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April 21, 2014 / 21 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Negev Desert’

Plague of Locusts Returns to Israel for Shavuot

Tuesday, May 14th, 2013

The plague of locusts that Israel defeated just as the Passover holiday approached has come back in a fury seven weeks later on the eve of Shavuot.

Approximately 30 million locusts have landed in the Western Negev and threatened to wipe out Israeli farmers’ crops. The Agriculture Ministry is using helicopters and pickup trucks to combat the insects with spray and prevent a total disaster to farms that have carried out the dream of Israel’s first Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion, by making the desert bloom.

“They are easy targets now, but in two or three days when their wings develop, it will be a disaster,” Lior Katari, one of the Agriculture Ministry’s coordinators, told NBC.

Experts think that despite the spraying of the locusts two months ago, the insects already had mated and laid eggs in the sand and which now are hatching.

The appearance of the Biblical plague has ironically made the desert green, the color of the locusts.

Organic farmers have little hope. NBC quoted organic farm owner Golan Cohen as saying that volunteer workers have helped  out at the herb farm by banging on pots to keep the pests away.

“They were eating the weeds at first, they were small, so we ignored them,” said Golan Cohen,

After the threat of devastation grew worse, workers tried the noise-making method. “It worked,” said Dror Cohen-Chen, a worker on the farm. However, “The next day we came back and they had destroyed everything.”

“Three thousand years ago God sent the Egyptians a plague of locusts; now we are getting them back,” said a one local resident.

Tagged and Released

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

A vulture is spreading its wings as it is released back into the wild in the southern Negev Desert near Kibbutz Sde Boker earlier this week.

The Israeli nature and park authority recently trapped 96 vultures and released them after the birds had undergone examination and each received a ring and number.

According to Birding Israel, the Griffon Vulture was once very common in Israel, up to the middle of the 20th century: more than 1,000 pairs bred on cliffs in most areas of the country, including the Carmel and Judean hills. The population today is about 5% its former size. Breeding pairs have survived in the Judean desert, the central Negev, the eastern Galilee and the Golan Heights. It suffers from food shortage in the south and from disturbances and low breeding success all over the country.

The species is on the verge of extinction in Israel.

Now You See Them, Now You Don’t

Thursday, May 31st, 2012

Camouflaged IDF fighter jets fly low and fast inside the Ramon Crater in the Negev Desert.

Hundreds of millions of years ago, the Negev desert was covered by an ocean. Slowly, it receded northwards, leaving behind a hump-shaped hill. The hump was slowly flattened by water and climatic forces.

Five million years ago, give or take a year, the Arava Rift Valley was formed, with rivers changing their courses, carving out the inside of the crater which was a softer rock than that overlying. The crater bottom continued to deepen at a much faster rate than the surrounding walls, which gradually increased in height.

As the crater deepened, more layers of ancient rock were exposed with rocks at the bottom of the crater being up to 200 million years old. Today, the crater is 500 meters deep with the deepest point being Ein Saharonim (Saharonim Spring) which also contains the crater’s only natural water source which sustain much of the wildlife.

We have no idea how those two jets were made…

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/photos/now-you-see-them-now-you-dont/2012/05/31/

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