During the winter in Israel, nature seems to be fast asleep. However, everything is just coming to life, right under the surface. For this reason, we celebrate Tu B’Shvat, the New Year of the Trees, during the coldest time of the year. Fruit trees just begin to bud and blossom, and birds migrate to Israel from Europe and Asia to enjoy the relatively warm winter. Following are some of the pretty things to look out for in the upcoming months!
In Israel, the almond tree is regarded as a symbol for Tu B’Shvat and the beginning of the blossoming season. A possible reason for this is that the almond buds are the earliest to blossom. The flowers are lovely and these trees grow both in groves and individually all across the country! Look out for them this winter.
Israel is one of the main exporters of citrus fruit in the entire world! Although citrus fruits don’t quite produce fruit in the wintertime, they begin to bud mid-winter, and the flowers can already be seen. This photo is of a clementine, a hybrid between a mandarin orange and a sweet orange. Delicious!
The olive branch has a place of honor on the official seal of the state of Israel. The olive branch is reminiscent of the olive oil used to light up the Temple, and symbolizes a time when we were independent in our land. Olive trees can be found pretty much anywhere in the country, and are able to survive drought and even forest fires.
Israel is happy to be host to a variety of beautiful birds during the winter. Birds such as starlings, finches, and larks migrate to the Negev, or Israel’s desert, during the winter months. They arrive from parts of Europe and Asia, preferring the relatively warm winter Israel offers. Look out for their pretty colors, or listen for their song!
In Israel winter means a snow-capped Mt Hermon, and a sunny desert. While wildlife elsewhere shies away from the cold, in Israel everything is just beginning to come alive. Winter in Israel is truly magnificent!
What do you look forward to this winter? Share in the comments!