Fall in Israel

Michigan has all four seasons, it’s pretty clear when you are in the summer, fall, winter and spring. You know how to dress and you know what to expect. Kind of.

But Israel is different, we only have two seasons: a really long summer, and a really short winter. So how do we know when fall has started? Well, we have a few signs:

Squills, squills everywhere!

One of the first things that happen when fall starts is the blooming of the squill plant (shown in the picture below). We even have a song about it!

Fall is here!
Fall is here!The Squill is blooming in the field

Evening, morning, there is a chill
Light clouds are in the sky


בא הסתיו!

בא הסתיו!

בשדה פרח חצב

ערב, בוקר, קצת קריר

במרום ענן בהיר,



When fall turns into winter, the Squill digs itself to the ground and stays inside for the rest of the year until it is time to grow again the following fall.

Israel becomes a train station for migratory birds

When you look up in the sky and all you see is birds from one side to the other – you know it’s fall in Israel. Birds cannot survive the cold winter in Europe, so they migrate to warmer climates. Some of the birds only pass over Israel but many stays for a while until it gets too cold and then they also move on.

This is a contested phenomenon that it’s in a lot of our songs, we also have a song specifically about it.  


The Wagtail makes an appearance

If you ask a young Israeli child how do you know that it is Fall he will tell you right away “The Wagtail is here”! in Hebrew, the Wagtail is called Nachlieli (נחליאלי) and kids sing songs about it from the first moment it appears.

A small Wagtail

I saw in the garden
his tail is long and beautiful
and a small black apron on its chest

He didn’t jump, he didn’t bounce
only ran, ran, ran

He didn’t jump, he didn’t bounce
only ran, ran, ran

נחליאלי קטן

ראיתי בגן

זנב לו ארוך ויפה

סינר קטן שחור על החזה

לא ניתר! לא קפץ!

רק רץ, רץ, רץ…‏.

לא ניתר! לא קפץ!

רק רץ, רץ, רץ…‏.

Leaves are falling

In Michigan, the trees turn to display beautiful autumn coloured leaves before the leaves drop, but in Israel, the leaves just fall. Since all the plants in Israel are protected by law, the fall is a good time to pick up the leaves and used them in art.


The first rain

The first long rain after the dry season is called “Hayore” (היורה). It’s a pretty big deal for Israel, it’s the most substantial amount of precipitation after the dry season that lasts from May until October.


Until next time…