Colours

The rain has been, and still is, incessant. We are pretty safe here as we are a little uphill from the village which lies on a flood plain. Even with the new drainage system, Karagöl (Black Lake), below our house, is as big as we’ve ever seen it. The occasional break in the weather is a prompt to rush out and bring another stack of logs, or, if it looks like it might last beyond half an hour, get our boots on and get out for a breath of fresh air.

Karagol Black Lake Okcular

a couple of views over Black Lake and the village

Karagol Black Lake Okcular2

When the sun shines there is no doubt that we made a fabulous choice to call this place ‘home’. That said, there have been days upon days lately when there was nothing else to do but huddle by the fire with a good book, or gaze out of the windows at a world turned grey and khaki and hope that this was not going to be another day of lightning strikes and problems for the electricity supply. Added to the oppressive weather we have had our shaky-at-best mobile internet link to the outside world reduced to a crawl for a couple of weeks. Today we have a signal again which claims to be 3G – it certainly isn’t, but at least it is working.

So, apart from building a few new nest boxes and constantly feeding the wild birds – which scoff everything we put out (a lot) in a few hours (and then stand around in the rain looking in the window in a most dejected way), what have we been doing?

sadsparrows

Walking and enjoying the beauty around us whenever we can is the answer to that. Despite the miserable weather, Mother Nature has bumbled on doing what she does so well and carpeted the area in flowers. In the absence of anything else of excitement or interest to report since I last was able to amaze and excite you with my scintillatingly witty and informative postings, here are some more boring old flower pictures taken during the odd moments when it was possible to walk without the need for flippers and a mask! The ‘Colours’ of . .

sand crocus

Sand Crocus

sunshine00031_1

sunshine00034_1

Gorse

Asphodel

Asphodel

mysterious water tunnels

J discovers mysterious water tunnel

Golden Drops

Golden Drops

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pure white Crown anemone

pure white Crown Anemone (Okçular exclusive?)

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Crown Anemone – three generations

Crown Anemone

Crown Anemone

Crown Anemones

deep purple Crown Anemonesuch depth of colour

OkcularOkçular

Daisy, Daisy

Daisy, Daisy give me . .

Cyclamen

Cyclamen

ophrys fusca

first Sombre Bee-orchid of the year

Giant Orchid

Giant Orchid

fritillaria carica

Fritillaria carica ssp carica

I’ve been at this since 7.30 this morning and it is now 12.30, the sun is sort-of shining, so you’ll be relieved to know that this is your lot! Apart, that is, from Donovan’s rendition of ‘Colours’ from way back when which J says I should apologise for!

 

Alan Fenn, Okçular Köyü

Colours

‘Twas The Night Before Crimbo

All right, I’ll be right up front, for the sake of strict accuracy. It wasn’t the day before Crimbo, let alone the night time. It was actually the day before the day before Crimbo – sort of – yesterday! I was just trying to be a bit festive is all.

So, what about yesterday? Well, we went for a wander about through the Turkey we love over rural, woodland paths and lakeside goat tracks. Join us for a bit of peace and quiet and goodwill to all men (and women) (and grandchildren who’ve just let the bloody dog in when it’s covered in mud!) near the village of Eski (Old) Köyceğiz. Enjoy . .

Eski Koycegiz1

start line

Eski Koycegiz2first view of the lake, Köyceğiz and Toparlar mosque

Eski Koycegiz3

Eski Koycegiz4

snow on the Toros Mountains

Eski Koycegiz5

Eski Koycegiz6

Eski Koycegiz7

still waters . .

Eski Koycegiz8

mosses lichens and liverwortsmosses, lichens and liverworts

Eski Koycegiz10

Eski Koycegiz13

Eski Koycegiz12

Finally, our first, and probably last, ever selfie – although I s’pose it’s really a weie!

1st ever selfieEnjoy whatever you’re doing, unless you are a banker, politician or in the military.

 Alan Fenn, Okçular Köyü when not wandering about

 

‘Twas The Night Before Crimbo

Urgent and Important

Urgent and important – sometimes there just isn’t enough time (or inclination) to deal with both. To do another ‘Iran Life’ post (urgent – well, sort of) or bog off for a couple of days head-rest (important)? To clean up the workshop after building Gülay’s exercise machine (again, sort of urgent when you consider the state it was in)

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don’t look!

or go walk a mountain with a friend, photograph some flowers (even though I forgot my main camera); eat fresh-caught trout in a village restaurant in the mountains; visit an amazing eco-project and generally chill?

