Three years ago Nochi stayed at the B&B to get to learn more about gardening in the Middle East. He had, and still has, the urge to Green the desert!
In July 2016 he planted this tree. And off course we had to make a picture with that tree now!
And now he visited the B&B again to plant a group of native plants. He brought his friend Abla and her daughter. Abla is a specialist in making compost and she brought two bags to add as a base for the mix to plant the trees in.
These are the trees Nochi brought with him this time:
Local name Botanical name Family
Malloul Quercus ithabuernsis Fagaceae
Syndian Quercus calliprinos Fagaceae
Meis Celtis australis Ulmaceae
Teen baladi Ficus carica Moraceae
Gigab Arbutus andrachne Ericaeae
Kharob Ceratonia siliqua Fabaceae
Thanks again Nochi and Abla! Shukran jazeelan!
It’s waterday today. I open the tap and start watering the thirsty plants. Then I see something flying up and landing again on the stem of a dead sun flower. Wow, what a beauty! I have my camera close as I was planning to make some pictures today.
And he or she lets me get so close to get a nice shot!
In my Field guide to Jordan I read:
Diet Insects such as mosquitoes and flies
Habitat Common around permanent freshwater sources such as wadis of western Jordan and around irrigation pools all over Jordan.
Behaviour Spends most of its several-year lifespan in a larval stage underwater. Crawls out of the water and sheds its nymphal case in its last months of life to breed. Flies low over water following the same path, perching repeatedly on the same spot.
And I wonder, where did this one spend its severl-year life span … underwater? It’s so dry around here. Or are there some little hidden pools, all year filled with water, somewhere in the mountains around Wadi Musa? Or are they migrating from the freshwater habitats in the north of Jordan? Wie het weet, mag het zeggen! Who knows the answer, please tell me!
Well, at least I have a name now. A guest of the B&B, nature and bird lover Marcel Klootwijk, posted a picture of his Epaulet Skimmer (Orthetrum chrysostigma) male that he saw in Dana. The male is blue ish gray and the female is brown.
On these hot summer days the plants in the pots need lots of water. After my breakfast I make a round to give them this water and this morning I saw something moving on the edge of the pot of Mother of thousands* plant.
Ai, such a ienie minie tiny zebra striped praying mantis. The pot was still in the shade and he was constantly swinging from left to right on his tiny legs so taking his picture was kind of a challenge to photograph this ‘constantly moving target’!
- Kalenchoe daigremontiana
Two days ago I saw him (or her?) for the first time. I was making my round in the garden and all of a sudden I saw something fresh green moving on the stem of the Prickly Alkanet. My heart jumped when I realised it was a chameleon! About 12 cm long, looking at me with his eye completely turned backward. Slowly ‘running’ away from me, deeper into his hiding place, the deep dungeons of the Prickly jungle. “No, wait! I want to have a good look at you, wait!”
I wanted to study him, have a look at his two fingered paws, his 180 degrees eyes! And just today I didn’t bring my camera. I ran inside and got back to just see him disapear in the deep darkness. I took a picture and got an out of focus body with his black eye, still staring at me.
I shared this story with a group of birdwatchers that stayed in the B&B and took them for a walk in the garden. ANd unfortunately wee didn’t see the chameleon. And then today, a stormy day I try my luck with my camera in my hands. Yes! There you are! But as soon as you see (or I guess hear) me, you run away again. I hope you’ll stay safe! Hide and live a good life! And show yourself once a while to me. I’ll keep an eye out for you!
This nice, cooler morning I water the plants at the terrace. I’ve noticed already over a month that many plants are attacked by ‘dinner guests’ who eat the leaves to the bone! Now this big one catches my eye as he is smacking his lips eating the leaves of the little palm. I grab my camera and follow him enjoying his breakfast. He is fast, biting of pieces of the leaf, chewing and, yalla, next bite!
Zooming in on the pictures I see he has little helper hands next to his mouth that hold the leaf and help to shove it into his mouth! Interesting and intriguing!
To safe my little palm I’ve put him on the big Rosemary bushes in the garden, so he can have lunch there!
Tonight I will prepare a nice vegetable dish with the last tomatoes of this season! The hot weather of July and August, with the burning sun, gave a hard time to the tomato plants and they . Even today the temperature came to 35.9 degrees!
I noticed that the skin of the tomatoes is thick and strong. I guess they try to protect themselves in this harsh weather, like a natural sun screen! But I don’t mind. I’ll give them an extra bite as they did it very well and the taste is so good! Sweet and concentrated!
A funny thing I discovered by growing my own tomatoes is that there is a pre-arranged break off spot. This makes it easy to pick the ripe tomatoes. Have a good look at the picture and you’ll recognise the rim on the stem of the tomato, about 1 cm above from the tomato. Just move the tomato a bit upward and the stem will break! Nature is full of great tricks!
There is one late sun flower in the garden. It’s the second run of this year. I took a few seeds of the first run and put them in the soil. This is the only one who survived this hot and dry summer. And as you can see on the picture, it had some difficulty growing into a ‘normal’ flower. Well, not on the picture is one big, well grown flower of 20 cm diameter.
Still he managed to make beautiful seeds and I hope the birds will find them in a few months to have some extra food in the cold winter.
It’s water day again and often I disturb the insects by watering the shrubs. Today this funny one, who I met before, in the back garden, came running out of his shelter. With high speed he tried to get away from the rain.
I’m a bit behind with posting this picture and the funny thing is that I’ve seen this buddy running around in the back garden almost every water day since then! I could identify him by this little black spot on his behind! It feels like a new neighbor!
I found out that this mantis is of the Eremiaphilidae family.
Eremiaphilidae is a small family of the order Mantodea (mantises). They are frequently wingless or brachypterous, and commonly encountered in desert environments. Their coloration often matches that of the sand or rocks in the habitat.