Wednesday, April 23, 2014


I am absolutely, positively, definitely, certainly, utterly, entirely, and completely speechless! I can barely mumble (and I hope it flutters over the ocean to you):

 תודה רבה שחר

Sunday, April 20, 2014


Spring is on the verge of leaving us here. The meadows in the plains and hills began to dry into monotonic colors, and we have already very hot days. The sky is blue and cloudless most of the time. The sun is out early in the morning, and high up and quite burning at noon. The barley fields were harvested in time for Passover, and are lined with the remaining straw, waiting to be gathered into bales and taken away. Yesterday we saw hundreds of wild doves picking the morsels of grain left on the ground in one of the empty fields.

The last hollyhocks - חוטמיות - try to survive a little bit longer, their large blossoms painted a fierce dark pink in midst of the often already beige hues of their surroundings. I would love if spring would linger a little bit longer, but my wish will not be granted and spring shall soon turn into summer, with no breeze and no rain, but plenty of sun and everlasting blue horizon.

So I made this little fellow in the colors of the sky and the hollyhocks and the beige patchwork fields with the last remaining little spring flowers, and photographed it sitting on brown earth in front of the yellow sun. :-)

His name is Pilly. You see Pil is Hebrew for elephant and Pilly is just a little one.

Once upon a time there was a little elephant...

Friday, April 18, 2014


Israel is very rich in native bird species, almost 300 of them live here and fly around. And in addition millions of migrating birds cross the country on their way from Africa and Asia to Europa and vice versa. In autumn and spring we often see flocks of herons, cranes, pelicans and storks passing over our heads high in the sky. Birds of prey, like eagles, falcons and hawks return just now from Africa to stay in the mountains of the Golan and Galilee. From the 280 various migrating birds some stay here for the season, either winter or summer, like the slender black cormorants with their hooked bills, for example, they stay in winter. There is a lot of information on the Internet about what is occupying the air space here, if someone is interested.

This photo is the view from our living room windows and the balcony. For some years now storks on the way to their respective destination, rest on those trees you see far on the left, and we stand with binoculars and watch them. With the camera my husband possesses it is difficult to get a good focus of them, he would need a special lens, because it is just too far ahead, but I think those pictures anyway tell the story. This year they came in enormous quantities, about two, three hundred and some days even more. They stay usually for six or seven weeks, this is going on from the beginning of April till the end of May almost. I just came to think, maybe they are not at all the same? Maybe they rest a day or two and then continue their long trip and another batch arrives?

At about five o.clock in the afternoon we see them high up circling and spiraling, using the thermals to glide down. With the red legs stretched downwards they land on the trees, so many of them till the trees are dotted white.

Yesterday my husband called me with excitement and when I stepped on the balcony I could see that a large group was gathering quite near us on the ground. They just stood there and groomed themselves a little with their bright orange beaks. The last sun rays lighted the earth and it could well be that they just enjoyed the warmth. After half an hour or so, when the shadows crept in, they went up on the trees for the night.

If I am up early in the morning, about 5.30 I can see them lift off and either go in search for food near the beaches and small rivers, to fill their bellies with fish, frogs, lizards, tadpoles, and other creepy stuff like that, or continue their journey. I really don't know, but in the evening they are back - the same ones or others?

I love storks, I always did, they are graceful. and they are beautiful, dressed in black and white plumage, with the long red legs and sharp orange beaks perfecting their appearance harmoniously. I would like to be a stork! :-)

Photos by Uri Eshkar.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Sunday, April 13, 2014


Our daughter-in-law and my granddaughter made Saturday lunch. It was a happy and successful event! :-)

Sunday, March 30, 2014


The beautiful olive trees in this ancient grove with their gnarled and twisted trunks  must be from one to two hundred years old, some probably reach even far more back. Heat and drought, winter chills, storms and rains they withstand - and they faithfully bear fruit every year. If they could talk - what stories would they have to tell!

Their owners, the Druze people from the villages in this region tend to them faithfully like they did from times long ago. After the harvest oil will be pressed and olives will be pickled, to give nourishment and to tickle the taste buds.

This grove is one of three places we visited yesterday and the only one with my husbands photos. All the other ones he accidentally deleted in the evening from his camera. Luckily I took pictures too, with my tiny Samsung. Not to be compared to his images which are always so great, but for today they will have to do.

The Druze village Peki'ien nestled in forested hills

Our second stop was at the Rock Park which we entered at the Druze town Kisra-Sumei. Geological formations of lime stone are located in a forest full of old oak trees and lovely little flowers on the ground in the shadow. Shifted plates of rock are piled on each other, and cave like structures rise from the stony ground.

Some Druze children with their typical hats and trousers.

After that we went to hike the Norman Trail. It starts a bit south of Kfar Vradim and was painstakingly created by one of the towns residents. It is a narrow 1,5 km long circuit trail winding uphill and downhill through a dense natural forest. The whole area and the edges of the path are now in full spring bloom of many varieties of shrubs, like rock rose לוטם and spiny broom  קידה and others. 

The trail is lined with many wild flowers and the air was scented sweetly and full of humming insects.

Judas tree כליל החורש

I wish I had the lost and much better photos of my husband to show you, mine are not sharp and not gorgeous, but I wanted to present you anyway with the spirit of a wonderful day.