Winter Pool

Winter Pool

"…the waters stand on the mountains. They descended into valleys to this place, which You had founded for them". (Psalms 104, 6-8)

A winter pool is a natural pool of water created as a result of rainwater draining off. Unlike the pool across the path, where the water is continuous all year round, the winter pool has two seasonal shows - wet and dry.

Every winter with the rains, the pool fills up and comes to life. The annual aquatic vegetation sprouts and the variety of animals that inhabit it gradually appear. With the end of the rainy season, the flooded area is gradually reduced until it dries up completely.

In the distant past, winter pools were very common in Israel, but many of them were dried up or destroyed, and together with them, a variety of plants and animals disappeared, some of which are now in danger of extinction.

Who lives in the winter pool?

The winter pool is a complex ecosystem and a habitat for a wide variety of animals, mainly amphibians (such as the Common toad and the Savigny’s treefrog) that come to the pool for breeding purposes. The pool is also home to various birds that find food and a place to rest. In the water there are different types of large invertebrates including unique water crabs, snails, and insects.

And what happens in the summer?

In the summer the pool dries up. The drying phase is necessary and is part of the life cycle of the flora and fauna that exist in the pool and its immediate surroundings. The various animals that exist in the winter pool have a unique life cycle adapted to this period. For example, the adult individuals of the amphibian leave the pond area after drying up and migrate in search of food. On the bottom of the pond, there are eggs of the water crabs (which can survive even in extreme dry and hot conditions), while some of the water beetles burrow into the ground and enter a state of coma. In the next winter season, when the rains fall, the pool will come to life again.