Fes, Morocco

Nature: Flora & Fauna Along the Mediterranean Coast Between Saidia and Al Hociema

Introduction for Nature: Flora & Fauna Along the Mediterranean Coast Between Saidia and Al Hociema

I find myself intrigued by every plant and living creature I encounter on my motor scooter trips around the country. Things change every day in the plant and animal worlds, so whenever one goes into the countryside there are always news subjects to photograph. Ephemeral life as exemplified by a butterfly or a flower is at perfection for only a few hours or a day. At Dar Balmira I have a type of barrel cactus that produces exquisite and beautiful smelling white blooms in multiples continuously during all seasons except for winter. The blooms open at dawn and then wilt and die within a few short hours. Few, if any, visitors see them in all their splendor.

A butterfly’s wings are perfection usually only for a day or so, the same with most flowers. It is at the moment of new life when the photographer needs to capture these images. Sometimes one is lucky, other times things are not as pristine as one hopes for, but you still take the picture. Why? Because it is an encounter with a previously unnoticed and unappreciated life form. Take a photo and it registers in your memory. Once sensitized it becomes a thing you feel for. If you’re lucky,  perhaps the next time round things will play out a bit closer to one kind of perfection or another.  On the roof deck this afternoon I grabbed a dead leaf from a plant to clean up its appearance. Inside the leaf was a large yellow jacket species that stung my hand without me seeing a thing. I pulled back quickly and although some venom had been injected, the stinger being lance-like came free and she fell to the ground. My immediate instinct, despite the pain, was to go for my camera since she was a species I had as yet not photographed. Unfortunately, by the time I had the camera in my hands she had flown off. I guess even if I wasn’t able to take a photo I was still ‘sensitized’ to this particular species. So again and in a somewhat different way the camera image serves as a repository for memory. Having written this I hope a few people will enjoy viewing these images. If anyone can help with more exact species identification it would be appreciated. I remember taxonomy not being one of my favourite courses in college.

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