Anthocharis Damone Syra in the Galilee

Anthocharis Damones (Protected), photographed by Jeff Zablow on Qedesh trail, Israel

What a coup! A male Anthocharis Damone Syra butterfly, protected because of its scarcity, in the Upper Galilee region of the HolyLand, Israel. I very much wanted to score an image of this richly colored butterfly, and I met them in March 2012 and again in March 2015.

Images shared in field guides often disappoint, for in the printing, color usually loses its real life richness. I’m sitting here with an Israeli field guide for butterflies, and the images of this Anthocharis is not only washed out looking, but it’s an image of a pinned, collected butterfly.

My images are shot with Fuji Velvia slide film, and I do that for, I am told, I’m a purist, and want real-time color. The image here very much approximates the hues of this butterfly that I saw on Kedesh trail, south of Kiryat Shemona, in the uppermost Galilee.

Our next chance to revisit Israel’s Galilee and Golan regions (lush, green and hilly to mountainous = not the arid desert some imagine when they think of Israel) may well be in May or June of 2020.

Hey, did you notice that sharp little purplish bloom in the right of the image?

Jeff

 

Back to the Golan Heights in 2017?

Golan Heights Seen from Belvoir Mountain National Park, photographed by Jeff Zablow at Golan Heights, Israel

A view you have never seen before. I was up on Mt. Belvoir, in the lower end of the Golan region of Israel. My search for butterflies on the mountain was so-so successful. The botany up there filled those hours, especially the other-worlds Bear’s Breeches (recently posted here).

There I was up on this mid-sized mountain, March 2016. Never been there before, and never ever saw this view. It takes some time to integrate what is shown here, and then consider that just beyond the background area shown, is Mt. Hermon.

On the north face of Mt. Hermon, is the world’s current, and bloodiest battlefield. There, now, as you read this. Scan the valley that fills the mid-ground of this image. Quiet, largely unoccupied, and green, with several very large agricultural fields here and there. Move your eyes to the line of windmills. Israel is very hip, current and windmills are that, hip and current, and if seen here in Israel, where little is wasted, I am sure, efficient.

Now just over the crest of the hill, beyond the last windmill, is the beginning of Mt. Hermon’s footprint. Down on the other side of Mt. Hermon, Syrian government forces, “Rebel” forces, ISIS forces, Hezbollah forces, Iranian forces, Russian forces, Kurdish forces, U.S. regular and irregular (CIA, Special Opps, NSA, and only Huma knows  . . . ?), Turkish forces, elements of Hamas, Al Queda are all either fighting, or circling one another like wrestlers at the 2016 Summer Olympics.

So you see, this modest exercise in Golan geography also has us almost peeking into the reason that hundreds of thousands of Syrians are pouring out from Syria and walking to Europe and North America. Their life has been like some recent Hollywood movies, with legions of bloodthirsty people and aliens coming into bucolic Syrian towns and farmland, destroying, mortaring, murdering and raping the people who live there.

Israel remains So Strong, that this nexus of armies and mercenaries and crazies stops at the border. No one wants to be met by F-15’s piloted by well-trained young men and women, themselves very adept at using the very latest tech equipment that they have at their finger tips, Thank G-d.

Footnote: I hope to return to this green, verdant Golan region in Spring ’17 to again hunt for butterflies & visit my grandsons, too.

Jeff