Category Archives: Environment

Ants, Sheep and Edibles: March 16-20

Oleander seed dispersal.

Ewe shall not pass.

Pretty much the best thing ever - pumpkin, potato, garlic, green onion, and butter. Plus a flash.

Baby wheat.

Just under a month left!

The view from Helen Rose's stairwell.

Vitamine forks are a little weak.

At the water stop ~15km from my town.

Sheep housing.


Field Trip! March 9-15.

I’ve been running in circles trying to get some work done, which means I’ve made several trips down the mountain in the last week or so – and I have to be in Er Rachidia again on Monday! Oof! Because of limited transportation up to my town, I’ve gotten to spend a little downtime wandering in the flatlands below. Without further ado, here are the pictures:

Property demarcation.

Primary School.

Thatta way!

Olive Grove

Helen Rose capturing poppies on film.


"lov shmkar" - as found on a door.

Date palm bark.

Fields near my house from a hill I'd somehow never summitted before!

My town, new perspective.

Itto Tabldeet - wrapping and photo, once again, courtesy of Aziza.

A series of unfortunate events - Er Rachidia.

An inexplicably imported German Shepherd puppy in rural Morocco.

Helen Rose & Laundry on the Roof.

The ever present rooftop satellite dish.

Tinkering with photo editing.

That’s all for today! Hope you enjoyed the show!

In Pictures: March 5th through the 8th

In Progress: A Future Livestock Pen.

Local Eggs!

Ubiquitous, but I still don't know its name.

Irrigation Waterfall.

The Castle on the Hill.

Vetiver Test Plant - Still Alive!

Woodpile in an Olive Grove.

While playing with my camera, the kids looked up. Sky!

View through the fields to Ait Abdessamad.

March is for Pictures!

One of my friends who did a lot of photography in college is looking to get back into the habit, so he challenged me and some other friends to join him in taking a photo a day throughout the month of March. I thought I’d document the appropriate ones here – those of you who know me are just going to have to wait till I get back to see all my photos of my Moroccan friends!

Here are a few of my favorites that I’ve taken from March 1st-4th:

Fall transitions to spring, as seen on an almond branch.

Oleander seed pod, burst.

Viva Imazighn! This is the symbol 'zaid', which is on the Amazigh (Berber) flag and is seen as graffiti pretty much everywhere Amazigh pride runs high.

I finally bought myself a taharuit, or black embroidered shawl, from a nearby women's cooperative. All the ladies here wear them every day, although theirs are mostly embroidered in bright colors or silver and gold trim rather than in pastel, like mine. Photo and wrapping credits go to my friend Aziza.

The Great Spiral Breadstick (in dough form)


The spring from my roof at night.

In other picture news, I think I need to go back and delete the pictures of Ikram and the one of Selma that I posted before. The girls don’t care, but I’ve been given reason to believe that their mother does.

I’ll try to post pictures at least once a week in March – hope you enjoy them!

My Morning Visitor

For the past few months, I’ve gotten a knock at a certain window between 8am and noon accompanied by some high pitched tweeting. Half the time I think House Buntings have entered my house (and occasionally this is true), but most of the time it’s an African Blue Tit! I think he’s lost – I never saw one last year, and I haven’t seen any others except the one who seems to be camping outside my house. He’s a bit skittish – I have tried several times to grab my camera and take a picture of him, but he always flies away before I can get the first shot. Not today, though! Today, he sat on the security bars outside my window long enough for me to take a picture! It’s not artistic – in fact, I had to zoom in quite a bit, so it may be a bit fuzzy – but isn’t he cute?

Cloudbursts and Floods

Two days ago, the cloudy sky unleashed quite a bit of small marble sized hail on my unsuspecting town. As the hail was letting up a bit, 20 minutes or so after the initial onslaught, my landlord banged on my door so that he could run up to the roof and remove some of the ice. As he was leaving, he pointed at the mountain and said, “Schuf!” (Look!)

Now, I live in the desert, and while there are some streams down where I am, and wider streambeds with the erosion to prove that water has moved through them before, I have never witnessed any storm large enough to cause any sort of damage. Until now. For all of you living in places where it rains a lot, this might not seem so cool, but those of you living in a desert may understand.

Directly behind my house. The water is obscured by being the same color as the mountain - but there's quite a bit of it, and in a place I've never so much as seen a trickle!

"lmhayr" - waterfall coming off an overhang

The hail was partially melted when I took this, but I believe you get the idea.

This was the biggest storm I have personally witnessed in my service, although I do wonder if we didn’t get one larger in June – while I was touring the north of the country with my mother and brother, there was quite a bit of flooding in the southeastern High Atlas region. ¬†Luckily, we went to Merzouga a few days after the rain stopped, just in time to find a rapidly receding lake by the dunes which still held Flamingos and Ruddy Shelducks. ¬†I wonder if they’re there now?

NB: Zygodactylous Feet

Chamaeleo chamaeleon