My Fuji slide film (Velvia 50)? I love it, even as its price continues to climb. My eyes are so attended to the hundreds of hours that I spend in the bush. When I get my images back from Parsons, Kansas, the rich color pleases me, for it is 100% true to the real-time butterflies that I see.
Yes, tomorrow is my birthday, and it will be a quiet one. On the eve of B-day, I’ve decided to share an image taken in the HolyLand, at Mishmarot, Israel, north of Tel Aviv and 15 minutes from Caeseria, and the Mediterranean Sea.
This Plain Tiger butterfly (Danaus chrysippus chrysippus) is closely related to North America’s Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus). This Israeli one is much more difficult to approach than our Monarch. Scoring the image was not easy, and closer approach was not to happen.
I often wonder how you entertain my frequent sharing of HolyLand butterflies? Me? I think of Who? and How? Th-y saw them back then, and truth be told, I am moved by that. But with my Birthday hours away, I am going to hope that . . .
This is what it’s all about. There is no predicting what we will find when we set out to discover butterflies. It is a brew of timing, location, weather, habitat health, and your luck quotient. This view shot that thought through my mind, ‘Do you see what I see?’ A solitary figure on that agricultural road in Mishmarot, Israel, the question was a sweet one for me, although it could not be shared at the time.
The time was perfect, 6:50 AM. Perfect because the July 14th morning sun rises quickly. The location was good, this field remained unplanted, and hardy wildflowers flourished. The habitat? Almost all habitat in the Holy Land is desert hardy, and the previous winter had been wet enough. The Luck Quotient? I was in Israel. It is more beautiful than . . . . Well since few of you have been there, I can share with impunity that this Land is more beautiful can you can imagine. There I was, grandson just born, daughter so happy, sky blue, air super-clear, butterflies abundant, family hosting me and showing me around like visiting royalty.
This shot of the Fritillary butterfly Melitaea Trivia Syriaca engaged from some distance, an insurance shot, is sugar to my eye, truth be told.
Plain Tiger butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at Mishmarot, Israel
Knee down, careful to not make any unnecessary moves. I have been seeking images of these Plain Tiger butterflies for much of 2 weeks now, in Mishmarot. 30 minutes drive from Netanya, Caesaria and other wonderful places in Israel, this female Danaus chrysippus chrysippus was a stunner, and her fellow Plain Tigers were giving me fits (almost unapproachable).
Good that she was nectaring, because that raises my hopes for an even closer approach. Nectaring, or when exhausted and resting, and early, early in the morning are the only times that they can reward my macro- lens.
Why have we noted 3 names above? This is the subspecies found in northern Africa, the Middle East, and proximal regions in Europe and Asia. Two other similar subspecies are found in Asia, Europe, etc., and they have their own subspecies names.
Think about it. As we approach 2015, there are many animals and plants whose numbers are at risk. At the same time, happily, most species, as with the Plain Tiger butterfly, are not at risk at all, and doing fine across several continents.
Good again. Your interest and support of the Environment is reaping dividends, at home and across the Globe. Encouraging? No?
July 2014 and the closest that I have ever gotten to Plain Tiger butterflies. This pod made their home in and around an agricultural ditch, July dry in the Israeli sun, but those healthy cattails (Typha) crowded along the length of that ditch surely signaled continued moist mud persisting just below the surface.
I’ve already shared that these cousins to our North American Monarchs are barely approachable. These Plain Tiger photos took days of stalking to capture. U.S. monarchs can be approached, carefully, and are less wary when they are nectaring. These Tigers would have nothing of me, whenever. This shot, and the others shared, were the result of especially robotic approach, sun baring down and sweat almost overrunning the red sweat band over my forehead.
So many Danaus similarities. Just a matter of cleaning His brushes and rearranging the splashes, washes, dots, patches and so on.
Solidly in the category of butterflies I love working with. Wild, fast, independent and beautiful. Mishmarot, a 4-5 minute walk from my daughters home. At extended orange groves.
Lycaena Thersamon photographed by Jeff Zablow at Mishmarot, Israel
November has arrived here in the U.S. Northeast. Today is one of those beautiful, sunny days that November can offer up. Yet there are also things that ‘grasshoppers’ don’t consider, while the ‘ants’ among us pile-up in our mental things-to-do lists, e.g., check the snow shovel, purchase sidewalk salt (w/o sodium), mulch the flower beds, and on and on.
And then there are those quiet moments, when we realize that we won’t experience the beauty of native butterflies for Gee!, five or more months. Sure we view reports from Florida and Texas, but who do we know down those ways?
This image brought these thoughts up. A pair of Lycaena Thersamons having a look at one another in that agricultural field in Mishmarot, one-hour north of Tel Aviv. Real-time rich reds, with grey, white and black. Sharp, healthy and vibrant. Gems. Living, thriving little gems.