Scottish Rock Garden Club Forum

General Subjects => Travel / Places to Visit => Topic started by: art600 on May 26, 2008, 05:30:26 PM

Title: Iran 2008
Post by: art600 on May 26, 2008, 05:30:26 PM
I could not decide whether to post my photos under the various genera, or as a travelogue.  Finally I decided on the latter.

7 hardy souls left Heathrow on April 13 for Teheran.  After a short sleep we left to fly to Mashad in the east of Iran.  The next 10 days were spent exploring the countryside back to Teheran, where we picked up the final member of our party.  The final 11 days were spent in NW iran, including a trip to Marivan on the Iraqi border.

We were disappointed to find that Iran had not had a great deal of snow during the winter - think it all went to Canada - and were suffering a drought when we were there.  The quantity of plants was therefore much reduced, although there were exceptions.

0319  Our leader Jill White dressed to enter a mausoleum in Bastam
0211  Group photo including our driver - minus me
0178  Azadi Arch Teheran
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: art600 on May 26, 2008, 05:44:47 PM
0181  Typical terrain outside Mashad
0180  Iris songarica
0179  Iris songarica
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: art600 on May 26, 2008, 05:47:47 PM
The following show how co-operation can achieve wonderful results.  I am still looking for someone to do the hard work.

Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: art600 on May 26, 2008, 05:54:15 PM
0194  Queing for that special plant - we were already getting desparate to see plants
0197  Allium sp.
0198  Close up
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: art600 on May 26, 2008, 05:56:10 PM
0200  Rose of Persia
0201  Ancient observatory on way to Faruj
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: art600 on May 26, 2008, 05:59:27 PM
0208  Treasure trove of nuts and dried fruit
0209   Happy owner - and we did not even buy anything this time
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: art600 on May 26, 2008, 06:03:36 PM
Here are a couple that should not be sat on

Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: art600 on May 26, 2008, 06:06:42 PM
A valley near Imam Qoli  We were at 2190m and had stopped as someone had caught a flash of blue out of the window.  There was evidence of Dionysias in the cliffs, but my lens was not large enough, but in the rocks we found Hyacinthus transcaspica
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: art600 on May 26, 2008, 06:15:16 PM
We were looking for the site found by Paul Furze of Scilla khorasanica.  We were successful and after a hairraising climb up some steep cliffs I made it to a spot where they were still in flower.  I regret not taking a habitat shot, as this would show how difficult a climb it was - will post it when I get a CD from someone with more forethought than me.

0230  Not only New Zealand has vegetable sheep.  In this case I think it is Gypsophila aretoides
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: art600 on May 26, 2008, 06:23:28 PM
Now for a very attractive Iris.  In previous years they could have been numbered in hundreds, we were just pleased to see any.

0236, 0238 and 0241  Iris fosteriana
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: ashley on May 26, 2008, 06:50:02 PM
Fascinating pictures Arthur; I've been looking forward to these. 
Had the drought affected the timing as well as extent of growth?
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: art600 on May 26, 2008, 07:12:41 PM
Yes - the season was very early, a minimum of 3 weeks.  However, there were exceptions as you will see when I post more.  I had resized all the photos, but now find they are generally too large and need further resizing.

There are some beautiful Iris meda in so many different colours, Iris acutiloba (including a spectacular form), Fritillaria grandiflora and poluninii etc still to come.
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: Luc Gilgemyn on May 27, 2008, 10:09:11 AM
Very interesting indeed Arthur !  :o
Great pix and very promising for anything further you will be posting.
I'll be looking forward to that.
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: Joakim B on May 27, 2008, 10:49:42 AM
Art I am looking forward to the story You know how to make people want more :)

Kind regards
Joakim
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: art600 on May 27, 2008, 11:57:46 AM
Here are some tulips.  At this time I cannot name them
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: art600 on May 27, 2008, 12:03:30 PM
Some Irises growing with the tulips at 1830m 

Not sure what 0248 is
I believe 0252 is Iris kopetdaghensis
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: art600 on May 27, 2008, 12:09:14 PM
We had hoped to see Fritillaria gibbosa in quantity.  In the end we were grateful to see any, especially when they showed variation in colour.  There was evidence of rust on some plants
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: Joakim B on May 27, 2008, 01:09:14 PM
Arthur or Art (What do You prefer?)
Great plants and so different from what one normally sees.
Thanks for this round. Maybe someone can identify the tulips with the funny foliage.
I hope You have more to show.
Kind regards
Joakim
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: art600 on May 27, 2008, 01:43:03 PM
Joakim

There are lots more to post, including a host of Iris meda in many colours.

