Serious work to be done! We arrive from with a truck - "new" kitchen furniture, prepating for "CRY Gen", our 15 month UNDP project: the first camp is 17-21 June.
The last two days of Ramadan. On Sunday I visit our neighbours Seda and Nazlı. Busy preparing "sarma" vineleaf wraps, they don't think much of my first attempt - too floppy, it will fall apart when cooking! Under their instruction I improved. Mine are bottom right...
Colorado beetles at work, their caterpillars threatening to munch away at the photosynthesising leaves feeding our potatoes! I'd been meticulously inspecting the thick leave of a suspect plant when suddenly... a green form 15cm long darted away - Lacerta viridis, a lizard that eats many small creatures. A useful member of the food chain, we should hold back our instinctive fears and not believe malicious rumours and folk beliefs. In fact this species is under protection.
I found these three eggs in long grass, egg yolk traces on the borken edges of the thick shells. Too round for normal eggs... who had they belonged to? Tortoise eggs eaten by a snake? The coin is 2.6cm in diameter.
The construction of the 10th viaduct platform is carrying on day and night. MSS90 (90m long Mobile Scaffolding System) has moved beyond the 6th pillar - ours are numbers 9, 10 and 11, some of the tallest of the highest viaduct on the Ankara-Sivas track... At night, high intensity lights flood the alien looking structure where night shift workers carry on in the cooler hours of the hot season. At 11pm, I climbed to the watering pond above the greenhouse, to record the frogs' choral singing. I hope to give the link to the recording here. Frogs in the foreground, and above us occasional shouts, metallic banging...
At 3am I was up again for a walk in the dark, hoping to see the last crescent of the moon; but clouds blocked the sky beyond the hills in to the east. To the west, Ankara's glare was strong, although it has emptied its populations for the 10 day holiday as the 3 days of festivities at the end of the month of Ramadan have landed in the middle of the week. Dogs, frogs, night birds call each other in the dark. Back in my room, I need a barrier against the floodlight hitting the sheets. By 6am it was cool enough to need to crawl under thicker bedding.
We knew chickens had limited empathy, but this much retaliation? A gang was avidly pecking away at something on the ground. It wriggled... Another chicken?!! Celal came to cut away at the strong that was wrapped tightly around the cock's legs. He was cleeding from head and wings. Apparently chickens are excited by the smell of blood. Or was it revenge for what the cock had inflicted on the hens over the months?