Archive for the ‘wildlife’ Tag

No goats, guilt, bat.   2 comments

Walking up the goat track near my house the other morning I thought about how many times I’ve wanted to come up here. My neighbours , the çobanlar (goatherders), make their winter camp just up the road from my house and it sits astride the track so I’ve never wanted to disturb them by bringing the dogs through. Recently though, their camp has been abandoned for the summer and just the frames of their shelters are left standing like so many skeletons. Quite eerie.

They have taken their goats up to the yayla, the mountain pastures, for the hot period of the year. There is more to eat and it is cooler up there. Past their camp is a track to a large open area with a big tree in the middle of it.

You can see it on Google Earth and with the naked eye from the top of the mountain at Phellos. I’ve often wondered what it would be like to take the dogs for a walk there.

This fallen tree looks reminiscent of elephants to me, the shapes and greyness of it create that kind of feeling I think.

This rock with a hole eroded in it caught my eye too.

Kurabiye is a kind of small sweet bread similar in appearance to a Hot Cross Bun in England. The texture is firmer and they’re not quite as sweet but the new bakery in Kas makes very nice examples. As I’ve mentioned previously Hanife’s milk is so creamy that I let it stand to separate then skim off the cream. Well this afternoon I had Kurabiye with whipped cream and strawberry jam, extremely indulgent of me but it was lovely.


I had cream left over and later in the evening I had a look in the fridge and found some strawberries that I had forgotten about for a few days. I felt very guilty for about a nanosecond and then thoroughly enjoyed them. The strawberries were beautiful, really tasty.

A strange sort of shuffling sound woke me in the middle of last night. When my cat, Stanley, gets something in his ear he shakes his head rapidly and it makes a sort of soft shuffling clapping sound and that was the closest I could come to the sound that had woken me. But this time it kept repeating and going on for longer and longer. I sat up in bed, turned on the bedside light and saw a bat fluttering around obviously trying to find a way out of the bedroom. The windows had been open till about nine last evening and the bat must have come in looking for moths or maybe even for a place to roost. I opened a window for a few minutes but the bat didn’t find it and I didn’t want to invite mosquitoes into the house so I closed it and we both went back to sleep.

This morning I looked around and eventually found it behind a curtain, as I tried to photograph it away it flew up to the ceiling. I don’t want to chase it out into the sunlight now so I’ll let it stay there and leave the window open again this evening in the hope that it finds it’s way out and back to it’s normal roost. It’s a dear little thing and they fly around outside a lot in the evening at this time of year, there are thousands of big moths around so they must find food quite easily. This one looks very well fed doesn’t he?

If he doesn’t find his own way out this evening I’ll have to try and catch him but catching a creature as quick and agile as this without hurting it won’t be easy.

I’m going down to Kas for breakfast at the Derya Beach Restaurant with some friends this morning so I’ll post a couple of photographs of that later and let you know how I got on with the bat.

Posted June 2, 2010 by cukurbagli in Animals, Environs of the village, Food, Neighbours

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Moths and dogs   Leave a comment

In the garden this morning having a wander round with the dogs before I started work I noticed this strange-looking clump of stuff on a branch of a juniper bush.

It is made up of a lot of caterpillars of the Oak Processionary Moth all grouped together. They are called processionary because when they walk along the ground they go nose to tail like elephants and their procession can be a couple of metres long. It looks as though they like to sleep together in a big bunch too, there must be some sort of benefit to them from doing this. They used to be found around the Middle East and Mediterranean but in recent years they have colonised parts of northern Europe and UK too.

All those little hairs on them can break off in the event of an attack by a bird or other creature intent on eating them and if ingested they are highly poisonous.  The hairs can also float on the breeze and if inhaled by humans can cause very nasty symptoms and can even be fatal if they trigger an allergic reaction. There are reports of dogs losing parts of their tongues and even being killed by getting the hairs in their mouths. I was worried for my dogs because they could easily go sniffing around and come across a procession of them so I gave the bunch of them a liberal dosing with insecticide. If they aren’t dead by tomorrow I will put on some rubber gloves and a spray mask and collect them in a little plastic bag to be flushed down the loo.

I mentioned previously that the goat-herder’s dog comes into the garden, well here he is with Wilfred standing over him to let him know who is top dog around here.

The goat-herder is disgusted with him because he lets my dogs jump all over him, even little Minnie gives his ears a good ragging now and then.

Posted May 4, 2010 by cukurbagli in Animals

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