Cooler night. Hottest days

Cooler night. Hottest days

WakingView After 10 days in the city at temperatures near 40C, and night temperatures above 20 C, we arrived in the dark at 22.30. Too late and too tired to worry about much, we opted for the easiest sollution: sleeping "a la belle etoile" under the stars -  a sheet and a sleeping bag each, lying on the tables under the barely shielded Mandala pergola outside the glasshouse. Just enough to not feel cold: at 4am, as Jupiter as nearing its zenith, feeling a welcome tinge of coolness at the coldest moment of the 24 hours.  Even late at night, the glass house was far too hot still hot for comfort.

Jupiter had appeared jut after midnight, and over the night progressed as the sun does in the day, only more modestly letting me know how much longer the darkness would cool us.

Before the day's heat started to hit, we set off at 6.30 to discover how the land lay. First we climbed up the slope to the landfill under the viaduct: the most obvious thing was the traces of this spring's rain; it had rained intensely until the end of June. The soil, freshly brought and shaped into terraces only a few years ago, had huge cuts where powerful water flows had made their way... Areas of dried out puddles were different in colour and texture.

Most striking were the raw cracks in the alluvial "silt" layers, washed down from above - such fine particles of sand and clay that stay on the top; larger heavier particles sink deeper into the muddy wetness.

The toiler-shower complex, built about 15 years ago, is in need of repair. The toilet has certainly been used but did anyone ever have a shower in the left hand cabin?

Just above the toilet, in the soil (freshly ploughed in January) the two large holes are fox holes - says Doğukan! Their paw prints are clear in the silt. We've not had chickens since 2018, sorry foxes. You'll have to look elsewhere for dinner.

In this heat, and without regular filling up, the watering pond has dried out completely. At night I only once heard a frog croak; the warm August nights usually resonate with the chorus of frog concerts as they call for mates. The taller of the reeds is still green; its drought survival strategies are better than those of other plants that had settled in or around the pond over the years - we didn't plany any, they all came one way or another, not human asisted.

The key impact since my last visit: steady rain fell for days (until June) and sudden flash floods on already water saturated soils. The Canyon had been cut by flash floods nearly 20 years ago. In 2004 we'd opened a trench (50cm wide, 50cm deep: for a water pipe, that we never did lay), removing the crust of long established top soil. The soil was then easily cut into when the rain water came down from the slopes and plateaux above. By 2008, it was a significant trench. Over the years it got deeper with strong rains, and wider with those that disolved the sides... Today two changes struck me: I'd never seen rock bare are the top end; and the large blue serpentine rock has changed position, with some new large rocks behind it! Kanyonun dibinde yıllardır hareket etmeyen mavi kaya hareket etti, ve yanına başka koca kaya indi. Yukarıda şimdiye kadar toprak altında kalan kayalar ortaya çıktı. vs vs

Now why would a plum produce resin? What can have triggered this? Insect damage?

Our Eurasian nuthatch has been back this season to rebuilt a nest in its favourite spot: quite, north facing, with a rocky overhang. If only our building maintenance were so easily sorted...

Doğukan has an eye for edibles: grains of barley are sweat to chew on. Foragers need to develop skills in reading nature's cues, to notice what it may have to offer.

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