Protected Holyland Butterfly, Allancastria Cerisyi Speciosa, Flies a Single Month Each Year

Allancastria Ceryisri butterfly is Protected and photographed by Jeff Zablow in Hanita, Israel

What a treat! This HolyLand butterfly, closely related to the swallowtails, can only be found along the Mediterranean Ocean’s coastline. Protected, it only flies a single month each year, April.

Why a treat for me? Without any guidance, I set out to find it, and find it I did! On the outskirts of the village of Hanita, on a sunny morning in that very same April.

Our male is enjoying this HolyLand wildflower, enabling me to score its image. Shooting protected species of butterflies in Israel? Oh, My, Goodness!

So many of you deeply understand my excitement on those forays into the HolyLand. No?


Biblical Butterflying

Blue-Spotted Arab Butterfly photographed by Jeffrey Zablow in Ein Gedi Israel

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.