Stuff

Eye Of The Beholder

‘Beauty’, they say, ‘is in the eye of the beholder!’ Unless you happen to be Colonial Marine Private Hudson, (Aliens, 1986) that is, in which case when Sergeant Apone says ‘Look into my eye, Hudson’ is not an offer of affection or comfort!

Anyway, enough of Top Sarg Apone, back to the plot: there is a sort of link between the Alien stars of my all-time favourite movies and what has been going on around the pond at our plot up here in the mountains. A couple of weeks back this fellow arrived and began patrolling whilst grabbing the odd flying morsel – what you might call ‘not-quite-fast-enough-food’!

Libellula depressa – Broad-bodied Chaser (male)

He has a strategically placed stick that he uses as his OP (observation post) when he isn’t on the prowl. The species is well known for its practice of early colonisation of new ponds, ditches, etc. It is also renowned for its aggressive defence of its newly conquered territory. Chasers are not called ‘Chasers’ for nothing!

So, apart from acting the territorial control freak, what else might this splendid looking creature be doing? Correct first time – waiting to molest the fairer sex!

And in this instance, in my opinion, she really is the fairer of the two. Handsome and striking as the male is, the female is gorgeous – a golden streaking, twisting, hovering beauty. As she rockets across his territory the male surges out and seizes her behind the neck. He will have already transferred a sperm sack from his primary genitalia near the end of his abdomen to his secondary where the female will be able to access it.

pair from a different species ‘in tandem’

Many species oviposit together with the male assisting the female in getting her eggs where she wants them. Our Chasers do not. After coupling for about a minute or less, the female will begin laying eggs whilst the male patrols and protects her. She may spend several minutes doing this before vanishing off in to the wide-blue yonder! The male meanwhile settles back into his soldierly routine and awaits another passing fair maiden!

So, what, you might ask, has all this got to do with Alien film stars?  A lot actually – there are eggs and stages of development and startling ways of catching/killing prey. There are many family likenesses. Let’s make a start:

remember these culinary accessories?

I think Aliens evolved from dragonfly nymphs (the larvae) and anyone who thinks differently is a Flat-Earther! I mean, come on – look at this!

 

That said, Aliens have never got beyond the ‘bloody hell!’ stage whilst dragonflies have learned to ‘grow’ into the most amazing of creatures that will dazzle you with their beauty.

female Libellula depressa emerging from the larval stage – one of nature’s greatest wonders

Alan Fenn, out there with the Stars!

ps looking for the Okçular walking and cycling guides? Then click here

Wanderings

The Invasion Of The Body-Snatchers

The beautiful and historic town of Safranbolu in Karabük Province is the scene of truly mysterious goings-on. I am convinced that Turks who visit the place are being abducted – ‘vanished’ into thin air, or even beamed up to orbiting spacecraft.

I’m not joking, this is deadly serious! Consider the facts: there are hardly any Turks to be seen anywhere on the streets as dusk falls and night closes in. A few individuals can be seen peering from the doorways of houses, hotels and shops as they anxiously scan the streets. What or who are they looking for? What or who are they afraid of?

dusk and the Scouts are out

On our last evening in the town we secretly captured the evidence of Aliens disguised as South Koreans and Taiwanese tourists searching the streets with their hand-held ‘Turktectors’. These Aliens patrol in pairs and some even go mob-handed as they rush from place to place pointing their devices at buildings, into windows and doorways. J and I were scanned on numerous occasions – whilst eating, entering our hotel and whilst sitting enjoying a quiet beer in the deep evening shadows.

These devices must have some seriously advanced technology or work at the extreme ends of the visual spectrum because my own fairly new camera was struggling to capture enough light even at the highest ISO settings. The Aliens, on the other hand, seemed to have no such problems.

I know many of you will think that I’m making all this up; that I’m some deranged ‘conspiracy theory’ nutter, but I’m not. Here is the rather grainy but un-PhotoShopped evidence – now tell me there aren’t advanced civilisations out amongst the stars or even a fifth dimension. How else to explain those missing Turks!

Alan Fenn, Okçular Köyü

 

here they come
the hunt is on . .
Jeez, they've spotted me - the garlic yoghurt is my last line of defense