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Old 09-25-2017, 07:26 AM   #1
chrisinhouston
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A day in the Namib Desert

Friday I did a tour of the local Namib Desert not far from Swakopmund along the riverbed that has been carved out for the past million years or so. The area we mainly toured is known as the Moon Landscape. Several films have had parts done here, 2001 A Space Odyssey (Ape scenes) and Mad Max Fury Road to name a few.

We saw some pretty desolate landscapes where very little seemed to grow but if you looked closely you could find plants with small flowers and other signs of life. We also saw the famous National Plant of Namibia, the Welwitschiaceae which is kind of cool because it is so limited that it is the only species in it's classification, no other varieties and not that many. They can live up to 1500 years on very little water. It sort of looked like a house plant that has been severely neglected.

All in all it kind of reminded me of the Mojave Desert or the land around El Paso but worse.
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Old 09-25-2017, 07:27 AM   #2
chrisinhouston
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A bit more. If you look closer you can find growth in plants that looked almost dead from a distance. These were several signs of life on desert plants I saw.
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Old 09-25-2017, 07:38 AM   #3
chrisinhouston
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This the famous Welwitschiaceae Mirabella which are dioecious or of only one sex for each plant. That makes fertilization harder since an insect must carry the pollen to a completely different plant. An interesting feature of this plant is that most of the trunk is below ground as are it's roots. Only about 12 inches is above with 2 leaves that split over time and eventually flowers and seed pods. There plants here are probably about 1000 years old, they can live up to 1500 years!

Third shot is from the riverbed we drove through, it rained a bit back in March.
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Old 09-25-2017, 09:12 AM   #4
xoxoxoBruce
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Looks like the very definition of inhospitable. Iíll think of these pictures every time I read a story or joke about someone struggling without water.
Thank you.
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Old 09-26-2017, 01:24 PM   #5
glatt
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Excellent pictures, Chris!
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Old 09-26-2017, 05:42 PM   #6
Griff
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Great shots!
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