27 March, 2010

First bloom

Just three hundred kilometers south in Antalya, the landscape is green and abloom year round. Here in Ankara, though, the procession of seasons is as marked and slow as New England. The day after i returned from Antalya there was a snow flurry, though nothing accumulated. But this week ornamental apple and - i think - plum trees all over campus are awash in white and pink. On others, the first leaves are emerging.

On the way to run a campus errand a few days ago, i walked past a little patch of dirt at the corner of a parking lot - one of those ornamental plantings in a distant corner of campus left forgotten, to its own devices. A tiny splash of yellow caught my eye, and on closer investigation, this is what i found:


Botanically inclined friends may note the six-petaled structure identifying these tiny beauties (less than 10 cm tall) as a member of the lily family. Which member remains a mystery. Turkiye's flora is, after all, the point of origin for another six-petaled harbinger of spring, the tulip, and the autumn-blooming saffron crocus was once among the most economically important plants of the region. I suppose i'll have to hunt up a pocket guide to wildflowers before too many more begin emerging!