We Steadily Grow Our International Audience Adding . . . Estonia

Coupled Copper Butterflies I photographed by Jeff Zablow at Neve Ativ, Israel

I Love finding that our friends who visit wingedbeauty.com live well beyond the USA. Often I consider asking you, who lives in the Philippines, South Africa, France, Mongolia, Sri Lanka and Finland, why have you visited. Why/what brings you back again and again?

Me? I’ve loved and followed butterflies since I was a kid deep in the streets of Brooklyn, New York. I’ve seen them endure land development, rotten city air and the arrival of millions of new people from around the world. I’ve compared their beauty, when they are hours out of the chrysalis, compared it to the ‘Magnificent Jewelry’ sold in New York’s finest auction houses and antique shops and in the world’s finest jewelry stores.

Butterflies that are fresh and starkly beautiful are more exquisite than the artisans in the world’s finest design workshops. Me? I attribute their unexcelled beauty to work of . . . G-d.

Recently I noticed that we have a frequent and much appreciated visitor from Estonia. Estonia? Who are you and what brings you back, to our great satisfaction?

Jeff

HolyLand Copper Butterfly (Golan)

Lycaena Thersamon Butterfly Nectaring photographed by Jeff Zablow at Neve Ativ, Israel

A friend has been posting her recent photos of Copper butterflies seen in her native Washington State, USA. Melanie Manko Weiss’ images of Mariposa Copper (Lycaena mariposa)? I count them among my favorites.

That got me to recalling Coppers that I’ve seen and loved. This HolyLand Copper, seen in the village of Neve Ativ, on the slope of great Mt. Hermon in Israel, is a photo favorite. When they are fresh, as this one is, Lycaena thersamon, again bring a smile and much admiration from me. I’d spent hours in that Neve Ativ meadow, and this Copper showed up, to my glee and excitement.

Jeff

Rare Butterflies in the HolyLand

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

View from Neve Ativ East to Syria photographed by Jeff Zablow at Neve Ativ, Israel

I went to the HolyLand (Israel) to see my grandsons and to photograph rare butterflies. Hillel and Boaz were such Fun! to be with, and rare butterflies?

I scored many images of very rare butterflies there in the Golan. You’d LLOOVVEE trekking the Golan Heights as they used to be called. So much of what you heard in Sunday School took place there, They walked there, and admired the very same butterflies that I found there. That thought so sobered me.

Here’s Aricia Agestis Agestis, seen in the meadows surrounding the village of Neve Ativ, on the slopes of Mt. Hermon. Listed as Protected, I smiled BiG when I spotted its telltale orange wing margin spots.

Forget your outdated mental images of Israel. This second image shows the outskirts of Neve Ativ, green and lush. Just over that hill in the background is the world’s active battlefield, intercine, bloody Syria. Israel? Safe and beautiful. Syria, like the Killing Fields of Cambodia.

The Middle East. A Conundrum.

Jeff

What Do You Want?

Copper Butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at Neve Ativ, Israel

A friend and butterfly photographer suggested today that I consider revamping my blog goals, and begin chronicling where and when you and I see butterflies, west of the Mississippi River. She pointed out that audiences change and people seek new formats and new sharing.

I chewed on that for some time after. The suggestion went on to ask me to think about becoming more involved with butterfly groups and their web sites. And more. Provocative stuff that. True enough that when we began wingedbeauty.com, we had fewer than 30 “Followers” and we now boast several hundred. I do sometimes recall some early followers, who no longer come and see what we share. Many of the newer followers do not seek to interact or pursue discussion with me, their visits are shorter and I’m not so sure I know what that means.

So, what do you want here? I can tell you that I responded to her at length, with some of my early and ongoing goals. I started photographing butterflies seriously, some 25 years ago. From that time forward, my primary goals were to score and share images of butterflies that were more pleasing to the eye than the photos in the best of the butterfly field guides. I am pleased that I have realized that goal, many times.

I wanted to bring photos of butterflies to people who might not otherwise ever see them, and I really really wanted my captures to look just like the butterflies do in real time, in the field. I spend hundreds of hours each year in wild habitat, and my eyes know what they looked like when I found them. That is the primary reason that I shoot film, Fuji Velvia slide film, ASAS 50 mostly. The color is so true.

My most critical goal is to remind. Remind y’all that the beauty of a fresh butterfly, like this one, met in a meadow bordering the Neve Ativ village, on the slope of mighty Mt. Hermon in the Israeli Golan, far exceeds the best craftsmanship ever to come out of the workshops of Cartier, Tiffany, Van Cleef & Arpels . . .

G-d fashions these winged beauties, and H-s work is exquisite.

So, then, what do you want when you pay us your visit?

Jeff

Sweet HolyLand Copper

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

Almost 4 hours on that wonderful meadow in the full Israeli sun. It was me and lots of blues and copper butterflies, within sight of Mt. Hermon, just at the perimeter of the little village of Neve Ativ. We’re on the slope of the mighty mountain. Many battles were fought here, and now peace reigns, and there are so many Lycaenidae butterflies at hand, that I am careful picking and choosing which to expend film for.

This tiny copper butterfly, Lycaena phlaeas timeus charmed me, and I returned the favor, shooting away, and scoring this sweet capture. Among the bounty I shot that day, reward for sure for driving up the steep, narrow, winding road to get to Neve Aviv. I remember thinking, what would happen if I round the next sharp curve, and suddenly an 18-wheeler is coming the other way! Yes Ma’am that’s exactly what happened next. Don’t like such, and there I was, thankfully on the inside lane, nearly scraping the mountain outcrop to my right!!

The only thing missing that morning, or the other mornings, was Y-O-U.

Jeff