The Nubra Valley seemed transformed; it was greener and full of flowers. It was three months since we had gone over its beds of gravel and burning sands and (when crossing its oases) through fields indeed, but between high hedges of dry, purplish thorn; the trees had scarcely put forth their leaves, which were still very small though of a bright, fresh green; the pasture-lands near the villages were mere yellowish-brown expanses, and the fields were nothing but earth, with the first shoots of the crops barely beginning to sprout in their regular furrows.