Seeing Rare Butterflies Where? In the HolyLand

Anthocharis Damones (Protected), photographed by Jeff Zablow on Qedesh trail, Israel

Working that beautiful Qedesh trail in the Upper Galilee, that recurring thought keeps popping up. How fortunate am I to be here, in the early Spring in the HolyLand, seeing fresh, rare butterflies in the meadows that flank the trail?

This one? Anthocharis Damones, taking a moment to nectar on these tiny orangish blooms, allowing us to gaze at its dorsal (upper) surface and also to see some of the ventral (lower surface) of its right wings.

My eyes drink up this image, and always drift to the right of this photo, up coming a smile, at that extra tiny, yet luscious purple flower.

Spring, on a verdant trail in the uppermost Galilee region of Israel, where Th-y too went at one time, to see and ponder.


Israel Shoots Down Syrian Warplane

Mt. Hermon, Israel photographed by Jeff Zablow from Qedesh trail, Israel

Some of us go beyond, way beyond to find and photograph . . . butterflies. Ian is currently abroad, doing just that.

Me? Two years ago I was standing right at the base of this photo, trying to score this shot. Was in a village in the upper Galilee, and we are looking to the northeast. That is Mt. Hermon, snow covered that March morning.

This morning, USA time, the Israeli IDF (Israeli Defense Forces’ IAF) intercepted and shot down a Syrian fighter jet that flew into Israel. On the north face of Mt. Hermon, Syria is at war with its own “rebels.” It’s more complicated than even that, for the Syrian Army has Iranian regulars, Hezbollah, Russians, North Koreans, Pakistanis and more fighting with them. Who live on the face and base of this Mt. Hermon? Israelis in bucolic little villages, with one or two small cities widely separated.

In 2008 I was there on that 7,000 foot high Mount Hermon, photographing very, very rare butterflies.

Butterflies and air battles? Not a wholesome mix. No?

Funny. I so often see TV reports with crowds of people yellling for “Peace.” Tsk! that they are too Pollyana to understand how to achieve that of which they yell for.


Walking the HolyLand . . . . Searching for Butterflies

Mt. Hermon Seen from Menroh photographed by Jeff Zablow at Menroh, Israel

The request was made several times. While you are on this trip to Israel, please share pictures of the HolyLand that you can. March to April 2017, 4 weeks this time. Visiting my grandsons, Hillel and Boaz, not too far from Caesarea and the coast of the Mediterranean Sea and, searching for Middle Eastern butterflies. It’s not just me. You see, even you could not  roam Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt or Syria, those nations bordering Israel. You can’t presently roam around hunting for images of butterflies. Uh uh. If those governments were aware that you were roaming around, as we do so freely here in the U.S.A., they’d quickly have security fetch you up. Those that might allow you to do so would require that you be escorted 24/7 by ‘guides.’ The risk of roaming in those lands, include kidnapping, robbery, murder and rape.

So HolyLand butterflies? Israel. Where it all began. Wherever you drive, hike, walk in Israel, everywhere, you know, sense that your Patriarchs and Matriarchs actually walked there before. We are spoiled by our cars. They? They walked, very very long distances. To teach, to see, to teach, to follow the Word.

We here are in the village of Menroh,  at the northern reaches of the Upper Galilee region. We see here across the valley know as the Golan and in the distance, is majestic Mt. Hermon. It is April, but snow can still be seen on the peak of Hermon.

Jeff was on that vast peak in June of 2008. Near boiling hot. Cable car ride up. Eagles soaring around that cable car. Super rare butterflies. Land mine! Then, what? Cattle grazing way up there, owned by Syrian farmers just down the other side of Mt. Hermon. As you are reading this, men and women are killing one another just on the Syrian side of Mt. Hermon. This image. Peaceful. What we can’t see on the other, distant side of that beautiful mountain? War! War! War! Rockets. Mines. Syrian regulars, irregulars, armor, jets. Hamas, Hezbollah, Russians, lots and lots of Iranian regulars & irregulars, U.S. ‘advisors’, thankfully now, the remnants of ISIL and a whole slew of mercenaries that we will never know about.

The beautiful, scenic, serene, inspirational and spiritual HolyLand. Here Th-y once walked. Here their presence can be felt. Just beyond the other side of that mountain range, as sadly has been the history of this nexus of our world,  Death, Chaos and Destruction.

Jeff . . . there for the . . . Butterflies

Seeking and Finding Rare Israeli Yellows

Anthocharis Damones (Protected), photographed by Jeff Zablow on Qadesh trail, Israel

Multiple goals for my March 2015 visit to Israel. Visit my infant grandsons, savor the seas of wildflowers that usually follow wet winters, and introduce myself to rare, endangered Middle Eastern butterflies. All  goals were achieved, I am happy to share. Add to those, rental car good (Hertz), good stays in field houses (SPNI) and lots of friendly Israelis.

Shooting down the trail in northernmost Upper Galilee region, this Anthocharis Damone Syra took this nectar break, and I was right there to record the moment. Resplendent in vivid yellow, orange and black, he sipped long enough for me to shoot and shoot many photographs. His lower wing surface can also be seen, with its marbled green and yellow hindwing. Their flight time is short, they are protected because they are found in limited habitat, at the upper reaches of Israel. If their range extends across the border to Lebanon, we will not know, for which of you will travel through Southern Lebanon, currently generously sprinkled with terrorist cells?

Before you move on, take another moment and look at the pinkish bloom to the right, nice, no?

The ID of the flowers, that will require some feedback from friends there.