There I was in the Nahal Dishon Park in the Upper Galilee, the HolyLand (Israel). I was there to find and photograph ‘Protected’ Israeli butterflies. It’s never enough for me to just catch a fleeting glimpse of a blurred wing, or mediocre view. I strive to capture more, detail, beauty, unique looks.
I did that here, to my own demanding satisfaction,. Those trailing orangish-red blazes on the 4 wing margins please me. Oft times, my Macro- approach spooks the butterfly, and I either get nothing or I score unsatisfying images. This one? I’m viewing Dubi Benyamini’s field guide, and I’m happy to compare this shot with the images I see. Good. Very good. A rare butterfly, seen and acceptably photographed. The photographer? . . . . Me!
I went there in June, that my plan well before I flew to the HolyLand, Israel. I wanted to see this butterfly, this Very Rare, Protected butterfly. Apharitis Cilissa flies in June only, and only in the Upper Galilee. I went to Mr. Meron, stayed in a SPNI Nature field house, and when I worked the trails on SPNI’s refuge reserve, I found them!
They’re tiny, gorgeous in the Middle Eastern sunlight, and finally, after following them (my timing was perfect, for I found a fresh flight of them), I met this one, I’m thinking a female. Nectaring on a pretty bloom, she moved her wings to and fro, as some do, and here we have much to see. She exposes her richly hued upper wing, and we see so much of her detail, including her tails and the metallic spots on her wings, they excitingly reflecting the strong Middle Eastern sun.
Little doubt have I that Jesus and the Prophets made similar treks, from their nearby homes, to see A. Cilissa and to be motivated and moved by the magnificence of G-d’s creations.
I know that some of you dream of doing just this. Seeking and photographing butterflies in the Upper Galilee region of Israel, the HolyLand. With my daughter Rachel and her sons living north of Tel Aviv, I’ve done what perhaps you’ve dreamed of doing.
I rented my Hertz rental car, and drove up to this breathtaking land, where towns are few, and you go hours without seeing a soul. The roads are excellent, and the signage is easy to follow, all signs clearly written in Hebrew and English.
Knowing that I was walking where Th-y walked, really moves you there, and finding such as this, a rare, fresh Aricea Aegestis butterfly sent me to such: Fly me to the moon, Let me play among the stars, Let me see what Spring is like on Jupiter and Mars . . .
I went to the HolyLand (Israel) to see my grandsons and to photograph rare butterflies. Hillel and Boaz were such Fun! to be with, and rare butterflies?
I scored many images of very rare butterflies there in the Golan. You’d LLOOVVEE trekking the Golan Heights as they used to be called. So much of what you heard in Sunday School took place there, They walked there, and admired the very same butterflies that I found there. That thought so sobered me.
Here’s Aricia Agestis Agestis, seen in the meadows surrounding the village of Neve Ativ, on the slopes of Mt. Hermon. Listed as Protected, I smiled BiG when I spotted its telltale orange wing margin spots.
Forget your outdated mental images of Israel. This second image shows the outskirts of Neve Ativ, green and lush. Just over that hill in the background is the world’s active battlefield, intercine, bloody Syria. Israel? Safe and beautiful. Syria, like the Killing Fields of Cambodia.
The Middle East. A Conundrum.