Art
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: art600 on May 27, 2008, 04:24:32 PM
Some attractive Iris acutiloba - possibly ewbvankiana.  Growing at 800m
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: art600 on May 27, 2008, 04:45:28 PM
We were priveliged to visit the Golestan National Park.  This was the Shah's hunting area and is enclosed by a chain link fence.
Even though we had a permit, it took 2 hours to validate it at the Rangers' station.

We had hoped to see Crocus almehensis, but we were informed that they were over.

As the animals were breeding, we would not be permitted to take our bus into the park and would be required to walk!

It was a blisteringly hot day, but we decided that we would walk to see Fritillaria raddeana - these had been glorious in 2006 (I was not on this trip)

0279  View after approx 15 mins walking
0280  Looking back to the park entrance - in the far distance
0287  Because of the presence of predators, we were accompanied by an armed guard - he was very interested in the plants and took notes from us

Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: art600 on May 27, 2008, 04:48:20 PM
Eventually after about one hour we reached the site of Fritillaria raddeana.  They were over!

Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: ian mcenery on May 27, 2008, 05:49:19 PM
Amazing landscape and plants Arthur. How difficult is it to organise  a trip in Iran these days and what restrictions are there?

Ian
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: art600 on May 27, 2008, 06:14:15 PM
Amazing landscape and plants Arthur. How difficult is it to organise  a trip in Iran these days and what restrictions are there?

Ian

Ian

Remarkably simple to organise - you have to use an agent in Iran to do the booking etc, but otherwise you decide the itinerary, how many people you plan to have in the group and when you want to go.

Our leader is planning to go again next year - can send you an email with her details if you would like.  Can certainly recommend her, after all I have been 3 times.
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: Carlo on May 27, 2008, 07:27:42 PM
I'd like the contact information. Although others in the forum may be interested, feel free to email me personally if that suits you better. Thanks...this is a fascinating country.
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: ian mcenery on May 27, 2008, 09:28:56 PM
Thanks Arthur I will email you separately
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: Lvandelft on May 27, 2008, 10:40:42 PM
Very interesting these pictures, Arthur. So  good to see the habitats of these
plants we not often see. Interesting to see these tulips in nature.
Must have been a wonderful trip, despite you did not see as many plants in flower,
as you hoped for. Thank you for showing these pictures.
And... photo's of other things than plants are very welcome.
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: art600 on May 28, 2008, 12:12:16 AM
Some more Iris acutiloba
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: art600 on May 28, 2008, 12:30:20 AM
After seeing that the Fritillaria raddeana had flowered, the ranger asked if we would like to see Jungle or Desert.  We all chose Jungle as it sounded vaguely cooler than desert.  It turned out to be a walk through dense forest.  We were delighted to see our first orchid and an allium in flower.

The group photo shows us after the 'jungle' - think the others were lost in it!

0288  Monkey  orchid
0292  Allium chelotum
0295  Allium closeup

Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: art600 on May 28, 2008, 01:00:59 AM
We spent the night before one of our most successful days in a town house.  Very clean, a kitchen to prepare food, and blankets and pillows - no beds.  Even though I am well padded it was very uncomfortable.  I did not think I had slept a wink, but my friends assured me I had - my snoring had kept them awake.  If you want to see the flowers it is sometimes necessary to suffer. 
Next to the OLANG Pass.  This was quite, by comparison, a very floriferous area.  We were too late to see Galanthus transcaucasica in flower but judging by the numbers found in seed it must have been breathtaking.  They were found from 1800m to 2000m

We did find Alliums by a stream and an ornithogalum.  There was much evidence of Crocus speciosus and reticulate irises, sadly long since over.

Some of the group decided to climb to the top of the ridge where we had lunch.  they were rewarded by finding Fritillaria grandiflora in flower - I will post photos when I receive copies of their CDs.

0297  Allium sp.
0299  Allium closeup
0300  Ornithogalum  Could this be O. bungei
0301  Ornithogalum ?bungei

 
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: art600 on May 28, 2008, 01:30:21 AM
We also found an orchid and at the top of the Olang pass 2230m we found plenty of red tulips.

Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: art600 on May 28, 2008, 01:38:45 AM
We found a white Tulipa biflora at 2040m.

0309  Habitat for the red tulips
0310  Tulipa biflora
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: art600 on May 28, 2008, 01:51:22 AM
We were very pleased to spend our next night in the luxury of an ITTIC hotel.  This is a chain of government run hotels that offer clean and comfortable accomodation.

