Revisiting Saudi Arabia

Decided I should probably actually start posting about my trip to Saudi Arabia last month. My Twitter friends seemed to really want me to do this and I feel like I’ve fallen behind on posting and sharing stuff that is going on in my life lately. Things just get so busy!

I’ve decided that I’m going to do this in series of short posts. I have so many photos to share and so many stories to tell. This photo came from our trip shark tooth hunting with some friends from our compound.

Despite it being a giant desert, millions of years ago much of Saudi Arabia was actually under water. As a result, you can walk across some deserts and by kicking some sand around, find ancient fossils and artifacts from eons ago.

My parents and I spent a day playing around in the sand searching for anything that resembled a shark tooth. It took a while but eventually we recovered around four shark teeth, some more intact than others but mostly we found lots of fossilized clams and sea weed. A young girl in our group managed to find a half dozen or so on her own. Clearly she has a future in archaeology.

While I didn’t find as many shark teeth as she, I did stumble upon something else that was pretty cool. I was in a cloudy state of mind, tired of mostly unsuccessful searches for shark teeth and being blasted with the blinding light of the desert sun. I began to just wander, which by the way is really unsafe in the desert, aiming roughly for the giant rock feature ahead of me.

These rock formations are all over the place and full of life. The sides are soft enough for rodents, insects and other creatures to carve out a home providing protection from the sun and predators.

The sides are also soft enough that crawling predators have a hard time making it up. I was climbing up slowly and carefully as the earth below me fell away, almost as fast as I was treading uphill.

All of a sudden a rush of air and confusion hit me as someone flew out of the side of the rock. I didn’t get a good view of the bird in the flurry of action but once the dust cleared (literally) something else caught my eye.

Two, beautiful, white eggs (and a handful of rodent bones, not pictured. This bird, presumably a falcon (?) built her home inside of the side of this sandy rock. It was so awesome. I waited around, hoping to catch another glimpse of the bird, but I was not afforded that luxury.

I made my way to the top of the rock, took a few more photos, and then headed back to our caravan of SUVs, excited to share my discovery and totally OK with not finding as many shark teeth as I once wanted.

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