Sod the urgent, we said . . let’s do the important!

So, off we went to Burdur which is a rather unlikely place to escape to, even if it is for only a couple of days. Actually, the town and province is now home to a certain ranking bureaucrat of our acquaintance and visiting him is not just a pleasure, it is always an interesting experience. We had often said to ourselves that we really ought to go and explore the ‘other side’ of Burdur lake and the mountains and so it was that with a little ‘official’ guidance we spent the day doing just that.

Lisinia Project Burdur Turkey

Lisinia Project – general view towards Burdur Lake

Lisinia Project Burdur Turkey

looking towards the wildlife rehab area

We started at the Lisinia Project, a private initiative founded by veterinarian Öztürk Sarıca and manned by a team of enthusiastic volunteers. The project aims to resurrect the barren soil of the area and return it to full, organic production. So far they are doing a great job! Using organic foods, herbs, etc they research and demonstrate the links with processed foods and artificial fertilisers, herbicides and pesticides to cancer and other diseases. As a vet, Öztürk also takes in injured and sick animals and birds and treats them, either readying them for release or providing a permanent home. From an over-friendly wild pig to injured raptors to a stork with an artificial leg – from organic herbs and fruits to organic rose essence, you can find it here. We loved the place and we will be going back. Here’s a link to learn more.

Lisinia Project rose essence distillation

rose essence distillation plant

Lisinia Project smelling the roses

smelling the roses

Aaargh! Jim, lad!

Aargh, Jim lad!

Lisinia Project wild pig

this little piggy stayed home!

From Lisinia we clambered a small, rocky hill overlooking the lake – a chance to blow the cobwebs away, photograph the view and enjoy the relationship between J and our bureaucratic ‘son’.

lake burdur Turkey

view to Burdur

Then it was off, up the big mountain for a long way on roads that do not appear on maps or Tom-Tom devices! J and I love villages and village people, a fact well known to our host. Eventually, the track ran out at a smallholding cum fish farm cum very basic restaurant – the sort we love – no frills, no fancy waiters trying to be witty and no fancy prices! Salad made from veg pulled from the garden and fried trout that had been looking forward to a future ten minutes earlier! No GMO, no added hormones, no nasty chemicals – trust me, there is no finer meal than that!

the restaurant at the end of the universe

We set off for an after-luncheon walk but were rained off by the same storms that flooded parts of Denizli and Aydin, although we only caught the edge of it. So, a lot more tea and coffee was drunk and much talking and dossing about done. Later, we moved back to the city side of the lake and climbed the mountain there. J and our host made it to the top and I got to within a few hundred metres – with so many photos of flowers to be taken, a few hundred metres was not a bad price to pay, Anyway, they used the tracks whilst I was scrambling about in the rough – well, that’s my excuse. A few pics because I know you love this stuff!

balancing bug Burdur

balancing bug Burdur

mountain flowers Burdur

mountain flowers Burdur

mountain flowers Burdur

mountain flowers Burdur

mountain flowers Burdur

furry bee mountains Burdur

strange thistle mountain flowers Burdur

Russian Marbled White Burdur

Russian Marbled White – Melanargia russiae far from its home in the east

Finally, in order to ensure that the important didn’t get in the way of the urgent, we detoured to a certain winery of our knowledge and filled the car with cases of the finest to restock J’s decidedly bare cellar. Now that really does smack of efficiency – combining the urgent and the important with the essential!

Alan Fenn, Okçular Köyü

ps workshop’s done too – forty winks before the boss breezes in and catches me!

Urgent and Important

A Bit Of A Shower

J and I got back from Iran to a couple of things (apart from a mound of emails) that are not every day matters, especially at this time of year. First, there was a lot of unseasonal but very welcome rain – cloudbursts even. Second, there was a group of walkers from Manchester that we’d committed to take on a hike through our mountain paradise.

