You know that Purim is in the air when your babysitter comes dressed in costume!

Christina & Noah showing off the Megillat Esther he made in school.

Sarah’s PT invited us to her moshav’s (agricultural community) Purim party Thurs. evening. We quickly pulled together a couple of costumes based on what we had lying around the house – which is mostly toys.

Roy's costume is: "I fell asleep & when I woke up, a spider had spun a web on me!" Sarah is the sea, replete with fishing boat.

The party took place in the moshav’s clubhouse and was primarily a costume party – bar, food, DJ, dancing – with the tradition of the Purim spiel. Several groups of moshav residents put on little skits on the theme of the children’s educational television shows that used to be on when we were little kids, when there was only one channel in Israel, but with references to current events. Of course, we did not understand most of it, but it was entertaining anyway. The most popular adult Purim costume is “Hey! Look at me, I’m crazy!” Wig required.

In addition to parties, during Purim many of the nature groups organize special events. On Fri. morning we went on a special tour of some of the burned areas of the Carmel forest with JNF/KKL. We learned about the decision-making process behind when/if to clear damaged sections, and how future rehabilitation will be decided.

some of the damaged area of Har Carmel

the guide told us that there are no "fall colors" on Mt. Carmel, so everything that was not green was damaged

a spontaneous memorial for the firefighter cadets who died in the fire

One of the most striking things we saw was the new life blooming alongside the damaged areas.

Corinthian columns are based on the acanthus plant

While we were on our tour, Noah’s class was having their Purim carnival and mishloach manot exchange.

But there was still more to come. Fridays are early days at school, so we still had the whole afternoon ahead of us before we went to Sarah’s friend Yaffa’s mom’s for dinner. Did you know that right behind our neighborhood is a marked hiking trail? We walked down to Ziv Sq. and fortified ourselves with falafel for the hike.

10 falafel balls for 8 shekels. Noah ate 8 1/2.

on the trail after hiking back up to just behind our development. we left the trail and took a shortcut home via those stairs.

more signs of the season