Incredible Okçular!

Edge Of The Abyss

Every year we are drawn back. Every year we are convinced that it will all be over; that one of nature’s little gems will have toppled over the edge; gone, swallowed by a land-slip. And yet, every year so far, it has clung on – if it had teeth then it would be by the very skin of those teeth!

J and I first spotted this gem about seven years ago when we were exploring an old, badly eroded forestry track which had been carved out of the mountainside leaving a great, vertical cliff-face to one side. What caught our eye was a hint of creamy white that seemed to glow in a patch of sunlight whilst surrounded by sombre greens and browns. Getting close was impossible given its position on the lip of a nasty drop with a very steep slope behind. Photographs enabled us to identify it as Orchis provincialis the Provence Orchid.

Provence Orchid clinging to the edge (how it looks from the track)

Every year heavy Winter rains wash away sections of this track and cliff-face; every year we are convinced our little gem will be gone; every year, so far, we have been delighted to rediscover this delicate beauty clinging to the very edge of existence.

the best I could do with a 300mm lens and trembling knees clinging to the cliff face!

Here’s a decent shot from WikiMedia:


Despite a lot of looking we have never found another specimen – the orchid is fairly rare in Turkey and found in just a few scattered locations.

Whilst on our wander up this track we were amazed to find the first Armenian Tulip – Tulipa armena ssp lycica blooming at least a month early – ‘Global Warming’/’Climate Change’ I suppose! on a positive note, the Corporate Capitalists have decided to stop denying the phenomena – now they’ve decided that there is nothing they can/will do about it apart from ‘manage’ the consequences. Great! ‘Fiddling while Rome burns’ comes to mind – as does teetering on the ‘Edge of the Abyss’!

Alan Fenn,Okçular Köyü

18 thoughts on “Edge Of The Abyss

  1. Alan, Lovely, lovely orchid. So glad it’s still clinging around. All of our fruit trees on the island bloomed way early and we’ve been very worried that a frost would come and kill all the blossoms but it seems as though the warm trend carried on so our summer fruits were spared, so far. I guess global climate chaos is the new normal. But good for your plucky orchid!

  2. Hi Alan. Wonderful to see the flowers from the valley. Such a beautiful place and the farmers are so kind. I am sorry these lovely flowers will be gone when I visit in April. Best wishes. Mary

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