Monday, December 5, 2016

Crane Migration Through Israel

Crane migration through Israel is somewhat of a hidden secret. A few tourists or business travelers make it to this biannual bird ritual. Yet Israelis flock to see the migration in spring and fall. To some this is an annual family event. This is as close as you are going to come to seeing animal migration in nature. If you ever wanted to see a massive migration, from rain deer in the arctic circle to elephants and buffalo in Africa, this is a sure way to get a taste of nature's fierce power. Seeing thousands of birds at one place taking off all at once is simply amazing.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Winter Cranes in Hula Bird Sanctuary

Israel is a stopping station for migrating birds. Large cranes and pelicans from Europe migrate to Africa in the spring and fall. The Hula bird sanctuary is Israel's largest park to see this amazing natural phenomena. This time a year there are thousands of cranes at the sanctuary. In a field next to the ponds, we say thousands of cranes eating and quacking. The noise seems like a crazy conversation between a pair of birds, only multiplied by a thousand. 

Monday, November 28, 2016

Hula Bird Sanctuary: in for the winter

Pelicans migrate through Israel in the early fall and spring. By September and October they are usually settled here or gone to the Nile delta in Egypt or further south in Ethiopia and eastern Africa. Israeli wildlife authorities and the state's agriculture department manage the Hula bird sanctuary. Actually the direct management is done by the Keran Kayement Le'Israel (KKL - JNF) who owns the land proper.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Sarona Park: Summer Music Memories

Fall came late this year. Up to mid-November Tel Aviv weather was unseasonably warm. Sarona park, the newly built shopping and eating commercial park on Kaplan street is attracting people with live events. Up to October local bands put on early evening (7 - 9 PM) concerts. I can't say these were Tel Aviv's finest performers. Yet the combination of a warm night, nice park setting and food all around in this part of town did the trick. The last days of September and early November a German style Oktoberfest turned out to be the last outdoor entertainment event.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Sarona Market: Boutique Eateries and Shopping

Sarona market is a collection of tiny boutique shops and food stalls. Located at the rear of a newly built Sarona shopping center. The market itself is situated in the back of a park like development. This is another experiment in new Tel Aviv shopping and leisure development. 

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Autism Fund Raiser in Barby Tel Aviv

Israel's independent social services foundations take up the slack when the state can not support special needs. There are hundreds of foundations, especially for children with special needs. Luckily Israeli artists, especially performers, help in raising money and awareness for these kids. Last week a small foundation for parents with Autistic children put on a benefit concert. The concert at Barby Tel Aviv, one of the city's premier rock clubs was packed. 

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Haifa, an alternative to Tel Aviv?

Standup Surfing in Bat Galim beach Haifa. Slower lifestyle, quieter residential neighborhoods and affordable housing is luring Tel Avivians to north Israel. Haifa is one of the preferred destination © 2016 D-A Vider

Lifestyle and cost of living in Tel Aviv are compared to many European cities. Israel's central district (Gush Dan) has been on a growth spurt the last fifteen years. Most visitors who were here just a decade ago are amazed by the developments. But many Israelis are not happy. Housing prices are climbing steadily much faster than salaries. City centers (both Tel Aviv and surrounding suburbs) are crowded and noisy. The quaint Mediterranean beach cities, small communities hidden in sandy dunes, towns built in historical biblical locations and small agricultural settlements are gone. Simply put the last thirty years has turned central Israel from a quiet semi-rural land to a developed suburban sprawl. This is the lifestyle cost Israelis are paying for world leading economic success. When Israelis tell people about one of the most successful economies in the whole last century. Essentially creating a country from ideas and sand dunes. From colonial rule and antiquated laws to a modern fully functioning democratic republic - the personal cost is rarely mentioned. Yet this is the life in Israel.