It is a lovely place to hike with a beautiful waterfall.
On the way in are dolmas from ancient cultures--thousands of years old
Gamla itself is an ancient city, mostly known for its rebellion against the Romans where more people
died than at Masada. For details, go to: http://www.jewishmag.com/40mag/gamla/gamla.htm
(I've written about it before so won't go into details on this blog)
A memorial to all of those who died for Israel from communities on the Golan.
Each time I go, I visit the memorial.
|Top of Memorial overlooking Gamla and Kinneret in background|
|Micha's name is in the center|
|Memorial to Merom Golan fallen|
As we drove past Kibbutz Ein Gev, we saw signs of another fire. Unfortunately, fires are not uncommon during the summer in Israel due to the lack of rain for 5 months or so.
|Signs of Fire past Ein Gev--note "fisherman "on the hill|
|Blacked earth east of Ein Gev|
|Blackened hill on the Golan on the way to Gamla|
|Cattle on hilltop--notice sign for Merom Golan|
|more cattle grazing|
|burnt area near ruins of Deir Qeruh village--|
Christian village of 4th and 5th centuries, etc
|new plant among devastation|
|new growth under singed trees|
|Singed trees--live plants burn less quickly than dead ones|
|Items taken from stomach of dead vulture, 2005|
Meanwhile, the population of vultures in the area, which as late as 2003 numbered 200 is now down to 30 at most. Vultures are monogamous. The female lays just one egg a year. At most 30% of the eggs are hatched and survive their first few months. Other animals in the area (including eagles who love to eat the eggs) are a danger. Usually one of the parent vultures is always on the egg, but one video I saw showed that when one was absent for 40 minutes, eagles managed to crack and drain the egg.
If one egg does not "make" it, the female vulture will lay a "reserve" egg. To take advantage of this, the National Parks Authority began a program in 2008 in which they removed the first egg from nests and replaced it with a dummy egg.
|sign regarding rehab cages|
|Telephoto pic of cage of fledglings|
When the vultures are old enough, they are set loose. All are marked with ankle tags and/or radar.
|Ranger showing radar tags|
|examples of ankle tags|
|Wingspan of vulture|
I hope that the efforts by the National Park Authority to increase their numbers at Gamla will prove successful.