arid region

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South Highlands House by Benn and Penna Architecture

The metal cladding is aesthetically appropriate for a rural area, and also highly practical in resisting the arid climate of the region. 

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Grandidier’s Baobabs (Adansonia grandidieri) are, quite clearly, the mighty pillars that keep the sky from falling down.

These massive trees are found only in semi-arid regions of south-western Madagascar.

They can reach up to 100 ft tall! Almost all their height is devoted to a thick, columnar trunk that stores vast amounts of water during the rainy season. That way they don’t get thirsty during the rest of the year.

Which is good because they really need to keep their strength up. There’s a whole lot of sky up there. It must be heavy.

…Images:  Bernard Gagnon/Frank Vassen/Olivier Lejade

THE ORDER OF CACOPHONOUS CONTACT

Ghaf Kawun, slumberer upon the cold star,
You are he who shall deliver us our final character.
At our trumpeting the world quivers,
Disparate winds part the clouds that you may hear us,
Lend your great ear to this song and let our efforts be rewarded!
We ask not for your blessing, O Slumberer,
We require only your discipline.

          - Cacophonite prayer-song


The Order of Cacophonous Contact is a monastic organization based in the arid northwestern region of the Uratemba Hegemon, headquartered atop Mount Zuruq, the highest known point on the planet Muka.

The Order worships a deeply mysterious god, Ghaf Kawun, the Slumberer. Unlike many of the gods of Muka, Ghaf Kawun’s existence cannot be proven, and members of the Order maintain that the evidence for his existence lies in the complexity of the world itself; Cacophonite teachings tell that Ghaf Kawun created the universe, working himself to exhaustion, before retiring to the outer cosmos to rest and regain his strength. The universe, Cacophonites claim, is far too ideal in its workings to have arisen through chance, as is the predominant belief among Muka’s religious scholars.

Cacophonites believe that when Ghaf Kawun awakes, he will observe his creation, discover its many imperfections (as well as the various migratory deities and lesser supernatural entities that have come to reside there), and be compelled to remake it, transporting the collective consciousnesses of Muka’s inhabitants to a state of perfect quietude.

In order to awaken Ghaf Kawun, Cacophonites pray twice daily. Their prayers normally consist of deafening trumpeting (Cacophonite prayer-bugles are often the most expensive item they own, or, for members of more ascetic traditions, among the only items they own whatsoever) and discordant singing. There are many approaches to Cacophonite prayer, and all are equally valid; some adherents prefer to merely scream at the top of their lungs.

The sound from these prayers is usually enhanced through shamanistic varieties of magic to carry far more distantly than would be possible naturally, and even to carry into the normally-soundless vacuum of space in the form of thaumic resonances. Mukan scholars investigating the elaborate prayers conducted atop Mount Zuruq’s enormous ziggurat-complex have estimated that these thaumic resonances could, in fact, be detected by magic-sensitive entities on worlds far beyond Muka’s own star system.

As a result of their method of prayer, many Cacophonites are partially or completely deaf. The sign language developed to allow their deafened priests to communicate, Zuruqi Palm-Speech, has proven a great boon to society, finding obvious practical use among the deaf across Muka, whether devotees of Ghaf Kawun or not.

It’s time for Trilobite Tuesday! Located near the town of Clarita, Oklahoma, the fossil-rich Devonian sediments of the Haragan formation have, over the last three decades, produced a magnificent array of three-dimensional trilobite specimens. Their rich caramel color, incredible preservation, and spinose ornamentation, most notably on the species Dicranurus hamatus (pictured) and Ceratenurus sp., have made these 417 million-year-old trilobites particular favorites of both museum curators and amateur collectors worldwide. Indeed, some 20 species, including Huntoniatonia lingulifer, Ketternaspis williamsi and Acanthopyge consanguinea, are known from the Haragan and its sister formation, the Bois d'arc, making this mountainous, semi-arid region of Oklahoma one of the most prolific trilobite locations in North America.

Learn about other top trilobite localities. 

chrysocolla 

36g/180cts & 40x32x20mm

Chrysocolla is a copper aluminium silicate, and generally blue-green in colour. Specimens are commonly fine-grained and massive. Crystals are very rare and when found they occur as botryoidal, radiating aggregates. Chrysocolla is an occasional ore of copper, a decomposition product of copper minerals, especially in arid regions. It is often found inter-grown with other minerals such as quartz, chalcedony and opal to produce a gemstone variety.

