Now would be a good time to tell you a little something about the place where I live. My house sits atop a hillside overlooking a beautiful valley. The colors of the valley change with the seasons. During the rainy season (our winter), the valley is green and beautiful. In the springtime, the hill are dotted with bright red flowers called anemones (called "kolanit" in Hebrew). During the dry months, the whole valley and the hills on both sides become brown and dried-out looking. The only green that is visible all year around is from the pine trees dotting the hillsides.
Today's snowfall is melting already, and a brook has formed down in the valley, complete with a noisy little waterfall of its own. When Menucha and I looked down a couple of minutes ago, we saw a whole group of 5-6 gazelles grazing on the hillside right below our house.
There are all kinds of wild creatures living in the forest below our house: gazelles, foxes, snakes, rock hyraxes, porcupines. A pack of wild dogs roams through the valley. Every once in a while, they produce adorable but wild puppies. Even the skies here are populated with wild and beautiful things--falcons and hawks. Because we are on a major migration route, at certain times of the year we can see huge flocks of storks on their way from Europe to Africa and then back to Europe at the end of the winter. Syrian woodpeckers, Palestine sunbirds, a darling songbird called a "bulbul", a fat striped bird called a "hogla" that runs in groups on the ground...there is no shortage of wonderful birds to watch here.
When I go to America to visit, and everything near my house there is so flat and removed from nature, I always feel like Heidi...missing her mountains...