Photos

Photographer's Note

For me one of the most memorable images of Amboseli has to be the sight of the Umbrella Thorns (Acacia Tortilis) backed by Kilimanjaro. The majestic beauty and distinctive shape of the trees was "Out of Africa" for me. This shot was taken on the same morning as the recent elephant shot I posted.

The Umbrella Thorn has the classic, umbrella-shaped canopy associated with thorn trees. It reaches heights of between 5-20 m in nature. Many bird species take advantage of this protection and build their nests in the canopy.

The tree produces a large number of pods that are eaten by wild and domestic animals, and sometimes by man. The pods are tightly coiled spirals, pale brown and fall to the ground unopened. They accumulate in large numbers and are eaten with relish by such animals as Kudu, Impala, Rhino and Elephant.

This is the manner in which the seeds of the unopened pod are dispersed for propagation and better germination after passing through an animal's stomach.

Acacia Tortilis may be found growing in sand dunes and rocky scarps to alluvial valley bottoms, avoiding seasonally waterlogged sites. A very drought resistant species, the umbrella thorn grows in areas with annual rainfall as low as 40 mm and as much as 1200 mm, with dry seasons of 1-12 months. The tree favors alkaline soils but will colonize saline and gypseous soils.

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Photo Information
  • Copyright: Rosemary Walden (SnapRJW) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2671 W: 74 N: 6502] (29584)
  • Genre: Places
  • Medium: Color
  • Date Taken: 2012-01-17
  • Categories: Nature
  • Exposure: f/20.0, 1/160 seconds
  • More Photo Info: view
  • Map: view
  • Photo Version: Original Version
  • Date Submitted: 2012-04-27 9:20
Viewed: 2687
Points: 32
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Additional Photos by Rosemary Walden (SnapRJW) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2671 W: 74 N: 6502] (29584)
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