Postcard from Israel – Winter Fruits and Flowers

Here we are in mid-December, just one week away from the shortest day of the year, and so far Israel has had quite a reasonable winter as far as rainfall goes. My morning update on the status of the Sea of Galilee waterline (courtesy of the indispensable @kinbot) tells me that it is 140 cms higher than it was this time last year and the first snow of the season fell on Mount Hermon this week.

Winter flowers are already blooming, led of course by the dainty little Persian Cyclamen (Rakefet) which peeps out from under rocks in varying shades of pink and the mysterious Autumn Mandrake (Duda’i ).The remnants of late summer fruits lie rotting but winter’s citrus bonanza is now coming into its own with grapefruits, lemons, mandarins and kumquats and the heady sweet smell of loquat blossom filling the crisp air. 

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