Friday, April 10, 2009

The Red Stuff

ON a tip that the red stuff is now blooming at Arabia Mountain, we took a trip there to see. This is one of Georgia's many granite outcrops, and plants and animals here are often very specialized due to the stressful environment. It was quite an amazing sight! Great expanses of seemingly dead grey rock interspersed with explosions of colour and - after the night's rain - rivulets of water, sparkling in the sun. There were yellow, purple and white flowers, and great carpets of this strange red stuff.

Diamorpha grows in the shallow, sandy soil of depressions in the rock known as solution pits. Really shallow soil - as in about one inch. It's a succulent, like a cactus. It has adapted to heat and periods of drought through several strategies, such as storing water in thickened leaves, and its red colour which protects it against radiation from the sun, and can survive due to the lack of competition.

Certainly a very unusual landscape.

1 comment:

Lovey said...

I have never heard of this place, but we are heading over there tomorrow. It looks great. Thanks for the tip!