Eye Therapy on those trails at SPNI’s Hermon Reserve. I flew from the very brutal winter in the U.S. northeast, to an Israel blossoming after especially wet winter. Wildflowers were popping up everywhere. I do mean everywhere. March 2015, and I was there to search for rare butterflies. I had been there 3 times before, but never during this Renewal of a March month. It was a feast of color.
Oh, if I could have been there with Rembrandt, Peale, Peterson, Matisse, O’Keefe, Chagall and Audubon . . . All would have stopped at these ‘Protected’ Palestine Pheasant’s Ear (Adonis Palaestina) blooms. How I would have loved to hear their shares, as they internalized the rich color, fragile handsomeness and gestalt of this find. Honest.
The trails near the base of Mt. Meron, and the trails near the mountain’s peak were teeming with butterflies. They were of many different species . . . and they were mostly fresh! Like plain bagels coming out of the bagel oven on Clarkson Avenue, Brooklyn in the late ’60’s (aroma and taste that still float in my subconscious – Hey, those were real water bagels, and the guys working there were 3 guys name Moe), the beauty of almost all of the butterflies that we encountered was startling.
I was battling with my Canon camera, whose built-in photometer was failing to advise me. The morning was near perfect, it was June 2013, no wind, no 300-lb. boar and no native wild dogs. All this by way of preparing you to embrace the reality of this image. He may be common-named Common Blue, but there was nothing common about this Polyommatus icarus. He had flown since 6:30 A.M. and he was exhausted. Finding shy, hidden females required many meters of flight, and occasional stops to rest. While doing that, he opened his wings to capture the morning sun.
What can’t we say about this male. Is he not gorgeous. Please tell us where else you have seen such blue?
Perhaps my main objective those 3 days was to photograph the largest butterfly found in Israel, the ubra beautiful Two-Tailed Pasha. As you already may have read, I saw 3 of them, and they saw me first, zoooooming away at great speed, off into their hosptlant, strawberry trees. I learned there that they fly at first light, say 6:30 in the morning, and by 8:00-ish, they remain up in the trees, unseen until the next day. Comes the question: should I return to Mt. Meron in May, and capture the image that I never got some months ago?
Anyway, Common Blue may be eh! in Tel Aviv, but they are happy encounters on Mt. Meron…and they are sweet views.