Me? I’m Dreaming . . . of 2017

Allancastria Cerisyi butterfly, photographed by Jeff Zablow in Hanita, Israel

Here we are in late October of ’16. We here in southwestern Pennsylvania now see an Orange sulphur butterfly here and there. Maybe a worn Mourning cloak butterfly in Frick Park or in Raccoon Creek State Park. Virginia and friends daily share on Facebook, Monarchs, Swallowtails, Gulf Fritillaries and American Ladies. We are checking where we left our snow shovels, Virginia, Stanley, Nancy, Cathy and Marcie are stalking butterflies.

Somehow that got me to thinking of my next trip to my grandsons in Israel. Two hours waiting for my Pittsburgh flight to New York, then some 3-5 hours wait for my El Al flight to Ben Gurion International airport in Tel Aviv. Meet my daughter Rachel at the beautiful airport, then we rent a Hertz car and drive the 1-hour plus to her home, north of Hadera, not too far from mysterious Caeseria.

Three, perhaps 4 weeks as Rachel’s guest, in their bomb shelter equipped 3rd bedroom . . . and at least 2 long drives north, to the Upper Galilee and north Golan regions. Objectives? #1 Butterflies. #2 Wildflowers and especially rare Orchids and Irises.

In the Galilee and Golan, I pass, see, photograph next to Christian sites that would so excite so many of you. Yet, to date, not a single taker, to my suggestion, book when I do, and let’s roam . . . .

Oh, and what the Media scares you with, that Israel is dangerous, is a whole lot of Hooey (whatever Hooey is).

On a recent trip, I set out to find an endangered swallowtail-relative, Allancastria cerisyi. Well here he is. I found them near a small Galilee village. They fly wildly, and then, unexpectedly, stop, and well, pose. 10-15 exposures, and Zoom!! gone. Then I went on to find the next male, and repeated this minuet. The females, well they were mostly hiding, but when I found one, she usually stuck around a bit, as I softly whispered to her. Totally Fun, and very Rewarding that! Funny, quite rare, but if you find them . . . there they are. Amazing I think.



Arroyo Wildflowers

Arizona arroyo habitat photographed by Jeff Zablow at White Tank Mountains Regional Park, AZ

Rain fell during the winter months in southcentral Arizona. Media reports forecasting potentially spectacular wildflower phenomena in March and April triggered good memories of stalking butterflies in the cs of White Mountains Regional Park.  The park is just 30 minutes from my family in Sun City West, Arizona, so  I pushed the “Go” button and booked my flight.

What beauty awaited me!. Wildflowers were everywhere, carpeting the hills, mountains and arroyos. Colors were rich, blanketing everything in every direction. This image represents the vivid contrasts presented in those arroyos – the stark, rich hues against rock with dramatic, eye-popping personality.

The butterflies were out and about. Yes, they were flying and drinking nectar with glee! But this time they had to share my attention with the wildflowers and infinite 360 degree panorama.

In southern Arizona, be mindful of the heat.  Get there at 6:30 AM and leave NLT 10:00 AM.


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