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Notes on the Geography of Oman: Al-Ayn

We'll follow the path around the valley.

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Oman: Al-Ayn picture 1

We're at the head of the valley, or at the bend of the hairpin.  The view here is back toward the start of the path and the village of Al Aqor.  The recently abandoned terraces are a recurrent theme in these mountains.  Water supply may have decreased, or workers may have decided that easier livelihoods were available in town.

Oman: Al-Ayn picture 2

The view looks down the sunny side of the wadi.

Oman: Al-Ayn picture 3

Approaching Al Ayn ('the spring") and its freshly concreted irrigation ditch.

Oman: Al-Ayn picture 4

Fifty years ago, or less, this ditch--ghayl locally, as distinct from the aflaj, or irrigation system in its entirety--was presumably of clay or mortared rock.

Oman: Al-Ayn picture 5

A holding pond, presumably to store water overnight.

Oman: Al-Ayn picture 6

High-value crops are at a premium when land is so scarce.  The choice here: roses, grown for oil.

Oman: Al-Ayn picture 7

Many kinds of fruit are also grown.

Oman: Al-Ayn picture 8

A bit of grain in the interstices.

Oman: Al-Ayn picture 9


Oman: Al-Ayn picture 10

A plugged pond outlet.

Oman: Al-Ayn picture 11

Close-up of roses.

Oman: Al-Ayn picture 12

Pomegranates interplanted with corn.

Oman: Al-Ayn picture 13

Backward glance over the roses toward Al Aqor.

Oman: Al-Ayn picture 14

The vital spring.

Oman: Al-Ayn picture 15

Its setting.

Oman: Al-Ayn picture 16

The natural channel from the spring to the valley wall.

Oman: Al-Ayn picture 17

The terraced bench.

Oman: Al-Ayn picture 18

Another channel passes through and under village houses.

Oman: Al-Ayn picture 19

The edge of the irrigated bench.

Oman: Al-Ayn picture 20

The camera was held over the edge of the precipice and turned toward a lower set of terraces.  The result is disoriented but appropriately disorienting.

Oman: Al-Ayn picture 21

A more conventional view, straight down to Al Ayn's lower terraces.

Oman: Al-Ayn picture 22

Off to the right: the lower terraces of Sharayjeh.  Note the full pond, above and below bare terraces.

Oman: Al-Ayn picture 23

The view from this point back to Al Aqor.

Oman: Al-Ayn picture 24

The bench edge and irrigation ditch.

Oman: Al-Ayn picture 25

Pulleys are used to carry things up and down the valley wall.

Oman: Al-Ayn picture 26

Here, the rope down to Al Ayn's lower terraces.

Oman: Al-Ayn picture 27

Peaches, hurting from leaf curl.

Oman: Al-Ayn picture 28

A biological means of caterpillar control: thousands of wasps emerge from parasitized butterfly eggs.

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