Volcano craters, wildflowers, and farewells

For anyone who still thinks of Morocco as a desert land, it must be said that the spring wildflowers just keep coming here.
P1030449 P1030448The colors are astounding at times.  And while some of these flowers are vaguely familiar, there are others that startle with unexpected forms or heights.
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This little beauty pops up in parking lots and on the edges of paths.  I keep thinking that someone has scattered petals on the ground when I suddenly realize that the splash of color is a living, low-lying plant.

Last weekend, our friends the Dyes led a group of us on a walk into a volcanic crater; this weekend, we missed them so much we had to do the trip over again ourselves.

Jeremy and I tried to claim the landscape, but then Zoë had to show us how it’s really done.
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We stopped by the bouncing fallen tree,
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whereupon James experimented with his camera until Zoë grew two heads.
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Can you believe that’s clover?
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I promise I’ll stop with the wildflowers soon.
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We ate our picnic on the side of the volcano this time.
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Then James insisted on climbing up to the lip of the crater to look over the desolate plain to another crater, one that another friend later informed us was actually a sinkhole in this karst geology.
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The cliff behind Zoë’s head and the rockslide below her right (stage left) shoulder are both more impressive in real life than in photos.

Part of what was so oddly evocative about the sinkhole was the way trees (even this lightning-struck wreck) seemed to rise out of nowhere.
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Climbing back across the floor of the larger crater (sinkhole?), we met our Amazigh friends, once again digging up more bags of dandelion root (or dandelion related root).  The filled burlap bags are loaded on donkeys and sold abroad, perhaps for homeopathic preparations?  Perhaps for drinks? My poor Darija boggled at trying to understand what drinks would come out of the squeezing of juice from these roots.  I didn’t have the nerve to ask to take another photo, so I’ll have to beg the one from our friend’s camera at some later date.P1030520

Back at the house, Demon was soaking in the sun.  Just another couple of days before we all part ways: us back to Omar’s house, Demon to a new home.
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So many departures.  So much to miss.
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