“Oh Where, Oh Where Should This . . . .”

Jeff Zablow on Peak of Mt. Hermon Israel

This? One of the highlights of the last decades, JLZ, Me, on the peak of Mt. Hermon in the HolyLand. At 7,000 feet plus, you see distant Lebanon behind me. I am standing in Israel, and calamitous Syria, that killing field, is roughly at the 4 O’Clock point in this image.

Why was I there? For butterflies that fly only on the mountain top. It’s easy for me to daydream of Joshua, Jesus, Jacob, Israel, Rabbi Akiva and Menachem Begin standing on this very same stop, awed and grateful to G-d.

Butterflies will still fly here in Georgia through November, then only on mild winter days.

I am daydreaming too of next year. The eternal optimist, I’m thinking of where my quest for new new (for me), rare and gorgeous butterflies . . . to meet and photograph.

Few in the last decades have offered. Offered that I drive hundreds of miles to their home base, and join them on their trails, and their secret butterfly habitats. Now, me a bit seasoned, several have thrown out the butterfly ‘lifeline’ to me for 2021. I am Bigtime grateful to those of you who did.

I respectfully ask you where do you suggest that I travel in 2021 to meet my new butterflies? “Oh where, Oh where should this – – – – – boy go?”


Rare Israeli Butterfly with American Cousins

Parnassius mnemosyne butterfly photographed by Jeffrey Zablow at Mt. Hermon, Israel

I went there to see if I could meet rare butterflies. We took the lift (I am not good with height!) to the 7,ooo foot peak of Mt. Hermon. On the top of this Israeli mountain, success! I met and photographed several species of butterflies, only found on the mountain-top, at the northern border of Israeli and Syria’s bloody bones. Eran is a bull of a guy, and he lugged liters of water, enabling us to continue in that 93F Middle Eastern heat.

I share this today, January 1st, 2017, New Years Day, because I look to this ’17 as a year to extend my list of new butterflies seen and shot.

This butterfly is Parnassius mnemosyne, rare and Protected.

Is it one of the White butterflies? No. Would you have guessed that . . . its American cousins are the . . . swallowtails?

Where in the U.S. are our American Parnassians? You have to travel west of the Mississippi River to find American parnassians.

See, that’s the kind of 2017 I’m looking for, challenge, excitement, new, new, new and fascinating, interesting and compelling, very compelling.

Know this, I will give it my All. To 2017!


Another One I Won’t See on Mt. Hermon

Parnassius mnemosyne butterfly photographed by Jeffrey Zablow at Mt. Hermon, Israel

You’ll never guess which family of butterflies this rare baby belongs to? It’s only found at the top of Golan Height’s Mt. Hermon. Its schedule and mine unfortunately don’t come together this year.

Clouded Apollo butterflies fly on the mountain top in May and June. I met this female one up there in June 2008. It was an OMG! wonderful day as I was being regaled by many, many rare butterflies. This year I fly in late February, so  now I can’t even go up, up, up there in a cable lift for another reason: A good covering of snow.

So back to . . . (here comes the hint to the opening question). It’s species name is Parnassius mnemosyne syra. Satyr? Whites? Fritillaries? Coppers? Milkweed butterflies? Blues? Anglewings?

It is in the family, Papilioinidae, with its closely related swallowtails and even more closely related parnassians. A different look, isn’t it?