After weeks of squinting at screens — to keep up to date with Israel’s election campaign — and gazing up at the sky, following the path to the moon of the Beresheet spacecraft, it’s time to look down, if you haven’t already done so, at Mother Earth.
Because during this last gasp of spring, you can see her still strutting her stuff, particularly in the north of the country, producing riots of floral color that will be gone in a matter of weeks when temperatures rise.
On the Golan Heights, the Sa’ar River is fuller than it has been for years, thanks to abundant winter rains after a long period of drought and to snowmelt from Mount Hermon.
Here, the waterfalls are still gushing and the riverbanks are carpeted in the blue-mauves of purple viper’s bugloss and hyacinth squill, the lime greens of wild euphorbia, white and yellow daisies, and, higher up, the vivid reds of anemones and poppies.
Silvery poplars compete with the dark greens of riverside oleanders. The young leaves of oaks are still bright green, those of the pistachios a temporary, UV-protective red.
This is God’s own garden, painted with a palette that knows no rules, absorbed in a last burst of fecundity before the annual dance between nectar-filled flowers and their insect, pollen-carrying messengers draws to a close.
Over the weekend, it felt as if half of Israel had arrived to marvel at the Sa’ar’s bounty — to photograph the plunging water (and particularly themselves) on the bridge at the start of the nature trail, and to walk along the rocky two to two-and a half hour trail itself.
After a bruising and divisive election campaign, it was restorative to see so many Arabs and Jews, not to mention Druze (carrying handfuls of wild asparagus picked along the way) enjoying nature, picnics and paddling.