MarHaba from Aleppo

MarHaba from Aleppo,

 

We left early this morning by bus to Al Borah where I. kirkwoodii subsp. macropetala occurs.  This is the site of impressive ruins of a Dead City that began in the 4th century, survived the crusades but was apparently deserted after an earthquake in the 12th century.  Although we could see the ruins from the site we visited we did not have time to hike there. 

 

The site for I. kirkwoodii subsp. macropetala is on farmlands owned by the family of a young law student Ahmed.  The farmland here is prosperous with olives, apricots, cherries and wheat.  Small fields have been cleared of rocks and additional soil has been brought in from areas within the village that are not being used for farming.  At this time farming is not intense and hummocks with native plants are left within the fields.

 

Ahmed’s mother prepared a meal for us of a potato and lamb skillet dish, rice, salad, humus, swiss chard, yoghurt, and flat bread.  The family is very warm and cheerful and chided us about our lack of appetite.  We left sleepy and full for the long bus trip back to Aleppo.

 

Tomorrow we will travel south by bus to search for Iris basaltica.

 

Ma’a salaama!

 

Carol

4/15/06

 

 

 

 

MarHaba from Aleppo,

 

Today we stayed in Aleppo.  It is Good Friday and Thomas wants to explore the town.  Clyde and I have considerable work to accomplish as well as planning for the next few days.  Tomorrow we will visit the site of the final member of the I. kirkwoodii complex before moving south to search for a species Thomas was unable to find on previous searches.  Tonight we met Thomas and walked to the Christian quarter.  We looked in the Greek Orthodox Church that was being cleaned for the evening mass and spent about an hour at the service in the Armenian Church.  We left the quarter at about 9:00 PM while Thomas stayed to see a church that was rumored to open only once a year on the evening of Good Friday.

 

Ma’a salaama!

 

Carol

4/14/06