Merhaba from Mustafapasha
Merhaba from Mustafapasha,
Today we searched the area about 20 km south of Aksaray for I. sprengeri. The species inhabits rocky steppe, a habitat type that is prime for conversion to wheat cultivation. We searched every remnant steppe habitat we found for about five hours and were discouraged. At that point we called Erdogan to ask if we should continue trying in this area. He told us it was very difficult to find, almost impossible, but that he had found it there along a small dirt road. We looked for that road but found that its location was now a wheat field. Encouraged because Erdogan had succeeded several years earlier we continued to search in the area. After about two hours we found a small area with scattered Iris plants that were no more than 2 cm tall. We were quite certain we had found the species but were disappointed that it was not in bloom. We continued searching in this remnant habitat and found three flowers. They were difficult to see against the rocky substrate. We were elated!!
Unfortunately, our searching had attracted the attention of the landowner who came by motorcycle to investigate. Not wanting to draw his attention to the Iris we photographed every flower on the site hoping to bore him. After a while we walked back to the car and took out our fruit, nuts and water bottles. We offered him food, which he refused, and sat down to eat. He kept pointing out a mountainous area in the south that he felt we should travel to but we indicated we did not understand. Eventually he became bored with us and left. At his time we abandoned our snacks and photographed this diminutive Iris.
We then drove on to Mustafapasha in the Cappadocia region having accomplished one of our main goals for Turkey. We will travel from Mustafapasha to Tokat where we will see Erdogan. We hope to arrive in Tokat by the afternoon of the 3rd.
Caves/homes in Cappadocia region Guest House in Mustafapasha
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