Here in the Georgia Piedmont, this last week or two has produced many Tiger Swallowtails in our new Macon garden. Facebook too has shared many posts that gleefully share news of good number of Eastern Tiger Swallowtails making their appearance in central Georgia. We’re watching them nectar on our Hibiscus, Cosmos, Azaleas (the 20 or so large bushes in our backyard now have several in bloom!), Coneflowers, Joe Pye and more.
While surfing through our Media Library here, I stopped at this, an image of a Papilio Machaon butterfly found at Ramat Hanadiv Refuge in central Israel, not far from the Mediterranean Sea. This HolyLand swallowtail, I male I think, is difficult to photograph, usually refusing to allow you to come closer than 10 feet from it.
Imagine, a HolyLand Swallowtail . . . wouldn’t that tickle your fancy?
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?
Hanadiv in the HolyLand/Israel.
An international butterfly, no?
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?
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.
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.