Am I Home?

Painted Lady butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at Mt. Meron, Israel

I did the near impossible, getting up when I did, and attending to all that I do before I drove to do my field work. I arrived at my destination at around 6:30 A.M.. Working the trail, I was soon electrified to see a goodly sized butterfly cross the trail in front of me. OMG! It was a Vanessa, Vanessa cardui. Flew right to a leaf just inches above the left side of the trail. Super. It wanted to absorb the warming rays of the sun. That meant that it might remain there for some time, and . . . might be approachable.

Now, the morning cup of coffee did wake me, but there must have still been residual yawn-power, because I thought: Hey wait! Where am I? Am I home (in Pittsburgh, PA)?

Where was this stunning Painted Lady butterfly? Fairbanks? Oxford, Mississippi? Green Bay, Wisconsin? Kississimmee Prairie Preserve in Okeechobee, Florida? Eatonton, Georgia? Montrodat, France? Sao Paulo, Brazil? Or was I in  Odessa, Ukraine?

Well, I quickly came to my senses. We were on Mt. Meron, in the Upper, upper Galilee region of Israel. Our instant butterfly would have looked little different in any of the above wonderful destinations. Because . . . Painted Ladies are the most universal of all butterflies. Found on all continents, and varying little from here to there.

Jeff