Cattle on Mt. Hermon, Israel photographed by Jeff Zablow, 6/16/08
I do. I’ll not ever forget that morning on the peak of Mt. Hermon, the mountain that served as the border between Israel and Syria. At 7,000 feet above sea level, my guide, Eran, and I expected to be alone on that June boiling hot ‘top of the world’ mountain top. Not so, for see who we shared it with?
We theorized that these were Syrian owned cattle that regularly climbed Hermon to graze on its limited fare.
We marvel at the view here. It’s history, for sure. The mid-ground and background here capture Syria before it became its present Armageddon killing fields. Before Syrian army, Hezbollah, Russian ‘advisors,’ Cuban ‘advisors,’ Hamas, North Korean ‘advisors,’ Chinese ‘advisors,’ Pakistani ‘advisors.’ bin Laden’s men and more arrived to kill, rape and force out the tens of thousands who lived there. Ugh!
Me? I was there to find and to photograph rare butterflies, butterflies that lived there, and . . . nowhere else. Did I?
Added to the experiences I’ve had that I shall not forget. Good.
Found only on Mt. Hermon in Israel, this butterfly is also known as the Clouded Apollo. Regular visitors to wingedbeauty.com know that 2013 brought War! to the north face of Mt. Hermon, with mortars, ordinance and RPG’s hurtling this way and that down there and sometimes over Mt. Hermon and into Israel.
Sure, it is always hoped and expected that we will soon capture images that surpass the ones that we have been lucky enough to already own. So, I waited. This image was taken in June 2008. Wow! Butterflies on the peak of Mt. Hermon were numerous, exotic, and like Israeli fighter jets, knew only one speed when approached, Zoooommmmm. The challenge was real. The wait for new images up there on the peak was frustrated when I attempted to return in June of this year. Uh uh! Only IDF (Israeli Defense Forces). War below!
This image now has increased worth. A protected species found only on the 7,000 feet above sea level Mt. Hermon, and that now a closed military reservation. They nectar fiercely, like my black russian pup, Petra does, as if the ‘food’ will be snatched away imminently. After this butterfly exhausted the sugary nectar of this ground hugging flower, Zoooommmmm! Gone!
A sunny morning in Ramat Hanadiv, not far from the Mediterranean Sea. Euchloe ausonia is so focused on her search for nectar, that she allows my approach.
Abundant along the Sea’s coast and inland, their host plant, various Mustards and other crucifers readily support these little beauties.
Ramat Hanadiv, known worldwide for their verdant, expansive gardens, is an excellent destination for viewing butterflies. The horticultural beds (acres and acres of them) are surrounded by hundreds of acres of undisturbed habitat. Big parking lot, miles of paths, shop, facilities (excellent) and superb restaurant steps away from their perennial gardens makes this botanical oasis a terrific place to shoot butterflies. I photograph in the morning and the walk 100 feet to have a tasty lunch (gluten-free for me) in the restaurant. Luxury, luxury.
Again I am thankful for the white butterflies. When others are absent, Euchloe a. and other white buerflies zip in to keep us focused. Good.
June 2008 was a very good time to be at the top of Mt.Hermon (Israel) and working to photograph butterflies.
Common Blue butterflies (Polyommatus icarus) are found throughout the country. Nevertheless, encountering this handsome male here was especially nice.
What say you of the stunning blue seen here on a morning with crystal clear blue skies and 7,300 feet above sea level? His blue evokes . . .
I was more than surprised to see cows grazing right nearby, at the mountain’s peak. My guide, Eran was not surprised to see them at all. Remarkable. See our post of the Cow on the . . .