We spent some time visiting the tomb of the poet and mystic Abu Yazid al-Bistami (d. 874).  There is a mausoleum, a 12th-century minaret and mosque wall, a superb portal (1313), and a 15th-century college. Nearby are interesting ruins, including a mosque and a cloister.
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: art600 on May 28, 2008, 01:54:49 AM
Further pictures from the mausoleum complex
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: Luc Gilgemyn on May 28, 2008, 08:59:30 AM
More great pictures Arthur !  :o
Must have been a wonderful and interesting trip !  :D
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: Anthony Darby on May 28, 2008, 11:57:52 AM
Some amazing plants and those archaeological sites surely cannot be viewed without hearing music from the Indiana Jones films? 8)
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: art600 on May 28, 2008, 12:06:06 PM
Anthony
I have some special photos just for you - hope to load them shortly.
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: David Nicholson on May 28, 2008, 07:07:52 PM
A cracking set of pictures Arthur, I'm enjoying them.
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: mark smyth on May 28, 2008, 07:16:49 PM
Great selection of photos. I would like to see larger photos posted around 600 or 700 pixels wide
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: art600 on May 28, 2008, 07:49:08 PM
Mark

In order to keep to the 350kb limit for any reply, I need to make them quite small.  alternatively only post 2 photos per reply.  When I have some specials will post larger.
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: Maggi Young on May 28, 2008, 08:05:23 PM
Arthur, I have emailed you with this note, also... the 350kb limit is per individual photo, not for the whole ten.
 Cheers,
 Maggi
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: art600 on May 28, 2008, 10:40:11 PM
Maggi

That is what I thought until it rejected my post as too large.

Will try again - if successful will go back and increase size of some of the more interesting photos
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: art600 on May 28, 2008, 10:47:30 PM
Here goes -  it can be very tiring when you have not seen a flower all day.  Photos courtesy of Janis Ruksans.  This must have been the one occasion when I was awake!
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: art600 on May 28, 2008, 11:17:15 PM
Thankfully my postings were not rejected.  I have gone back and increased the size of some photos and added a couple of photos in the Golestan Park.  You can tell where I have increased the size as it indicates modification has taken place.

In future all will be 600 x 400  or 400 x 600 - it is certainly easier to resize.
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: art600 on May 28, 2008, 11:31:03 PM
Some street scenes - as we are in Kurdistan, the gents wear 'baggy' trousers and headgear.  The women tend to be more colourful.

The daily routine included buying bread, fruit and vegetables.  In this case it appears that the fruit was not up to standard.

All these photos were taken by Janis - he had a long lens
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: art600 on May 28, 2008, 11:38:11 PM
Some road scenes.  The driving in Iran is probably amongst the worst in the world - certainly I would rather drive in Madrid, or round the Arc de Triomphe, in preference to a drive in Teheran.  Driving in the countryside is not much better.
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: art600 on May 31, 2008, 10:10:53 AM
Anthony

I promised something special for you - a Praying Mantis.  We also saw a Tarantula, but unfortunately did not manage to photograph it.
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: art600 on May 31, 2008, 10:16:03 AM
There were literally hundreds of these running/jumping around.  It came as some surprise to find them climbing trees.
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: art600 on May 31, 2008, 10:31:08 AM
Some more Iris acutiloba - I think ssp acutiloba.  These were magnificent plants found at 1500m.  The flowers were more than 11 cm tip to tip.
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: art600 on May 31, 2008, 10:45:03 AM
Now for some Iris meda.  Whereas in 2004 & 2005 the plants had flowers up 25cm high and in clumps worthy of a Forrest medal, this year clumps were much smaller and flowers only 10cms high.

Found at a number of sites in the NW of Iran - none were seen by us east of Teheran.
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: art600 on May 31, 2008, 10:49:53 AM
More Iris meda
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: Maggi Young on May 31, 2008, 12:12:42 PM
Arthur, these Iris are glorious...I love them all......just wish you had kept those bug shots to yourself!!I've come over all itchy for some reason ::) :o ;) ;) Just TOO many LEGS!
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: art600 on May 31, 2008, 12:42:34 PM
Maggi

I agree about the bugs, but at least 2 Forumists love them.

