A follow-on from my earlier post of ‘Early morning light’ this greeted me one morning ! not a pleasant sight, it means everything gets a coating of sand, so no breakfast until it passes.
Sandstorms can last for a few minutes or several hours; the only way to deal with them if caught outside is either stay in your tent/vehicle or cover yourself and stay low hoping it passes quickly.
I’ve been caught by a few over the years, luckily I was either in my vehicle or tent so just waited them out. But on the odd occasion I was pleased that I carried a Masar or Shemagh as the Bedu traditionally use; it is not a fashion item when it comes to these storms, it protect eyes, ears & mouth.
Just as the sun comes up: from my colour files.
Camping in the desert is always special, particularly when popping out of a nice warm sleeping bag into a cold dawn and seeing images like this.
A Jpeg file that I have of the The Arabian Oryx or white Oryx (unfortunately I have not found the original negatives yet: I have about 20 in a folder that I have yet to scan and catalogue) this is from my files of November 2010 when I was down in the Huquf.
The Unicorn myth: From that well know online encyclopædia.
The myth of the one-horned unicorn may be based on oryxes that have lost one horn. Aristotle and Pliny the Elder held that the oryx was the unicorn’s “prototype”. From certain angles, the oryx may seem to have one horn rather than two, and given that its horns are made from hollow bone that cannot be regrown, if an oryx were to lose one of its horns, for the rest of its life, it would have only one.
Another source for the concept may have originated from the translation of the Hebrew word re’em into Greek as μονόκερως, monokeros, in the Septuagint. In Psalm 22:21, the word karen, meaning horn, is written in singular. The Roman Catholic Vulgata and the Douay-Rheims Bible translated re’em as rhinoceros; other translations are names for a wild bull, wild oxen, buffalo, or gaur, but in some languages a word for unicorn is maintained. The Arabic translation alrim is the most correct choice etymologically, meaning ‘white oryx’.
Detritus of abandoned buildings No2.
From my colour files.
The detritus of abandoned buildings.
From my colour files.
Farming – Wadi Al Hoqain.
Date palms, sugar cane, the henna plant, along with animal fodder; all grown in this wadi, renowned for its abundance of water all year round.
There has been some form of settlement here from as early as the bronze age, maybe even earlier.
I have not been able to find any history about the fort, although commanding such a prominent place, it does surprises me that it doesn’t get mentioned – I’ve probably not looked hard enough. 🙂
Working my way through the book shown below, so with luck.
The countries and tribes of the Persian Gulf
By: Samuel Barrett Miles Pub. 1919.
Dhofar camel – I think I have only ever posted two other images of a camel, thought I should add one more 🙂
I prefer the horse, but once one gets familiar with the sideways motion of a walking camel, it’s a very comfortable ride.
It doesn’t seem long since summer started, forgot that this can seem or even be a fleeting period here in UK. Today has been dull, cold & wet; it will soon be time for the central heating to kick in as it’s about 18° C at the moment.
A rather dilapidated building in Mirbat.
From my colour files
Very old wild olive trees on Al Jebel Al Akhdar (The Green Mountain).
Made on a very damp & cold day at about 7000ft: at least I did not wake from my tent & find snow ! it has happened. 🙂
Al Hazm fort decorative window.
From my colour files.
Another rescued plant.
I think they have enjoyed the summer sunshine.
Troika – Hybrid Tea rose.
This rose was almost dead before we moved house, now look at it. Obviously likes its new home, so pleased. 🙂
All my wife’s tender loving care has paid dividends.
A tree on the move and the rock is not going to get in its way.
Another tree from my colour files.
I forgot how many tree images I have – nearly as many as the ones I made of doors. 🙂
From my colour files – Jebel Shams.
Intricately carved door.
Nikon D800 with Afs 35mm f1.4G.
I have a B&W version of this door made around November 2014 : where does the time go !
Martini-Henry Rifle. (I think it’s a MkII version – there were 4 types produced in its lifetime 1871-1889)
This type of rifle can still be seen all over Oman, either in use or as a dress item.
A breech loading single shot rifle using a falling block action and chambered for a .45 caliber round-nosed bullet, notorious for its heavy recoil. Having used a Lee-Enfield .303 and feeling the recoil from that if not held correctly, I would hate to think how much this gun hurt the shoulder if not tucked in and the thumb in the right place.
I remember around 1987, watching a man from the Jebel Akhdar trying to sell one at the old open-air Friday market in Nizwa. He was also carrying a bandoleer filled with various bullets, mainly .303 Lee-Enfield but he did have at least 3 of the type his rifle actually used.
That was when the enclosed Souk was still open and these rifles could be purchased without much difficulty.
On the left, a standard .22 Caliber LR cartridge. On the right, a rolled brass Short Chamber, Boxer-Henry .45 Caliber cartridge. Big !!!
Image from – martinihenry.com
“Hello children, everywhere!” for those in UK of rather advanced years – think ‘Light Programme’ Saturday mornings from 9.10 to 9.55.