A Wolf walked by

three weeks ago. It was at breakfast time and we were just clearing up when a movement down the bottom of the land caught my eye… The Wolf was trotting steadily up towards us. In true tour leader style getting everyone on it was paramount and I decided not to go outside for fear of spooking it, so no pictures, or only poor ones through the window. It passed the kitchen by thirty metres. The dogs down in the village knew too for they were giving it some bark. The Wolf didn’t seem too bothered, pausing briefly and looking back towards them.

Spring has become even more up and down during the last four weeks. We’ve even had snow around the house. And on others days 20°C. Half and half. The cooler days have really held the flowering up nicely and the season feels pretty normal now. Orchids are already showing their hand. Down in the valley below us Ophrys israelitica was first to show with a little Orchis collina and Ophrys umbilicata. Then Ophrys iricolor. Down at sea level in Kaş the weird Ophrys regis-ferdinandii was doing well at the start of March and we found Ophrys argolica subspecies lucis for the first time. The next month will see the main orchid season.

Our neighbour has just found a large population of Morchella esculenta (Common Morel) growing in her garden, lucky woman! Another prize fungi find recently was the unusual lilac Sarcosphaera coronaria, or Violet Crown-cup.

Up in the mountains it has been all about Crocus. On Assos we’ve seen lovely displays of both Crocus biflorus lyciotauricus and Crocus brickelii. Inland on the Dokuzgöl Dağı Crocus xanthosus has been putting on quite a show with Eranthis hyemalis and mats of Cyclamen alpinum. On the northern end of the Alacadağ we’ve seen Crocus beydaglarensis flowering on marble screes. There’s some nice Arabis about too. Arabis deflexa and Arabis ionocalyx on roadside bluffs, and what I thought was an unusual Aubretia was in fact Arabis aubretioides.

Summer migrants have started to arrive. Earlier in the week a small group of hirundines hawked over the house with Red-rumped Swallows in with the House Martins and Swallows. The first Cretzschmarr’s Bunting arrived. On the coast there’s many more though the snowy weather in the mountains seems to have discouraged them from moving inland – lots of wheatears and wagtails around, and Hoopoes a-plenty.

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