Sunday, 10 February 2008

The Land of Dhub

In late March, the flower head of the Broomrape, or Desert Hyazinthe (Cistanche lutea), erects from the sand. It is a root parasite hosted by the salt bush in front of it. The blossoms (male and female) are visited by the plenty of insects which feed on its nectar. The days of the Broomrape are numbered as temperatures dramatically rise within weeks.

In springtime, reptiles have their season. The attentive and curious visitor will soon stumble over plenty of anxious sand-runners, such as the Sand and Fringe-toed Lizards (Acathodactylus), or Short-nosed ones (Mesalina).

There is the Land of the Dhub, far east of Jal Az Zor, where plenty of grass and herbs will grow in April after a rainy winter providing enough food for this herbivore, prehistoric monster-like looking creature. It is a Spiny-tailed Agamid (Uromastix microlepis) which lives in burrows but loves lying in the sun in the middle of the day when it changes its color from grayish to bright yellow.

No comments: