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In pictures: Israel gets flower power

Posted By Nicky Blackburn On February 22, 2010 @ 7:56 am In | No Comments

After an unseasonably warm February, spring has come early to Israel, and the countryside has burst into bloom. Enjoy ISRAEL21c’s gallery of pictures.

 

In a country which is dry, brown and barren for most of the year, it’s hard not to get excited when spring arrives.

The cracked, dusty hills turn a bright new green, and the countryside bursts into blossom with a lush spread of colorful wildflowers ranging from cyclamens to crocuses, orchids, lupines, lilies and irises. In years of plentiful rainfall, even the Negev desert is carpeted in green and red as wild anemones bloom in a sight that is unique to Israel.

The delicate pink and white almond blossoms mark the beginning of the spring blooming season. They appear in late January or early February, followed by narcissi, cyclamens and anemones which cover Israel’s forests and meadows. There are more than 2,500 species of flora in the country, a huge diversity considering how tiny Israel is.

Not surprisingly, spring marks the opening of the trekking season for Israelis, who hit the local parks and trails to enjoy the scenery.

This year’s heavy rains in January, followed in February by an unusually prolonged winter heat wave where temperatures hit 30 degrees, have brought about early flowering of many of Israel’s wildflowers, transforming the countryside into an unforgettable show.

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