Friday, January 22, 2016

EUCALYPTUS TREES - FRIENDS FROM AUSTRALIA



Eucalyptus trees are blooming so very beautifully. Together with the flowers, also buds and fruit are present, which makes them truly special, pretty and wonderful.


Eucalyptus trees can be found all over Israel, from the Galilee and the Golan Heights in the north till the Northern Negev Desert in the south. They are not native to the land, but were brought at the end of the nineteenth century from Australia. The idea was to plant them to dry the swamps, and get rid of the dangerous malaria mosquitoes. There are hundreds of different kinds of eucalyptus trees. Here the most common species is the Eucalyptus Camaldulensis, which grows to a stunning height of about 45 meters. Eucalyptus is a very fast growing tree. The leaves contain camphor and other properties and can be steam distilled to extract oil, which has many uses in the pharmaceutic and cosmetic industry. 

The eucalyptus trees are evergreen and blossom for seven or eight months of the year. They are very much appreciated by bee keepers. While it is not a good time for honeybees worldwide, local bee population is thriving. The honey the bees produce from the nectar of the flowers is amber colored, a bit spicy and less sweet than other honeys. The health benefits are enormous.

The eucalyptus trees, together with the palm trees and olive trees are a distinct part of the Israeli landscape. The wind rustling through the long spear like smooth leaves of an eucalyptus grove makes a lovely and peaceful sound, and the scent is fresh and soothing.


Photos by Uri Eshkar, taken yesterday near Omer in the Negev Desert

Saturday, November 28, 2015

A LOVELY VISIT JUST OFF THE BALCONY


 My husband called me: "Come, come out quick, bring the binoculars and the camera!"


"Look under the carob trees, the middle one of the group of three..."


 What a day! It is not the first time that we spot deer down there, but it is exciting each time anew. :-)




Saturday, November 7, 2015

SHABATT MORNING WALK


This is our neighborhood in the lovely little town on the hills of the Shomron where we live. On a clear day you would spot the sea on the horizon, and the skyscrapers of Tel Aviv to the left.
 

Images of a morning walk with my husband and Ella in a sunny break between the rains.




The first wild narcissus started to bloom, dressed in light green narrow leaves, their pretty stars bridal white, embellished with yellow chalices in the middle.
 


We met Ella's Labrador friend Rico, and they had a go - running and jumping, chasing each other, being frolicsome and happy.


The dry season starts here in May, not a drop of water falling from the sky for many months. By the end of October we are really quite yearning for rain, and this year we got lucky early. It is raining on and off for almost two weeks now, and the downpour is strong and plenty. But when the rain stops for some hours, the sun is always peeping out from the clouds. We scarcely have melancholic misty days, or slow and soft dripping rain for long periods of time, either it is raining heavily or the sun is pleasantly shining.


I love where I live, and I am thankful for each and every good day.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

NEWSPAPER BOWL




I thought if I can wind rope from fabric to make a bowl, I might be able to succeed with newspaper as well. After trying out different widths of strips, and making small round base samples with black, gray and white thread, I came to a solution.
Two 2 inch wide strips wound together made a good sturdy rope. I wanted the subtle colors of the newspaper to show through, and therefore decided on invisible thread to construct the bowl. Machine sewn together with narrow zigzag stitch.


I am very pleased with the result.


Monday, October 26, 2015

ANGEL IN GOLD AND SILVER


Christmas Angel, so charming...





Friday, October 23, 2015

BRANCH WEAVING



Stick- or Branch weaving is the new craft descending on blog posts and Pinterest. Not much is needed for it, a nice v-shaped branch, some wool or yarn and off you go.





This is the result of my first attempt on branch weaving. It was not easy to do, the warp was slipping and twisting, and I wanted to give up in the middle of the work, but I am glad I did not. It is beautiful, it even has an artistic touch. I used variegated wool in autumn colors - after all it is October! :-)