Sketching Out Blog: Sketches of art, watercolor, photos, recipes, books, interviews, Jewish topics, and Highland Park, New Jersey


ibex or Yael
Do you know anyone by the name of Yael? This animal is called an ibex or in Hebrew Yael. We saw quite a few ibex on our trip to the Dead Sea, where we hiked up (and back down) Nahal David, the shorter hike at Ein Gedi. As it was quite hot and my daughter got tired from our short Nahal David hike, we are glad we did not do the longer Nahal Arugot hike. Also, unlike our sad Banias experience where we were not allowed to go in the water, there is plenty of swimming, wading and sitting under waterfalls in Nahal David.

Psalms 104:18 —

The high mountains are for the wild goats; the rocks are a refuge for the conies.
הָרִים הַגְּבֹהִים, לַיְּעֵלִים; סְלָעִים, מַחְסֶה לַשְׁפַנִּים

According to the Ein Gedi brochure, the wild goats are Nubian ibex. The conies are rock hyrax, and I have a picture of one of those furry animals, too (for a later post).

Ilana-Davita says

We have them in the Alps. I didn't know they could live in the desert.

Robin says

I love seeing the ibex at Ein Gedi, and my kids LOVE LOVE LOVE swimming in those waterfalls. Maya was asking to go back just the other day but I told her it would have to wait until fall. It's too hot for me down there right now.

Leora says

Ilana-Davita, because Ein Gedi is an oasis, I gather they come down out of the hills at this time of year. But during the winter there is more for them to eat in the desert.

Robin, it was pretty tough on my little girl. She fell asleep in the car, so I once again missed a chance to swim in the Dead Sea, where my husband and boys enjoyed a short dip before we went to Jerusalem.

Baila says

It sounds like you had an amazing trip.

I will be taking my friend and our kids down to Ein Gedi and Nachal David this week. I was going to ask if there was water there this time of year--glad to hear there is...

Leora says

Baila, maybe in my next life I'll alternate giving Israeli art tours, tours specifically for kids, and high-end intellectual archaeological tours of Israel. In between relaxing, doing artwork and spending winter vacations in Switzerland so I can ski.

Yeah, plenty of water in Nachal David.


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