Hof Dor ReserveNahal Ammud ReserveNahal ayun Reserve Huberman

  • Issue: February 1993
  • Designer: E. Weishoff
  • Stamp size: 40 x 25.7 mm
  • Plate no.: 172 - 174
  • Sheet of 15 stamps Tabs: 5
  • Printers: E. Lewin-Epstein Ltd.
  • Method of printing: Offset

The Hof Dor - HaBonim Coastal Nature Reserve runs along 4.5 kilometres of the Mediterranean Sea and is one of the most deeply indented, interesting and beautiful coastlines in all at Israel. The wind and waves that beat on the kurkar (beach sandstone) ridge over thousands at years created capes, cliffs, sea jets, sandy inlets, and well-developed abrasion tables.

The reserve has two unique habitats. On the abrasion tables at the shoreline, there is a large and varied habitat of invertebrates, who are able to withstand the tides and crashing waves. And a few meters away on the kurkar ridge, we find vegetation that can survive the strong winds and salty spray at the sea water. All year long, the kurkar ridge is covered with flowers. In the autumn, we can see pancratium and squill: in the winter and spring, the anemone, tulip. ophrys and orchid all bloom; the summer brings statice, yellow horned poppy, Crithmum maritimurn, Oenothera drummondii, and campion.

The south at the reserve borders on an important archaeological site - the ancient port and city of Dor.

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The abundant water cascading, the steep canyons. the numerous plane tree graves and the many remnants of human culture have made Nahal Ammud Reserve one at the most popular destinations tar visitors to northern Israel. Until the establishment of the State at Israel in 1948, the landscape at Nahal Ammud was influenced by people: they built flour mills and wool mills. erected aqueducts to power them, and terraced the slopes for agriculture. After 1948, wild vegetation began to climb up the terraces and cover the orchards, the terraces collapsed and the mills were destroyed. The impressive diverse agrarian culture that was part of Israel and its people is now becoming part of its history.

Nahal Ammud flows for only about 25 kilometres, but there are significant differences between the upper section that runs dawn from the eastern peaks of Mount Meron and the lower part which is near the Sea of Galilee. The difference in altitude is 1200 meters and more, and the gully cut into the rock. Where there was hard limestone, it even created canyons. One canyon is in the middle section at Nahal Ammud (near the 'En Seter Springf, with waterfalls, potholes and notches. The gully is steep here, its gradient measuring 17 degrees. The second canyon like section is found in the lower part of Nahal Ammud where the wadi cuts through the hard stone. A solitary stone pillar (in Hebrew, Ammud) stands here at height at about 30 meters, and it gave Nahal Ammud its name. The direction of the stream is unusual; instead of flowing east-west, runs north-south. This axis is dictated by the rift which divided the Sated Ridge, built on soft stone, tram the Meron Mountain Range, which sits on hard stone.

The greater part of Nahal Ammud is dry far most of the year. Water flows year-round in only a 2.5 kilometre stretch. Its cool pools are excellent far bathing. This section is fed by three springs - 'En Yakim, 'En Taran and 'En Poem -which flow in the valley.

Nahal Ammud has the greatest concentration of ivy in Israel, which thrives here on fences, trees and stone walls. Myrtle grows on the slopes of the gorges. The unusual plants, however, are not the only reason that the flora of the reserve is unique. Nahal Ammud has a dense Mediterranean scrub forest, typical batha on the slopes, and a savanna downstream at the foot of the cliffs.

The flora of the gully is also diverse. The upper part of Nahal Ammud. near the springs, has plane trees and willows. Where there is less water. the oleander becomes mare predominant and in the dry sections, only chaste trees and occasionally jujubes grow. Rock doves, alpine swifts, house swifts and insectivorous oats can be spotted here. There are also rock hyrax, conspicuous everywhere you go. salamanders and many reptiles. Although leopards no longer live in Nahal Ammud, other predators do. such as Egyptian mongooses, badgers, and foxes. Nineteenth century researchers reported that bears once lived in Nahal Ammuo.

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Nahal Ayun Reserve is east at Metula. At the heart of the reserve is a beautiful canyon with four waterfalls. Nahal Ayun flows from the Ayun Valley in Lebanon to Israel's Hula Valley via the waterfalls. They cascade in a narrow gorge which has perpendicular walls.

The four waterfalls are: Ayun Fall (9.2 meters); Mill Fall (21 meters), named after the adjacent flour mill, which was once powered by its water; the two Cascade Falls (the upper tall s about 5 meters and the lower fall about 9.5 meters; and Oven Fall (30 meters). While the water and the waterfalls are the star attraction here, the reserve has other interesting features as well. In the cracks and pockets of earth in the straight walls, we can find scrub forest vegetation, including terebinth, buckthorn. honeysuckle. and maple.

At the canyon's exit, where the gully widens and its slopes become mare gentle, the scrub forest vegetation gives way to a savanna of grain which covers most of the ground.

In the autumn, scores of squill and sternbergia flower unobtrusively. In the spring, bear's breech and scilla can be seen. Two rare plants of the reserve are Antirrhinum majus, a type of snapdragon, and Michaux/a campanu/oides. The most prominent plants in the summer are oleander and willow trees. We can see pink-flowered bramble thickets with ripening clusters of black fruit. Fleabane, willow herb, and loosestrife all grow as well. When we go bird-watching in the winter, we can observe colourful wallcreepers, rare visitors to Israel, wagtails, and common quails.

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Nature reserves in Israel