Lots more flowers to come, some architecture and people - when I have the time.
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: Maggi Young on May 31, 2008, 12:53:48 PM
I guess more than two forumists like the bugs, Arthur!  Super pictures, though... I do quite like to be able to see such detail without having to get up close and personal with the beasties! Colours on the grasshoppers are terrific.... long way from just being green, aren't they?
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: art600 on May 31, 2008, 01:02:31 PM
Maggi

They are NOT grasshoppers - cannot remember what our resident entomologist called them.  He was also  wonderfully knowledgeable on butterflys - of which there were many and he and Bob Charman photographed them all (I managed to snap one they missed). 
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: Lvandelft on May 31, 2008, 02:38:30 PM
Wonderful series again, Arthur.
I'm very curious what's coming up next.
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: Joakim B on May 31, 2008, 03:42:08 PM
Art :) amazing, anticipating ancoming anslought angsiously 8) 8) :o :o
Irresistible Irises
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: David Nicholson on May 31, 2008, 06:44:15 PM
Smashing pics Arthur but I share Maggi's view as far as the beasties are concerned.

Good alliteration Joakim, top marks ;D
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: Anthony Darby on May 31, 2008, 08:14:20 PM
The mantis is an immature Empusa sp. The females never eat their partners. I don't recognise the bush crickets.
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: Luc Gilgemyn on June 01, 2008, 03:28:59 PM
Wonderful Iris Art ! Stunning pictures ! :o
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: Kristl Walek on June 01, 2008, 05:36:49 PM
an absolutely superb thread...

my favorite plant so far is the elegant Iris acutiloba
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: tonyg on June 01, 2008, 10:08:17 PM
Great selection of pics and info Arthur - thanks :) :)
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: Hans A. on June 02, 2008, 09:02:44 AM
Congratulations Arthur - thanks for the wonderful photos and the good information - after the dry winter there i did not expect you would find so many extraordinary plants.
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: art600 on June 02, 2008, 09:58:15 AM
Just outside Sanjan we found this typical village.  The surrounding area was very dry, but we did find Iris meda and several other plants.

0377/8  Tulipa humilis
0379/82 Corydalis
0376      Ranunculus sp.     

Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: art600 on June 02, 2008, 10:12:57 AM
Further along the road we came to the first site that had flowers behaving as if it had been a normal season.  The Fritillaria - possibly olivieri - were growing alongside a stream that could only be reached by a scramble down a very steep slope.  The risk of a broken limb was, however, worth it.

Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: art600 on June 02, 2008, 10:23:03 AM
Further along the road, at the site of the outstanding Iris acutiloba ssp acutiloba, we found some very impressive flowering mounds.  Would certainly like these in my garden, although they would take up quite a lot of room - approx 1 metre across
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: art600 on June 02, 2008, 10:36:26 AM
Some of the villages are located in very difficult places with donkey tracks for access.  However further along the road we found evidence of roads being built to reach these villages.
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: art600 on June 02, 2008, 01:22:20 PM
We travelled along the Caspian Sea for a short distance, before turning inland towards Khalkhal and the Talysh mountains.

Along the sea are many paddy fields.  We also saw this 'interesting' bridge.  It looked of quite recent construction, so we could only imagine it was part of a future park :o ;D  There were steps down to a filthy stream and rubbish was everywhere - the Iranians follow the Greeks and Turks in disposing of rubbish anywhere.

In the forest we managed to see some woodlanders.  I think the orchid is the white helleborine, and the yellow plant is something like Rhinosaur elephantis - would appreciate someone giving me the correct identification. 
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: art600 on June 02, 2008, 02:18:08 PM
We reached a point on the road where in 2005 the hillside was covered in Corydalis cava, red, yellow and intermediate shades.  This year nothing.  However, there was a beautiful Paeonia and the following photos are by Janis Ruksans who, along with some others braved to risky climb to capture its beauty.  I climbed a dry waterfall - not easy- and was rewarded with photos of a rare orchid Stevensellia satyroides (I was told) - apologies for the not so sharp photos.

I have added 4 photos from 2005 (Just managed to find the card and download the photos.  I felt that you should enjoy the magnificent Corydalis cava
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: ranunculus on June 02, 2008, 02:33:48 PM
Amazing trip Arthur ... many thanks for posting.
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: art600 on June 02, 2008, 04:08:58 PM
The best is yet to come.
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: art600 on June 02, 2008, 05:49:35 PM
A little further along the road we came to some of the Yaylas.  Then a hummock covered with another of my favourite plants Pulsatilla albana.
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: art600 on June 02, 2008, 06:21:18 PM
Then we reached a place we had hoped to find all trip - plants in profusion according to the season.  Not sure why this particular spot had so many flowers, but we were very grateful to spend a happy hour photographing them.

