Thursday, June 26, 2014
Monday, June 9, 2014
There are three streams whose waters create the river Jordan. Its sources are Nachal Chazbani (Snir) (חצבני שניר) which arrives from South Lebanon, the Banias (נחל חרמון), its spring originating deep under the Hermon mountain, and Nachal Dan (נחל דן), whose waters are made up of melted snow and rain from the Hermon, seeping into a karstic system and dividing into hundreds of small springs at the foot of the mountain, flowing down, combining with the other two sources and forming the Jordan, which is by all means not an almighty or spectacular river, but most of the year a quite narrow and often shallow stream. The Nachal Dan is the largest and most important source of the Jordan.
Last week at the Shavuot Feast (Pentecost) (חג השבועות) we undertook a family outing to the Dan Reserve, a small Park enclosing some of the springs and tributaries of the Dan River, and walked the trails along the fast rushing brooks. The day was very hot, temperatures reached almost 40 degrees.
But we certainly did not suffer, because the paths lead along beneath tall beautiful trees rising to the sky, which form canopies above and filter the scorching sun. We comfortably hiked on shady and cool grounds.
The bubbling sound of the foaming water and the smell of the magnificent fig trees edging the creeks accompanied us at every step. At one point there is a wading pool, where we could enter wading the fresh water, or sit at the margin and hang our feet in to chill them. The water has a stable temperature of about 14 degrees all year round, really cool and a pleasure on such a hot day.
Along the way we passed an old flour mill which was built about 150 years ago and operated on water power with two pairs of millstones. The flora and fauna in the region is very rich. The fig trees at this time of the year are most impressive, sending their erotic scent in the air.
We saw some fresh water crabs, but missed the most famous resident of the area, the amphibious black fire salamander with its orange spots. I loved the many blotches of light green march fern with its small leaves, which is native along the Dan river.
There is a Tel, a small hill, of an ancient, 7000 year old, settlement, the Tel Dan. We did not wander around it this time due to the hot weather condition, but we explored it in the past. When we visit there again I shall write about it too.
Happy and in splendid mood we returned to the parking lot. We noticed the wonderful eucalyptus trees shading the place, which were planted in 1939 by members of the Kibbutz Dan.
The photos are of my daughter and son-in-law, and three of my grandchildren, the fourth one unfortunately did not get released for the holidays from her army service. My husband was there too, but we forgot to photograph him. :-( Actually you can see him at the end of the little video.
Music of the video by our son Yaron.