Adapting to life--In an ancient fortress
Saturday, April 16, 2011
|A resident pigeon in the Nimrod Fortress: all photos by Jonathan Schechter|
The Nimrod Fortress is one of the largest and most impressive fortresses which have survived in the
Mid-East since the Middle Ages. Construction began in the year 1228 to protect against invading Crusaders.
With the surrender of the Crusaders and their ejection from the Holy Land at the end of the 13th century, the prestige of this stone fortress diminshed. In the 15th century it served as a prison for rebels but was soon abandoned. Up until the time it became an Israeli national park (located in northern most Israel within view of Lebanon and just over the mountain from Syria) it would at times shelter shepherds and their flocks. Today the vastness of this fortress remains a draw for wildlife that has adapted to the stones, stairwalls and towers of rock. And that is the way it is with wildlife around the world, adapting to our ways, be it a coyote in Michigan or a hyrax at an ancient fortress in Israel.
The name of the game is always adapting for survival.
Photos below: The Syrian rock hyrax resembles our groundhog but is native to Israel and is most closely related to the elephant. Lizards, like lizards every where seek places to adjust body temperature: sun warmed rocks cut in the 12 century are just perfect.