Around midnight, having left the mothers putting their children to sleep, I climbed the hill we always knew as Güneş Tepe (Sun Hill). It isn’t the highest point of our land but by far the most striking, attracting all new visitors, especially younger ones: near the centre of our land, it gives a view all around, with birds flying below…
Moonlight, especially at full moon, bathes the land … It was too hot to go to sleep in the glasshouse room, until eventually the temperature cooled a little and occasional flutters of breeze stroke the skin (D’accord ça fait trop français.)
At 1am (in fact 00.00 astronomically, if summer time is taken into account, the moon shone directly down, through the glass panes and onto our bed.
At 5.45 again walking up to Güneştepe, in the clear cool pre-sunrise light. To the west, the sun already caressed the hill tops. From behind the rock, the flock began to appear in a cloud of morning dust, with shepherd and dogs… The full moon is still visible on the western horizon, becoming fainter as the sky brightens. I had to capture the moment – 15 minutes of amateurish video: will it ever be taken again before our land becomes one of the many building sites on the Ankara-Sivas-Erzincan high speed train track? As the shadows become clearer, they begin their morning shrinking: Güneştepe’s first shadow reaches right over into the next field, but within minutes the peak falls within our boundaries. Minutes later light hits the top of the glasshouse, by which time the flock have begun heading over the hill to the west. The temperature rises from night time comfort, to rather warm (then hot, Really Hot and even later Too Hot). Bugs start buzzing, hoppers hopping, wrigglers
swiftly disappearing under stones or plants at the slightest movement.
The fields of sunflowers are brighter yellow in the sun.
How much the wild jasmine has appeared since we fenced the land, preventing grazing! A juniper I had first noticed 5 years ago has put on bulk, bushing out and up. At 6.50, long after sun has woken the village, a cock crows (later in Karacahasan, cocks crowed at 1am…). A donkey brays. Saadet Teyze’s voice rises clear from their field near the river – they too will lose their land: her husband’s, and the land left by her mother, still not yet divided between the inheritors. A tractor engine.
I leave the thin soil of Güneştepe descending throught “the Gate”, a wild almond and a Jerusalem thorn which have both grown in 12 years. An hour after our flock had set out, another is heard coming from Hisarköyü.
In the 12 years we’ve had this land, fenced and goat-free, how many wild jasmine have left the safety of the large Jerusalem thorn bushes (Paliurus spina-christii ) that only tortoises dig tunnels into, for extra protection. On the slope behind the Glasshouse I found yet another tortoise shell, bleaching under the sun still with a few scales remaining around the skirt of the shell. From inside a beetle peeks out then disappears; after dropping the tortoise from a hight, the bird of prey would have eaten its share (through a clear hole in the top of the shell, as if an opening was marked… like on a drink can). Now the remains were left for smaller and smaller creatures to take their share. Life!
Driving from our nearest neighbourhood, around past the large rock along the southern fence of Güneşköy and the orchard that now is developed enough for birds to nest: https://vimeo.com/100739823
Flock at Sunrise 15minute video: when I can reduce the 1.6GB video and put it online… I will share it here.
Sorry no photos at the moment.
Flowers I could identify:
Nigella ….. sp.unsure as I can’t find in any book.
Peucedanum palimbioides … endemic
Scabiosa micrantha – plain white
Scabiosa ? – with a faint purple tint to the edges
Stachys cretica anatolica
Silene subconica – this campion’s petals crumple by 8.30am