Friday, July 2, 2010

socotra - the jewel of biodiversity

i've been following the oil spill crisis, and the thought of it makes me sick to the point of vividly dreaming about the devastation i've seen in photos or read in articles.

satellite photo taken on june 19, 2010 

i really needed a distraction from all the horrible news.  then, i saw a photo from a fellow blogger, which lead me to this article.   amidst the ugliness, somewhere in socotra, yemen (islands north east of somalia), such beauty exists...

like the dragon's blood trees (dracaena cinnabari) - naturally shaped like mushrooms or umbrellas to protect them from strong winds.  it is also used as a source of resin for varnishes, dyes, and medicine...  these trees are slow-growing and almost a few hundred years old at its maturity.  they can reach up to 5 meters in height.

this one is the desert rose or bottle tree (adenium obesium).  they have engorged trunks to store water during droughts.  their flowers remind me of cherry blossoms in spring...

the dendrosicyos socotranus (below) belongs to the cucumber and gourd family.   it can grow up to 6 meters high, one of the largest trees in socotra.
(photo by lisa banfield)

socotran caralluma

even the bark is sooo beautiful! 

i'm so in love with the flora and fauna, something you could only imagine in movies (like avatar).  socotra is known as the "jewel of biodiversity"- there are approximately 700-800 species of plants found in socotra, that cannot be found anywhere else in the world.

to read more about the conservation project in socotra, visit their website here.

i hope that this post reaches a lot of people, and be reminded of how much we need to take care of our home. 



The Words Crafter said...

I can't watch the news at all. These are the most interesting and coolest trees I have ever seen. And that's saying something cuz I love trees and have hundreds of photos stored on my 'puter. So cool! Thanks for introducing them to me. Now, I'm gonna go read about them. Happy Fourth of July!

cArLa said...

i know what you mean... and yeah the trees are so beautiful! happy 4th to you!

E R I N said...

ohhhhh my god i just fell in love with the dragon's blood trees!! i'm pretty up there with loving trees but i'd never seen these ones amazing are they!

i also love the fact that bottle trees have flowers like that... they are so beautiful.

what a gorgeous post! (minus the evil oil)

jozen said...

i hope so too...

cArLa said...

@erin - aren't they lovely??? i hope that socotra gets the proper conservation / protection. i'd hate to see those trees gone. thank you for the lovely comment.

@jozen - i know...