Blue HolyLand Butterfly

Common Blue Butterfly at Mt. Hermon, Israel

There are several species of Blue butterflies that you might see on Mt. Hermon in the HolyLand (Israel). They are all tiny, and identifying them requires that you see both the upper (dorsal) wing and the lower (ventral) wing surfaces.

When I saw this one, there at the northeastern tip of Israel, this bluer than blue dorsal wing surface kind of shocked me. I was so fixated by this extra ordinary blue that I forget the make sure that I saw its ventral wing patterns.

Sitting here with our Israel Butterfly field guide, by Dubi Benjamin, I can’t be sure of its species. It’s blue as blue can be, and that’s just got to do. No?


White Peacock Butterfly at the perennial gardens in the National Butterfly Center

White Peacock Butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at the National Butterfly Center, Mission, TX

Never saw one in western Pennsylvania during my 27 years of living there. Glassberg has them as R-U (Rare to Uncommon) in the northeastern USA. I’ve seen White Peacocks in Savannah Natonal Wildlife Refuge along the Georgia-South Carolina coastline and in Mississippi near the Delta. They’re the kind of butterfly species that just don’t excite most folks when they find one. I wonder why finding a White Peacock does not shoot up the blood pressure?

This fine White Peacock was seen in south Texas, at the perrenial gardens of the National Butterfly Center. I’ve waited this long to share this image with y’all, for fear that once again it would just not generate heavy traffic here. I’ll soon see if I was correct.

How many White Peacock fans are there?


Caper White Butterfly (HolyLand)

Not Dayton Ohio or Missoula, Montana. The coastal plain of Israel, the HolyLand at the village of Binyamina. Some 10 miles from the Mediterranean Sea, near Dina & Misha’s orchards.

Studying this Caper White, requires that I continue to remind myself that this is NOT a U.S. Cabbage white butterfly.

I must too remind myself that the number of butterfly species that one can find defies your imagination. G-d is a prolific painter of beauty, is what I often think.


Flirting Gulfs

Gulf fritillary butterflies flirting, photographed by Jeff Zablow at "Butterflies and Blooms in the Briar Patch," Eatonton, GA

Each species of butterfly behaves differently moments/minutes before they join to copulate. Watching a male Monarch physically force a flying female down to the ground is a bit much, others come together gently, and with apparent total focus.

This pair of Gulf Fritillary butterflies were in the tall grass when I found them at the Butterflies & Blooms Briar Patch Habitat in Eatonton, Georgia. Studying the photo convinces that this male and female are gently preparing for action to produce a new generation of Gulf fritillaries. Not suite which is the female or which is the male. I am sure that those flashes of white, nicely reflecting the morning light, are bedazzling.

Splendor in the Grass, this.


Me and Br’er Rabbit?

Briar Rabbit statue photographed by Jeff Zablow at Butterflies and Blooms Briar Patch Habitat, Eatonton, GA

Br’er Rabbit at the entrance to the Butterflies & Blooms Briar Patch Habitat in Eatonton, Georgia. I now live 1 mile from this, Virginia Linch’s 2nd launch of this butterfly wonderland. Brooklyn to Eatonton? How, why, where and when?

Back in the ’40’s my mother Mary A”H read books to me, I sitting on her lap. A favorite was the tales of Br’er Rabbit in the Briar Patch. She said I’d ask her to read it again, and again, and again and . . . was launched in 2011. My stalwart early blog followers were loyal, fascinating people. As time went by I sensed that they were steadily tiring of only seeing butterflies of the U.S. northeast, of Israel and of Arizona and Toronto. My decision was to score photos of southeastern USA butterflies.

But how? At that time, no one was willing to meet me in any of the states of the U.S. South, and lead me to butterflies, common or rare. Travel to Arkansas, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Florida, South Carolina & North Carolina . . . with no one to guide me. I’d get skunked after each and every 500-880 miles drive!

About that time, I noticed mention, on Facebook of one Virginia C. Linch. Long story short, she FB msg’d me “Come on down!!”

The butterflies in then Butterflies & Blooms Habitat I were incredible! Hundreds would be flying at any given time, and I counted 29 species there, one morning alone.

Snow, ice, cold-shoulders in Pittsburgh after 27 years there, and an unhappy domestic situation, and where to go next, Jeffrey? Well . . . Eatonton, Georgia.

For my kids it’s not the city, and I am kind of different down here, unable to shake my roots and my Brooklyn twang. That said, I love the patience and kindness of Georgians, the 25% lower prices of groceries and so much more, the gorgeous weather and short “winter” and this garden, my new natives garden. Butterflies flying in early February, not late April! My lifelong dream.

Mommy read to me of Br’er Rabbit, Br’er Fox, Bear, that Turtle and the Tar Baby and more, and now the Briar Patch Museum is some 600 feet from our home.

Thanks Mom, and thanks Joel Chandler Harris, the gifted author of the Briar Patch tales! He an Eatonton native.

Now back to my practicing my “Y’all,” which still comes out kinda . . . Brooklyn.