Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Flowers on Titora Hill

It's not that long since I wrote about Titora Hill, a popular archaeological site and beauty spot very near to my home. Back in December it was still winter and the hill was just beginning to recover from a wave of fires. I am pleased to say that a recent visit showed us that Titora is recovering nicely. There are still some badly burnt areas, but there was also an incredible display of wildflowers, some of the most common being the anemone, or the kalanit (taken from the Hebrew word for a bride, a kalla, referring to a bride’s beauty), the almond tree flower, the shkedia, with its delicate pinkish petals, and the cyclamen, or rakefet in Hebrew. The Asphodelus ramosus, or Irit Gadola, a member of the lily family, with its long slender leaves and small white flowers that are edible, was also in full bloom and, if you’re lucky, you can also find long sprigs of wild asparagus on the hill. Just snap one off and munch on it.
Interestingly, a difference can be seen between the flora in the areas facing north or northwest - which get indirect sunshine and have a temperate micro-climate, and those facing south and east - which get direct sunlight most hours of the day.
Israel is located at the meeting point of several climate types and contains a great diversity of habitats. These unique conditions are the main reason for the large variety of plant life here. Apparently there are more than 2,500 different species of higher plants in Israel's small area. Most of the plants develop during the rainy and cool winter months and bloom in early spring. February and March is one of the most spectacular times in Israel, when the countryside turns green and the wild flowers blossom profusely.
The almond tree flower marks the beginning of the spring blooming season in late January or early February. Narcissi, cyclamens and anemones follow, covering the meadows and wooded areas. I have written about "The Red South" before. In northern Israel a mixture of blue purple and white anemones draw the crowds, whilst several species of irises, some of which are so dark that they are referred to as Black Irises, are dispersed in special locations from the Golan Heights to the Northern Negev. During the months of February and March numerous people visit Mount Gilboa to view the dark purple Iris that are found on these slopes. Blue lupins cover Givat Haturmusim (Lupin Hill) in The Valley of Elah, and the Madonna lily can be seen blooming in early May in one place on the Carmel and one spot in the Western Galilee. In other parts of the country yellow blankets of wild mustards and chrysanthemums cover vast areas, and in the rare years that the Negev desert gets enough rain, it also get covered by a symphony of colours and fragrances that are unforgettable.
Though some species of Israeli wildflowers bloom nearly year-round, depending on the particular year and the amount of rainfall in that area of the country, February and March are the best times to enjoy the riotous colours. We certainly enjoyed seeing plenty of colour on Titora Hill.

* This post has been shared on Make it Pretty Monday at The Dedicated House, The Good. The Random. The Fun., You're the Star Blog Hop, Our World TuesdayPictorial Tuesday and Tuesdays @Our Home.


Miss Val's Creations said...

How wonderful to see so much regrowth! All the wildflowers are so beautiful. Nature is so resilient.

Tamar SB said...

Such pretty signs of spring!!

Pea bea said...

God is great in with his wonderful earth and nature. So glad the beautiful flowers will once again paint the hillsides. And, hopefully, never another fire to destroy or try to destroy the beauty. Thanks for sharing at my link up. :)

Peabea@Peabea Scribbles

VeggieMummy said...

How wonderful to see the area recovering after the fire. There are so many beautiful flowers there. I love cyclamen but have never seen it growing wild, and wild asparagus - yum! I love your recent cards too - especially the inclusion of Einstein! xx

handmade by amalia said...

Lovely photos, Lisa. Spring seems to me to be especially pretty this year. Happy Passover!

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Happy that the flowers have come back. The climate and topographical diversity obviously makes it a wonderfully exciting place to live. (That kind of excitement is good! )

Quinn said...

Stunning images, both in the photographs and your words! The cyclamen growing amidst the grasses and little forbs especially stands out for me, because I have never seen a cyclamen in the wild. In my mind they are as mysterious and exotic as orchids, but then, I have orchids growing wild in the woods of New England, too! Funny the lines we draw around things in our own minds :)

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