Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Golden Days of Late Summer

It is September but summer is still in the air here in Istanbul. The weather has been holding steady at about 24 degrees in the afternoon and the salmony-pink golden evenings have been delicious.

This streak of good weather has played an important role in my afternoon adventures with A and O. This week a colleague of mine reminded me about the terrapins noting he had seen at least twenty, and a baby duck. This tickled me because I was sure the pond had been bull-dozed by all of the construction on campus and I knew A and O would be up for a turtle-seeking adventure. The next day, on an afternoon walk with the boys and our neighbor friend C, I asked them if they wanted to go and see the terrapins. To my delight, they squealed and chortled at the idea and then stopped and asked, "but what is a terrapin?"

"Well, it is a turtle, but it lives in the water."

(insert long pause and far off looks)

"Ya! let's go see the terrapins"

So we made our plan that after C asked her parents for permission, and if they said yes, she would be at our door as soon as she changed out of of her school clothes the very next day.

So the terrapin adventure began promptly at 4:35 with a definite knock at our kitchen door. We geared up and headed out.

It had been about 5 years since I had seen the terrapin pond, and there are new roads being built, so I wasn't sure where to go exactly. Unfortunately, we went to the wrong water run off which was murky and overgrown by cattails, so even if there were terrapins living there, we couldn't see them. Much to the kids' disappointment, we had to head back with only a view of the diggers and dump trucks doing digger and dump truck things. A way up the road we tried for about ten steps to walk across the field, but O 's leg got scratched with blackberry brambles, so when giggles turned into tears, I decided the terrapins could wait for another day.

And another day was the next day. Soon after school was over on Friday, we again put on our shoes and headed out in search for the water dwellers. After going down another wrong road, and answering two dozen variations of the question "but where are the terrapins?" we finally laid our eyes on the much sought after, and talked about, terrapin pond. In the inky water we saw black pointy heads poking out of the water, ducking under each time one of the littles shifted in the grass or made a noise. I got a good work out from lifting each of them up to get a better view and they were satisfied with finally seeing the elusive terrapins.

On our way back, ensconced in the golden-warm summer evening, we nibbled on wild blackberries, chased butterflies and chatted about our favorite animals, foods and colors.

It was a good adventure with some cool little people.


  1. Great smiles in this picture. Love it.

  2. Another adventure, I could see you all in my mind's eye in reading about it.

    Love youse,