Taking a park breather

It’s easy to get so caught up in work. I forget how nice it is to take a break, and head to the park towards the end of a day. 🌳

You’d think that I’d get out more given that I work from home, but I seem to do it less frequently.

Modiin-Maccabim-Reut, Center District, Israel

Technically Autumn, and yet

I popped out for a walk after a relatively sedentary morning. It’s technically Autumn, but still pretty hot.

At the same time, those clouds have returned so there is a seasonal change on the way. Thank goodness. 🌦️

Modiin-Maccabim-Reut, Center District, Israel

Gazing up at Mars

Valles Marineris Hemisphere Enhanced – NASA’s Mars Exploration Program

I get a kick out of looking up at the night sky, and seeing Mars all the way up there, like a reddish star.

It’s exciting contemplating another planet in our Solar System that Humans will eventually visit.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech 

A preview of the The Steinhardt Museum of Natural History

We visited the Steinhardt Museum of Natural History with our kids today. It’s a remarkable museum, well worth visiting, with or without kids.

We took a train into Tel Aviv to visit the museum during its trial phase. Here’s an explanation about this from the museum’s website:

The Steinhardt Museum of Natural History in Tel Aviv, located adjacent to Tel Aviv University, will open fully this upcoming September.

As of July 2, the museum has been open for a trial run to test crowd flow and to get feedback on the exhibits, according to Professor Tamar Dayan, the Museum’s chair.
“For the trial run, we open for about four hours a day and we limit the number of visitors because we first want to finish the exhibitions properly and then we want to work out any kinks there may be,” Professor Dayan said.

The museum houses over five and a half million specimen.

My wife, Gina, booked tickets a few weeks ago. We arrived around 11:30 for the afternoon round of visitors.

The museum’s exhibits are spread over three levels (there’s a fourth planned, I believe), and it’s a terrific explanation of Israel’s ecology, and natural history. Each section is themed, with explanations in Hebrew, English, and Arabic.

One of the more interesting exhibits is on the third floor. It’s inspired by how birds construct their nests. At least, that’s what I understood from this one. It didn’t seem to have English explanations of several aspects of the exhibit.

We took our own lunch. There’s a deck with both outdoor and indoor seating where you can sit, and eat as you make your way through the exhibits.

The museum is really well thought out. The exhibits are fascinating, and I like how they’re put together. Our kids really enjoyed exploring different facets of Israel’s natural history, and its varied ecosystems.

One aspect of the museum that I really like is how we have insight into the work behind the scenes. The biodiversity section (a fascinating exhibit in its own right) includes windows into the team’s storage area, and even a section where a team member was working on a new extension of an exhibit.

This sort of approach is a great way to involve visitors in what the team’s doing, and a terrific way to show us that this is an evolving project. This was a fun visit, I look forward to visiting again some day.

Klausner St 12, Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel

Somehow the clouds make the heat less oppressive

It’s mid-Summer in this part of the world. It’s generally pretty hot, as you can imagine.

Somehow, having some cloud cover makes the heat a little less oppressive.

Fallen pods

It looks like the remnants of Spring are going away, as Summer digs in here in Israel. These pods have been falling from their trees for a couple weeks now. We had especially hot weather yesterday, and it seems to have accelerated the process. This morning, ground near these trees was covered in these dried up seed pods. I wanted to capture the scene before they’re swept away.

Rain drops in a thunderstorm

We had a somewhat unusual thunderstorm the other day. It took me back to my childhood in Johannesburg, South Africa, where we frequently had Highveld thunderstorms after a hot day.

Some of my favourite childhood memories are of those storms, especially lying in bed at night listening to the rain running through the gutters above my bedroom window.

Pretty Purple

I often walk to the supermarket for our weekly shop. This morning I noticed these pretty purple flowers (roses?) on a street corner.

Google Photos tries hard to come up with creative variations. Its attempt for this one didn’t quite work out, though:

Modiin-Maccabim-Reut, Center District, Israel