In search of deeper meaning

In search of deeper meaning

AloeFlowers In the glasshouse, the Aloe vera are so comfortable they are preparing to flower again, despite another broken window pane and more; much maintenance is needed.

Arghghggh! In our absence small furry long-tailed creatures have free rein! They discovered my seeds stored in a shoe box on the highest shelf. Nutritional value ... and a mess.

Is the watering pond totally dry? 5 weeks ago when the reeds were cut, the bottom was "dry". Any water pumped up goes directly to fill the 20 ton depots under the viaduct. However, under the layer of cut reeds, the soil is moist: humidity will be preserved for a while longer. Close up, the internal structure of parallel channels and the rounded crescents nesting tightly into each other show how this grass without lignin/ wood manages to grow so tall while so thin.

The lowest of the terasses was ploughed in November - too late for any sowing. Before weeds starts to come to life, much of the dry soil is soft to walk on. What is happening out of sight, below the soil is another matter. on the south western edge, some Ailanthus saplings lie scattered on the soil, having been cut by the plough; one is even 2 meters long/ tall. It doesn't bear thinking how much root will have remained wounded in the ground: triggered into defensive spurts of growth. This invasive species, known to the Chinese as the tree of heaven and "Stinking Tree" in Turkish, will in time encroach on more of the precious arable soil transported 200m 7 years ago, from the riverbed during the construction of pillars number 13 and 14. Meanwhile as we treat the soil bear foot, Duygu asks me "If Güneşköy were an animal? Or a fruit...?" and my answers help deepen our understanding of what could be developed in future. Texts from a dance class, comments or sensitivities: all noted, to become signs. Stay posted.

We were a little late for the breaking of the fast (iftar in Turkish, which in Arabic is the word for the first meal of the day, breakfast). İbrahim Kıvanç had been at the Ayrancı organic market. His stall set up by 6am, hesells out by 3pm: his weekly Sunday routine for years. He's fulfilled there, with regular customers. Fatma hasn't gone to the Çayyolu organic market for a couple of weeks, to care for her health. After dinner, the two of us went to Seda's home (now hers, officially paid off) - straight to bed, as she'll be getting up at 3am to cook the sahur meal. After a 6 months wait, I sleep under our renewed woolen quilt. 9th September I started the task, undoing the years old hand sewing that encased the much matted wool. Seda then washed the wool and dried it in the autumn sun. İbrahim Kıvanç took the clean wool to the "yorgancı" in Elmadağ (a person who pecialises in sewing quilts, encasing wool or cotton, and securing the fluff so that it will remain evenly distributed. Quite a skill!); İbrahim also chose the fabric (thanks, a calm pattern). Our request then remained in a long long queue, for 4 months. Last month, the sewing was complete, the quilt packaged; Tahir picked it up and left it at his mother's. Team work. ni söktüm. Seda yünü güzelce yıkayıp güz güneşinde kuruttu. İbrahim yünü Elmadağ yorgancıya götürdü, ve kumaşı seçti; teşekkürler, motifi beğendim; ve uzun bir bekleme listesine girdi. Ocak'ta bitmiş. Şubat'ta Tahir yenilenmiş yorganımızı alıp annesinin evine getirmiş. Süreç uzun, ama değdi!

Duygu is rearely without her rebap, a Middle Eastern string instrument; 3 strings bowed over a coconut body. Outside, in the ampleness of nature the sound blends in with bird song and wind. In tune, sounds from natural effort, played with skill mastered over time - animals having evolved over millions of year, Duygu's instrument hand made by a master following the traditions of millenia in the region. Slight errors, no perfection, nothing by the push of an electronic button.

In our search for ways to understand how we feel about nature, what other ways there might be to see beyond the regular perceptions, I turned to a set of cards we produced during the 2008-9 EU funded "Towards Inclusive Universities by Empowering Disabled Students". The Attitudes and Behaviour Cards consist of statements by 14 disabled students, negatives (defensive responses) and positives (guidance for inclusive approaches). All the statements in fact are applicable to anyone, whatever their abilities. Today we looked at the statements from the perspective of nature. An effective perspective, nature-centred.

Sitting on the bench in the sun outside the "Mandala" strawbale building (which sheltered us from the wind, coming over from the hights to the north) we were discussing the Attitude and Behaviour statements... when a movement caught my eye: a small field mouse had been watching us at the entrance to her tunnel! Of course she moved far faster that I could get my camera out. These are where she went. So many holes in this garden... Much prey for carnivores, if they are fast enough...

Under the 10th Viaduct, between pillars 9 and 10, landfill with low quality soil is gradually being colonised. Wild mustard (Sinapis arvensis) is doing particularly well. Enough to take home for dinner.

Who is here when no people are around? I collected two different feaces specimens, to be identified by a mamalian specialist. Since the new wire mesh fencing was set up in Novemeber, it would be interesting to know. Certainly shepherd dogs are able to find ways in, and there is a resident fox (or more than one).

For over 15 years a western rock nuthatch always came to nest under the rock near the pond. "This territorial species builds a flask-shaped nest from mud, dung and hair or feathers in a rock crevice, cave, or under an overhang on a rock face." (wikipedia). About ten years ago, the recent nest was buit next to the previous one. In 2022, there were young inside, safe in the darkness; last year no sound of any activity. Now it is obvious why:  a gaping hole lets in light at the back. Without maintenance the mud ceiling layer wore thin and started to collapse. Might the trains passing at least 8 times a day have disturbed the bird's peace, that minor change that meant the previously safe spot is just not good enough? The trains started last year, at slow enough speeds for a driver to notice us waving and Tooot Toooot to us. In the last month they have picked up speed, travelling around 200km/hour.

Spurges, Euphorbia, are a genus with much reduced structures. The female flowers are minimalistic, reduced to the pistil - hard to see: a small structure sticking out at the centre of the bracts and glands. An interesting point: this is the only genus that uses all three forms of photosynthesis: C3, C4 and CAM. A reminder: all bleed a milky latex when wounded; a strong deterrent to any creature that might try eating them. This sap contains caustic irritants. Wash immediately with plenty of water.

Other Blogs
We use cookies on our website to support technical features that enhance the user experience. For detailed information click here.