The Fritillaria is grandiflora or kotschyanus ssp grandiflora, and is growing through a thick carpet of Colchicum speciosus leaves and Galanthus transcaucasicus leaves.  Search as everyone did, we could not find a flower of G. transcaucasicus.  You will notice evidence of Lily beetle and I think on 0459 evidence of virus.

Enjoy - we certainly did
 
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: art600 on June 02, 2008, 06:33:12 PM
A few more Fritillaria grandiflora
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: hadacekf on June 02, 2008, 06:53:36 PM
Congratulations Arthur, great selection of stunning pictures and the good information. Thanks
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: art600 on June 02, 2008, 08:01:25 PM
Thinking nothing could possibly top the Frit site we proceeded towards Khalkhal.  Not far along we came across some Iranian families having a picnic - every Friday cities empty as families go into the countryside for a picnic.  We stopped to see if there were any flowers to photograph and found Galanthus transcaucasicus.
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: Maggi Young on June 02, 2008, 09:20:23 PM
Arthur, with these photos you have just cheered up thousands of snowdrop deprived galanthophiles! Well done! ;)
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: art600 on June 02, 2008, 09:24:44 PM
They certainly cheered us up.
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: art600 on June 02, 2008, 11:49:20 PM
Maggi
I have just managed to download my photos from the 2005 Iran trip.  As you liked the 3 Galanthus transcaucasica I saw this year, I thought I should post some from 2005, although I do realise this will only reactivate the fever.
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: art600 on June 03, 2008, 12:43:33 AM
I have added some additional photographs to Reply 68.  Whereas we were lucky to see the beautiful Paeonia this year, I really missed the Corydalis.
Having put the cards from 2005 in a safe place, I could not find them.  Happily I did find them recently and downloaded the photos.  Enjoy some spectacular Corydalis
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: Anthony Darby on June 03, 2008, 09:13:15 AM
What an amazing trip you must have had, in spite of many plants being over. Those snowdrops must look fantastic when in flower! 8)
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: art600 on June 04, 2008, 11:33:13 PM
Just outside Khalkhal we reached a site where, in 2005, we had seen huge numbers of fritillaria grandiflora and the start of paeonias emerging from the soil.  This year there was no evidence of Frits, but the Paeonias made up for this by being in glorious bloom.
We think the Paeonia may be 'Molly the Witch', but there is a doubt about this.
Relaxing amongst the flowers we watched a large mixed herd of goats and sheep crossing the hillside driven by a shepherd and his 2 dogs.  We then watched as the herd decided to go in a completely different direction and watched as they were in turn hesitant when they reached the very steep slope, and determined when the first sheep went over the edge.  The shepherd had no chance keeping control.
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: art600 on June 04, 2008, 11:53:13 PM
On the road from TAKAB to SAQQEZ we saw something completely different.  I would appreciate someone giving me the correct name for this plant.  In the immediate vicinity was a splendid allium that I would like in my garden - can someone supply a name please.
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: Maggi Young on June 05, 2008, 01:29:12 PM
I don't know what that rather nice Allium is, Arthur, but the red wonder is Phelypaea coccinea a parasitic plant , family Orobanchaceae. Stunning, isn't it? It was shown in an AGS show earlier in the year, at Chesterfield, perhaps?
Michael Almond mentions this plant in his article on Georgia, see here: http://www.srgc.org.uk/journal/almond/highvalleysofgeorgia.html
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: art600 on June 05, 2008, 01:35:56 PM
Thanks Maggi - I knew is was a Phelypaea, but not how to spell it.
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: Diane Clement on June 05, 2008, 01:38:13 PM
I don't know what that rather nice Allium is, Arthur, but the red wonder is Phelypaea coccinea a parasitic plant , family Orobanchaceae. Stunning, isn't it? It was shown in an AGS show earlier in the year, at Chesterfield, perhaps?


Phelypaea coccinea was shown at Chesterfield, in a pot with its host Centauria.  There's a picture of it
http://www.srgc.org.uk/smf/index.php?topic=1610.0  reply #14

Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: Anthony Darby on June 06, 2008, 10:24:42 AM
I am fascinated by parasitic and saprophytic plants (the bird's nest orchid grows in the woods near me and I grow Orobanche hederae on my ivy in the garden), so will be on the look out for seeds of this plant.
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: art600 on June 09, 2008, 08:36:15 AM
Left Khalkhal to drive to Miyaneh.  Took a previously untravelled road in the hope of finding something new.  The road turned out to be exciting - from a driving point of view, as it was largely dirt - and we saw some spectacular 'weeds'
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: Gerdk on June 09, 2008, 08:53:36 AM
Arthur,
Found your pictures as recently as today. Very interesting report - needless to say that I became a little bit envious and shocked by the mass of Galanthus .

