It seems that when certain butterflies fly into my vicinity, I have them on a mental list, of photo objectives I have. For the tiny Metalmark butterflies, I want better views of those scintillating shiny metal lines that shimmer from their upper wing surface. Mourning cloaks are high on my list. I have a special connection with Mourning Cloaks, a very personal one. I can’t wait for the Spring day when an excitingly fresh one decides to strike a pose for me, and I capture that maroon upper, with the delicious blue spots and those yellow borders. Monarchs? I have 2 or so dozen images in my slide storage cabinet, yet I want a killer image of a Monarch with those strange eyes, deep orange-rust color and body/head aburst with those white explosive dots.
Another chance to shoot that Common Mestra that teased me on the National Butterfly Center trail, would be nice, it not affording my a single exposure. Now that I’m getting a tad Gimme! here, I sure would like to remeet a fresh Compton Tortoiseshell butterfly, this time close enough for my Macro- lens to do what it does, with this heavy favorite of me, the Compton. That Georgia Satyr back in Big Bend Wildlife Management Area in the Florida Panhandle jumps out to me here, for with the sweat pouring down over my eyes those last days of August, my vision was blurred, and image scores turned out to be Eh!
Not true here with this Pipevine Swallowtail butterfly. I wanted to get that shimmering blue that you see on the inner side of those coral spots. I pretty much did, and that is good.
So beautiful, and so difficult to photograph. This image of a Toronto, Canada Mourning Cloak is the most satisfying one that I have in my slide storage cabinet. . . and yet when I examine it, I long for the next opportunity to improve on it. This species of butterfly is among my favorites for many reasons. Totally unexpected when you meet one, at times approachable and often very skittish, colors that dazzle, and that session I had with one some years ago, after my wife passed.
Last year, in June 2013 I was on Mt. Meron, in northern Israel. I was there to meet for the first time with another bedazzler of a beauty, the Two-Tailed Pasha (Charaxes Jasius) butterfly. OMG! I only saw 3 during my 4 days on the mountain. They must have been trained by the IAF (Israeli Air Force). Each was resting on the trail, each would not allow me any closer than 30 feet, and each disappeared to Eastern Strawberry Trees at incredible speed.
I am going back to Israel again, on June 18th. Back to Mt. Meron, back to capture images of Two-Tailed Pashas. I will not be posting on wingedbeauty.com until my return to the States on July 17. Hopefully we will have celebrated the birth of a grandchild, and I will return with photographs of many butterflies, including Two-Tailed Pashas. Also . . . hopefully Iraq, Syria, Jordan and Iran will not ‘boil over’ while I am there, or forever, for that matter.
The first week of June 2013 was sunny, pleasant, and with little or no wind. The SPNI Hermon field house was adequate and very well located. So all was set for the follow-up to our recent post here, anticipating our second visit to the mountaintop. This mountaintop looks out upon Israel, Syria and Lebanon.
That was as far as we got. My anticipation became frustration. Prospective guides thanked me but explained that Mt. Hermon‘s peak was closed, because of the ‘situation’ below in Syria. The possibility that a limited area of the mountaintop would possibly, maybe, be available was not an option. My attempt to reprise a 2008’s visit to the Mount, with me following butterflies here and there, promptly changed when Eran, my guide, found a land mine.
So I chose instead to wander the base of Mount Hermon, and a settlement, Neve Ativ, built along the slope of the mountain. There, a small military plane kept flying back and forth along a nearby valley.
I will add to my list of things to do: Have another look at those 2008 photos that I’ve left in my slide storage cabinet. My ’08 Mt. Hermon photographs that seemed so-so at the time are now are much more meaningful.