The Middle Eastern Moth that Swooped in

Unknown Moth, photographed by Jeff Zablow in Society for the Protection of Nature Hermon, Israel

Hours into working the trails of SPNI Hermon, at the slope of Mt. Hermon, I was giddy, with so many butterflies flying, and untold wildflowers that were new to me. It was March 2015, and 2015’s winter was a wet one, insuring that March in Israel would produce a bounty of botany. Abundant wildflowers attract and nurture healthy numbers of butterflies, bees, flies and all of the rest of the flying nectarers.

It was that time when earnest naturalists begin thinking, Should I quit now, or push myself. Into that decision mix I added the clincher. Once the morning sun gets too high overhead, it bleaches images, and renders them less than fab.

Just then, I passed a rocky outcrop on my right, and, this moth shot out from somewhere and Huh? It landed, just 2 feet from me. I don’t seek moths, but they are winged beauties, and I am a curious type. Decision was made. Approach, and shoot out. Remember I use a Macro-lens (2.8, 100mm, Cannon). I liked this moth. It must be a type of hawkmoth, and it was fresh and I noted those blue bands on its abdomen. A pretty baby blue, that I liked.

What moth is it? I do not know. I do know that we will soon learn its ID from someone who know Middle Eastern moths.

Good. An exotic moth, who flew to me and posed. Happily, I was there, 7,000 miles from home, on this rocky outcrop, surrounded by a palette of wildflower beauty.


Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly

Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly photographed by Jeffrey Zablow in Eastern Neck National Wildlife refuge, MD

I love beautiful things. I’ve been to many pre-sale exhibitions of Magnificent Jewelry at Christies and at Sotheby’s (auction houses) in New York. I’ve seen the finest jewelry produced by the major jewelry designers.

With your permission I offer that the beauty born on the wings of butterflies more than rivals the work of those jewelry producers. This view of her wings below fits.

That has been one of the reasons that I enjoy photographing butterflies. I dwell on the significance of it all. Enough said.

Our Papilio glaucus here has been working the Butterfly garden at Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge in Rock Hall, Maryland. She has gone from perennial to annual to perennial sipping her nectar/pollen mix with much gusto! The nectar, with its variety of sugars and proteins affords her the energy potential to fly, search and at the right time produce the eggs that will ensure new generations of tiger swallowtails.

Two hours from metropolitan Washington, DC, this Refuge offers raptors, marine birds, abundant wildlife and fresh, fresh butterflies. 5 stars.