It’s mid-winter here in the Georgia Piedmont. I did see a sluggish Cloudless Sulphur Butterfly last week, on a 67F day, in my yard. That said, the general butterfly hiatus is some challenging. That’s especially so when I open Facebook and the Ian’s and Bill’s photos from the likes of what Peru, Indonesia and Bolivia, India. Mike and Javi put me over the top, when they share butterflies just seen in the Lower Rio Grande Valley in Texas!
Their sweet images of impossible butterflies tease out the little boy in me, and I start thinking of images I have gleaned that ‘they don’t have.’
My many trips to the HolyLand jump out at me as I scan my Media Library, and here’s one that sure qualifies for an exciting find. This Lasiomatta megara emilyssa jumpstarted my blood pressure when I spotted him sunning on a rock on a trail on Mt. Meron, in the very northern Galilee region of Israel. HolyLand butterflies dislike close approach, and for that I stopped where I did, Macro- lens and all, for closer approach would have left me with zero images. They flee, and they flee at high speed.
This butterfly is not uncommon, but at the same time is rarely seen.
Do I plan to travel to Indonesia, Chile or Slovenia? No. But I’m booked for the Lower Rio Grande Valley, and kind friends continue to beckon me, to far, far away locales.
Mt. Meron is excellent for finding Upper Galilee butterflies, especially satyrs. I’m always on the lookout for images that highlight their tantalizing spots. A great long-term goal, for they don’t enjoy close approach, and nearly each and every time you find a fresh one, with those spots and eyes aglare, it’s gone before the first shutter click.
Persistence often rewards, and this time, I was Ga Ga when I found this Lasiomatta maera orinetalis with the morning HolyLand sun spotlighted on its upper left wing eyespot! That’s a rarity in the field, and I got it, I did. Enough of the lower right wing surfaces can be seen to make the declarative satyr ID.
Surely such fascinated Them back then, as they made their pilgrimages, this just days just days before Christmas . . . Amazing to ponder, this.
Color. I love warm color. True, when I loved in New York, though untrained, I spent lots of time in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, MOMA, Brooklyn Museum and often visited Christie’s and Sotheby’s pre-Sale exhibitions of American Art and European Art. I love fine Art and I love color.
Mt. Meron in the upper Galilee region of Israel had a good number of Turkish Meadow Brown butterflies, they sporting rich, warm color.
I spent several days seeking the best Maniola Telmessia I could find.
I like this for that, and when it went from flower to flower I followed.
Here’s the image I want to share. It evokes comely color, warm, agreeable and inviting.
We’re on Mt. Meron in the Upper Galilee Region. Jews, Christians and Muslims value this region, at the very northern edge of Israel today. Me? I’m finding butterflies the entire time up on Meron.
I’ve already met some of them, most of them. Every once in a while, I catch a fleeting glimpse of a butterfly I do not know. One I never met before.
This one, Sherlock Holmes, is one new to me. Israel’s field guides? They’re helpful, but they are mostly written in Hebrew, and they have years to go before they can be described as ‘Excellent.’
This one is grouped with the Satyrs, but it differs much from the images in Dubi Binyamini’s landmark field guide.
Israeli Butterflies flee on approach, most when you’re 10-15 feet away. That to anticipate your curiousity, ‘Why didn’t Jeff get closer?’
I hope that Yaron or Oz or Dubi will come along and help us here. What is this HolyLand satyr?
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.