Thursday, December 01, 2005

Around and About

Here are some pictures I took today.

Despite the fact that today’s Gregorian date is December 1, it felt like summer here. Yet we have plenty of wild greenery in Jerusalem even during cold weather, provided that there is enough rain. Here is some kind of small grain plant that I’ve been seeing around for years but have never been able to identify:

Small grain plant

This is spiny burnet, a plant that grows throughout the Jerusalem hills. Every tour guide who has told me about this plant says that the army uses it to stuff mattresses. Spiny burnet plants have tiny red berries later in the season. Here are the leaves:

Spiney burnet

Moving indoors, this is a trend that seems to be catching on at local restaurants: a bowl-shaped sink that rests on top of the counter rather than being set into it:

Newfangled old-fashioned sink

I took this picture at a local health-food store. Want some grains? Pull up a bag, lift the plastic door and let the abundance flow:

The grain-rain machine

Finally, back outdoors where I found this lovely little plant—which is a garden or hedge plant here—growing in a crack in the sidewalk. I don’t know what this plant is, but I think it’s a member of the mint family. The leaves are a bit sticky to the touch and have a strong minty scent, and the flowers give way to rich, dark berries:

Plant growing in sidewalk crack

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