Saturday, January 23, 2010

Anemones of winter.

Winter is short and violent in this area. Most of the time the weather is dry and warm but then suddenly in a matter of hours a storm erupts and showers that should have went down in a month go down in just a few hours. In the Negev (the south part of Israel) it creates floods. An area that is arid and dry most of the year suddenly is swept in tidal waves of water. It's an amazing phenomenon. This week was one of these times. The news was filled with floods rescue stories (one of them ended tragically). My husband and I saw the pictures and cursed ourselves for not dropping everything and going flood watching too. There are safe view points for that purpose in the Negev and if you stay out of the waters' path you're pretty safe. This Saturday the weather was again warm and sunny and we went south to see the desert blooms with our friends The Artzies.

We went to the Besor area, in the north –west part of the Negev, an area that up till a year ago was known as Kassam Land. I'm not relating to politics here at all (I'll do that in following post and very briefly) but the area was bombarded constantly for more than 8 years. Now it is serene and peaceful and even though it is geographically defined as desert, it is now green and filled with the spectacular red blossom of anemones.

We stopped in our way to the Besor watercourse in a pretty park near Kibutz Reim. The park is around a tributary of the Besor named Wadi Grar. The whole country thought it’s a good idea to travel due south today and the place was pretty packed, though here I managed to take a picture of the Wadi without all the cars and with a lovely anemone in the corner.

Wadi Grar is mentioned in the Bible as a place where Abraham and Yitzhak his son dug wells for their herds. The area has many archeological remains some 4000 years old. We decided that what was good for Abraham is good for us and we ate breakfast while the kids were enjoying the outdoors and winter sun.

After we finished eating and after my little one patted the casual huge dog on the grounds, we went further south to the Besor trail. The trail is a dirt road that stretches for about 15km in a park where there are several view points and sites of interest. Check out this link for more info
Of course the trail was ridden with all sorts of vehicles including buggy racing cars and crammed with people.
Here is a picture of us trying to cross the rope bridge on the Besor, but give up when we see the queue….

At some point we got tired of just riding in the car so we got off the trail and went to hike in the hills where we found many fascinating things like animal's bones, and snails. We saw more flowers springing straight from the sand; we saw lovely birds called spur-winged plover (siksak in Hebrew) and even two large rabbits that we scared and run from us in supersonic velocity.


We ended the day in a picnic at Eshkol national park, where the kids got a chance to soak themselves completely in the fountain waters that run through the park. My husband even brought his portable burner and a pan to cook chicken steaks for all. It was a treat, especially eaten by the water side.

On the way home my husband had only himself to talk to. The 3 kids and I were snoring up until he parked in front of our garage door.


  1. happy winter! great pictures. Last time we were there we stopped at Ma'on synogogue to see the ancient mosaics. There is an ostrich farm near there as well.

  2. Beautifully written. Thanks for the informative links. You've made some good research for this post (I learned thak "Kalanit"is an a Anemone...). The pictures are beautiful to. It seems that there is life beyond the washing machine. Keep up with this blog. You're doing a great job.
    Love you
    Asa Iya (Ha'chamor)