Gerd
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: art600 on June 09, 2008, 08:58:30 AM
Gerd
We too were shocked at the hillside of leaves intermingled with the Fritillaria grandiflora - that must have been a truly magnificent site, some weeks earlier.
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: art600 on June 09, 2008, 10:35:56 PM
When we stopped for lunch, we discovered this interesting bridge.  It appeared to be made from a section of fencing.  I walked across it - not me in the picture - and found it quite strong.

We saw several Ornithogalums.  I also managed to photograph a butterfly - could someone please identify it.

We passed several villages and if we stopped to photograph flowers, someone would appear as if from nowhere to invite us all back for tea.  the Kurdish people are very friendly and hospitable.
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: art600 on June 09, 2008, 11:04:52 PM
Next to Marivan a town that is close to the Iraqi border.

We made our way to the 8 - Frit mountain - so called because in a normal season it is possible to find 8 Fritillaria in flower.  It was a Friday and it seemed that everyone from Marivan had also decided to go to the border.  The roads were full of overloaded cars, trucks, motorcycles all intent on finding the best place for a picnic.

When we arrived at the area where we expected to see Fritillarias, it soon became obvious that drought had also affected this area.  Nevertheless we set out to find one of the rare Fritillarias - poluninii.

I scrambled along a narrow path following my pal who had seen the Frit in 2006.  The path was on the side of a hill with a slope that descended into a valley several hundred metres below.  Try as I could to go forward, I froze and had to return on my bottom to more substantial ground.  As I made my way back to our bus to await the return of my more adventurous colleagues, some Iranians from Sanandaj (our next base and at least 2 hours from here) invited me to share their picnic.  I then spent the next hour happily eating and drinking and wondering what I had missed.

The following attempt to capture the atmosphere of the picnic.
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: Anthony Darby on June 09, 2008, 11:36:55 PM
The butterfly is the Niobe Fritillary (Argynnis niobe). It is similar to our High Brown Fritillary (A. adippe), which is a rare, local species found as far north as Cumbria. Both feed on Viola spp. as larvae (caterpillars) and over-winter as fully formed larvae within the egg.
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: art600 on June 09, 2008, 11:57:55 PM
Fortunately two of the group had gone in the opposite direction, and after lunch they took us to the site of Fritillaria poluninii.  They had managed to find one plant with 7 flowers, but search as we did we could not find it again (I will post on the Fritillaria thread when I get a copy).
In addition we did find occasional plants of Fritillaria straussii, imperialis and crassifolia.
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: art600 on June 10, 2008, 12:17:20 AM
On the road from Marivan to Sanandaj we saw more flowers

The bees on the Allium are Carpenter and Solitary.

0655 shows the hillside where we found the Orabanche, together with seedheads on Frit persica and another that could not be identified.  From the road it did not look possible anything would be found.
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: art600 on June 10, 2008, 12:27:53 AM
Just outside the village of Tizh Tizh we found an area with orchids.  Could somebody please identify - I did not record it at the time.
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: art600 on June 13, 2008, 11:35:56 AM
I cannot believe that nobody can identify this beautiful orchid.  Would really appreciate your help as I want to give a name to all the plants I saw.

Thanks in anticipation of the usual expertise.
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: Anthony Darby on June 13, 2008, 12:01:57 PM
It seems to be vigorous and if it was a singleton I would have said hybrid. It looks like a Dactaylorhiza sp.
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: art600 on June 13, 2008, 12:22:01 PM
Thanks Anthony - there were quite a few in the area.

Especially for you another bug - told this could be sold in Europe for a lot of money.   

Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: Tony Willis on June 13, 2008, 08:49:03 PM
Arthur very nice series of photographs of a wonderful trip.

I think your orchid is a dactylorhiza in the urvilleana group which spreads across this area.I have previously tried to identify one I have found in NE Turkey and I see Gerd in his pictures of the same area of NE Turkey has given the name as urvilleana to one he found.I called the one I found this as well. It seems every variant has been named at some time and the keys prove almost impossible but I think this is a reasonable attempt.
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: Hans A. on June 13, 2008, 09:32:38 PM
Wonderful thread, thanks Arthur.
Your Orchid could be Dactylorhiza umbrosa (incarnata relative)- it is said to be widespread in Iran.
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: Lesley Cox on June 16, 2008, 10:20:41 PM
Oh God, the IRISES!!!

