Friday, May 16, 2014

Easter Weekend in the Desert

Easter weekend was nearly a month ago, but I don't want to miss remembering what a special and different kind of celebration we enjoyed with our friends in the south of Jordan. At the end of our three plus hour car trip on Thursday afternoon, we were welcomed into the home of our friends and served a delicious dinner. After dinner, Dear Husband, Tayta,  and I walked through the village to the medical clinic at which our friends work, and which serves the local community.

A clinic with a view

Our friends and some local children had colored the eggs earlier in the day, and we added the Sharpie pen embellishments. Tatya, who loves to doodle henna-style, was the most fluent egg-decorator and I copied a lot of her patterns.

Friday was a full day of visiting with our friends and all of their local friends who came to wish them a happy Easter, or "feast day". After the visits ended, we gathered for a delicious chicken dinner, which we ate on the veranda. Dessert was served as we enjoyed the sunset together.

On Saturday, our friends helped us to enjoy more beauty of the semi-arid desert:. First we went out to enjoy the end of a fantastic spring wildflower season. A highlight for me was viewing the Petra Iris, Jordan's black iris of the south, for the first time.

Petra Iris
Iris petrana

Yellow Asphodel
Asphodeline lutea

Egyptian Henbane

Horned Poppy

another desert asphodel

After some very satisfying wildflower spotting, our friends took us on a hike, down into the gorge/valley behind their house. Tayta and I had our first experience of rock scrambling in long skirts and headscarves! I appreciated the headscarf as it protected me from a lot of wind and dust--the long skirt, not so much, but it really wasn't too bad.

And still more wildflowers to be discovered:

Zill spinosa

This was my first spotting of Wooly Saltwort. It first appeared as a field of lavender "fluff" and reminded me of something that might be found growing on the planet Malacandra in C.S. Lewis's "Out of the Silent Planet".

Wooly Saltwort
Bassia eriophora

Another pretty thistle

On Sunday morning we met with friends to celebrate Jesus's resurrection in the ruins of a Byzantine church in Humayma. After the service, the children hunted for chocolate eggs...

...and I hunted for a few more wildflowers. The south was new wildflower spotting territory for me and I was intrigued by the flora beauty to be found in the near desert environment.

A type of Cousina thistle (I think)



Desert beauty



Jenny said...

Thank you for sharing this beautiful scenery of where you live. I love to hear of your life there. ~Jenny

Laura A said...

Love the black iris!