Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Wild flowers in Saudi Arabia

This time of year, we're used to this kind of scene in Texas--a proliferation of beautiful wildflowers painting the spring landscape.

Bluebonnets in Independence, TX

A mixture in my backyard, west of Houston

So wildflowers weren't far from the forefront of my thoughts when I came across this book: Wild Flowers of Central Saudi Arabia, photographs and text by Betty A. Lipscombe Vincett (1977).

Texas and wildflowers go hand-in-hand in the spring, but Saudi Arabia? That was news to me--news that the country had any wildflowers, let alone such a beautiful variety as found in this book.

The author wandered the wadis (dry river beds) and sand dunes near the Tuwaiq Mountain Range in the vicinity of Riyadh to capture these images. Click on the image below of the book's endpapers for an enlarged view of a map of the area.

Spring rains help this area come alive with a colorful array of flowers during the spring months, which parallels our own season of wildflowers in Texas and other parts of the US. The following images represent a sampling of the variety the author/photographer found in her Saudi Arabian explorations and included in this book.

A word of caution... I don't know about Saudi Arabia, but in parts of Texas, hidden among the beauty of the spring flowers, you want to watch where you're walking in fields of bluebonnets and other wildflowers. You just might rattle one of these critters!

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