Plants & Wildlife
The Ma'ale Michmas area is considered the edge of the Judean desert.
Almost all natural vegetation in the area consists of the thorny and thistly scrub which sprouts from
the patches of topsoil on the rocky hills.
Despite this, there are quite a few types of animals natural to the area, some seen and heard often, some never,
or only glimpsed at night.
The most common animals to be seen are various types of birds.
They include ravens, jays and pigeons, as well as the occassional desert eagles and owls.
Other commonly seen creatures are tortoises, frogs, locusts, and a plethora of different lizards.
Of the mammals, the most notable area residents are foxes, desert wolves, and gazelles,
which graze on whatever wild grass they can find amongst the scrub, sometimes as close as 50 metres from the houses.
They are very people-shy, usually travel in small groups, and flee at the sound of footsteps.
Though the greenery of the hills is made up exclusively of thorny brush almost year round, for a brief period in the spring,
the region comes alive with wild flowers. Sometimes whole hillsides will be dotted with one kind of flower.
Though the local council does its bit by planting flowerbeds around the village,
the spring blooming of wildflowers gives the most colourful show of the year for those who go wandering at the right time.
The flowers most commonly encountered are poppies, camomile, and star of Bethlehem.