Tuesday, February 18, 2003

Went out to the Zin Wadi with Felix. Felix is from Peru, and he just started work here in the Desert School in the Ecology programme. He's working on the spatial distribution of the Fat Sand Rat (Psammomys obesus) and its fleas. So we went down the wadi, which is around 20 mins steep downhill from home and looked for burrows. Apparently the burrows can be distinguished from any other hole in the ground by two entrances/exits. Felix was recording their GPS coordinates, and i was trying to take innovative photographs of the desert, but it was a losing battle. There are only so many snaps you can take of barrenness before you think its overkill. The Zin river (hah!) is a bit demented though. It twists throught the wadi, changing its mind every 100 m, before reaching the arava valley somewhere beyond the horizon. We spent some 4 hrs wandering around before returning. Not many spiders, most of them must be nocturnal or live their lives under rocks. Saw one tree! but it looked like an australian acacia :)