Photographing a Rare Aricia Agestis Butterfly in the Israeli HolyLand

Aricea Aegestis butterfly  Nahal Dishon National Park, photographed by Jeff Zablow at Upper Galilee, Israel

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!


Middle Eastern White Butterfly

Lycaena Thersamon Omphale Butterfly photographed by Jeffrey Zablow in Binyamina, Israel

Seen in the coastal plains of Israel, the HolyLand, Anaphaeis aurota caught my attention, it so different from Israel and U.S. butterflies. The white was milk white and his contrasting black wing margins stood out, much.

Found in Israel, the Egyptian Sinai region and presumably Jordan and Lebanon, A. aurota flies from June to December.

Another that Jesus, Joshua and Aaron surely also enjoyed seeing. Binyamina, Israel, near Caeseria and Netanya.


Shooting Coppers

Lycaena Thersamon Butterfly Nectaring photographed by Jeff Zablow at Neve Ativ, Israel

No, not those coppers back in New York, Jersey, Boston or Chicago. These Coppers, Lycaena Thersamon, fly in Israel. This one is probably the most common Copper in that Part of the HolyLand.

She was in a field, surrounding a village on the slope of Mt. Hermon. There were dozens of them those mornings in March, and she was one of the most stunning of them all.

I have a fondness for Copper butterflies. I’m especially taken by that rich burnt copper hue, and how it plays against the black spots and wing margins.

Israel has 4 HolyLand Coppers, I’ve seen 2 of them. I’d love to return to the peak of Mt. Hermon and find the other 2, they rare and ‘Protected.’ That will have to wait, the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) are up there on the top of Mt. Hermon, and have been there for the last handful or so of years, protecting Israel from the carnage that has been going on on the other side, the Syrian side of this 7,000 foot tall mountain.


Monarch Heroics

Monarch butterfly (female) on Tithonia, photographed by Jeff Zablow at "Butterflies and Blooms in the Briar Patch," Eatonton, GA

Me? I try as hard as I can to not buy ‘Made in China.’ That for so many reasons. It’s been tough for those of us who make this extra effort, but mostly it pays off. Made in USA sings to me, as I can find it. Our Monarch butterflies so evoke that for me. Danaus plexippus flies from coast to coast, north to south. Seeing a Monarch titillates all, ages 1 to 110. This one is on Tithonia (Mexican sunflower) in the Butterflies & Blooms Habitat in Eatonon, Georgia.

A very beautiful butterfly, waves of burnt orange, spots of a type of yellow, white, bands trailing the wing margins of black black, spiffy black wing lines, the stark sizable white spots on head and thorax, all eye-candy in a fresh Monarch.

Americans are also blessed, with the still phenomenal saga of Monarchs flying from Maine to Mexico, Eatonton to Mexico, Frewsburg to Mexico, Shellman Bluff to Mexico . . . and once winter slips away, from Mexico to Maine, Eatonton, Fresburg and Shellman Bluff. Oh, and from Washington State to California and from . . . .

Now, this image triggered my thinking to that word ‘Heroics.’ Would you look at those right wings? Thousands of tiny scales lost, holes in the wing, scratches. She has seen, experienced and survived. Her color remains sugary sweet, and her head, well, she is a real looker! American women & American Monarchs, the finest. The most heroic.


Question Mark Butterfly at Raccoon Creek State Park

Question Mark butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at Raccoon Creek State Park

I admire the work of those of you who travel great distances, climbing rugged terrain and doing extensive detective work to capture images of butterflies in the outback. Wingedbeauty has a long way to go before we can claim such distinction. Our posts here are butterflies that hikers, picnickers, naturalists, and home gardeners can see. We offer information  and identification assistance, hopefully leading our readers to results. My favorite of these possibilities are that 1) people are prompted to be much more aware of the butterflies they encounter and 2) then they head out into the field to locate and identify butterflies. These responses will increase the universal awareness of butterflies and exponentially strengthen the ranks of butterfly lovers.

Polygonia interrogationis butterflies are usually met on trails that skirt the forest. The best time to spot one is in the mid-morning. They fly in a leisurely manner at this time of day. This butterfly had just abandoned its nighttime hiding spot. Still sluggish, the insect allowed me to approach with care. Resting on a fern in Raccoon Creek State Park (Southwestern Pennsylvania), its chosen position made for an image that reminds us that the Question Mark Butterfly is one of the anglewing butterflies, recognizable for its severe hooks and the turns of its wing margins.

Moments later this butterfly flew speedily out of sight. You almost never see them drinking nectar from flowers, so these are the kinds of meetings you must have with Question mark butterflies. To see what they eat, why don’t you have a look at our other posts on Question Mark Butterflies.

This photograph is a good representative for the types of butterflies that we share here: Butterflies of your city, town, farm, and rural neighborhood. They are our neighbors, so to speak.