If Arthur hadn't sent me a seedy note this morning, I would have missed this thread altogether, one of many that vanished into the ether when my computer misbehaved for 3 weeks. So thank you, thank you, thank you Arthur.

I've found this one of the best threads on the whole Forum with stunning plants, amazing landscapes, superb buildings and structures and interesting people. I've had a real feel for the country, one which is all too much of a mystery to most of us, that impression aggravated by "political" messages from elsewhere. Some good lessons to be learned here about plants and people. I can't thank you enough Arthur.
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: Anthony Darby on June 17, 2008, 09:07:32 AM
Not sure why the bush cricket would be valuable? Perhaps dipped in chocolate? :P I buy southern European House Crickets @ ~10/1000 for the chameleons.
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: art600 on June 17, 2008, 10:37:29 AM
Not sure why the bush cricket would be valuable? Perhaps dipped in chocolate? :P I buy southern European House Crickets @ ~10/1000 for the chameleons.

Unless I have posted the wrong bug, I was informed this was a jewelled beetle and valuable to collectors.  Will check with the source of info and advise further.
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: art600 on June 17, 2008, 10:44:11 AM
A few more photos.  This Scilla persica
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: art600 on June 17, 2008, 11:06:08 AM
On the road between Marivan and Sanandaj, there is a mosque.  You would think that mosques would be in every village, as is the case in Turkey, but they are very few.  This one has a very old copy of the Koran, and when I was here in 2005, the Imam rushed out to ask if we could help to get back 2 pages of the Koran that are in the British Library.
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: art600 on June 17, 2008, 11:10:35 AM
Just outside of Sanandaj there is a hill.  In the good times i.e. a normal season, there were many goodies.  This year the climb reminded me of the film 'The Hill' where soldiers were forced to climb a manufactured hill in full gear, including a large rucksack.
This is me with our guide, at the top, explaining that I had not expected to find anything - and I had not been disappointed!  Well we did find a large tortoise.
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: Anthony Darby on June 17, 2008, 11:13:12 AM
Not sure why the bush cricket would be valuable? Perhaps dipped in chocolate? :P I buy southern European House Crickets @ ~10/1000 for the chameleons.

Unless I have posted the wrong bug, I was informed this was a jewelled beetle and valuable to collectors.  Will check with the source of info and advise further.

Certainly no beetle - an Orthopteran of the family Tettigoniidae.
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: art600 on June 17, 2008, 11:24:26 AM
About 40km. outside Hamadan is a site that I was looking forward to seeing again.  This was where we found the 'Moleskin' irises.
When we arrived, we noticed that  there was a hut and signs of excavation.  We also heard muffled sounds like explosives.
Climbing up the steep hill to find the irises, I had to stop to retie my laces.  Out of nowhere a man appeared who started talking to me in an agitated fashion.  Fortunately I was with John who speaks Farsi.  We were being ordered off the hill, as it was a restricted area (there were no signs and the area was not surrounded by barbed wire).  Other men appeared and went to search for the others.

At the coach we were all ordered to place our cameras on the dashboard and told that we must wait for their boss to arrive.  In the meantime, some of the men were looking at the photographs taken by James and Pietro - they examined every picture.  They then said we could go on and they would not be confiscating our cameras.  As we drove off our conversation turned to why we had been ordered off the hillside.  Could it be a nuclear installation - details of the site have been saved and can be given to MI5 if they ask nicely.
 

Janis Ruksans had managed to take some photos of the 'Moleskin' and these are shown below
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: art600 on June 17, 2008, 11:30:14 AM
The final photo of the trip. 

Even though there had been drought in areas and the flowers had not been as plentiful, we all enjoyed ourselves.  Here are the happy trippers in the desert between Hamadan and Teheran - with our driver who continues to amaze us with his skill managing a bus in the totally mad driving conditions that are Iran.
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: Anthony Darby on June 17, 2008, 11:50:56 AM
A fascinating account. 8) Fantastic pics and that 'moleskin' iris looks like a wee gem? :)
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: Gerdk on June 17, 2008, 11:55:27 AM
What an interesting report ! What an amount of rare plants, what a nice group!
I enjoyed it so much!
Thank you Arthur!

