The kiss of the sun for pardon;
The song of the birds for mirth;
One is nearer to God’s heart in the garden;
Than anywhere else on earth.
Dorothy Gurney 1858 – 1932
My grandfather taught me this poem when I was just a little girl and I have forever remembered it. Together with my Grandma they had a magnificent garden just up the road from where I grew up.
My garden here in Petra is yet to be established so I love being able to take advantage of springtime in Jordan when the wildflowers are coming out in bloom adding colour and life to the desert. Everywhere I look I can find a “garden”.
The other day we drove out to Beida to enjoy the late afternoon sun and a cup of Bedouin tea. While Atef prepared the fire and made the tea I explored the Wadi (valley) where we had chosen to stop. Alia happily played with the sand and rocks.
Looking East in the Wadi
And looking West in the Wadi. Photo is not so great as it was looking directly into the sun.
It was a treasure trove of wildflowers just starting to make their presence known with a splash of colour here and there, as the stems of the first of the bulbs and other flowers were emerging from the sandy soil and their delicate petals were unfolding revealing a kalidescope of colour.
At bit of a scramble up the rocks and into this protected corner I found these flowers in full bloom.
Here are some close ups. The variations in the colours were amazing from deep purples to the pistachio greens to a soft lemon yellow. I don’t know what these flowers are called. Can anyone help me out?
I also spotted a lone hyacinth with it’s deep purpley blue flowers.
There was one tiny little delicate yellow flower open to capture the full sun.
Peaking out the crevices of the rocks was this vibrant green leaf plant with white and yellow bell flowers.
And this succulent type plant that was also flourishing through a crack in the rocks
This flower was poking it’s head through the sand to reveal it’s purple petals with spotted centres.
If anyone can help identify the flowers/plants I would very much appreciate the input.
The valley also was home to numerous birds who were singing merrily as they flitted from the rocks. I recognised the Sinai Rosefinch, the Mourning Wheatear, a Black Redstart and Eurasian Crag Martins, but there were also other finches and birds that I wasn’t able to identify. For the want of a zoom lens and more than 20 mins of exploring I would love to be able to capture more of the birds in photos and learn more about what I’m seeing.
The Sinai Rosefinsh. The beautiful colours of the male make it easy to spot, whereas the muted tones of the female (centre right of the photo) means that it blends in with the background of the rocks.
There was also one magnificent old tree which is growing out of the side of the rock.
It seems that everywhere you look there is evidence of the Nabatean civilization. This stairway seemly goes nowhere, but would have had its purpose to the Nabateans.
Atef making a pot of tea for us whilst Alia and I played in the sun.