The male flower soon withers

TCD MS 10515 folio 42v

TCD MS 10515 folio 42v

[April 28th 1916]

the loop of rope and use the stumps of the withered fronds as footholds in their ascent. On climbing the female tree the Arab places a small sprig of the male flower into each tuft of female flower. The male flower soon withers and, as it does so it sheds a cloud of fertilizing pollen which is spread over the female tuft. Passing beyond the belt of palm-groves; we seem to leave organic nature. We are comforted with the lonely, silent desert. The contrast is profound. Behind is the deep green of the majestic trees; in front the brown incessant sand, undulating with waves of heat, distorting every object in its dim mirage, clothing it in its overwhelming light, and, like an ocean, extending beyond the far horizon in a deep gloomy solitude But should we chance to view the des-