49 x 37 in | 124.5 x 94 cm
These Tabor Oaks in full flower were an awesome sight. Oaks, like many other trees, produce flowers before the new leaves sprout thereby allowing the pollen to disperse in the wind unimpeded by leaves. They were festooned with flowers with the new leaves barely peaking out like pale green wings from the top of each flower cluster. The bunches of hanging, pale greenish yellow strings are actually flowers, although they are very different from the archetypal flower with large, showy petals like roses.
The flower strings are called “catkins”. They form little bouquets that flashed like little pompoms in the sunshine. It made me happy just to look at them. The shining bouquets were echoed in the mottled light on the trunks.
Mount Tabor Oaks (Quercus ithaburensis) at one time covered the coastal plain of the eastern Mediterranean. You can see remnants of this forest in the Tel Dan Park and in Sharon Park south of the Hadera Forest in Israel and in other locations. Large Tabor Oaks are famous because of their proximity to holy places such as the top of Mount Carmel. In Arab villages, they have many medical and practical uses. This oak, which shaded King Saul, is mentioned numerous times in the Bible.