Saturday, August 28, 2010

MESSENGERS OF AUTUMN IN ISRAEL

The days are still hot and humid here in Israel and summer glides into autumn softly, there are no dramatic changes. But there are early signs and we are always awaiting them eagerly! The nights might be a little bit cooler and one may reach for the light blanket in the hours towards morning. Now we have breezes in the afternoon and they are gentle and welcomed and it is possible to enjoy relaxing evenings in the garden. And there are the flowers of fall.
The last days of August present us with the Chazavim, the Sea Squill, which in spite of its English and German name (Meerzwiebel) actually blooms not only near the shores, but everywhere, even at the Golan Heights, the Galilee and in the Negev desert. Their appearance is a sure sign that summer ends and fall arrives. 
They shoot out in myriads off the dry scorched earth, high erected, only one stem each, with no leaves at all. The leaves arrive much later, in winter, after the bloom is finished, big dark green clusters of fleshy leaves. The white little star-like flowers on the stems are plenty, delicate, tranquil and very beautiful!
In Israel the sea squill (Hebrew: חצב‎) has gained an almost iconic status, and is popularly known as the "harbinger of autumn", due to the fact that the flowers pop out all over the country at the end of the dry summer, some time before the first rain. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urginea_maritima
A further sign of summer ending are the more powerful sunrises! This is because very often now clouds are present at the early morning sky and when the sun rises the horizon explodes into a spectacle of colors and forms, like fire lit by a mighty power! This photo was taken just out of our living room window.
The pomegranates belong to fall. They ripen now and will be ready to pick at Rosh HaShana, the Hebrew New Year. 
 
There are various kinds, from sweet to sourish and from bright red to almost purple, like this very beautiful one with the lovely crown, from my friend's garden. (Thank you for the photo Aiva!)
Pomegrantes are one of  the seven species which according to the Bible the Land of Israel is blessed with.
I must mention again the magnificent Sea Daffodils, Chavazalot HaChof. They started to bloom at the beaches just a little while ago, a sure omen for beginning fall.
 
See the post about a "Walk into the Sunset", some days back, with more photos, and information about them.
The harvesting of the olives has begun and the fruits on the date palms turn from yellow to brown... 
Oh, and here are the storks, who are flying now in very big flocks over Israel on their migrating way to Africa. Every time I see them my heart jumps with joy, and I am reassured to greet them again in spring when they journey back to their nesting places in Europe!!
They and the Chazavim are for me the most beloved messengers of autumn here in Israel !!

And as always the credit for the wonderful photos goes to my husband Uri!

14 comments:

Loddelina said...

Gorgeous photos, Yael, it is always a pleasure to click to one of your posts!
I have never seen some of the flowers you mention, autumn in Israel must be realy special!

Pesky Cat Designs said...

Your husband takes amazing photos! I've learned about a lot of new flowers today. Your posts are always filled with so many inspiring photos and words. Wishing you and your family a wonderful weekend! :)

Smithy said...

What a pretty post, Yael! Such lovely flora you have in Israel...I am now in love with sea daffodils! Great pix...a beautiful selection :) Enjoy your weekend and keep a window open for the cooling breezes...

glazedOver said...

I have seen Israeli Summers, Winters and Springs, but I have never seen the Fall. Such a lovely visit this is.

veroque said...

Beautiful pictures and such a lovely description, Yael!

Anonymous said...

איזה כיף לקרוא את הכתבה שלך על הסתיו. זה עוזר לי לדמיין שזה באמת עומד לקרות... התמונות מדהימות והתאורים עוזרים לי אפילו להרגיש קצת בריזה

DZFANTASY said...

Yael, thanks for sharing such a beautiful post with all the photos and descriptions! I LOVED seeing the pomgranites hanging on the trees! Never saw that before, and I just LOVE them. Bright little jewels! Keep cool and wait for fall! Hugs, Donna

Dawn of LaTouchables said...

The pictures of the pomegranites, and olives (packing my bag double time!)...

Susan aka Suzula said...

Love these phots, Yael!! I love pomegranates, and have never seen how they grow before... Thanx for sharing! :)

Michelle said...

Oh you must have a beautiful autumn over there!
Here it is already getting cold...

aurorafedora said...

oh my freakin' wow! what awesome pictures! and a pomegranate tree, so cool!!! i always love your posts, yael....

art spirit said...

What a beautiful post! Love all the photos...feels like I'm almost visiting there with you! It makes the places that I've only read about seem more real!
Thanks!

Eva said...

Was für herrliche Bilder! Danke für diesen Spaziergang.
Ich liebe Granatäpfel! Und auch die ganze Pulerei, bis man die Frucht essen kann.

Hilde said...

The photos are so beautiful, Yael!
Pomegranate tree in your garden, and olives, that's so nice, and the flowers are very pretty!
Autumn is coming here too, with chilly mornings and evenings. We'll have frost nights soon I think.

Have a nice week :)