Posts Tagged ‘chouf’

Mountain Trail

September 6th, 2010

I had the opportunity to go on a half-day’s hiking along the Lebanese Mountain Trail.

The Trail is an extraordinary endeavour which was established in just a two-year period between 2006 and 2008 by ECODIT, with funding from USAID. It starts at Qbaiyat in the North of Lebanon and winds its 440km-way through the mountains to end at Marjaayoun in the South. You can read more on the Trail here.

I only walked a short part of the 18th section of the Trail, between Ain Zhalta and Barouk, namely through a portion of the very beautiful Shouf Cedar Reserve. You can find out more about the reserve here.

Below are a few pictures from that day.

Above, a Lebanon Cedar‘s branches, from which arise a number of immature seed cones. I very much enjoy the unusual way in which the cones rise vertically from the branches, unlike other coniferous trees.

It has only recently been brought to my attention just how beautiful these cedar seed cones (and conifer seed cones in general) are. And a whole new world has opened to me as a result.

Interestingly, it seems Lebanon Cedars produce seed cones generally every second year and those mature in 12 months from pollination. I understand that mature cones typically measure 8 to 12 cm long and 4 to 6 cm wide.

Above, the view onto Mount Lebanon in the late afternoon.

The first section of the hike took us through the cedar forest and then the trail we followed branched out onto the drier mountain top.

Above, sunset over the mountains.

Above, a fir tree at dusk. The reserve is home to some 24 species of trees, including Lebanon Cedar and a number of species of oak, pine and juniper.

More coming soon!

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