I’ve only seen Deudorix Livia once, in the Biblical place known as Ein Gedi. the Dead Sea is within sight of Ein Gedi. Meeting D. Livia pleased me. His black spots show well here, as do his set of ‘tails.’ He also reveals a tiny bit of his dorsal (upper surface) burnt orange color, a color I like alot.
A hairstreak butterfly that flies all year in the HolyLand, Israel, yet is never seen in any appreciable numbers. One of those butterflies that can be seen throughout Israel, but is uncommon . . . everywhere.
To see him, I took a train from Binyamina to Ber Sheva University South, then took a bus ride, a long bus ride, through a decidedly hostile region, until finally, finally the Dead Sea came into sight, and my bus descended from the high plateau we’d been driving through, to the very, very, very low land that the Dead Sea rests in.
As before, I am pleased to have found so many Israeli butterflies, just as King David, Jesus and Joshua did, then.
The habitat: Very hot, rocky terrain at Ein Gedi, a short distance (but too hot to walk it) from the Dead Sea. The HolyLand. I went there to find this butterfly, the Blue-Spotted Arab and one or two others.
I made a big mistake, by not renting a car. I walked those mornings from my SPNI Nature field house to the border of that dry creek bed. Male Blue-Spotted Arabs were here and there amongst the rocky terrain. They would not allow any approach closer than 15-feet. I did what I do, and scored some good images. Females? I searched for them, and found perhaps three.
Here’s the most sympathetic of those female butterflies. She appreciated that I was near flush with the sun’s heat, and that I was one of the good guys. Her yellows and stark black plus, were strikingly beautiful.
A female Blue-Spotted Arab butterfly, in one of the most arid destinations in the world, smack dab in the middle of the HolyLand.
Just remembering those days in Ein Gedi . . . sing to me.
Blue Arab. I still puzzle over the common name given to this HolyLand butterfly. I was determined to see and shoot them. There was this aura of different, of exotic and almost inaccessible for me. I’m not especially fond of travel, and surely don’t like traveling alone. How’d I get there? Took the train south from Binyamina, past thousands and thousands of acres of lush agriculture, to Beir Sheva University station. Took a bus from the train station, past hundreds and hundreds of Bedouin homes, then along the west coast of the Dead Sea, to my destination, the SPNI field house at Ein Gedi. 93F and bone dry.
This is the same Ein Gedi that features prominently in the history of Christians and Jews. It remains tiny, and undeveloped. It is something to behold, for there is where you get the scale and sense of what it was like, at least some sense of that time.
There was an ancient synagogue there, and it was not much like today’s centrally air conditioned types. I was near constantly tickled with the stark reality of the place. Really, I was. So many walked there, fled to there, studied there, dreamed there. The connection to us is moving, very.
This male Blue Arab butterfly denied my getting too close, though he did allow this camera click, and it nicely reveals much.