Brushfoot Butterfly Seen In The HolyLand (?)

Brushfoot Butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at Mt. Meron, Israel

Here’s a Brushfoot butterfly that I met on a trail in Mt. Meron in the HolyLand (Israel). I was on a trail I had hiked several times over the years. Many of the butterflies I had seen on that wondrous trail were new to me, and some were ‘Protected’ butterflies, few in number or now found in limited habitat. June was the month.

When this mystery one appeared and landed on this rocky outcrop, some 2/3 up the northern face of Mt. Meron, I blossomed with excitement. I knew I’d never met this one before, and I knew, as happens, I might not meet it again for years, many years. The usual ‘Comments’ are anticipated: I’m too far away from this magical butterfly or We’d need a dorsal image of its wings to make an ID!

It is what it is, and I do want to know what it is. Much time pouring through Dubi Benyamini’s field guide has not left me with that.

This time, I hope that Israeli butterfly authorities Yaron or Oz or . . . .


That Skipper Mystique

Skipper Butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow in Big Bend Wildlife Management Area, Florida's Panhandle

Skipper Butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow in Big Bend Wildlife Management Area, Florida.

He flew to this blossom, and took his time, nectaring happily in the Florida Panhandle morning sunshine. August 2015, and that long dreamed of trip to Florida, destination? Big Bend Wildlife Management Area.

He was sipping nectar. I had to make a split second decision. Do I pursue good images of him, and then . . . encounter the usual difficulty in identifying which species of skipper he belongs to? Do I do that, knowing that skipper butterflies down there are difficult to approach, as I must with my macro- lens? Then, too, do I once again pour through my field guides, with the expected Huh? result??

Sure, I did. It’s Florida, you came because you are an esthete, or a naturalist, or curious, and/or all of the aforementioned positives. Anyway, perhaps Jeff or Phil or Rose or Robert himself will take the time to make a plausible ID.

I was in Florida for the 2nd time. It was gorgeous out, I was Blessed to be doing this, and this tiny butterfly was just a Shout Out! Life is Good, my winged beauty butterfly readers.


Sleepy Orange Butterfly

Sleepy Orange Butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at White Tank Mountains Regional Park, AZ

Remember that kid who they called ‘Tiny’ although he was the biggest kid in the grade? Then consider that Sleepy Orange butterflies are just as active and alert as the other Yellows. The field guides attribute its name to an early expert who noted that some of them have markings that looked almost like a “sleepy” or closed eyelid. That became this butterfly’s name in the 19th century. If you were given a chance, what would you name this butterfly?

This Eurema nicippe posed for this photograph at White Mountains Regional Park, west of Phoenix. It was during the first week of March 2008, and this Spring 2008 was dazzling with billions of wildflowers everywhere you turned. January had seen the end of my wife’s 7+ years of battling Cancer. This feast for my eyes was most welcome. I flew away from the winter in the northeast, away from being a caregiver, away from years of feeling helpless when confronted with the scourge of fatal disease.

This butterfly appears to be a male. That morning in early March I arrived quite early. This Sleepy Orange was just rousing, and I watched as he flew to this leaf and began his morning ritual. Lots of other photographers share photographs that bring you much closer to the insect. My photographic practice with my 100mm 2.8 Canon macro- lens requires that I approach within 2 feet or less. With this butterfly, I had to stop where I did, or risk losing him. After all seeing me approaching, which is something he can do, must register as a BIG RISK.

Sleepy Oranges fly from Florida to Southern California. They are rare visitors to the northern states.