Saturday, October 12, 2013

Fall Wildflowers~Mafraq

The city of Mafraq, located on the edge of the semi-arid Baida region, has little aesthetic beauty to recommend it, however, the hospital compound where Dear Husband works and which is located on the edge of town  is like a mini-nature reserve. Yesterday I discovered these specimens of fall beauty, helped by the warm light of an early morning autumn sun which brightened berries and shone through translucent petals and membranous fruits.

Autumn Crocus, Meadow Saffron
Colchium sp.

These wild crocuses are very small, about four or  five centimeters tall, and there were just about three small groups of them growing under this palm tree:

I found the palm and the crocuses an interesting juxtaposition of plant species.

Other than the crocuses, it was the little admired Chenopods which shined, literally, and  ruled the fall morning. 

This Anabasis doesn't look like much as  one strolls by it, but a lingering glance reveals  bits of yellow peaking out of the gray-green plant, and upon a much closer look one notices minute yellow flowers growing from the joints of the branches.

Anabasis sp.

These  Chenopods reminded me a bit of the underwater scenery around the coral reefs in Aqaba.

Another Anabasis (I think)

This Halothamnus also had minute flowers embedded at the joints of its branches; it is the membranous five winged fruits which resemble flowers.

 I imagined this small plant as a perfect fall bridal bouquet for meadow fairies.

Halothamnus sp.

I loved this view of many Halothamnus bushes, aglow with morning sunshine pouring through their translucent fruit/membranes.

A couple closer shots and the fruits resemble tiny hollyhock like flowers. Nearly all of the Halothamnus shrubs had white fruits, but this bush had pink"wings".

Halothamnus sp.

I'm pretty sure this Chenopod is Orache, or Atriplex sylosa Viv. The plant has small grey-green leaves with toothed margins, and spreads out close to the ground. The fruits are very small, fleshy, and red, and are best seen when the sun is shining through them. Up close, they look like teeny tiny lights. Beautiful.


Anonymous said...

Melissa, I loved this post. The photos are so beautiful and your descriptions had me wandering through the magical fairy land in my mind. The perfect little bouquets and the teeny tiny lights would make for the perfect fairy wedding! Even in fall which at first glance can appear to offer not a lot to look at there is beauty to be found if one just takes the time. My DSLR has died and I have been lamenting that I haven't been able to capture some of the fall flowers and foliage so thank you for doing it and sharing with us.

Quotidian Life said...

I'm sorry about your camera, Andrea! Yes, I imagine that you are enjoying some beautiful fall foliage--even the dying spring/summer foliage is beautiful--in your part of the country. We took my visiting parents to Wadi Dana for one night last week and it so beautiful! I've pictures to post (of course!) but they will have to wait a little as still busy with my parents.