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A more arid-region puffadragon!

Maybe called… Devil-faced puffer?

It probably lives in savannah or some other fairly warm and yellowy area. Wings might be more used for basking rather than flight, but it’s possibly able to fly to some extent.

This one spits gooey glops of electric magic with frightening accuracy. (which is rather handy for hunting as well)

  • Aries: Practice your Dutch this week. Not only will you seduce many women, men, and nonbinaries with your masterful use of indefinite pronouns, it will also look good on your resumes for Dutch companies. You may now indulge in Dutch chocolate without it being cultural appropriation.
  • Taurus: Signs indicate that you will be making a career change, from your current venture to an irresistible siren, naiad, skogsrå, or glaistig, depending on your location. If you live in an arid region, do not fear, simply locate your nearest waterpark or community swimming pool, although the various lifeguards on duty will most likely make drowning your seduced victims more challenging.
  • Gemini: What is love? Cannibalism
  • Cancer: Open the window. Breath the night air. Find a silver coin in an old pair of shoes. Give it to a two-headed owl in a lonely mist-filled grotto, in exchange for one prophecy. The right head will give you prudent financial advice while the left dispenses interesting brownie recipes. Choose wisely.
  • Leo: This week, your lucky numbers are seventeen; eighteen; thirty six; two; negative nineteen; eighty five billion, one hundred and twenty seven million, six hundred and ninety three thousand, four hundred and eleven; seven point eight five five to the power of five; and the number of pennies lost and never found in Cincinnati in 1967.
  • Virgo: Your past affects your future, but you are not bound by it. Your future guides your now, but you are not controlled by it. You can change your fate very easily. Night classes, plane tickets, and body-swapping fortune cookies are not that expensive.
  • Libra: Your friends, family, acquaintances, co-workers, even complete strangers, just want you to be happy. Nobody is out to get you. You have no enemies. There is nothing to be worried about. You’re fine.
  • Scorpio: You will soon be filled with a deep dread of time, and the continual nature of sensory perceptions, and although of course it will not literally last forever, from your point of view there will be no practical difference.
  • Sagittarius: Always take time for yourself. Do all the things you know you want to do. Wake early in the morning, sing your heart out, spread your wings, gather twigs for a nest, and eat worms to regurgitate for your young.
  • Capricorn: The stars say hi.
  • Aquarius: This is the week. Do the thing. Be the one. Show them who’s boss. And do it wearing your reddest lipstick and meanest eyeliner.
  • Pisces: You are very perceptive and sensitive to people’s emotional states, and can tell when people are talking to you nearly every time. Use these special talents in situations like conversations with friends and family, purchasing goods at your local store, or invoking the void god-being HUNTOKAR to wipe out your enemies from all present and past existence.

On this Fossil Friday, learn all about the Titanosaur’s travels. 

In 2014, a rancher in the arid Patagonia region of Argentina stumbled upon a bone like none he’d ever seen before. He shared his discovery with the Museo Paleontológico Egidio Feruglio, which brought in paleontologist Dr. Diego Pol and colleagues to assess the extraordinary find.When they arrived at the site and began uncovering fossils, it became clear to Dr. Pol and team that they were looking at an unusually large animal. Dr. Pol, who received his Ph.D. degree in a joint program between Columbia University and the American Museum of Natural History in 2005, emailed a photo of  an 8-foot femur, or thigh bone, to his mentor, Macaulay Curator of Paleontology Mark Norell. 

Read the whole story.

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May 6 2015 - Riot police hurl rocks at demonstrators protesting against the construction of the Tia Maria copper mine in Peru. Protesters have been resisting the mining project since 2009, fearing the mine will pollute the scarce water sources in the arid region. At least 3 protesters have died in the latest round of protests. [video]

New Fangem ahoy ~

This is Dioptase, or just Dio. She likes hot, dry weather and often explores places such as deserts and arid regions as a result. It helps that she has power over sand and dust. She’s pretty friendly, though very reserved-it’s actually pretty hard to get her to talk about herself….

She’s also a big (about 6″3) and her weapon is a spade (and sometimes her hair…best not to stand too close when she turns around suddenly) 

I got bad news about a work project today so I drowned my sorrows with this instead

Please don’t repost this anywhere without asking first also! 

