Monday, June 30, 2008

Covering the bridge

We photobloggers are all photographers, just at different stages of development, no?
So as a budding photographer at the gala inauguration of Calatrava's Bridge of Strings, I found myself drawn to interesting scenes of interaction between those with cameras and those without.
BTW, the evening was also a rare opportunity for the very religious and the less religious to rub elbows and enjoy the festivities together.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Stalks of color in a dry landscape

A brave attempt to add color to the grayness of stone and the brownness of summer.

The bees and the birds

The second annual National Pollinator Week was celebrated June 22-28.
So I learned from Michelle in her very informative post at Rambling Woods. Thanks, Michelle, and thanks to all the bees, birds, insects, and bats who do such important pollination work.
These bee boxes sit among the olives and other trees native to the Mediterranean Woodland type of forest.
The beekeeper said it was a record harvest of honey this year. Sweet!
When he is tending his bees I am not allowed to walk my regular path in the woods.

From here in the Jerusalem Hills we see Jerusalem over on the hilltop.

Every weekend you can enjoy other bloggers' animal pictures at the Camera-Critters meme.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Gala for Calatrava

Here it is! Especially lit up in Israel's colors for inauguration night, the 118-meter tall pylon of Gesher HaMetarim, variously translated as the Cords or Chords Bridge or the Bridge of Strings!
Spanish architect-engineer Santiago Calatrava took his inspiration from the Book of Psalms where King David plays the harp and sings praises to God.
To show you just how it sits in the congested western entrance to Jerusalem, I have to borrow the photo below by Ariel Jerozolimski which appeared in the media this week. The bridge will carry pedestrians and a new tram line still being built.
Herzl Street was closed to traffic for the gala event on Wednesday afternoon. Those of us who did not score a chair in the VIP section sat wherever. Little religious boys had a great time running around or riding bikes down the normally full-of-traffic boulevard, just like the secular kids do on Yom Kippur, the holy day when NO ONE drives.
A close-up of how the 66 cables go in and out of the mast.
The changing colors of sunset were the best lightshow.
But when the sky turned black the earthly show began. Next to the giant screens was an orchestra and a boys choir, and dancer girls advanced single file up the pedestrian walkway.
The thousands below gasped as projectors lit up the Bridge of Strings. I stood under the mast for three hours, enthralled.

The smoke from the fireworks was beautiful in itself.
The online Jerusalem Post has a 2-minute video about the bridge here, with an interview of Calatrava and the comments of the public. But be warned: citizens either love or hate the expensive bridge. And a You Tube video of the entertainment is fun.
For more information and views of the bridge being built, see my previous posts here
and here.
There is a lot more to share about the bridge and the party, unless y'all have had enough.
Maybe tomorrow?

Friday, June 27, 2008

A bridge is born

Balloons float skyward over the Bridge of Strings! Santiago Calatrava's design for the suspension bridge over the road that leads into central Jerusalem was inspired by King David's harp.
Its inauguration on June 25 included fireworks, music, dance, and of course, speeches. The two million shekel gala was quite spectacular.
I will try to choose just a few of my 149 photos and write more about it tomorrow.
Meanwhile, good night and Shabbat shalom, Sabbath peace, to you.

A vast variety of other sky photos from bloggers around the globe await you at Wiggers World, home of Sky Watch Friday.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Walls of Jerusalem and of the hills

Welcome to the fun we bloggers have at ABC Wednesday. Today's letter is W.

Western Wall, formerly known as the Wailing Wall.
With the beginnings of the excavation where I worked last year.
Watchtower known as David's Tower and Jerusalem's Old City city wall.
One of the old terrace walls which dot the Jerusalem Hills. Some date from First Temple period.
Wedges in a wall: how to build a straight wall.


Winter woodpile work! Last summer good friends Mark and Kristine came from America to visit--and help. We cut up dead wood from the woods for our sister friends to use in their wood-burning stoves on cold winter days. I love the maul or an axe more than the chainsaw.

Notice the Y-shaped branch in my hand. Ha, should have saved that for the coming Y Wednesday.
Woodpile is now well-stocked. What fun it is to work with wood!


Waiting for sunrise at the Jaffa Gate.
Waiting for the bus on Herzl Blvd.
Waiting for the Messiah. Some Chabad Hasidic Jews believe that their leader, the Rebbe of Lubavitch, who died ten years ago, was and IS the messiah. The fence was plastered with these posters. At the top is written, "Long live our rabbi-teacher-leader, King Messiah, for ever and ever!"
Waiting for snail mail. WHEN will it come? WHY doesn't anybody write to me anymore?
(Singing the old song, "Nobody loves me, everybody hates me; I'm gonna go eat WORMS." LOL)

Signs of W everywhere

White Paper, generally defined as "the British Government White Paper of 1939 that severely limited Jewish immigration to Palestine, sealing the escape route of European Jews prior to World War II. Succumbing to pressure generated during the riots of 1936-1939 ("Arab Revolt") the British limited Jewish immigration to 15,000 per year for five years, after which there would be no more immigrants allowed at all. "
The Etzel, an armed Jewish underground organization in pre-State Israel (during the British Mandate period), bombed the building in protest. Western Union, a way to transfer money abroad. Service inside the Post Office.
WIZO (in Hebrew it's pronounced vitso) is the Women's International Zionist Organization, a movement of Zionist women founded in England in 1920. WIZO volunteers do fine work to improve Israeli society.
I can show you where the ladies run a second-hand shop of housewares and clothes on Hillel Street. ;-)

Watch out when walking in Warren's Shaft water system!
Warren's Shaft in the City of David. It played an important part in bringing water to ancient Jerusalem. Watercourse? -- Some think that this system is the tsinor, translated variously as watercourse or pipe, mentioned in Samuel II 5:7-8, through which David conquered the city from the Jebusites.

W people

Women in white on a white donkey for the Big Hug of Jerusalem, 2007.
White-clad man (pilgrim? clergy?) with walking-stick in the Old City.
Well-armed woman soldier.
Wet Windows umbrella over wonderful grandson.

W in Sergei Courtyard

The Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel has their Jerusalem office in the lovely 1890 Sergei Building. Their courtyard has treasures like these below to show how WORK was done in olden days.

Watering trough cut into a Crusader ashlar.
Winnowing fork and threshing board.
Windlass to draw water from the well.
Well borders with grooves cut by ropes used in drawing water.

W words of Israel

Water truck delivering water to a house in an Arab village in the Negev. Not yet connected to the national water system.
Explaining the meaning of www in Hebrew to the young Arab pupils in Darajat village school's computer room.
Wind damage during a winter storm in my Jerusalem Hills moshav (village).
Whirling weathervane in the wind in Jerusalem.
Yes Dutch bloggers, Jerusalem has one too!