Almond trees and a million points of light

Dew drops sparkle on budding almond trees in this photograph of Israel in the Sataf Nature Reserve.
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I cannot recall a single occasion when I got out of bed before sunrise to make photograph almond trees in Israel when I regretted my decision. The early morning hours are full of magic, fleeting wonders of light and weather and climate that are missed when you linger between the sheets.


This photograph of almond trees in the Judean Mountains is a clear case in point. I call it a million points of light, created by tiny sparkling drops of condensed fog, clinging to branches and brilliantly illuminated in the morning sun.


This is another image in the “not what I set out to photograph” category, having arrived at the Sataf Nature Reserve several days too early to catch these trees in bloom. But I’d also place this photo in the school of “finding a new way to represent a familiar subject,” as these almond trees are absolutely radiant in their flowerless, buds-about-to-burst-open phase.


Close to my home and refreshingly diverse, my frequent visits to this park continue to yield wall-worthy photographs of Israel time and again. I invite you to visit my portfolio of (Holy Land Almond Trees here.)


You really have to enlarge the image to appreciate how the sun and moisture combine to transform a few ordinary trees into a dazzling, evanescent light show. (And if you’re looking at it on a phone, well, I guess I apologize).


Composing the image was easy as the stairs create a natural pathway into the photo. I only needed to climb high enough to where there are enough trees to fill both sides of the image. I pointed my camera downhill, toward the sun but tilted away just a tad to avoid lens flare.


Someday, I imagine, inventors will find a way to add the chill air and smoldering aroma of spring to our visual art. Until then, we can only look and marvel at the arrival of yet another season of rebirth.

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