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User / Rana Pipiens
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N 9 B 126 C 5 E Jan 23, 2019 F Jan 23, 2019
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Here's a town-beach scene in Dhofar, Oman. Many like this all along the coast.
This is Taqah to the northeast of Salalah. The town has a pretty castle and is a marker on the way to a water-rich wadi, Wadi Darbat. Taqah is noted for its sardine fishing. The fish are dried and used as animal feed for goats, camels and cows in the mountains.
Tide is out...

Tags:   Taqah, Dhofar, Oman sardines Salalah, Dhofar, Oman Wadi Darbat, Dhofar, Oman be beach landscape

N 27 B 421 C 9 E Jan 22, 2019 F Jan 22, 2019
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This place was once a large and prosperous city noted - says Marco Polo who visited here in 1285 - for its horses and the export of frankincense. Now it's an archeological ruin, but diggers are gradually unearthing some of its history. The inset below right shows the excavated ruins of the medieval mosque, that Polo may have seen.
In a little boggish place near the ancient harbor there was a patch of Shoreline Purslane. There I watched a Sphecid Digger Wasp 'pounce' for some conjugal fun (see inset top left in main photo.

Tags:   Zafar, Oman Dhofar, Oman Marco Polo Al Baleed, Salalah, Oman Shoreline Purslane Sphecid Wasp Digger Wasp frankincense mosque insect wasp

N 37 B 639 C 19 E Jan 21, 2019 F Jan 21, 2019
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Out in the wild the other day I saw lots of Frankincense trees but none in flower. Today we visited the Museum of Salalah and they have a nice planting of those trees, just in flower. So here's a photo of those pretty flowers and in the inset lumps of frankincense (al-Hojari) not taken from the flower but from the resin from our Tree's trunk noted down through the centuries for its powers of purification. The flowers, though, are good for a nectar collected by bees and made into a delicious - it is said - honey. I haven't tasted any yet but mean to do so one of these days.

Tags:   frankincense honey resin Boswellia sacra Museum, Salalah, Dhofar, Oman purification

N 24 B 502 C 14 E Jan 20, 2019 F Jan 20, 2019
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Above Salalah there's a pretty spring with natural water, Ain Garziz. On the algae of one of the ponds many Dwarf Honeybees, Apis florea, were congregating presumably to collect water. Pretty sight.
Then we drove up the hill - about 800 m high - to what is called Job's Tomb (see inset).
The connection to the Old-Testament and Quranic prophet may not immediately be evident. But there's an Islamic tradition - especially prevalent in the Muslim areas of the once Russian Empire - that elaborates on the more iconic Biblical and Quranic accounts. There it is said that the painful worms that plagued Job from his insides - a trial of his faith from the Almighty - were changed by that same Cruel Tester into Silkworms and Bees as a sign of the latter's mercy. And the little circle of Bees here would seem to be akin to the friends of Job around him discussing his adversities...

Tags:   Job's Tomb, Salalah, Oman Bee Apis florea Dwarf Honeybee Job Job's afflictions fies silkworms Russian Empire Old Testament Quran Ain Garziz

N 38 B 687 C 25 E Jan 16, 2019 F Jan 19, 2019
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Well, you know me. I like to look in disturbed areas for plants generally regarded as weeds. Here's one.
This is Tribulus terrestris, Puncture Vine. It originates in the Mediterranean apparently but through its hardiness is found all over the world in almost all climates. Tribulus is only a diminutive, ground-cover plant but its sharp, spiky seeds can cause nastly sores on your feet.
In many countries it's used as a libido enhancer, especially for women but the jury's still out on how it chemically works.
I saw this particular one up a little dusty dead-end in Al Qurum. According to the wonderful Field Guide to the Wild Plants of Oman by Helen Pickering and Annette Patzelt there are several species of Tribulus in Oman and I may thus be wrong on the specifics of this one. They're distinguished by the shape of their seeds, which I didn't see. But the photo of the flower in the book and mine are similar.

Tags:   Tribulus terrestris Puncture Vine Mediterranean spiky seeds libido libido enhancer Helen Pickering Annette Patzelt Al Qurum, Muscat, Oman flower yellow yellow flower weed women seed


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