The pretty girl peeping behind the tree is my eldest daughter. And the tree is a palm. It's a burnt palm tree that we stumbled upon while wondering around the area of Ein-Mata. There we found the curious sight not typical at all to this area: a palm plantation. Actually the palm trees were only slightly scorched because the fire didn't harm them just singed their bark. So a curious pattern emerged of orange bark with black scorching marks, an opportunity for some "artistic" photos.
Ein Mata is a small fountain in the Judean Hills not far from Beit-Shemesh. It is an area of the country that we consider our back yard and go hiking there quite a bit (check out http://yaelruder.blogspot.com/2010/01/weekend-of-food-and-comfort.html), so in one of those hot and sunny November Saturdays we went hiking to that little fountain. I liked the spot because it enabled us to take my youngest son, not yet 3 years old for a training hike. Finally he got down from the baby carrier. We are attempting to turn him into a trekker with his own tiny back pack and walking boots. Since hiking is one of our favorite activities I'd want my boy to like it as much as I do.
This specific track suited us perfectly, because it's just a short walk down a slope and then up again. A huge eucalyptus tree bent over the fountain was a great playground and there were even water running that made my son very happy because he could throw stones at them.
Usually the area in this time of year should be lush and green but because there was hardly any rain and the weather keeps being dry, a lot of the trees were consumed by fires. But here and there we could encounter flowers, overwhelmed by the strange weather but still holding on. The little hike ended with a lavish picnic in a nearby forest with a panoramic view of the Judean Hills.
I wish next Saturday we won't be able to step out of the house because there would be a raging rain storm.