Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Our most beautiful desert oasis


A real oasis in the desert, near the Dead Sea.
Ein Gedi, my most beloved nature spot in all of Israel!

This Apple of Sodom grows from the rock and clings to the canyon wall in Nahal David, on the way to the waterfall.
June 1 is Theme Day and City Daily Photo members are starting to blog about Nature today.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Cool campus cats


Cats are EVERYWHERE on the campus of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. 
Even indoors, it now appears! 
This one was feeling right at home inside the Student Administration Building. 

When she saw me sit down near her, the kitty perked up, assessing me: would I be a good source of food and cuddles? 
(Linking to Camera-Critters.)

Monday, May 22, 2017

Sculptures at sunset


Art in between two Brutalist buildings at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev!

The light of the setting sun (see it in the tree?) silhouetted them nicely.

The BGU booklet Beyond the Classroom about the sculptures on campus offers this:
Three Fanfare Trumpeters and a Climber
Ofra Zimbalista
2014, cast aluminum, life-size figures
Three musicians scale the side of a building, representing a group  going in a single chosen direction.   On a nearby building, the W.A. Minkoff Senate Hall, an individual chooses to climb a new, previously unexplored peak. 

Click the photos if you'd like to see them bigger.
There are three other posts in the blog with more sculptures by the same Ofra Zimbalista z"l.
(Linking to Our World Tuesday.  And T is for Trumpeters for ABC Wednesday.)

UPDATE March 2021: Campus sculptures explained in a short video from the university:

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

A spooky whirling skirt


Ben-Gurion University is having a very unusual exhibition right now.
"Tzena Urena" is a group exhibition focusing on Israeli Jewish women's responses to their religious and female identity.

Watch Zipora Mendel's "The Twirling Movement of a White Skirt" in my little video clip.

Here is an explanation!
You can enlarge the photo if necessary.
I was the only one in the exhibit and being there alone with this whirling skirt was a bit spooky.
UPDATE May 18: On the subject of white shirts, here is something funny from today's Haaretz:
(For ABC Wednesday.).

Monday, May 15, 2017

Lag BaOmer bonfires


We celebrated the Jewish holiday Lag BaOmer last night!

The mama cat, who has a litter of kittens hidden nearby, kept coming over to investigate this intrusion on her territory.

The authorities asked that Israelis not make the huge and numerous bonfires this year, to cut down the pollution and fire danger.
So we had a small, civilized one.

Wings on the charcoal.

Today, the morning after, kids have a day off from school.

More about Lag BaOmer here.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Shepherds and flock on the move


I was out walking when suddenly a cloud of dust started moving toward me from the west.
(Hint: you can enlarge the photos and solve the mystery.)

Turned out to be a large flock of sheep and goats!

Two young Bedouin shepherds and their dog kept them moving at a fast clip.

The fine dust coming into my camera (and my nose) was not a good thing but there was no way that I was going to miss this exciting photo opp!

I followed the flock.

Here we were walking part of the Israel National Trail.
Some of the goats took a minute to stand on hind legs and eat a bit of the Meitar Forest.

You can see the houses of Meitar up on the hill.

The flock moved on toward their home in the hills and I turned back to start the climb up to my home in town.

Because the sun was setting and night would soon cover the desert.
(Linking to Camera Critters.)

Friday, May 5, 2017

Sinking sun between two trees


Sunset in the desert just outside my town.
It was 7:15 pm.
Just before and after sundown is the coolest time to hike.
The Jewish day begins at sunset, not at midnight.
Now it is Friday night, the beginning of the Sabbath, so wishing you  Shabbat shalom.
(Linking to SkyWatch Friday.)

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Jet fighters overhead! 3 videos

The Independence Day flyover!
Today Israel Air Force plane flew for two hours, all across the country.
I climbed the high hill in Meitar's center to get the best view and be closest to the aircraft.

These jets demonstrated  mid-air refueling.

A bird and a child's kite got into this clip of some fighter jets.

I think these are our new F-35 Stealth fighters.
They were shown to the public for the first time today.
The Times of Israel writes this:
Israel is the first country outside the United States to receive the state-of-the-art F-35, which is manufactured by Lockheed Martin. In total, the country is planning to purchase 50 of the fifth-generation stealth aircraft, known in Israel as the “Adir,” or “mighty one,” and has thus far received five of them.
You can see clear photos of them in that article.
And now tonight, we end our happy 69th Independence Day and start our 70th year as a State, thanks, in great part, to the planes and pilots we saw today.

Monday, May 1, 2017

On Jewish feasting


Patriotic blue and white marshmallows!
A limited edition especially for Israel's Independence Day (starting tonight) and also for the upcoming Lag BaOmer holiday when kids gather around bonfires.  

City Daily Photo bloggers are posting their favorite "Let's eat!" photo today for Theme Day. 

If you say "let's eat" to an American Jew, what comes to mind is the old joke: 
How can you explain most Jewish holidays?  Simple:  They tried to kill us; we won; let's eat. 

Think of the history and the feasting that go with Chanuka, Purim, Pesach, and Independence Day, for example.   True, eh? 
Today we are in the very somber and painful Remembrance Day when we think about the many thousands we have lost to wars and terrorism, and tonight we must transition into the fireworks, happiness, and barbecues of our 69th Independence Day.
The bitter and the sweet.