Tuesday, 12 June 2018

At My Childhood Home in Ankara - Pictures from 1987 and 2017

Until I was about five years old, my family lived on the top floor of an apartment building with peculiar, green-tinted windows, in the Çankaya district of Ankara, Turkey's capital city. I fondly remember the green windows, and a sense of warmth, family, order and safety...

Afterwards my family and I moved to Istanbul, where, aside from a few work-and-study-related foreign episodes, I still live to this day. Whenever I visit Ankara, however, I always pass by our old family apartment. It still stands, full of life-sustaining memories... Our old home is on the top-right portion of the building in this photograph, with an open window. These days, one of my life ambitions is to move back to this house in my later years.

www.cmkosemen.com

Tuesday, 29 May 2018

Urban Weeds of Istanbul: A Brief Botanical Collection

I was always interested in the endless diversity of plants, and in late 2017 I decided to start a dedicated herbarium - with properly pressed, catalogued specimens.
Herbaria are most useful when they focus on a certain area or habitat, so I kept mine on "Istanbul's Wild Urban Flora" - that is to say, the weeds of Istanbul. I thought it was an under-researched area, and the mostly-overlooked "weed" plants actually had tremendous variety among themselves. Plus, living in metropolitan Istanbul myself, I wouldn't have to go anywhere special to collect plants.
So I got to work. I made two special stamps for my herbarium...
...the first was this "data stamp", which saved me from the effort of printing labels, or writing data points by hand. It had spaces for an overall collection counter, a collection title, the family, genus and species of the plants (left mostly blank, as I had no botanical training), a space for the name of the researcher who I hoped would one day properly ID my specimen, and various other spaces for coordinates, the type of the plant, and so on. I also included a metre-scale bar to make it easier for researchers to measure the plants.
I also made this fancy logo stamp...


I learnt all the tips on starting a botanical collection from the excellent "Field Techniques Used by Missouri Botanical Garden" website, compiled by R. Liesner and associates at the Missouri Botanical Garden; which I printed out and bound as an individual booklet. If you want to start a collection of your own, make sure to consult this valuable resource.
I thought a new era had opened in my life, and I would go on to create a botanical collection of hundreds of plates, which would keep me busy for decades. But the world of plants turned out to be vortex of time and attention, to which no one could commit "part of their time" and rest easy. Within weeks of starting this collection, I kept seeing new varieties of weeds and plants everywhere. Collecting, pressing and fixing specimens consumed so much of my time that I started neglecting my own work, book and arts projects. So, regrettably, I decided to "freeze" this collection after preparing 32 plates - 31 from Istanbul, and one from Ankara. I now contend myself with merely taking photographs and making cyanotype prints of plants. The plates sit at my office in an envelope, waiting for the day they will be donated to a botanical garden, university or similar institution. You can see them all below, as high-resolution scans.www.cmkosemen.com

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Flowers from Olympos

In Aptil 2018 I took upon the self-inflicted duty of photographing every type of flower I saw while on holiday in the Olympos-Çıralı district of Turkey's Antalya province.


I had visited the Olympos-Çıralı coast on this blog before, and also returned to it as part of an extended trekking adventure in 2016

This time around, I only wish to share with you my collection of flower photos from this beautiful and fateful place. Wild, domesticated and ornamental plants are all represented here. Simply put, if I saw a plant with flowers, I took its picture. Below are the results of this three-day bout of photographic flower-collecting. 

I am not botanically educated, and I wish to offer my gratitude to the members of the IFL Botany group on Facebook, most notably to Mr. Michael Vincent, for the identification of these flowers. Enjoy!



Rosaceae sp., perhaps Photinia.

Oxalis sp.

Oxalis sp.

Oxalis sp.

???

Tradescantia sp.

Rosaceae sp.

Malvaceae sp.

Boraginaceae sp.

Apiaceae sp.

Nyctaginaceae sp.

Lamiaceae sp.

Datura metel or similar species.

???

Malvaceae sp.

Day lily, Hemrocallis fulva.

Begonia sp.

???

???

Bougainvillea sp.

???

Ipomoea sp.

Hibiscus sp.

Anagallis arvensis.

Anagallis arvensis.

Oxalis sp.

Oenothera sp.

Asteraceae sp.?

???

Lantana sp.

???

Hypericum sp.

Sedum sp.

???

???

Proteaceae sp.

Aizoaceae sp.

Asteraceae sp.

Rosa sp.

Apocynaceae sp.

Lonicera sp.

Plumeria sp.

Apiaceae sp.

Lamiaceae sp.

???

Caryophyllaceae sp.

Pelargonium sp.

Verbenaceae sp.

Gazania sp.

Papaver rhoeas

Tecomaria capensis ?, Bignoniaceae.

Opuntia sp.

Melia azedarach.

Plumeria sp.

Apocynaceae sp.

???

Kalanchoe sp.

Papaver rhoeas.

Asteraceae sp.

Oenothera sp.

Bauhinia sp.

Punica granatum.

Malvaceae sp.

Pelargonium sp.

Fabaceae sp.

Asteraceae sp.

"Fumariaceae" sp.

???

Asteraceae sp.

Myrtaceae, perhaps Callistemon sp.

Onagraceae sp.

Petunia hybrid, Solanaceae.

Acanthaceae sp.

???

Asteraceae sp.

Amaryllis, in the genus Hippeastrum.

Asteraceae sp.

Vinca sp., Apocynaceae.

Verbena sp.

Phlomis sp., Lamiaceae.

Euphorbia sp.

Asteraceae sp.

Canna sp.

Rubiaceae sp.

Ranunculus sp.

Convolulaceae sp.

Ornithogalum sp.

???