Early this morning we drove out of Jerusalem past Ein Karem and Sataf and followed the Soreq valley, the historical route of the train that joined Jaffa to Jerusalem. Suddenly the gauge on the car signaled that the temperature outside was 4ºC. As we looked to the right the valley was filled with mist. We pulled off the highway, parked and climbed the hill to get some elevation and take photographs.
Then we descended into the valley and mist and got some nice closeups using a macro lens.
Couldn’t find any spiders but saw their gossamer webs left behind.
We did a nice hike in Nahal Katlav, from the derelict Bar Giora/Dayr-al-Shaykh train station, and I figured that the time was right to find crocus pushing up through the earth and we did.
Shortly after the first autumn rains, a perennial called Steven’s meadow saffron (Colchicum steveni, סתונית היורה), with small, delicate pink flowers appears in the fields and woods. I don’t know who Steven is but in Hebrew some clever person called it Sitvanit from Stav meaning autumn and HaYoreh, the first rain.
Another flower that comes up at this time is crocus. These flowers are Winter crocus (Crocus hyemalis, כרכם חרפי) and I saw bunches of them while hiking in Nahal Katlav just south of Jerusalem.
On the Golan, specifically Nahal Yehudia, I saw some narcissus (Narcissus tazetta, נרקיס) with white petals and yellow crowns and cyclamen (Cyclamen persicum, רקפת) already in bloom. I saw the leaves of lupines (Lupinus varius, תורמוס ההרים) just pushing out of the earth.
I was hiking under the ski lifts on the Hermon and found this flower, which I learned from my very knowledgeable colleague Zvi Bessin is Lotus Sweetjuice (Glaucium leiocarpum, פרגה קירחת). This perennial grows only in the area of the Hermon and is left over from the summer.
Also check out the post Wildflowers, before the rain.