Friday, June 19, 2009

Yesterday we went for another adventure, this time we went with some other people to go to a place on the way to Um Bab, close to the village of Al Kharsaa where we were looking for desert roses. Once we had turned off the highway, we pretty quickly were into the normal desert around here, not like the dunes from the other trip. The desert you find mostly is pretty flat with scrubby shrubs and quite rocky. We saw several of these lizzards during the trip. They were yellowish skinned and this one was about 1 1/2 feet long. Pretty ugly looking. There are supposed to be snakes and scorpions in the desert, but we haven't seen any. We usually wear sneakers or in this case hiking boots just in case!

On the highway you often see camel signs and this is what you see. It is amazing they find enough to survive on in the desert, but you see them eating the little shrubby plants. I dont think they are really wild, but rather like the cattle you see on the prairies. Some of them have brands on them and some of them are hobbled so they cant wander too far. We went past a camel farmer which I will put on the next blog tomorow.

We drove by lots of camels and they just kept on chewing and paid little or no attention to us. When we had just turned off the highway, near the village, I saw a camel scratching himself on a guide wire from a telephone pole. He was having such a great scratch! I was amazed he didn't pull the whole things down he was being so energetic!

This is what we were looking for. Most of them you had to dig for with a shovel and pick axe. The fellow who had promised some tools to us on the jobsite unfortunately didn't come through, so this time we were mostly observers, and borrowed some tools from our companions. Anyway, we were there by about 8 am and it was still so hot we had to sit in the car after a bit. So, I think we will be doing this again in the fall when the temperatures get nice again. There were some amazingly good samples just lying beside the holes that they had been dug out of. Surprising to me that these were rejects, so I am interested to see what the good ones look like. It was a fun trip though and one I look forward to doing again in cooler weather. The other ladies on the trip were telling me that when we get to the nice weather in the fall, we wont want to leave as it is so pleasant here, sunny with ideal temperatures. One told me it is like spring again in the fall as the plants along the corniche are all replanted when the weather cools and things come to life again. I look forward to that!
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