Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Soft-shelled sea turtles and nutria at Nahal Alexander

We braved the Passover holiday crowds and some pretty gray (as you'll see from the photos) and windy weather today to visit Nahal Alexander, one of the only places in Israel where you can see soft-shelled turtles. These turtles can grow to a length of one meter (3 feet) and a weight of 50 kg (110 pounds)]. The ones we saw today were probably close to that size, don't you think?
After watching the turtles for a bit we headed into the park to pass through what you might have mistaken for a very large parking lot full of picnickers escape the crowds and walk along the nahal (river) towards the sea. About halfway along we stopped to see the view from Khirbet Samra, the ruins of a mansion owned by a 19th century watermelon merchant.
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On our way out of the park at the end of the day we were happy to see that two of the local nutria were paying a visit, stopping on the bank to eat matza some idiot had thrown in plants and the occasional grapefruit that had rolled down the hill from a nearby orchard.

We had a great day out, though I'll be sure to schedule our next visit for a non-holiday weekend.


Jientje said...

At least someone enjoyed the matza?
I can see you all had a great day!
I love the picture with the view from the ruins!

Flea said...

Oh very cool! I haven't seen a nutria in years! Looks like y'all had a great day. :)

Jill said...

TOO COOL!! I love the Sea Turtles... I can't believe we never saw them while we were there!

This Eclectic Life said...

The view framed by the window is so great (well all the photos are excellent). I'm glad you had a fine day. Sounds like fun despite the crowds and the gray day.

Mojo said...

Oh I love that "inside-out" shot. But I'm fond of those anyway. Looks like Maya was having a blast!

I wonder if matza lays in the nutria's stomach like lead the way it does a human one... Could be why he ignored it.

Libby's Library said...

Where I live we have so many Nutria, the government has Nutria Round Ups. Jim Bobs, Bubbas, and Betty up by the pick-up truck full. With TAILS... yeah just the tails. GROSS! They get paid for each tail they bring in. I asked the hubby what they did with the bodies...he swears that they eat them!

Daryl said...

Fun stuff .. my mother had a nutria coat, I never knew what the whole animal looked like .. ;-D

maryt/theteach said...

Looks like a fun day's outing for the kids at least! I don't think I've ever seen a nutria or mouse beaver (I looked it up) It does lo9ok like a beaver, Robin!

Anonymous said...

This would have been a great Nature Notes post....Lovely...

Leora said...

All such great pics, Robin. You really have a flair, especially for capturing your daughter.

Another great tiyul site. Sigh. Some day.

Grace @ Sandier Pastures said...

I like Maya's expression and boy, has she grown so big! She's tall for her age, isn't it?

And, she's working on that pink tights so well. Tight-style pants is also Pristine's recent fashion statement! Great photos!