• Issue: January 1970
  • Designer: R. Errell
  • Plate no.: 270
  • Sheet of 15 stamps Tabs: 5
  • Method of printing: Photogravure

After having toured Israel extensively you will come to the conclusion that its landscape and sights are much more plentiful, beautiful and colorful than you would have imagined. Side by side we may find mountains rising to 1,000 meters and over, and valleys representing the deepest continental rift on earth; or dense chaparral covered with lush vegetation and arid and bare expanses. You may find giant cliffs rising hundreds of meters high as well as immense hammada plains, covering areas of many square miles; or narrow, winding canyons with waterfalls as opposed to dry and wide river beds rising to powerful floods.

In addition to this you may have met 2,500 different species of plants, of which 150 are endemic and grow only within the boundaries of Israel. They are joined by 8 species of amphibia and 80 species of reptilia, some 350 species of birds and fowl and approximately 70 species of mammals. They all are precious components of the landscape and nature with which we have been presented.

It is the task and purpose of the Nature Reserves Authority to take care of all these resources, to protect the country's landscapes against damage and destruction, and to safeguard the survival of the natural fauna and flora.

"Tahana" Waterfall (In The Nahal Iyon Reserve)

Nahal Iyon is the northernmost Nature Reserve of Israel. In an arid country like Israel, water-carrying brooks. are rare and in most of them water flows in winter only. This applies to Nahal Iyon, too. But in comparison to other brooks in the country, Nahal Iyon can boast of a very unusual attraction: in its bed, passing a narrow and deep crevice east of Metulla, there are four gushing waterfalls, one after the other, along 1.5 kilometers.

The "Tahana" Waterfall, jetting down 21 meters, is the second highest of the waterfalls and so called because until 1920 its water was utilized to set in motion the mill stones of the flour mill standing at its foot.

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"Ha-Masreq" (In The Judean Mountains)

The "Ha-Masreq Forest" can be distinctly seen on the western slopes of the Judean mountain ridge, high on the sky line, a landmark to be recognized from far away.

The combination of old pine trees with their wide and branching tops, and oak trees, pistachio trees, carob trees and others - typical components of the vegetation of the wood - lend the "Masreq" Reserve its unique and characteristic look.

The "Masreq" is one of the last remnants of pine woods, which in the past covered rather vast areas of Israel.

The site, revered and sanctified by the Arab inhabitants, has been preserved thanks to its holiness, preventing its extirpation, burning down or destruction, as was the case with most of the copses and forests that once covered the Judean mountains.

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The Soreq Cave (Near Bet Shemesh)

Caves, too, have become part of the panoramic phenomena of the country. Some of them are small and insignificant, others long and deep. But the most beautiful of them all are, no doubt, the stalactite and stalagmite caves, structures molded by omnipotent nature's skilled and imaginative hand, until a few years ago only one cave - the so-called "Twin Cave" - was famous for its tall stalactites and thick stalagmites. In recent years other caves have been discovered. The one near Bet Shemesh was discovered during expansion work of the local quarry and surpasses them all. The cave is 110 meters long, 60 meters wide, its maximum height being 9 meters.

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The Nahal-Baraq (Canyon In The Negev)

When talking of the desert, our thoughts generally associate it with a sea of sand bordered by the horizon all around. Those of us who let imagination take its course will even bring in a camels' caravan to complete the picture. But reality has proved that geography refuses to remain within these limits. It is a fact that in the Negev, a desert to all intents and purposes, we do find such natural phenomena as rocks, hammada, craters and wadis and, above all, canyons. You can find there canyons of various kinds - giant canyons as well as small ones, red and white ones, as well as canyons in which perennial springs gush forth and others which shelter and hide waterholes. The Nahal-Baraq Canyon, which dug its way to the west of the Aravah, the wilderness stretching along the rift valley, is considered one of the most beautiful canyons by excursionists and hikers.

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The Dum Palm (In The Arava-Valley Near Eilat)

The Dum palm is a tree quite well-known in East Africa. Ein Evrona, some 14 km. north of Eilat, marks the natural northernmost point of its presence on earth.

Contrary to other members of its family, whose single trunk rises straight up, the trunk of the Dum palm splits and branches, giving it its peculiar form.

Within the boundaries of Israel we find them only in two places: -one near Ein Evrona, consisting of five groups, and the second one, consisting of two groups, at the entrance to Eilat.

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Nature Reserves (I)