Asir National Park on 2 August 2011
I decide to take a drive through Asir national park making various stopovers to enable me to cover as much distance as possible to experience the diverse ecosystem. I notice that one of the most outstanding features in Asir is its diverse vegetation. Set on more than 1600 square kilometers, the park provides visitors with mixed experiences through mixed and diverse vegetation cover. Within the park, I encounter a mixture of luxuriant vegetation composed of flowery plants.
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The flowers have a leathery touch and a faint pungent smell. I conclude that this is a defense mechanism. From afar, they look attractive and remind me of the lilies growing in my backyard, but upon closer examination, they emit pollen like substance that irritates my skin. The air on this side of the park is humid due to the luxuriant vegetation. On the other side of the park, I encounter a different rough terrain. The earth is covered with big rocks and boulders, dark reddish in color.
The rocks stand over the scarce and coarse grass. Their rough texture makes them appear like tough soldiers who have been through a rough war. The air in this part of the park is dry and hot, making me almost have labored breathing. Only the fittest can survive this type of harsh environment.
Asir National Park on 5 August 2011
This time I decide to make a late evening tour to experience the Asir evening atmosphere. The atmosphere, the air, the climate; everything is quite different from my previous experiences. August evenings at Asir are so serene that I wish my college library would be like this. The only sounds I hear are insects’ bidding the day goodbye. The air is cool and settles, temperatures have dropped to cold, and a swift wind blows over my skin raising goose pimples. Regardless of the cold, the air is natural and fresh. Occasionally my nose picks the faint fragrance of fresh plants, which reminds me of the harsh unnatural air in my town. Due to the falling temperatures, heavy fog is falling over the skyline. The whiteness is juxtaposed against the darkening sky, making it look like a sight from an exotic movie.
Asir National Park on 10 August 2011
On this day, I make a very interesting observation about the Asir national park. From the previous visit made at midday, I noticed fog hanging high up above the mountains like loose clouds. The fog seemed less dense and light. It made the landscape look like an extract from an art scene. However, on this particular day, the evening fog was denser and looked like smog. The fog was also heavy and hung low, giving the air a dense feel, reminding me of winter back home. The low hanging fog made the skyline seem closer to me, unlike the previous day when the skyline seemed so far away. The closeness of the sky, coupled with a serene atmosphere, made me feel closer to my God.
Asir National Park on 15 August 2011
My visit this time is keenly focused on the animal species found within the park. I take a special interest in birds found within this park. The expansive park has a diverse ecosystem, and as such, hundreds of species of birds can be found. The environment during the day is serene and quiet despite the hot weather. Beautiful music from the birds rent the air throughout. The mixture of the various types of singing made an interesting composition of melodies.
I also observed that the Warbler is the most common type of bird in the park. There are various types of Warblers, each differentiated by color. The various types of warblers made me realize the complex nature of the park and the need to event hasten conservation efforts to conserves such diversity. I also noted that just as their music blended into beautiful chorals, the Warblers are multi-colored and thus blended colorfully with the vegetation. This gave the vegetation a collage look and reminded me of the colorful art displays in kindergarten.
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Asir National Park on 20 August 2011
I decide to visit the park five days later this time round to appreciate its marine life. I notice that the marine life is as luxuriant as terrestrial life, with many types of sea animals such as the Dugongs, sea turtles, and sea birds. I spend half a day, from noon to late evening, observing the animals. I notice how light has a varied effect on appearance: Moonlight makes Dugongs assume a lighter grey shade and resemble a pig. There are also numerous sea bird species, and like their forest counterparts, makes Asir’s marine park so colorful. I notice that without these animals, especially the birds, Asir’s coast would be lifeless.
Asir National Park on 26 August 2011
It is amazing how people and wildlife coexist mutually in this park. On this particular day, I decided to focus my attention on the park’s conservation efforts. I noticed that the Saudi Arabia government is passionate about conserving the natural environment in this jewel of natural habitat. This is done through several initiatives that are wholly supported by the indigenous communities which live within the park.
I notice that conservation efforts have born much fruit for those living within the park. Other than the conservation of the juniper forests, there are other human activities that go one in the park and are part of the conservation efforts. These include farming and tourism. The farmers within the park have embraced farming techniques that ensure a sufficient food supply while maintaining the natural environment. I came to appreciate the fact that with concerted efforts, man and nature can coexist mutually. Unlike Mexico, where farming is highly chemicalized and mechanized, thus damaging the environment, Asir farming practices are environmentally friendly.
This also made me feel that climate change can be effectively reversed if the rest world imitated the park’s conservation efforts. Furthermore, there is a lot of human activity in the park. This includes tourism and other related recreational activities. I noticed that while in many other places where recreation tends to encroach on the natural environment, recreation at Asir tends to make the natural environment more luxuriant. I conclude the natural environment can thrive amidst human activity.
The last thing I notice about the people of Asir National Park is that they are as diverse as the natural vegetation. This is depicted in a variety of artwork on display at the Asir heritage village. Furthermore, I notice that despite the community’s cultural diversity, the community bond is unlike any other I have seen anywhere else. The people of Asir also have a remarkable sense of nobility, virtuousness, and an inherent sense of courage. I remark that the western world would have a lot to learn from these people, especially with regard to the community. I also notice that despite the cultural differences, these people are united not only amongst themselves but with the natural environment. This is the reason why they zealously guard the habitat from destruction.