Jeff has often written about his life from his childhood to the present. Y’all know that Jeff does not golf, nor play tennis nor is he the 5th man in a regular card game. You know, and some of you recall that Jeff had a hardscrabble life, a kid on the streets, who fought more than you know, and often had long, hard steel accompanying him. Jeff served, completed OCS (Officers Candidate School) and truth be told, was once a Riot Control Platoon Leader. Jeff was a high school Dean (for Discipline) for years in Ozone Park, Queens, meaning guns, knives and pipes, and Jeff is the Dad of 4, he at one time a quite successful property owner in NYNY (that ended with the treachery that targeted him).
Raised in Brooklyn, New York, amidst brick, asphalt and concrete, it was Jeff who more times than not entered the then undeveloped ‘lots’ and sought fauna (animals) and flora (plants). Jeff did own 35 acres in the swell Berkshires, acreage with a Noah’s Ark of wildlife and New England flora, but that was lost after the above noted treachery of his New York ‘partners.’
Many of you have been visiting wingedbeauty.com for years now, some of you for months and some for weeks.
Why does Jeff search for butterflies? What motivates him to set out alone, amidst sometimes ticks, mosquitoes, chiggers, snakes, feral dogs, feral pigs, fire ants, cougar, bear . . . with once again cold steel and more on his person?
Who among you will ID the world record set by this butterfly. Most of you recognize this butterfly. It’s a Painted Lady butterfly, and almost all of us have seen it before. Why is it unique among all of the butterflies that we see in the United States?
Is it the only butterfly that eats this or that? The only butterfly that Glassberg describes as found in “any open areas?” The only one to construct its chrysalis out of Puffs tissues? Discarded birds’ downy feathers? The only butterfly to fly here in the USA and also in Sri Lanka? Or is it the only butterfly to not ‘eat’ as an adult?
You’ll be helped by knowing that this Vanessa cardui was resting on rock alongside the Mediterranean Sea, in Rosh Hanikra, Israel (just miles from the ‘hot’ border with Lebanon).
I see you and some others got it. Painted Ladys are the most widespread of all butterfly species, flying on every continent in the world. Nearly every corner of the world enjoys the beauty and mystery of this handsome butterfly.
Seeing them 7,000 miles from home did bring a certain kind of comfort to me, truth be told.
We have many wingedbeauty Followers who love to see posts of butterflies in the HolyLand (Israel). I am happy to share some, for photographing in the pristine, almost unspoiled wilds of the Upper Galilee, Golan and the Golan’s Mt. Hermon, is thrilling, truth be told. To think that They walked these same ancient trails, and stopped to examine/admire the same butterflies, is very sobering, very profound.
So it was here, an encounter with this male Lycaena phlaeas timeus, a copper, met in Nahal Dishon National Park in the very Upper Galilee. He’s very vivid in color and marking, and he sports those classy blue spots, seen on the outer margin of his hindwing.
Photographing butterflies in the Galilee and the Upper Golan, wild, you don’t see anyone for hours. You’ve never done that yet, have you?
Not showing off, just stating the facts, M’am.
Viet Nam? No. Mongolia? No. Costa Rica eco-tour? No. Sao Paolo and then to the Amazon watershed? No? Alaska? No. Turkey? For sure no. Even Washington State, had to be scrubbed.
Where then in this 2019? Truth be told, I had an unforgettable 5 days at the amazing Florida Panhandle place, Big Bend Wildlife Management Area.
Mobbed by Palamedes Swallowtails, challenged by Georgia Satyrs (Bet you can’t cop a good image of me, ’cause the sweat is pouring down your forehead, and streaming over your sweatband). Tiny blues of several species led me in long hide and seeks. Monster Giants and Monarchs.
This month, April, me and ‘Eagle eyes’ head back to Big Bend. Destination? The other smashing unit at Big Bend, the Hickory Mound unit.
The possibilities? Infinite. Butterflies of what, 50 species? 60?
Spanking new Florida fishing licenses, for the little river running alongside the VRBO rental must be swarming with fish to fry.
My Fuji slide film (Velvia 50)? I love it, even as its price continues to climb. My eyes are so attended to the hundreds of hours that I spend in the bush. When I get my images back from Parsons, Kansas, the rich color pleases me, for it is 100% true to the real-time butterflies that I see.
Yes, tomorrow is my birthday, and it will be a quiet one. On the eve of B-day, I’ve decided to share an image taken in the HolyLand, at Mishmarot, Israel, north of Tel Aviv and 15 minutes from Caeseria, and the Mediterranean Sea.
This Plain Tiger butterfly (Danaus chrysippus chrysippus) is closely related to North America’s Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus). This Israeli one is much more difficult to approach than our Monarch. Scoring the image was not easy, and closer approach was not to happen.
I often wonder how you entertain my frequent sharing of HolyLand butterflies? Me? I think of Who? and How? Th-y saw them back then, and truth be told, I am moved by that. But with my Birthday hours away, I am going to hope that . . .