Creature Comforts

Olive season is drawing to a close. Thursday is the start of the weekend (Friday is the Muslim holy day as well as special celebration today) and everyone came home from school early. There was even a special lunch of ‘pizza’, Palestinian style.

pizza pre-cheese, pre-oven

post-cheese, post-oven

Today a laptop and a USB internet stick came with us to the field. On Skype, the sons living abroad got to see their relatives hanging out in the fields picking olives. Quite an interesting intersection of the traditional and the novel.

We all got a reminder today that you cannot be careless climbing trees. One of us was jumping from branch to branch and one snapped. He and the branch all came tumbling down. Everyone is OK, except for the branch.

There are other hazards to olive picking that I prefer not to think about. Most of the threats come from wild animals including snakes, scorpions (which I especially don’t want to think about, and wild boars. One farmer said that one winter he was in his olive fields and was charged by a wild boar. They managed to scare the thing off but not until after a standoff.

There are lots of interesting creatures around. One day we found a beautiful tortoise (qurqa) crawling amongst the rocks.

I love the praying mantises that are fairly abundant. There are all kinds of them, or at least things that look like them. This one happened to get crushed in this pile of olives.

There are beautiful snail shells on the ground virtually everywhere, though I have never seen a live one.

Chameleons are fairly common. Today one even jumped on the youngest member of the clan. The 7 year old was mildly traumatized by the experience. The chameleons are very fast and difficult to spot. Getting a good picture of them is almost impossible.

One day we saw a huge locust. Inshallah it will be the only one!


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