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gourgeist variants!
1. ufo gourgeist - a miniature variation fond of flying around through the use of ghostly powers
2. water gourd gourgeist - a popular choice to bring into arid regions, with its better ability to retain water.
3. slim gourgeist - sometimes referred to as ‘espeon’s tail’ due to the shape of its arms.
4. witch gourgeist - colloquially named as such due to the wart-covered body, they are known to have higher special attack compared to other variants. 
5. ridged gourgeist - a more aggressive breed suited to experienced trainers.
6. yolk gourgeist - a related variation to ufo types, more of a decorative breed than one for fighting.
7. painted sovereign gourgeist - a variant that is especially suited to beauty contests.

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Euphorbia obesa is in the poinsettia family Euphorbiaceae. Commonly known as baseball plant, it is native to arid regions of South Africa. While baseball plant is considered endangered in the wild, it is one of the most commonly cultivated succulents in the world today. It has only been known to science for about 100 years, and it’s appearance on the succulent market was met with immediate popularity. Succulent growers now have the ability to produce thousands of these plants for sale, and baseball plants are a staple in the succulent section of any gardening store or nursery. The 8 ridges on the growing stem produce both minute leaves and the flowers of this plant, which like all Euphorbia are arranged in a structure called a cyathia. These cyathia typically form at the apex of the plant, and each plant plant produces either all male or all female cyathia.

Baseball plant is very easy to grow and tolerates full sun and little moisture. While the plant remains largely spherical throughout its life, exposure to bright sunlight can cause the stem to become more columnar, as evidenced in the specimen pictured here.

Follow for more plant facts and photos!

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Sandroos

These intelligent mammals hail from arid deserts and savannah regions. Sandroos share the characteristic plated bodies, long necks/ears, and wide tails. They have 4 claws on each hand, and 3 rounded toenails on each foot. They generally have poor eyesight but make up for it with their incredible hearing. You can always count on a Sandroo to hear something you probably didn’t want them to hear so be careful what you say around them! They have a wicked kick and are excellent at hopping across dunes which would otherwise be untreversible. Many other races refer to them as “Sandhoppers.”

A typical Sandroo home is square in shape and made from sandstone. They will often create awnings made from cloth to drape over the front as decoration. The windows are narrow to keep out the sand but still allow airflow.

Most Sandroos that you meet will be wary of you at first, but are quick to extend their trust if you have goods to trade with them. Many of them will never leave their farms and spend most of their time defending it from thieves and bandits. Farming is a tiresome and thankless task but they take great pride in it.

Sandroos are excellent cultivators of the desert and are incredibly skilled at growing crops in the sand. They have a penchant for earth-based magic which is used almost exclusively for tending to their farms. Probably their most prized crop is the Water Melon. No, not watermelon. Water Melon:

This odd fruit has a jelly-like texture. It jiggles in the hand, and when bitten into can be quite messy. It has a sweet flavor and is remarkably cool and refreshing. They make fantastic jams, and are also mixed into drinks for a nice flavor.

Raffas

Tall and wooly animals with moderate intelligence. Incapable of linguistics and have mostly primal instincts. They live and travel in herds. Their long necks allow them to reach the precious fruits atop Cactus trees.

Quite often, Sandroos and other desert dwellers will keep them domestically and use their wool for clothing. That might seem strange for such a hot climate, but Raffa wool has a very special cooling property unlike any other. The fibers are filled with ice magic that reacts proportionately to the heat. The hotter it is, the cooler the fibers. It’s not unusual to see desert dwellers wearing this specially made clothing.

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Cylindropuntia echinocarpa is in the family Cactaceae. Commonly known as Silver Cholla, it is native to deserts and arid regions of western North America. This species generally stays relatively short, but can grow over 5 feet tall in some cases. In its natural habitat, this plant is found growing near Juniper and Pinyon Pine trees, especially at higher elevations.

Follow for more plant facts and photos!

Odontophorus angustifolius

There are not as many of the winter-growing mesembs in flower now as there were in the latter part of the winter, but it is nice to have Odontophorus angustifolius take its turn in the spotlight. Native to the arid Richtersveld region in northwestern South Africa. The tiny teeth along the upper edges of the finger-like leaves give the impression of caterpillars with their feet sticking up in the air.

-Brian