Preola`s Lake ande "gorghi tondi"
Between the 57°km of the SS115 and the Cantarro’s wood, there’s an amazing place of 335 hectares: The Preola Lake and Goorghi Tondi’s Oasis. A fascinating atmosphere of native plants and animals and acquatic birds with beautiful colors that use to capture visitors just with their sounds. Before 1998 this area around Mazara was completely dry. Later the Sycilian Region instituited a natural reserve that it’s been kept under the WWF-Italy control. Since that day actions of conservation, together with rains and limitations of drawing, had changed the landscape. Today, this area looks like Oasis. Self-vegetation is a mixture of olive grove and vineyards and all the wild vegetation of the Maquis. Together with the typical dwarf palm, the thyme, the carob tree, the olm-oak, it’s possible to see the uncommon spiny oak, typical of the oriental Mediterranean. Apart from Sycily we can find it in Sardinia and in Puglia. It’s not difficult smelling the wild fennel and the strong rue between the aromatic grass. Around you can find five natural mirrors of water: Murana’s lake, Preola’s lake (the biggest) and three Gorghi tondi, just named because of their circular shapes. The site of Karst origin, different from depth and stretch , represents a real important habitat for birds and amphibia, that were disappeared and now are come back. During winter it’s possible look at the booted eagle and at hawk of swamp flying in the air. Different kinds of ducks stop here to hibernate (Germano, Canapiglia, Mestolone, Moriglione, Alzavola) and also the marbled duck and the ferruginous, popular migratory birds. In spring time you can see beautiful swallows, herons, eaters , that find food in the cane thicket: insects. Here we find the great crested grebe popular for the wedding dance. In this season it’ s dressed with a black and red plumage. You can see male and female that look the same, diving in the lakes, it’s a show! Between the maquis paths It’s easy hearing the nightingale cry or the toad’s croak or the treefrog. It’s even possible meet the porcupine, the weasel, the wild rabbit, the fox and the gallinule with its blue plumage. Nearby the lakes there are the water snake and the pond turtle; and as insects we discover 25 species of butterflies. Here you can find the first natural habitat of humans, the real heaven on earth. When you are in the middle of these oasis you realize that humans should step back and save the planet before it’s too late. Poaching and illegal dumping, find the WWF workers real fighters. They had promoted environmental education campaigns and scientific research. The Oasis is open from Monday to Saturday the entire year. For information call 0923/934055. Suggestion: bring the kids.