quivertree forest, namibia, may 2016

dawn breaks over the quivertree forest (namibia, may 2016)

quivertree forest, namibia, may 2016
quivertree forest, namibia, may 2016

it is mysterious and beautiful in dawn’s gilded light

quivertree forest, namibia, may 2016

this forest spirit is enchanted

quivertree forest, namibia, may 2016

and the sociable weavers seem to like it too

quivertree forest, namibia, may 2016

as the sun rises, the scaly bark of the quivertrees…

quivertree forest, namibia, may 2016

… appears as hammered copper and gold

quivertree forest, namibia, may 2016

good morning, dassie

quivertree forest, namibia, may 2016

good morning, quivertree

" "

excerpted from ‘Namibia’, by Chris McIntyre, published by Bradt

“The quivertree or kokerboom, Aloe dichotoma, occurs sporadically over a large area of southern Namibia and the northern Cape [South Africa], usually on steep rocky slopes. Its name refers to its use by the Bushmen [San] for making the quivers for their arrows – the inside of a dead branch consists of only a light, fibrous heart which is easily gouged out to leave a hollow tube.

The quivertree is specially adapted to survive in extremely arid conditions: its fibrous branches and trunk are used for water storage, as are its thick, succulent leaves, while water lost through transpiration is reduced by waxy coatings on the tree’s outside surfaces. Roots, though, are shallow, making the tree vulnerable to high winds and, in common with most desert-adapted flora, its growth rate is very slow. Its beautiful yellow flowers bloom in winter.”

quivertree forest, namibia, may 2016