We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Since our piece this past weekend on savory venison and Jacob and Esau, I have wondered what the woodlands of Israel are like - if there are any left. I have travelled through the woods of Turkey, which are vast, lovely, and largely uninhabited. Mostly pine, it seemed. Mediterranean scrub.
I asked our Aliyah Diary author what the woods of Israel are like today. His reply:
"Very modest woods. Not oaky in the sense of how I think of grand trunks and full leaves. These are rather like the dwarf relatives. In their shade grow diminutive tulips (brought by the crusaders to Holland, and made famous and larger by the Dutch). These tulips are perhaps the length of your finger, with flowers the breadth of your thumb. Also, one of the national flowers, kaloniot (I don't know the scientific name). These are also perhaps 6 cm high, with delicate red petals and a necklace of yellow inside the flower. Fields of them ruffle in the wind."
More pictures, please. Also, how about an elegy for the vanished cedars of Lebanon (Solomon's temple timbers), the forests of parts of India (the reason for desert and drought there now), etc. You can't just reforest--God didn't create tree farms. Once gone, you can't get them back. That's why the woods in New Hampshire today are really so ugly and unbalanced--it's just scrub that grew up, nullifying generations of backbreaking work by my Yankee forebears to carve out fields and earn a living. Or how about (gasp) clearcutting the Amazon, parts of Africa, etc. today. The human impulse to grow food, farm, etc. is noble and should not be sneered at by PC jerks. Your veggie burgers have to come from somewhere! But at what cost when ancient forests are levelled? It isn't just the biodiversity we chip away at. It's the erosion it causes. The permanent alteration of climate. For short-term profit we'd bulldoze the Garden of Eden.
Tree-hugger and proud (except in my suburban garden where I'd gladly pour Roundup on my neighbor's willow for daring to shade my veggies. But that would be a crime, so I don't).