What’s To Like Here?

Coupled Lycaena Thersamon Butterflies, Neve Ativ, Israel photographed by Jeff Zablow

They remained locked for 20 minutes that I know of. Lycanea Thersamon coppers, engrossed in that primary urge, the production of a new generation of copper butterflies. On the slope of Israel’s Mt. Hermon, we were away from the snow covered peak, away from the intercine battles fought that April 2017,  just down on the other side of Hermon. That meadow was blanketed with these little yellow blooms, and no shortage of perches there for interlocked butterflies.

I shot away, from many different angles. Months later, viewing the best of that series of images, I was pleased. I found much to like in several of the slides that I scored.

What did I like here? The rich color of the female on the right. Her distinct right eye and the brightly spotted right antenna. The crisp orange/black markings of the marginal spotting of her forewing and hindwing. The balanced positioning of her right legs. The satisfactory bristling of her wing borders. The discrete but muffled view of their terminal couple. His left antenna and his blurred, but still deep copper red dorsal tint.

Valued too is the seriousness of their look. Purposeful and important. Finally, I am reminded how much I like her spotting, and the whitish framing of each and every wing spot.

Shareable, that always my goal.

Jeff

BG Stops To Gaze To The East AKA Syria

Neve Ativ Fields Looking East photographed by Jeff Zablow at Neve Ativ, Israel

A friend asked that I shoot and share HolyLand landscapes. Just about 0.05% of wingedbeauty followers have ever been there, that including those of you what have the dollar$ to actually book an El Al flight and go there. So, sure I agree to do so, though I am not a Sherrie Duris, Albert Bierstadt, Nancy Crosby, Peggy Klaczyk or Ansel Adams.

Not one to visit monuments, historical sites or such, I did now and then remember her request, and when I scoped places that I though you would find interesting, different and thought-provoking, I worked to secure good images.

Most imagine Israel looking like other Middle Eastern countries, i.e., dry, barren, rocky and watered by oases, found here and there.

This view from Neve Ativ, on the southern slope of Mt. Hermon, looks east. The foreground is easternmost Israel, the famous Golan region. The background is Syria, currently the world’s most active war zone. To the immediate right, and one hour and a half by rental car, is the Sea of Galilee, where Jesus Christ walked and taught.

Mt. Hermon is snow covered for 4 months of the year, and the melt from that snowy peak waters the entire region through most of the year. Those fields in the foreground? Israelis are adept at farming and engineering, and you see the product of such a combination of skills.

The serious fencing, topped with razor-wire? To deter terrorists from seizing the virtues of the night, for their heinous acts. It was April 2017 when this photo was taken.

The question? Is it safe there, Jeff? Safer than the street or county road you live on. How can that be? There is a very subtle, ever-present military presence there, and they employ the most sophisticated surveillance equipment, and they train as our US Marines do.

Jeff

Waiting For Rare Ones

Aricia Agestis Butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at Neve Ativ, Israel

The Coppers were flying, they in good numbers. None were of the 2 rare, protected Copper butterflies known to populate the peak and slopes of Mt. Hermon. That was OK, for the coppers I was seeing in the field surrounding Neve Ativ, though of the common copper species, were, well, fresh. Very fresh. When I caught sight of mating copper pairs, I went into overdrive. Happy, motivated, loaded with Fuji slide film, and yes, Thankful that I was there on the mountain, in the northernmost tip of Israel, April  2017.

Thankful too that the murderous Syrian regulars, Syrian secret cadre, Iranian regular and other murderers, ISIL, Hezbollah, Syrian ‘Rebels’ (whomever there are/were), Russian uniformed and special forces, North Koreans, Hamas, US special forces, Al Qaeda remnants, Pakistanis and more were down on the northern face of Mt. Hermon, planning,  executing and killing one another (though I wish safe missions for our American Special Forces/Opps heroes).  Just that they were not in Israel, threatening the Israeli Jews and Israeli Druze who live in this OMG! lush, water rich Golan region.

My eyes rested their ‘Rare Copper’ search engines . . . but I did not relent another search mode, for I was on the lookout for the rare, equally protected gossamer-winged Aricia Agestis. Mostly the tiny butterflies were there in those fields, and my eyes were scanning the little for minute butterflies with chains of little orange flashes rimming dorsal (upper) forewings and hindwings.

Some 2 hours into that morning, jackpot! There was Aricia, leisurely nectaring on very small, low to the ground blooms. A very nice one, and sweetie. . . approachable. I shot away, and share here the best of what I got. Hadn’t seen Aricia for 2 years, even though I was in Israel’s north in 2016, looking for this sweetiepie. Good. Very good.

There we were there then, Jeff and Aricia, within sight of The Sea of Galilee to the south, were my Chrisitian friends all tell me they plan to visit “someday,” for Aricia surely flew down to there then, surely wasn’t so rare then, and no doubt was also admired then. Imagine that, if you will?

Jeff

Lycaena Phlaeas on the Slope of Mt. Hermon

Lycaena Phlaes Butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at Neve Ativ, Israel

I was seeing a whole lot of Lycaena thersamon those 3 mornings on the slope of Mt. Hermon. Two threatened Coppers, Lycaena asabinus and Lycanea ochimus fly there, but they begin to eclose in June. I was there in April. No problema. I was sure that sooner or later I’d spot another Copper, Lycaena phlaeas.

Three mornings of driving up that torturous mountain road, big time driving for me, reaching sharp curves and would you not know it, enjoying (?) 18-wheelers come down as I meet the near hairpin turn! Nope. Not giving into my mountain road discomfort. Learned that in Ft. Dix, New Jersey. Press on, show confidence and feel confident. You can do it. I mostly have, ever since Papa Company.

Day 2 on the mountain, in the fields surrounding Neve Ativ. Scoping the tiny Coppers as they worked these itty bitty yellow blooms, and there he was, finally. Lycaena phlaeas. A handsome looking male, and he was serious nectaring intently.

He’s a play in orange, black, white red, black spots and more.

Coppers on the biblical Mt. Hermon, way, way up on the mountain, thankfully on the peaceful side. No rockets or mortars coming over those days. Just coppers and more.

Jeff