Lycaena Phlaeas on the Slope of Mt. Hermon

Lycaena Phlaes Butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at Neve Ativ, Israel

I was seeing a whole lot of Lycaena thersamon those 3 mornings on the slope of Mt. Hermon. Two threatened Coppers, Lycaena asabinus and Lycanea ochimus fly there, but they begin to eclose in June. I was there in April. No problema. I was sure that sooner or later I’d spot another Copper, Lycaena phlaeas.

Three mornings of driving up that torturous mountain road, big time driving for me, reaching sharp curves and would you not know it, enjoying (?) 18-wheelers come down as I meet the near hairpin turn! Nope. Not giving into my mountain road discomfort. Learned that in Ft. Dix, New Jersey. Press on, show confidence and feel confident. You can do it. I mostly have, ever since Papa Company.

Day 2 on the mountain, in the fields surrounding Neve Ativ. Scoping the tiny Coppers as they worked these itty bitty yellow blooms, and there he was, finally. Lycaena phlaeas. A handsome looking male, and he was serious nectaring intently.

He’s a play in orange, black, white red, black spots and more.

Coppers on the biblical Mt. Hermon, way, way up on the mountain, thankfully on the peaceful side. No rockets or mortars coming over those days. Just coppers and more.


Coral Hairstreak Butterfly

Coral Hairstreak Butterfly at Raccoon Creek State Park

June 27th and the 2nd day in a row that I’d seen Coral Hairstreak butterflies. Ah those coral spots! This one is nectaring on Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) and will tolerate my close approach. Coral Hairstreaks are only found when the plants in the Milkweed family are in bloom; that would be Common, Orange and Swamp.My experience from over more than a decade is that they visit these flowers at mid-morning and disappear by late morning. If they reappear later in the day, I’d be surprised.

Satyrium titus differs from other Hairstreaks in many ways: It’s without a tail; is not found standing motionless on the shrub leaves; and lacks a blueish spot on its hindwings. Corals appear for not more than 3 weeks at a time. When you meet one, at first your eyes shoot right to those gorgeous coral spots and then, you value the sighting because you know that you may not see one again for a year. Some years they can’t be found at all! So a chance encounter with a Coral may be the last one that you see for 2 or 3 or more years.