On Friday morning, we left for a weekend trip to the Negev with our friend, Sarah Brown, who is another Haifa Fulbrighter, also visiting faculty at the University.

a good omen for the trip on Highway 40 south to the Negev

The Negev is only about 3 hrs. south of Haifa, but a whole ecosystem away.

canyons and dunes of the Negev

Our first stop was Ein Avdat National Park. Ein Avdat is a limestone canyon with a natural spring (ein).

at the entrance to the park grows a terebinth tree that is 100s of years old

during the rainy season, water pools on the canyon floor and forms a stream

always lift with your knees

seepweed, a plant that thrives in saline environments, green after the recent rains

layers of rock visible in the canyon wall where the water carved through

view of the canyon walls from inside

we climbed up a set of narrow & shallow stairs carved out of the cliff up to the source of the water & the upper level of the canyon

It was interesting how much responsibility for their own safety hikers are given here. In the US, I would expect railings to be installed at all of the cliff edges.

but here, we could get right to the edge and look down. if you dared...

the trail continued over the upper part of the stream, into a poplar grove

as a source of water, Ein Avdat is like an oasis in the Negev and supports wildlife