Admittedly we’ve been a bit quiet on the blogging front of late but hopefully things will soon pick up again. Hopefully we now have a publisher and the intention is to have the book on the shelves by next spring. A long way off we know but these things take time and with our absentee lifestyle we’re not in a position to work on the book full time. However, this has its compensations and the last few months have seen Chris able to work on improving some images and also capturing some new ones worth considering. Snowdrops (and thousands of other bulbs) were superb across north-west Turkey this spring and plentiful rains in sourthern Uzbekistan meant impressive foxtail lilies and tulips, whilst central Turkey produced the goods yet again with Fritillaria alburyana, the recently named Iris peshmenii and countless other mountain gems from gentians and pasque flowers to stately Iris kirkwoodiae and cliffs plastered with Saxifraga kotschyi. All of these yielded worthwhile pictures and most will be included. Added to this we are now in the process of describing a new species of bellevalia we discovered in the region two years ago (see post 22nd April 2014).
However, one unfortunate recent development in Turkey is the now regular hassle we attract from would-be ‘officials’ who now readily inform the authorities of our presence on the hills which at times results in lengthy discussions and delays to ‘clear’ our names. It all stems from one ill-informed and over blown newspaper/television feature on foreigners digging up bulbs (allegedly the last fifty Fritillaria michailovskii - although in actual fact there are many thousands left) and now we are all tarred with the same brush. Of course there have been and continue to be illegal collecting activities in Turkey but most visitors are well-behaved and hopefully this attitude will ease off with time but be prepared for confrontation if exploring on your own – you are being watched.
Below is a selection from the above second chance visits.
Kalon mosque and minaret, Bukhara