

Imagine my ‘bated breath’ as I recall shooting Erato heliconian, Red-rimmed, Malachite, Gold-bordered hairstreaks, Menstras, Fatal metalmarks, Tropical leafwing, Texas crescents, Julia heliconians and many, many more rare and new to me butterflies. Pins and needles. Needles and pins.

Jeff