This and That

Random bits of my life

Wildflowers on Mount Carmel

Posted by Avital Pinnick on March 28, 2012

Thistle silhouette

The Etsba Ridge of Mount Carmel is covered with flowers at this time of year. We went for a 1.5 hour hike over the ridge. Identifing flowers is a very tedious process because I’m no expert. I have to thumb through books of flowers in Israel, check photos on the Web if the book photos aren’t clear enough, and sometimes confirm a guess with one of our experts at work. I’ve provided the English names in this posting. If you want the Latin name, click the photo to go to the Flickr page. I’ve provided Latin names in the flower descriptions.

Etsba Ridge, Carmel Mountain

The Carmel Forest has made a remarkable recovery from a devastating forest fire that was started accidentally in 2010. The fire claimed 44 lives, including 40 Prison Service cadets, who were on their way to a course when their bus was overtaken by flames, and three senior police officers, including Haifa’s Chief of Police. The fire burned for four days and was the deadliest in Israel’s history. The photo below shows a line of burned trees. Many of the larger trees have been cut down.

Burned trees, Carmel Forest

Sun’s Eye Tulip:

Sun's-Eye Tulip

Splendid Bindweed and Pimpernel: Bet you thought pimpernels were scarlet, like the book! In Israel they’re a dark bluish purple.

Splendid Bindweed and Pimpernel

Greek Sage:

Greek Sage

Barbary Nut Iris:

Barbary Nut Iris

Common Gladiolus:

Wild Gladiolus

Snake-Tongue Orchid:

Snake-Tongue Orchid

Broomrape (parasitical plant) on sedum:

Broomrape (parasitical plant) on sedum

Asher spots the first poppy of the season. Red anemones, red buttercups, and red poppies all look very similar and many visitors assume that every large red flower is a poppy. But they don’t bloom at the same time. The anemones bloom first, followed by the buttercups, and finally the poppies.

Asher spots the first poppy

Corn Poppy:

Corn Poppy

Garland Chrysanthemum:

Garland Chrysanthemum

Etsba Ridge photographed from a moving bus:

Etsba Ridge, Carmel

Golden Drop. Asher wasn’t sure which one because they don’t often have red tips, but he was sure it was a golden drop. It was a large, beautiful specimen:

Giant Golden Drop

Turban buttercups:

Turban buttercups

Syrian Cornflower Thistle:

Syrian Cornflower Thistle

Close-up of flowers. Most of these flowers are tiny, which means that you really have to keep your eyes open to spot them.

Flowers on the Carmel

Hairy Pink Flax:

Hairy Pink Flax

Very rare Carmel Bee Orchid. Chaim spotted this, but neither of us got a really sharp photo because it was in deep shadow. Asher missed it, so I had to describe where I’d found it.

Carmel Bee Orchid

Etsba Ridge with Wild Chrysanthemums in late afternoon:

Etsba Ridge with Wild Chrysanthemums

5 Responses to “Wildflowers on Mount Carmel”

  1. sjaster said

    You are an amazing photographer. I could smell the flowers. My favorite is Sun’s Eye Tulip…gorgeous. Thanks for sharing your beautiful country with me.

    • Avital Pinnick said

      Thanks! I could have done more interesting things if I’d been alone. When hiking with a group, you have to take really fast shots, sometimes jumping off the path, photographing a flower, and then running to catch up! I was able to take more photos at the top of the ridge while the leader was speaking about historical events. Since my Hebrew isn’t very good, no one minded when I went off to amuse myself with my camera. šŸ™‚

  2. Astrid said

    We are going to be doing a pilgrimage to Israel in March. I wish to paint some paintings to give as prizes each day on the bus may I use some of these flowers as inspiration please

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