Copper Butterflies in the HolyLand

Coupled Copper Butterflies II photographed by Jeff Zablow at Neve Ativ, Israel

That little moshav (village) in Neve Ativ proved to be a goldmine for me. The meadows that surrounded Neve Ativ were covered with little wild flowering plants, that late winter. Late winter in the HolyLand (Israel) just explodes with butterflies, especially following a rainy winter.

There I was, in those meadows on the slopes of Israel’s greatest mountain, with Syria just on the other side of Mt. Hermon. I’ve posted many times of the killing fields of Syria, even posting an image taken from the peak of Mt. Hermon, looking down, enabling you to see perhaps 100 miles or more into Syria, that panorama was taken in 2008, before most of the Syrians down there fled, or were . . . .

This pair of Lycaena Thersamon Omphale butterflies made me so happy. He on the left, she on the right. No wind, strong morning sun, they both strong and fresh, and they fully intent on what they were doing.

What did this more than 15-minute photo shoot with them cause me to think? Much. Much.

Coppers engaged, in the HolyLand. Wish you were there with me. I do.

Jeff

Who’s Seen A Milbert’s?

Milbert's Tortoiseshell Butterfly

Sure this is one of my favorite butterflies. I’ve seen Milbert’s Tortoiseshell butterflies several times. Always an OMG! butterfly, for when the morning is doing just fine, and you’re having good success with butterflies here and there . . . . One flies into your field of view, and it’s not a this or a that, its . . . OMG! a Milberts!!!! Battlestations!

That how I’ve felt when I’ve seen Milbert’s, a northern butterfly for those of us east of the Mississippi River. I remember each and every time I got that healthy buzz. Raccoon Creek State Park in southwestern Pennsylvania (2x) and here, Bonkers! unexpectedly in the middle of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in the Outdoor Gardens of the Phipps Conservatory.

When the upper side is at a 90 degree angle to the strong morning sun, and your eyes are level with the wing surface, the sunlight dances on those reddish-orange wing bands. It looks just like fire! dancing. I saw this with my own eyes at Raccoon Creek. I subsequently read such an account in one of the butterfly field guides.

I’ve learned to temper my tales of Milbert’s, for when I ask folks here, there and everywhere, have you ever enjoyed a Milbert’s, my statisticians count a 99.874% No. Keep vigilant, for if you’re there enough, you just may.

Who’s seen a Milbert’s?

Jeff