HolyLand Blues Coupled

Common Blue butterflies, photographed by Jeff Zablow at Ramat Hanadiv, Israel

Imagine my delight as I was working the terrain of Ramat Hanadiv’s extensive refuge, and what do I see? This pair of Pseudophilotes vicrama astanbe, coupled, motionless and sweet in color! Found them, and their total dedication to procreation enabled me to make a successful Macro- approach and score this image.

I love and take in their lush colors. Colors always capture me, and these here, especially the red darts of the female on the left, and the wash of blue on the male (right of image) bring a smile.

Ramat Hanadiv in within a mile of the Mediterranean Sea, and the good green seen behind attests to the rich flora of this region of Israel, hilly and vibrant.

Jeff

HolyLand Swallowtail

Papilla Machaon butterfly, photographed by Jeff Zablow at Ramat Hanadiv, Israel

Here in the Georgia Piedmont, this last week or two has produced many Tiger Swallowtails in our new Macon garden. Facebook too has shared many posts that gleefully share news of good number of Eastern Tiger Swallowtails making their appearance in central Georgia. We’re watching them nectar on our Hibiscus, Cosmos, Azaleas (the 20 or so large bushes in our backyard now have several in bloom!), Coneflowers, Joe Pye and more.

While surfing through our Media Library here, I stopped at this, an image of a Papilio Machaon butterfly found at Ramat Hanadiv Refuge in central Israel, not far from the Mediterranean Sea. This HolyLand swallowtail, I male I think, is difficult to photograph, usually refusing to allow you to come closer than 10 feet from it.

Imagine, a HolyLand Swallowtail . . . wouldn’t that tickle your fancy?

Jeff

Caper White Butterfly (HolyLand)

Not Dayton Ohio or Missoula, Montana. The coastal plain of Israel, the HolyLand at the village of Binyamina. Some 10 miles from the Mediterranean Sea, near Dina & Misha’s orchards.

Studying this Caper White, requires that I continue to remind myself that this is NOT a U.S. Cabbage white butterfly.

I must too remind myself that the number of butterfly species that one can find defies your imagination. G-d is a prolific painter of beauty, is what I often think.

Jeff

Eastern Baton Blue Butterfly in the HolyLand

Pseudophilotes Vicrama butterfly, photographed by Jeff Zablow at Ramat Hanadiv, Israel

Blues are found all around the globe. Here in the northeastern U.S. the Eastern Tailed Blue is well known, and a companion to those who hike trails. Stop and look, and they are just a treat, perched on a tiny leaf, all serious and earnest in whatever it is they are doing. Don’t look and don’t stop, well you’ve missed a cutie/sweetie, for sure.

Here in March 2016 I share a blue that I’ve rarely seen in Israel, the Eastern Baton Blue (Pseudophilotes vicrama). His upper wing blue is peaking out for us. We were on a trail at Ramat Hanadiv’s reserve, very close to the Mediterranean Sea. The trail had a gentle slope, and we shared a sunny morning. He perched on his favorite leaf, scoping for females who might fly by, me scoping for butterflies . . . .

The neat little bloom in the right foreground, what is that one?

Jeff

Middle Eastern Eye Candy

Common Blue butterflies, photographed by Jeff Zablow at Ramat Hanadiv, Israel

These trails in the Ramat Hanadiv nature reserve were loaded with activity that morning. Most were fast fliers, defying this photographer of butterflies. Most Israeli butterflies fly at great speed (males) or hide with great success (females). About an hour northwest of Tel Aviv, and almost within view of the azure Mediterranean Sea, this expansive preserve of rolling hills is lovingly maintained and monitored, going back to its founding by the Rothschild family.

My hunt was for beautiful butterflies and wildflowers and the shy, elusive orchids that were here, this March 2016. Only the gentlest of breezes, full sun and a wet enough winter past all enabled the possibility of good images ahead.

Bingo! I saw them, and they were Fuji slide film worthy. They were locked together. A quick examination of this pair told me that they had chosen well. Both were healthy, complete and fine specimens of Poloymattus icarus zelleri. This species of Blue butterfly surely flies in Lebanon, Syria and Jordan, though 2 of those 3 countries are Uber dangerous for Americans and the third, well I will never travel there either . . . So this image will do just fine.

The shades of red and orange, the bullseye black, the Isle of Capri blue and that spectrum of grays, well, Good for that.

Jeff