Moments of Ecstasy: North America & The HolyLand

Lycaena Phlaes Butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at Neve Ativ, Israel

Lycaena phlaes Butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at Neve Ativ, Israel

FORT INDIANTOWN GAP, Pa - Visitors of all ages participated in a rare regal fritillary butterfly guided tour on Fort Indiantown Gap. (Department of Military and Veterans Affairs photo by Tom Cherry/Released)

Visitors of all ages participated in a rare regal fritillary butterfly guided tour on Fort Indiantown Gap in Pennsylvania (Department of Military and Veterans Affairs photo by Tom Cherry/Released)

I’m enjoying posts shared by so many who like me are anxious for the winter of 2020 to end. Their posts of Spring-Summer-Fall butterflies wet our appetites. It’s so close to the time that we check our stuff, and head out to see and shoot G-d’s winged beauties.

Enjoy with me here 2 of those moments of ecstasy.

The first is a Copper butterfly met on the lower slope of Mt. Hermon in the HolyLand’s Golan region. Lycaena phlaeas. Fragile, beautiful, perky, purposeful sipping that nectar . . .

That’s me at Ft. Indiantown Gap Military Reservation’s expansive meadow, photographing the very rare Regal Fritillary Butterfly. I crouch there, thinking that this exquisite Fritillary used to fly where I was a boy in Brooklyn, New York, and it’s range is now limited to this meadow in central Pennsylvania and another meadow on a restricted military site in Virginia.

Moments of Ecstasy. Admission price?

Jeff

Great Spangled Fritillary Butterfly

Spangle Fritillary butterfly photographed at Raccoon Creek State Park, PA

Isn’t she beautiful? She is busily taking nectar from these milkweed flowers. My experience has been that milkweed and teasel flowers are their most prized food providers.

Great spangled fritillary females are larger than males. They spend less time flying than the males do. Males fly for long, long periods of time, looking, looking for a mate.

The sugars and other foods in the nectar must provide the energy for 20 to 30 minutes of flying. Very impressive.

Those of you lucky enough to have large lots can easily attract lots of butterflies if  you support a small stand of milkweed and teasel.

Those of you who don’t have large lots, make some time and go on a butterfly spotting hike in your local city, county, state or national refuge/park. You’ll see fantastic stuff guaranteed. April, May and June are the best = no nasty biters are about.

Jeffrey