For those travelling the length and breadth of Israel at this time of the year it is very hard not to notice the tall flowering stems of the Maritime Squill (Urginea maritima). Remarkably, the large Squill bulbs are able to “sense” the lowering night temperatures during the month of August as a trigger to send forth their spectacular inflorescences. Each pure white flower of the stem opens for just one day with flowering starting with the basal whorls of the inflorescence and ending about two weeks later at the top of the stem.
Times and seasons change and the Maritime Squill provides one of the distinctive markers for the forthcoming change from summer to autumn that is much talked about in Israeli pre-schools.
The first day of September was also the beginning of the new school year for 2,105,394 school children here in Israel. After a very difficult and distressing summer vacation it is wonderful that the sirens of war are being replaced by school bells and the sound of children playing!