Thursday, March 31, 2011

Desert Escapes

When you think of the desert, you probably imagine long stretches of tan-colored sand without much variety to speak of. But after living in a desert country for a year, I now have a much greater appreciation of the desert's own unique beauty and variation. From rocky escarpments and grooved canyons to grey pebbles or fine, red sand, the Arabian desert is a fabulous place to explore.

In February, we squeezed in two more desert trips, trying to take advantage of the weather before everything heated up. Each time we head into the desert, we are very glad we did. These photos below are from a spot called Al-Thumamah, which is probably the most popular camping spot for Saudi families in Riyadh. Part of the area is for camping, while part is reserved for a national park which can be entered only with a permit. We went with the desert-outing group to the campsite area - and we were treated with the most beautiful scenery we have seen yet: rocky crags, valleys chock full of climbable rocks and shrubs, and beach-white sand.

As you can see, Misha loved climbing over obstacles as much as Sebby loved exploring the sand, nooks, and crannies. I am sorry for the delay in my blog posts; I have many, many great pictures to upload, but our internet connection is often so unreliable that I don't make much progress. So, I'm taking advantage of the better internet at work to bring you these photos.

Let the photo fest begin:

This is the desert?

Dare-devil climber

Ready, set, jump!


Pure joy

The cave entrance frames Sebby and me in sunlight

Daddy and Misha

Yes, it's real greenery!

Up goes Misha ...

Josh enjoys the view after his climbing adventure.

Can I fit in here?

Amazing view

The kids :)

A sign of animal life - a spotted beetle.

More beetles! These type move slowly with legs that look far too long for them.

The next batch of photos is from another area of beautiful red sands, this time with the white rocky bones of the mountain poking through.

Another insect, with its footprint trail behind it.

The setting sun quickly cools the desert air.


Tanya said...

Nice! The boys are so big, it's hard to believe.

Alison said...

Those are beautiful pictures of the desert. Thanks for showing the variety. Are there things to watch out for such as snakes/spiders/scorpions? Or just keep an eye out for traveling beetles?

Tammy and Josh said...

We've been on the lookout for desert wildlife, but the animals seem quite adept at hiding. My students tell me there are lizards, foxes, and kangaroo rats, along with scorpions - but we've never seen them. We saw a small gecko once! We've been told scorpions only come out when it's very, very hot - which is the time we tend to avoid desert outings. I'd like to see a scorpion though ...