Arid Israel? Give a Gander

View from Ramat Hanadiv to Mediterranean Sea, photographed by Jeff Zablow at Coastal Plain, Israel

Looking down from the ancient farmhouse site on top of Ramat Hanadiv, we scan the Israeli coast, with urban neighborhoods in the mid-ground (Israeli-Jews and Israeli-Arabs), and the Mediterranean Sea in the background. Have you ever seen Israel like this? March 2016, and Jeff is scouring Ramat Hanadiv for butterflies. Jeff could not resist the rich menu of visual stimulation, obviously.

Now I ask, what’s in the foreground here, just beyond the rocky edge of the overlook? This is the Israel few know. Israel was once totally arid, desert. The early settlers were agriculturists, farmers, and they scratched through that sandy terrain. Along the way, they experimented with water conservation and usage. They became expert in stretching every drop of water they could find.

The end result today looks back at us here. That green you see are extensive fields of agricultural crops. Lush green, expertly farmed. Seeking butterflies, I have many times rode the trains that travel north and south. Green fields stretch all the way from the northern reaches of the Galilee down to Beersheva, at the very edge of the desert. Truth be told, that is being extended too, moving green fields south into the desert.

What, then are those grayish forms in the foreground? Give up? They are seas of netting, artfully hung and maintained, for the growth of mangoes, avocados, bananas, oranges, peaches and more. The fruit in Israel is yummy, fresh (small country, minimal shipping mileage).

I travel there to visit my grandsons, and to photograph Middle Eastern butterflies, and while there, I look, see and marvel at what I see.

I guess you’ve never been there. I know most of you know alot about this land. I would love to hear that this does tickle your curiosity about it. Thanks for coming aboard.