Have you ever seen fossilized sand dunes? Probably not; come to the Ruhama Badlands nature reserve, and you will surely be impressed by the unusual rock formations.
The Shikma stream has a large drainage basin; the Dorot stream forms part of this basin, and its banks are made of calcareous limestone (kurkar) rock. As the sign at the entrance to the Ruhama nature reserve explains, this rock is rare and unique to the Eastern Mediterranean basin, and attests to the fossilization of sand dunes as a result of changes in the level of the ancient sea which was once here.
The reserve protects several animal species (among them porcupines, hyenas and caracals) and plant species (hairy beard-grass, hispid viper's bugloss, headed thyme.
You can access the reserve on foot from Kibbutz Ruhama, or by car via the Shikma Scenic Road. The area is especially pretty in February and March, during the winter rainy period, when the hill slopes are green and dotted with beautiful red anemones.
Even the dead wood produces living things here a fallen tree branch has mushrooms sprouting from it.
Here is another look, a little closer at the Ophrys Bornmuelleri, sorry just could not resist enlarging this one.