Sing To An Arizona Arroyo

Arroyo Wall photographed by Jeff Zablow at White Tank Mountains Regional Park, Arizona

Early morning at White Tank Mountains Regional Park, west of Phoenix, Arizona. The central desert region of Arizona, in the southwestern USA. Bad Boy Jeff sort of did not honor those signs posted nearby, warning all to not enter the Arroyo, because dry as bones now, a flash storm upstream might/could send a mountain of water your way, without warning.

I’d been to this Arroyo several times, with excellent butterfly finds. Finds I will not forget. What also mesmerized me was the walls of the Arroyo, they drier than bones but . . . .

Beyond those wildflowers, in February bloom, and the other flora and scrub trees on this Arroyo wall, tucked away in the shadows you see, away from the 98 degree Fahrenheit heat that almost took Jeff once, must be amazing desert creatures: lizards, mice, rabbits, scorpions, snakes, spiders, and much unfamiliar to me.

I’d stand there and never know what rested in those cavities, hunkered safely from the daylight and the burning sun. No Ma’am, I will not go there at night, Big Time violating Park regulations, to see what exits those shadows. No Ma’am.

Once, in the early 1980’s, I went with a Manhattan New York friend, who asked if I wanted to see a world famous nightspot, I think its Name was Studio 54 (?) near East 14th Street in Manhattan. We went, and it was the most bizarre place I’ve visited, Ever. I never went back, and the things I saw there, were beyond my belief. That’s what this spot must look like at 1-2 AM!

The things we’ll never see or know . . . .

Jeff

Lycaena Phlaeas timeus At Nahal Dishon Refuge

Lycaena Phlaeas butterfly, photographed by Jeff Zablow at Nahal Dishon National Park, Upper Galilee, Israel

She was there on that rock, sunning herself in the early morning. Where? At Nahal Dishon Refuge Park in the very Upper Galilee of the HolyLand/Israel. I was more than happy to find her, for I was hoping to find this Israeli Copper butterfly, and finding a female is always good, for they usually hide, and remain in or close to vegetation.

Those stark black spots, beautiful burnt orange color and those baby blue spots on her hindwings made getting this image a much appreciated capture.

Copper in the HolyLand, a tiny treat that can’t be beat.

Jeff

Met The False Apollo Butterfly in . . .

False Apollo butterfly  Nahal Dishon National Park, photographed by Jeff Zablow at Upper Galilee, Israel

It is difficult to accept, but this False Apollo butterfly is closely related to our Swallowtail butterflies. That I never saw one in the U.S. is explained by the absence of these Parnassian butterflies from much of the United States. They fly here in the western United States, mostly in mountainous areas.

I was 7,000 miles from home that early morning, in Nahal Dishon Park in Israel. That’s why I was there, to meet this eye-pleasing, new for me, butterfly.

Pleased I was to find such a fresh, vividly-colored False Apollo. Happy too I was, to be afforded those many moments that I was given to successfully capture it’s image.

I found, without a guide or guidance, this Protected HolyLand Parnassian butterfly.

This is the kind of experience that I Love.

Jeff

 

The Finest Tawny Emperor?

Tawny Hackberry butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at Raccoon Creek State Park, PA

Decades of searching for butterflies, and by now I’ve seen a lot. I remember many of those encounters, and this meet-up continues to be among my favorites.

Why does one of 50 trips to find and shoot butterflies stand out in one’s mind? When I came upon this Tawny Emperor butterfly, very early on a Raccoon Creek State Park morning, I was stunned. I do not exaggerate. This butterfly, basking in that early morning sun, was so so very handsome looking, with its complex wing markings and seemingly over-sized wings.

Tawnys are not very common. Hackberry Emperor Butterflies are much more common. I have written of this encounter here, before. It moved me, much. I realized that I was shooting my 50+ exposures, working to capture one of the finest Tawny Emperors ever!

This very image adorns our dining room wall. It so reminds me of the beauty that G-d creates, for us to note, and acknowledge.

Jeff

Golan Delights

Nordmannia Myrtale butterfly photographed by Jeffrey Zablow at Mt. Hermon, Israel

How many years have gone by since I met this rare, Protected HolyLand butterfly? Ten. It was in 2008, Rachel’s Mother, Frieda A”H passed away on January 4. Before she left us, Frieda, some weeks before we lost her, urged Rachel to fulfill her plans, and go to Israel. Rachel was headed to Tel Aviv to join the Public Accounting Firm of Ernest & Young. Rachel, shrewd as she always was, told her Mom that she would stay by her side, and wave off the excellent job offer. Frieda remained strong to the very end, and in her way, told Rachel Go! Rachel, just 2 weeks after Frieda died, was flying to Israel.

Me? Frieda’s loss changed me much. My concerns about dying pretty much evaporated. Maybe that’s why I made this trip? I wanted to visit Rachel, just 6 months later, see her new apartment, and show our extended family in Israel that we supported Rachel. Rachel met Uri at about that time, and fast forward to today, they have 2 sons, and Rachel is Happy. Very.

My resolve to bust out some, after that horrific 7+ years, nourished my decision to hire Eran Banker, who guided me up to the top of Mt. Hermon. I gulped and rode the 7,000 foot cable car to the top of the mountain peak. Mt. Hermon is known to be the only place in the world for some 12 species of butterfly. I could not have known then, that the north face of Mt. Hermon would today be a Hot! battlefield, with absolute carnage, boiling up just where Eran and I looked down on Syria from our mountaintop perch.

Here’s one of the very rare, Protected butterflies that we found and I shot on that biblical mountain, Nordmannia myrtale, she perched on a leaf, in the early morning sunlight. Those 7 hours on Hermon delivered rare butterflies time and time again. I think that day aided me, I very much needed to heal, and I needed to bust out!! I needed to take a respite from that recurring thought: ’40 Years . . . 40!’

For an unlikely street fighter from Brooklyn, who managed to make it, and married Good, So very Good, and who withstood deceit from trusted associates, and who . . . finding the rarest of the rare on a fabled mountain of the Bible, with the sun lashing us with its 95F waves, greeting these extraordinary butterflies was so very Special. I thought up there, Thank You G-d, for dishing out Yo-r most special butterflies, to one so vulnerable, as I was there and then. Honest.

Jeff