Saturday, March 23, 2013

417 METER UNDER SEA LEVEL



We went for a day trip to the Dead Sea this morning. It was actually a cool spring day - we started with drizzling rain and the sun was hiding behind the clouds most of the time. Driving through Jerusalem after an hour it rained, and the car thermometer showed 11 degrees outside. 40 minutes later arriving down down down we had clear sky, bright sun, and wonderful warm 26 degrees!

In the Judean desert, in the Dead Sea Valley, and near the barren shores of the Dead Sea, date palm trees grow wild where they can find springs or water close to the surface.

But domesticated date palms are grown there too, in quite a lot of plantations, and of course for the wonderful tasty and healthy fruit. The date palm can reach a height of 10 to 20 meters and the thickness of the trunk stays the same during its lifetime, with the width it had when it started to grow. The trees have evergreen leaves up to four, five meters long and they bloom in March/April. The female trees will bear fruit about six years after planting and will continue to do so for more than 10 years economically, the mature trees donating easily 80 or 100 kg of fruit in each season, which will be harvested here twice or three times in autumn, from August to December. 
The dates can be consumed in several stages of ripeness, from yellow and crunchy, to deep brown and soft and sweet. Dates are rich in iron, vitamin B and potassium, and an excellent source of fiber, low on sodium and cholesterol free!

The trees are flowering right now, and we saw today that the bunches are currently tied together. Later they will be cut loose, and when the fruits appear paper or plastic bags will be put over them to protect them from harsh weather conditions, like strong wind, and from birds pecking at them.


Those palm gardens are a wonderful sight, with the high straight trunks (in between the blue sea can be seen), the wide crowns of long dark green feathery leaves, the bushels of the fruit, which are most beautiful later, when they reach their sun yellow color.


We had a marvelous day and our picnic included sweet delicious dates, which have been sun dried and are called here tamar, tmarim in plural. Next week at Passover we will eat date sirup with ground nuts, called charoset.

Photos by this one and his helper:


 Uri Eshkar and Dafi.

8 comments:

Irmi said...

Yael, danke, dass du mich auf diesen Ausflug mitgenommen hast.
Es ist eine wundervolle Landschaft.Man stellt es sich so gar nicht vor.
Einen schönen Abend wünscht
Irmi

Lisa said...

what a fabulous trip!! We had date palms when I lived in Arizona and there are groves in Palm Springs, California. They are so beautiful .. I love it when a breeze blows throw the palm branches .. they have fruit stand that sell dates. The specialty is a date ice cream shake. Very rich but super delicious .. you only want a little it is so rich. m.m.m.m.mmmmm
Thanks for bringing us along on your fun trip!!

Hilde said...

Sounds like you had a lovely day trip, Yael :) Those date palms and their flowers look fabulous. Great photos!

Bob Bushell said...

Oh, it sounds like you had brilliant journey, the Dead Sea, oh I would love to see that. Oh, hows your leg?

Dawn of LaTouchables said...

You have brought me warm sunshine and exotic breezes with your glorious post, Yael! It's beautiful here in Munich, too--but minus three degrees celcius! Tell Uri (and his helper) his photos sent me directly to paradise :-)

Magia da Inês said...

✿✿彡 °•.
Passei para uma visitinha.
Amei as paisagens, o céu e as palmeiras.
Bom domingo!
Boa semana!
Beijinhos do Brasil.✿✿彡 °•.
✿✿彡

Annuk said...

You had a lovely time, Yael! :) And I so enjoyed the photos!
I am among palms right now too (visiting my cousing on the Riviera), only it's raining and raining here...
Have a great week, Yael! Hugs!

stardust said...

I’m happy for you that you had such a nice trip. The palm trees are so gigantic! It’s nice to see the lovely photo of your families. Your dog looks cute and lively and Uri looks so charming and gentle. I think I know how you're proud of them, Yael. :-)

Yoko