He Was Gifted With . . . (Neve Ativ/HolyLand)

Lycaena Thersamon butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at Neve Ativ, Israel

We’re sure out there looking for things. Most, I’d think are looking for a) Rare Butterflies. b) Butterflies We’d Seen Once or Twice Before  c) Butterflies Blessed With Exceptional (Special) Beauty. When you’re out in the field, and you spot such, your blood pressure goes wuuupP up! Me, then, I talk to myself, in my head, tell myself what I need to do to maybe, maybe capture a good image of the extraordinary butterfly before me.

This was such a butterfly, Lycaena Thersamon, in a meadow at the edge of a small moshav (town) on the slope of mighty Mt. Hermon. The Upper Golan region of the HolyLand has many many rare and many many fresh butterflies. The snow covered mountain feeds streams that descent Mt. Hermon and water the entire region for many months after. No wonder the habitat, drenched in sunshine daily, is just plain . . . gorgeous.

I Love the color of his wings. My goodness.

Jeff

Notice that Zebra Heliconian Butterfly Color!

Zebra heliconian butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at the National Butterfly Center, Mission, TX

There’s a goodly number of butterflies that thrill you when you spot them. This happens when they are especially fresh from their chrysalis (hard outer shell formed by the caterpillar), when they are handsome examples of their species, and when the day features crisp, clear air and sports a comfortable temperature.

Which rock me, Jeffrey? Monarchs, Viceroys, Gulfs, Red Admirals, Palametes Swallowtails, Malachites, Milbert’s Tortoiseshells, Giant Swallowtails, Goatweed Leafwings, Erato Heliconians, Silver-spotted Skippers, lots of others and . . . Zebra Heliconians.

Suzanne is correct, I shoot film, Macro-. Why? Because I’ve visited too many museums, art galleries, and top auction galleries to praise images that lack real-time-color. I prefer Fuji Velvia film, ASA 50, the same film used to capture this image.

I’m sitting here with the field guide most sought after now, and truth be told, this wingedbeauty image excites with the very same color that you marvel over when you find a fresh, fresh, fresh Zebra Heliconian butterfly in the field.

Where were we? The National Butterfly Center, in Mission, Texas near the border wall with Mexico.

Jeff

On a Whim!

Whimsical hat on quirky boulder, Jake's Rocks, NY State Reserve

Jake’s Rocks in Northwestern Pennsylvania was another treasure trove of Pink Lady’s Slipper Orchids, and a teaser with orchids that were no longer in bloom (Oh, if I’d only been there a few weeks before).

Here you savor the riches of a northeastern state that cherishes its land, and works hard to conserve critical habitat, including almost bewildering fields of godzilla-sized rocks here at Jake’s Rocks.

Hiking through the moderately wooded Reserve, I met this rock. Now Jake’s Rocks has lots of huge boulders, left when the glaciers carried them there. Then there was this whimsical boulder, tinier than the other monster ones, and, some out of character, I set my field hat on it, and am now sharing it with y’all. Whimsy in the field. Yes?

Jeff