Badly Needed Winter Antidote XIII

American Copper Butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at Raccoon Creek State Park in Pennsylvania, August 2014
It’s a problem. My Neumade slide cabinet already has quite a few American Copper butterfly images, and each time I go to cull out several, I end up keeping almost all. Culling is a dirty business, and I just can’t pitch good images to the trash. Can’t.

Then here I was, on September 4th, 2014 in Doak Field, Raccoon Creek State Park. Haven’t done a presentation there for, what is it now, 2 years? Nevertheless it is terrific for butterflies, has diverse habitat, I once saw a Goatweed leafwing there, and . . . I just love Doak field, all 100 acres of it.

This Lycaena Phlaes flew from the mowed trail, onto this very nearby shoot. 1/1,000,000th of a second internal debate, then decision, way too beautiful to not attempt a keeper of an image. Crisp, sharp spots, borders, contrasts. My loyal followers know that I am fond of this butterfly.

Winter antidote? Absolutely. Spring is coming, the ticking of the clock assures that. Winged beauties like this one will soon be on the wing. Love.


Eastern Strawberry Tree (Mt. Meron)

Eastern strawberry tree photographed by Jeff Zablow at Mt. Meron, Israel

A tree that rivets your eyes. Found in northern Israel, the Eastern Strawberry Tree’s bark is a color I can only call startlingly red. You just stare at it, and think, “How beautiful.” This instant tree grew on my favorite trail on Mt. Meron, in the uppermost Galilee region of Israel.

Loyal followers of remember that in 2013 I had worked this same mountainside trail, determined to photograph the large butterfly, the Two-tailed Pasha. I managed to see 3 of them, and could not get within 30 feet of any of them. Since I only shoot macro- (must be within 2 feet of my butterfly), I was 100% skunked.

Back here in June 2014, and with some good suggestions from Israelis, I arrived on the trail at about 6:30 A.M., Monday through Friday. Five mornings, how then could I fail to get an image of this butterfly, known to remain close to its host plant, the Eastern Strawberry tree?

Sure enough I saw 11 of them. And again, . . . I never got closer than 30 feet to any of them. Skunked with a capital ‘S.’ FYI, that’s Israel in the foreground, and Lebanon in the background.

Do share if you too find this tree catchy to the eye.