Incredible Okçular!

Home and Away Soon

Before J and I scurried off to Ankara to pick up our visas from the embassy of the IR of Iran, we had ‘discovered’ our first new species of orchid of the season. Not that it’s new to science, you understand, just that we haven’t managed to record it and add it to the list of 31 or 32 growing around Okçular that we know of.

iran visa

exciting, or what!

Anyway, back to the new discovery – when we first found it I hadn’t got my main camera with me and had made do with a compact. Nothing wrong with these, but I do like a bit of flexibility, so yesterday we wandered off in search of the original and any others that might be around. The little gem was still hiding under its bush and there wasn’t another family member to be seen. I was amazed, given the rain there has been whilst we were away, that it had survived in any condition worth a photo – but there it was, slightly care-worn but still a beauty!

Crawling about in the undergrowth is getting harder by the year and there is a deal of huffing and puffing that accompanies the following photos. I think they were worth it, especially as ‘moody’ is my thing just now!


Ophrys lucis – looking ‘moody’ under natural light


and with a bit of light added

This fellow was keeping a watchful eye on the ‘goings-on’ and it really did let me get this close!


Chalcides ocellatus – Ocellated Skink

After the cold snap the first of the O. anatolica and  O. italica are emerging . .

Anatolian Orchid

Orchis anatolica – Anatolian Orchid

Orchis italica – Italian Orchid

. . and finally, one of the rarest plants on the planet . .

Alkanna mughlae – a critically endangered endemic member of the Borage Family that is found almost exclusively in Okçular’s Kocadere valley (doesn’t look much, does it?)

Alan Fenn, Okçular Köyü

16 thoughts on “Home and Away Soon

    1. . . thanks Pat – huffing and puffing – you don’t know the half of it. The hardest part was getting up!

  1. Alan, Oh, we’re so excited about your upcoming trip. So they’re really going to let you in? You’ll have a wonderful time. You always take such great photos even with all of your reservations about your camera. Now, we know spring is really here. Best to J.

    1. I’ll take the compact for the sole reason that the other is a big, heavy beast and when you add in the extra lenses, etc it would be restrictive. The compact will do just fine. They’re letting us in – will they let us out 😉

  2. Lovely photos as always and indeed very moody. Love the little lizard keeping an eye on you. I am very eager to read about your trip to Iran and see your photos from there. Have a wonderful trip!

    1. . . we are getting pretty excited about our Iran trip.too! Such history and culture and we are travelling whenever possible by public transport as opposed to being cocooned away from ordinary people.

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