The markets of Oman are one of the few places where one can buy gold, frankincense and myrrh. Frankincense is the aromatic sap of the Boswellia tree and is harvested in the hills around Salalah. Cuts are made in the bark of the tree with the sap making resin tears that dry and harden in the sun. Differences in climate and soil result in tears of different colours. The lighter-coloured tears are considered to be of better grade and sell for a higher price. Frankincense is exported from southern Oman, Yemen and Somalia and is primarily used as incense in Roman Catholic churches but is also used in traditional medicine and perfumes.
This picture shows resin tears on the bark of a tree in a wadi. After a week in the north of Oman I drove 1200km across a corner of Rub' Al Khali (The Empty Quarter) which is the world's largest sand desert. The monotony of sand dunes and gravel plains was finally broken by this wadi and the grove of trees.