Ladies of the Desert

Doug Gochfeld 20/03/2016 00:00

November showers bring March butterflies, apparently...


A big late autumn rainfall has changed the typically barren Negev Desert into a vibrant wonderland of thriving life this spring. Where last year there was sparse, low, brown grass, there are now dense stands of all types of hardy desert plants. This blossoming of the desert has set the stage for a jaw dropping display of butterflies, dominated by the Painted Lady show. Perhaps nowhere is this a more impressive spectacle than in the Ovda Valley.


The juxtaposition of orange butterflies, and the bright reds, yellows, purples, pinks, and blues of desert flowers, against desolate rocky desert landscape is really breathtaking.





Just as these butterflies are relying on this special oasis effect of the desert, so too are the birds currently winging their way through the bottleneck of southern Israel. And as these birds continue north on their various journeys and fan out all across Europe and Asia on the way to their disparate breeding grounds, they will need many more places to safely stop and refuel.


Unfortunately much of the Mediterranean region is a minefield for birds, as twice a year, tens of millions of birds are killed by humans. This year I am once again participating in the Champions of the Flyway race for conservation, which is designed to raise money for and awareness of conservation issues in the region. The focus this year is Greece.





If you were/are impressed or in awe of the spectacle shown in this video, I ask that you please take the initiative to give just a little piece flesh (doesn’t even have to be a pound) to the cause of trying to keep displays of nature like this going in this part of the world. The way to salvation is here:


And you thought you were gonna get away with me just mentioning butterflies and not bringing up conservation this time around, didn’t you? Ha!

land marks