Texas and Israel

Eastern strawberry tree photographed by Jeff Zablow at Mt. Meron, Israel

Really! I was now on page 101 of Looking for the Wild by Lyn Hancock (Doubleday Canada Limited, 1986), one of several books that retrace the 1953 trip that Roger Tory Peterson and James Fisher took. Peterson and Englishman Fisher spent 100 days monitoring the health and breadth of what was left of American wilderness. Hancock, a native Australian, was following their route, and reporting how the U.S.A.’s conservation had progressed since ’53.

You remember that I’ve posted 3 images of the Israeli Eastern Strawberry tree (Abrutus Andrachne) because this tree is just . . . drop dead gorgeous!

Hancock, touting the wonders of Texas’ Big Bend National Park, writes, “The most surprising and personally satisfying tree for me was the Texas Madrone (Arbutus Texana). Its shiny brown peeling bark, glossy leaves and red berries were so familiar because it is closely related to the Pacific Madrone (Arbutus Menziesii) which on the West Coast we call simply the Arbutus Tree.”

Look again at this image, especially at that bark, at those leaves and remember another image here of green berries. Cousins, so to speak. Striking trees that bedazzle esthetes from Israel’s Upper Galilee, to southern Texas to sunny California.

Texas and Israel, connected in so many ways . . . .