THE GREEN DESERT

Deserts are synonymous with harsh, brown  and arid .

A land full of thorns and sandy soil on which very few living organisms  can survive due to the paucity of water

The black and white Variable Wheatear( English),Oenanthe picata (Scientific Name) has chosen to migrate from Central Asia to bask on a bed of thorns in the Winter Sun of Rajasthan.

Variable Wheatear
Thorn Bird

This magnificent and large Ber tree is covered with  Red berries called BER in Hindi . They  grow wild all over the region from Jodhpur to Bikaner and Jaisalmer.

The  Ber ( Hindi)Tree , Indian Plum or Jujube (English) , Ziziphus mauritiana ( Scientific name) is perfectly adapted to the alkaline sandy soil of the desert . It has taproots which go deep into the soil and store water as well .

The Ber fruit  is a rich source of vitamin C  etc. and has numerous medicinal uses as well.

The tree also has innumerable sharp and tiny thorns.

Ber tree
Large Ber Tree laden with fruit

The typical landscape of the region near Kichan ( home to the Demoiselle Cranes) as of date can be observed in the picture below.

Do observe the sandy soil is now naturally covered with typical Shrubs and grasses native to the region.

The Indian Gazelle ( do read my blog THE ENCHANTING OASIS) is now beautifully camouflaged as the Desert mutates.

The photograph below  was taken from the car and you can see the shadow of the window on the left .

This change has come about over several years of bountiful rains.

A gazelle runs away
Can you spot the Gazelle ?

Wastelands are being converted into rich agricultural lands as man made Canals connect this parched lands to the rivers in the north.

Drip Irrigation and sprinklers  ( see picture below) are turning the Desert Green as water and electricity reaches even remote villages.

The picture below is of a vegetable farm in the heart of DESERT COUNTRY.

The Tittar( Hindi) , Grey Partridge  or Grey Francolin ( English) is now exposed against the large Radish leaves.

I always mention the local names as they always reveal a characteristic of the bird or animal. In this case the  name Tittar is a near replica of the call of this bird.

water in the desert
Water Sprinklers make the Desert Green

As the Desert Blooms and transforms from brown to Green many inhabitants which have adapted to the brown arid landscape find themselves in a quandary.

I draw your attention to the featured image of the Partridge, see how beautifully the terracotta, rust and brown plumage blends into the sandy soil of the desert but shows up against the Greens of Vegetables.

The preferred scrubby dry brown habitats of the Tittar are gradually turning into GREEN FRUIT and VEGETABLE FARMS as THE DESERT turns GREEN.

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Published by

mukul chand

51 year old entrepreneur who has traveled extensively around the world for work and pleasure , is based in New Delhi, India. A passionate traveler born with a love for flora and fauna, is an active naturalist and amateur photographer. Here he shares his unique insight into Incredible India revealing its mysterious and exotic treasures. Writing from his heart he shares his experiences as he crisscrosses this vast and amazing land.

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