None Of You Will Guess Correctly (Not Even You)

Red Admiral butterfly photographed by Jeffrey Zablow at Ramat Hanadiv, Israel

It’s a Red Admiral butterfly (Vanessa atalanta) nectaring happily on a flower bed. Guess where they were seen?

Ohio? Georgia? Arizona? Ontario? Wales? Alaska? Mexico? Japan? Azbekistan? Portugal? The Gold Coast? Kenya? Australia? Machu Picchu? Nicaragua? People Republic of China? Thailand? Malaysia? UAE?

Want to know where I saw it?

Ramat

Hanadiv in the HolyLand/Israel.

An international butterfly, no?

Jeff

Tiny Pseudophilotes Vicrama Butterfly

Pseudophilotes Vicrama butterfly, photographed by Jeff Zablow at Ramat Hanadiv, Israel

Less than 2 miles from the shore of the Mediterranean Ocean, in the HolyLand, I scoured the hills of Ramat Hanadiv Refuge for butterflies. This north of Tel Aviv expansive reserve is an excellent destination to find butterflies and rare botany. On site they have an excellent restaurant for lunch, and at the end of each morning, I would make sure to enjoy an excellent meal, in their windowed dining room, with good view of the planted gardens.

That day I found this Pseudophilotes Vicrama butterfly, with its pleasant dotted ventral surface, flash of iridescent purplish dorsal wing surface and as you look closer, that sweet red dot. Angling to include the cute purple bloom seen to the right, the whole of the image pleases me, it does.

Butterflies, rare plants, wildlife and ruins, with a large parking lot, view of the Mediterranean Sea and excellent restaurant on site, more than enough, no?

Jeff

HolyLand Swallowtail Butterfly

Papilla Machaon butterfly, photographed by Jeff Zablow at Ramat Hanadiv, Israel

No, they aren’t approachable in The HolyLand, Israel. Don’t imagine that you can carefully approach a Swallowtail butterfly there, and capture its image. Oh, No.

This is a prized picture for me, of a male (?) Papilio Machaon Syriacus buiterfly. He flew into this bloom at Ramat Hanadiv preserve, closed to the Mediterranean Ocean. Me? I was standing just about there, and I knew, knew that this was a special opportunity for me, on my what, 8th or 9th trip to Israel.

Pleased I am, with a good image of a speedster butterfly.

Jeff

Middle Eastern Swallowtail Butterfly

Papilla Machaon butterfly, photographed by Jeff Zablow at Ramat Hanadiv, Israel

So many trips to Israel, and so few chances to photograph Papilio Machaon Syriacus. I’d think of how pleased I’d be to bring you a good image of these swallowtail butterflies, found throughout the Middle East. That was tempered by how difficult it is to shoot a butterfly like this one, a butterfly that refuses to allow you to approach it.

The excitement that I experienced here was electric. I was on a trail at Ramat Hanadiv, the heavily visited wildlife preserve north of Tel Aviv, and very close to the Mediterranean Sea. These yellow blooms were aplenty along the trail, and he flew in to nectar. He must have been very hungry, for he allowed me to approach (robotically) and he tolerated my many shutter clicks.

Fresh, spectacular and for several moments, tolerant. The yellow, the black, the blue and the red-orange . . . Yummy!

Jeff hopes to return to Israel in 2020. Jeff, Thankful.

Jeff

That Bothersome Name: Painted Lady

Painted Lady butterfly, photographed by Jeff Zablow at Ramat Hanadiv, Israel

I must have seen them all most young life, in not yet all-built Brooklyn, New York, then in Queens, New York and later in Long Island New York. Unlike some, I didn’t own field guides, nor did I work to learn butterfly names, but, I’m sure in saw Painted Lady butterflies those first 2+ decades.

I was in my 50’s when I earnestly went out and sought butterflies. It grabbed me, with the intensity you feel when you begin reading a book that you immediately love, and almost cannot put down. Butterflies provided so much fascination for me, there were so many of them and there’d be no “I did it!.” That could never happen because I knew I’d never have the time or money or inclination to climb rocky peaks to see all of the butterflies of the USA.

Painted Ladies were among my early favorites. They were numerous around the state parks near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and they would always come out to sunny spots on trails to ‘greet’ me. They were my sometimes trail buddies.

Like many brushfoot butterflies, you couldn’t distinguish males from females? Not in the field you couldn’t. That brought up the bothersome thought of the name chosen for these brave butterflies: Painted Lady. How I grew up was you had to be able to “handle yourself” on the streets (give it and take it), cry? never. Someone bothers your brother or sisters, you take care of that. Someone “calls you out” in school, you meet them after school, never within sight of the school building or the schoolyard, and you do what you do. No ‘millennial’ Jeff, you had to be tough, or kind of stay in your house . . .

I’ve thought often of who it was that named the male Painted Ladies such? These Leps are tough little wild animals, and I’ve always thought they never deserved the name that they got. You must forgive me if you have another opinion here. Mine is etched in my brain, vital it was for survival. Mine was not the Father Knows Best childhood.

You  can stop wondering about this handsome Painted Lady. Jeffrey Glassberg cites them as the “planet’s most cosmopolitan butterfly.” Found on every continent, they are all nearly identical. This one was met in Ramat Hanadiv, near the Mediterranean Sea in the HolyLand, Israel.

Jeff