Two hours had gone by. I’d worked and reworked that meadow at the edge of the little moshav (village) on the slope of mighty Mt. Hermon. Mostly I was seeing blue butterflies and copper butterflies. Most were common and found throughout the northern half of Israel. A few were rare, protected butterflies, they much appreciated and good for pumping the waning adrenaline.
The coppers were a fresh flight. That brought me to thinking that it would be neat if that 2017 morning I might find a mater pair of coppers. Its way uncanny, that there have been times, especially in the HolyLand, when I asked G-d to roll out this or that butterfly for me . . . and I guess, my plea is heard, for sure enough, out it comes. Honest.
Think as you will, just minutes later, this exquisite pair of Copper butterflies, right there, coupled tighter on this tiny, Golan bloom. They seemed indifferent to my Macro- approach. Two lovers, each smaller than my pinkie finger nail, locked together, purposefully. He on the left, she to your right. They were still there a bit later, not having moved much.
I shot dozens of exposures. I wanted alot. What think you? What does this image stoke in your mind?
I wanted these images, wanted them a lot. More than for the obvious reasons: memorable shots on the slope of Mount Hermon, mentioned in the Old Testament, coupled butterflies make for good blog traffic, etc.
I wanted a look like this for it provokes me, and I hoped it would do so for you. The wonderment here is near infinite. The sheer beauty, challenging, even for this blog writer, who usually is able to express.
They are both fresh Copper butterflies, he at your left, she boldly displaying her rich color, pattern and form, they not only in the HolyLand, Israel, but dramatically in a little meadow in the uppermost Golan. Hey, in my lifetime, their ancestors were in the middle of a fierce war zone, not just one time in your lifetime, but several times in the 20th century. They are just a handful of miles or so from Syrian troops, Russian ‘advisors,’ Hezbollah legions (terrorists), Iranian regular and irregular (terrorists) soldiers, Syrian ‘Rebels,’ North Korean ‘Advisors,’ U.S. personnel . . . All that and these Coppers fly undaunted.
Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Roger Tor Peterson, Robert Michael Pyle and Johnny Cash would all have coined poignant and forever beloved thoughts, on seeing this. I have no doubt.
Me? I am not known for shared book worthy thoughts of great moment. I am known for suggesting, and this image suggests the bottomless beauty and great substance of G-d’s incredible creations.
Y. A. Tittle? Jim Brown? Fran Tarkenton? Antonio Brown? Matt Ryan? I’m sitting here, slightly missing the National Football League this 2018 season . . . and I’m thinking. This image of a tiny copper butterfly, Lycaena thersamon omphale got me to thinking, how do 6′ 3″ tall men, and 5′ 11″ tall women shoot such diminutive butterflies.
This guy was seen in a small moshav (village) on the slope of Israel’s Mt. Hermon. I wanted those 2016 images to include coppers nectaring with their wings open. I spent those 3 mornings trying to capture that and some other scenarios.
Remember, I shoot Fuji slide film, and use a Canon 100mm/2.8 lens (this was my first one, not equipped with Image Stabilization). Working with a Macro- lens necessitates getting some 18″ or so from the copper, that a feat in and of itself. So you approach, you all bent over, or like me kneeling on my left knee, on my Tommy kneepad. He flies to a bloom 2 feet away, you follow, going down again, again he flies, and again . . . This for 3 hours in the early morning! Stir in the added feature: the sun drenching you in hot, sunburn waves, and ask yourself: How does a guy like Peyton Manning, touted at 6′ 5″ . . . photograph copper butterflies in the Israeli Golan?
Share what you know please.
A Why? Butterfly. Seen in April on the slope of Mt. Hermon, Israel. You’re likely to give this Levantine Marbled White the two second look that most white butterflies complain of.
Look again There’s something different here. Examine those hindwings. See them?
Those two “eyes?” Our white butterflies don’t boast “eyes.” If it’s not a white butterfly, like our Cabbage white . . . what group of butterflies does it belong to?
Levantine Marbleds are Satyrs. Hmm.
Are there any white U.S.A. Satyr butterflies?
The carnage just miles away in Syria prevented me from going to the peak of Mt. Hermon. Wanting to find and photograph the rare butterflies of the mountain, I settled on the meadows surrounding Neve Ativ. This tiny town is on the slope of Mt. Hermon. Neve Ativ looks like what I think a little Swiss village would look like.
Blues and coppers were flying, low as they do, in those flower covered meadows. An occasional fritillary butterfly showed, but they never landed for more than 2.1 seconds. Mid-way through that morning (photographing butterflies in Israel, even as we are here in April ’17, is near humanly impossible in the afternoon heat as it is a very arid country).
When I spotted this mated pair of Lycaena thersamon omphale, if you were there with me, you’d surely tell me that I had a face lit up, happy-look as a puppy with . . .
I chose to share this now, for it reminded me of how readily available beauty, peace and G-d’s work is for those tens of millions of you who work day in and day out. Me, I started working after school at age 13. When I retired I had worked for decades and decades. I am gifted in that I do still smell the roses, and hike to find eye fulls like this = sheer, unadulterated Beauty. Earnest, innocent and 0% politicized.