Is it Easy? No.

Tarucus Balkanizes butterfly  Near Syrian border, photographed by Jeff Zablow at Golan Heights, Israel

It’s the first week of September. That means that the search for butterflies now slows, and soon stops. 2018 has been a very interesting year. Travelled to New York State, Pennsylvania, the mountains, Piedmont and coast of Georgia.

How’d I do with scoring new images? Good, though the ones that I tried for and didn’t capture, sure do irk.

That day in Israel was such an experience. I booked a field house at the SPNI Golan, and that morning drive south, intent on seeing the tiny Tarucus butterflies. With no one to guide me, I chose a destination right near the Jordanian border. Breath-taking scenery greeted me, on that 1.5 hour drive, especially the eastern coast of the Sea of Galilee, familiar to most, back in those Sunday school classes.

Dark clouds and intermittent sun followed me, nearly the entire time. I reached the intersection I targeted, on my map book of Israel. I parked my rental, and explored  an abandoned park.. Jackpot! I found and photo’d Tarucus rosaceus. Tiny gems they, found in many places along Israel’s eastern, southern and western edges.

Nearly one hour after arriving in this spooky, deserted place, I spotted Tarucus balkanicus, shown here. I threw caution to the wind, and carefully got down on my stomach.He was handsome, tiny, but handsome. Fresh too! So . . . why the blurry image?? He did not flee when I got down to his level (2 inches above the trail). He stayed in place when I crawled closer. I prepared to take my first exposure . . . then . . . it came down in buckets,. This was my one and only lifetime picture of this HolyLand butterfly. He fled like a missile.

Me? By the time I got myself up from the ground, I was SOAKED.

Easy? No!

Jeff

Pink Butterfly Orchid In The Galilee

Pink Butterfly Orchid (2 stalks), photographed by Jeff Zablow at Mt. Meron, Upper Galilee, Israel

Roger, Angela, Barbara Ann, Debra and Jim Fowler have been sharing scrumptious orchid photos on Facebook, this many weeks. I admit to not looking for orchids, ever . . . until I met Barbara Ann and Angela. I should not write ever, for some years ago I did marvel at Pink Lady Slipper Orchids at Bear Run in the Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania. I stood in front of those breathtaking blooms, and the connection between those orchids and the Almighty was Oh! so clear.

So many of you who visit here are firm believers, and know of Capernum, The Sea of Galilee from Sunday school and such. I though it poignant that these Pink Butterfly Orchids were found on Mt. Meron in the Upper Galilee region of Israel. I’ve no doubt that the Christians and Jews who we revere stopped on their journeys to reflect on these incredibly delicate orchids. No doubt at all.

The Galilee region and the Golan are verdant wildernesses, with small towns (moshavs) sprinkled here and there. I tease with this, for I so want to one day be told that one of you traveled to the HolyLand, inpart due to something I shared . . . .

Jeff

Verdant View from Neve Ativ

Neve Ativ Fields Looking East photographed by Jeff Zablow at Neve Ativ, Israel

A friend asked that I shoot and share HolyLand landscapes. Just about 0.05% of wingedbeauty followers have ever been there, that including those of you what have the dollar$ to actually book an El Al flight and go there. So, sure I agree to do so, though I am not a Sherrie Duris, Albert Bierstadt, Nancy Crosby, Peggy Klaczyk or Ansel Adams.

Not one to visit monuments, historical sites or such, I did now and then remember her request, and when I scoped places that I though you would find interesting, different and thought-provoking, I worked to secure good images.

Most imagine Israel looking like other Middle Eastern countries, i.e., dry, barren, rocky and watered by oases, found here and there.

This view from Neve Ativ, on the southern slope of Mt. Hermon, looks east. The foreground is easternmost Israel, the famous Golan region. The background is Syria, currently the world’s most active war zone. To the immediate right, and one hour and a half by rental car, is the Sea of Galilee, where Jesus Christ walked and taught.

Mt. Hermon is snow covered for 4 months of the year, and the melt from that snowy peak waters the entire region through most of the year. Those fields in the foreground? Israelis are adept at farming and engineering, and you see the product of such a combination of skills.

The serious fencing, topped with razor-wire? To deter terrorists from seizing the virtues of the night, for their heinous acts. It was April 2017 when this photo was taken.

The question? Is it safe there, Jeff? Safer than the street or county road you live on. How can that be? There is a very subtle, ever-present military presence there, and they employ the most sophisticated surveillance equipment, and they train as our US Marines do.

Jeff

Butterflies, Capernum, Bethlehem and Jerusalem

Capernum, photographed by Jeff Zablow at Lake Kinneret, Golan Heights, Israel

I know that this image will sing to so many of the wonderful folks who visit wingedbeauty.com. Do you recognize it? I’m standing at it’s entrance, and we are looking across The Sea of Galilee. The hills across the Sea are wonderful natural heights that effectively separate Israel from its neighbor to east, Jordan.

I was here, on my way back from photographing butterflies further south, very, very close to the Jordanian-Israel border. The dark clouds and light drizzle that dogged my fieldwork that morning had burned off here.

This is Capernum National Park. Capernum, the same Capernum that you may have tried to envision, back in Sunday school, sometime back.

Butterflies, Capernum, Bethlehem and Jerusalem. Some of you have the wherewithal, others of you are 1 lottery ticket away from it. If this post triggers any one of you to book your flight to the HolyLand, let me know. Maybe we can coordinate 2017 Victory trips. No?

Jeff