It very soon became apparent that the two were linked – the ‘Shower’ from Manchester had brought their notorious weather with them! They also turned out to be a bunch of  (mostly) experienced ‘yompers’ who were delightfully interesting company to boot! I’ve never been one to believe that ‘interesting hikers’ was, like ‘military intelligence’, an oxymoron – although there are some X-Box players who do!

some intermittent drizzle

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followed by a right old shower

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Anyway, we had a great time together as they showed me up by being totally unaffected by the heat and inclines whilst this old ‘Boffer’ had leg cramps for the first time in his life. Such was the pity that they felt that at the end of the walk they made a very generous donation to the Okçular Book Project as well as buying a good number of books. What can I say? Our children and village thank you – a deluge of generosity from the Manchester Shower. May your walks be life-long, filled with gentle sunshine and may Lancashire win the County Championship (Not much chance of the last two, eh! You could always try Premium Bonds!)

Alan Fenn, recovering in Okçular Köyü

ps I will get around to Iran Life stories

A Bit Of A Shower

Iris Stew

Archers is not exactly renowned for culinary postings – in fact I’d go further, much further, and say that apart from the odd recommendation of an exceptional eating place, food, in any of its many manifestations has never graced these pages. There is a sound survival instinct in play here because I really do not like anything to do with the preparation of food and the fewer links between me and food the better!

Those of you who are into these things are strongly encouraged to go and visit my e-friends Özlem, Joy and Claudia who have wonderful cooking blogs – why, even the guys at Turkey’s For Life find the time to have a ‘culinary corner’!

Left to my own devices for a few days I generally wander off to the lokanta with a load of plastic pots and fill up on a week’s supply of rice and beans!

Anyway, I’ve decided to break the habit of a blogtime and do a recipe for Iris Stew – eyes down for today’s effort (marks out of ten would be appreciated;

Ingredients:

a reasonable day

sunshine (optional)

sturdy footwear

a bit of countryside

Iris unguicularis (only available in season)

various fresh seasonal herbs

a picnic (optional)

glorious views

Elliman’s Universal Embrocation (not to be taken internally)

Method:

mix well in any order or direction and indulge regularly – Elliman’s is best used as a dessert course accompanied by a single malt.

Here are a few shots of today’s culinary delight à la ‘Celebrity Chef.

  

a few red peppers

some sticks of celery

plenty of Iris unguicularis (in season, which is now)

and I do mean plenty

a handful of mustard

splintered pine

a dash of pine nuts

. . and there you have it – a fine Iris Stew that serves any number. Oh, I nearly forgot, the Elliman’s Universal Embrocation to go with the single malt. Enjoy, or Afiyet olsen as we say here in Turkey!

EllimansUniversalEmbrocation

Alan Fenn, Okçular Köyü

ps

forest walks SW Turkey

the road to the Islay malt

Iris Stew

Free Heart and Lung Therapy

J and I spent Christmas Day exploring an area in the mountains not too far from where we live. A year earlier, on the 25th, we were burying our dear old dog Sinsi who had died that morning. She loved exploring the backways and trackways with us and was an excellent sniffer-out of obscure paths and goat tracks. It was appropriate, therefore, that we found that a new track had been cut by the forestry authorities and we were able to spend and enjoyable time exploring it and plotting it by gps.

Several days were then spent drawing out an accurate map of the new route, digitalising it and then cleaning it up to make it fit for use and purpose. Then the directions and information for those who want to walk or cycle the route was composed. The new route is named after that old reprobate of a dog – which just goes to show that I’m silly and sentimental as well as an old fool! That done it could be turned into a downloadable pdf for you to print out for your own use or to share with your friends.

So, if you enjoy a ramble or a ride and don’t live too far from the Dalyan – Ortaca area, get your free copy here and get going – work off some of that Christmas pud and lethargy! Happy trekking!

Alan Fenn, Okçular Köyü

ps If you haven’t got your copies of ‘Backways & Trackways’ or ‘Okçular Village a Guide’ you should go to the Okçular Village website where there is a special offer on if you buy copies of both books. You could also win copies of the original book plus ‘Archers’ tee-shirts if you join us on Facebook or NetworkedBlogs; see the side panel for details.

 Karadonlar to Gokbel Walk
The 'Sinsi Köpek Memorial Walk or Cycle Ride'

 

Free Heart and Lung Therapy