Tag Archives: Jordan river

Autumn on Mount Hermon

Last week, on a crisp autumn day up on the Golan, I had the opportunity to visit the Hermon and take these photos.

Hermon Autumn foliage

Mount Hermon is actually a cluster of mountains extending for about 150 km in a northeast-southwest direction with three distinct summits that straddle the border between Syria and Lebanon. The southern slopes of Mount Hermon extend to the Golan Heights and a peak in this area rising to 2,236 meters is the highest elevation in Israel. The Hermon range covers an area of about 1000 square km, of which about 70 km² are under Israeli control.

Trees and Rocks Hermon

As a geological and biogeographical region, the Golan Heights is a basaltic plateau bordered by Mount Hermon in the north, the Yarmouk River in the south, the Sea of Galilee and Hula Valley in the west and the Raqqad Wadi in the east. The western two thirds of this region is currently controlled by Israel, whereas the eastern third is controlled by Syria.

Clouds over Hermon

Because of its height the Hermon captures a great deal of precipitation in a very dry area of the world; because of the elevation plants grow and bloom later, in August instead of the spring. One that I saw still blooming under the ski lift was the Lotus Sweetjuice. Water from the snow-covered mountain’s western and southern bases seeps into the rock faults and channels in the Jurassic limestone, feeding springs at the base of the mountain. At the important archaeological sites of Banias and Tel Dan the water forms streams and rivers that merge to become the Jordan River. From the Hermon it’s about a 40 minute drive to these streams, fascinating sites that I can take you to to experience the nature of Israel’s north.

Photo of the Week – Banias Stream

Last week I was guiding on the Golan, the weather was glorious and we hiked to the Banias waterfall in the Mount Hermon (Banias) nature reserve. If you haven’t been there for a while, the parks authority has installed a wooden walkway where you walk just above the Banias stream. FYI, the same admission fee also gives you entrance to the Banias archaeological park.

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The technical details – the photo was taken with a Nikon D70 digital SLR and 18-200mm lens in September (ISO 200, 18mm, F7.1 at 1/30 sec).

The Banias Spring emerges at the foot of Mount Hermon and flows powerfully through a canyon for 3.5 km, eventually cascading over a cliff, not the highest but probably the most impressive waterfall in Israel. Nine kilometers from its source, the stream meets the Dan and together they form the Jordan River that flows into the Sea of Galilee.

From Banias we drove to the village of Nimrod, the highest settlement in Israel at 1110 meters to taste some artisan cheeses at the Witch’s Cauldron and Milkman restaurant. On display were some oil paintings by the artist Diego Goldfarb (whose gallery is next door) – I liked  one of the Banias stream (photo taken with my iPhone). If there are any artists out there who would be interested in doing paintings from my photos please contact me.

Banias

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Photographs on this website are © Shmuel Browns (unless marked otherwise) – if you are interested in purchasing one of my photos or using one of my photos for your own project please contact me.

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Photo of the Week – Jordan River

The Jordan River extends just 251 km from the base of Mount Hermon through the Hula valley to the Sea of Galillee (Kinneret) and then down to the Dead Sea about 422 metres below sea level, which has no outlet (for comparison, the Nile, Amazon, Yangtze and Mississippi rivers are each more than 6000 km long). The children of Israel led by Joshua cross the Jordan river near Jericho from the east to conquer and settle the land (Joshua 3:15-17). The New Testament states that John the Baptist baptised unto repentance in the Jordan and Jesus came to be baptised by him there (Matthew 3:13). Pilgrims can immerse in the Jordan river at the traditional site, Kasr el Yahud, just north of the Dead Sea.

Jordan’s river is chilly and cold, Hallelujah.
Chills the body, but not the soul, Hallelujah.

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The photo was taken just east of Kfar Blum. The technical details – the photo was taken with a Canon point and shoot digital camera in April (ISO 50, 7.7mm, F2.8 at 1/400 sec).

I’m including a more traditional view of the Jordan River shot at the same time and place.

Photographs on this website are © Shmuel Browns (unless marked otherwise) – if you are interested in purchasing one of my photos or using one of my photos for your own project please contact me.