Gerd

Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: Luc Gilgemyn on June 17, 2008, 01:04:00 PM
Art,
Many many thanks for a fascinating and most interesting report !
Fabulous pictures ! (The moleskin Iris is wonderful !)   ;D
Thanks a million !
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: ranunculus on June 17, 2008, 02:33:23 PM
Superb Art ... a pleasure to read.
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: Hans A. on June 17, 2008, 03:30:03 PM
Arthur, great- thanks for all the pictures and the good information - The moleskin Iris are the plants I hoped you would show - thanks again :D
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: art600 on June 17, 2008, 03:46:53 PM
Thank you everyone for your kind comments.

I was certain that only a few of you would be lucky enough to visit this interesting country with its wealth of flowers and friendly people (epecially the Kurds in the NW).
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: David Nicholson on June 17, 2008, 06:37:10 PM
Thank you Arthur, a thoroughly enjoyable set of pictures.
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: Lesley Cox on June 17, 2008, 09:57:29 PM
Not sure why the bush cricket would be valuable? Perhaps dipped in chocolate? :P I buy southern European House Crickets @ ~10/1000 for the chameleons.

Do you have to let these loose in the house Anthony so the chameleons can catch them? Don't suppose they want them dished up dead on a plate. :D
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: Lesley Cox on June 17, 2008, 10:07:36 PM
Arthurs what species is the Moleskin iris? There is lovely variation and I particularly like the last one. I also love the tiny tortoise in Reply#94. Is it a baby or a tiny species? And I also like the sign over the gate in today's postings. I guess that's Frit imperialis?

All in all, a very interesting and beautiful report. Thanks again Arthur. (You'll be going back very soon for iris seed? ;D ;D ;D)
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: art600 on June 17, 2008, 11:41:50 PM
Arthurs what species is the Moleskin iris? There is lovely variation and I particularly like the last one. I also love the tiny tortoise in Reply#94. Is it a baby or a tiny species? And I also like the sign over the gate in today's postings. I guess that's Frit imperialis?

All in all, a very interesting and beautiful report. Thanks again Arthur. (You'll be going back very soon for iris seed? ;D ;D ;D)

The Moleskin Iris is thought to be a hybrid, but the parents are unknown.  Jim Archibald wrote an article for the AGS Bulletin called something like "Queens of the Desert".  He spoke about Iris meda, acutiloba, lycotis and others.  He also spoke about the Moleskin.  If my volumes were in order I would be able to give you the reference - ANYONE ORGANISED?
I think the tortoise is a junior - we found two of this size.
I think you are right about the Frit imperialis.
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: Anthony Darby on June 18, 2008, 10:22:53 AM
Not sure why the bush cricket would be valuable? Perhaps dipped in chocolate? :P I buy southern European House Crickets @ ~10/1000 for the chameleons.

Do you have to let these loose in the house Anthony so the chameleons can catch them? Don't suppose they want them dished up dead on a plate. :D

Chameleons and crickets confined. Not sure what species the tortoise is as it doesn't fit the species found round the Med.
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: Maggi Young on June 18, 2008, 01:11:25 PM

The Moleskin Iris is thought to be a hybrid, but the parents are unknown.  Jim Archibald wrote an article for the AGS Bulletin called something like "Queens of the Desert".  He spoke about Iris meda, acutiloba, lycotis and others.  He also spoke about the Moleskin.  If my volumes were in order I would be able to give you the reference - ANYONE ORGANISED?
I think the tortoise is a junior - we found two of this size.
I think you are right about the Frit imperialis.


Arthur, the article by Jim Archibald you mention is in Volume 67 No. 3. pages 245 to page 264. The title is " Silken sad uncertain queens"..... a quote from Reginald Farrer.



We need "Bio" from France, the Tortoise expert to help with the other question! I will PM her!
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: art600 on June 18, 2008, 03:45:31 PM
Maggi

I knew you were organised.
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: Maggi Young on June 18, 2008, 03:52:04 PM
I appreciate your faith in me, Arthur, however misplaced it may often be!!  :-*
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: Tony Willis on June 18, 2008, 04:31:31 PM
Arthur I hope you do not mind me posting these here but I thought Anthony might be interested in seeing them

I found several newly hatched baby tortoises just like that shown by Arthur on the Black Sea Coast and they look nothing like the adults found in the same area.Naturally I have an identical photograph with one in the palm of my hand.It is on a slide and I cannot find it,if only I was organised!
 The adults seem to be quite variable depending on the habitat and a non biological description would be those in open habitat are rounded and those from dense forest quite flattened often with flanges on the shell.
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: art600 on June 18, 2008, 04:46:26 PM
Just outside of Sanandaj there is a hill.  In the good times i.e. a normal season, there were many goodies.  This year the climb reminded me of the film 'The Hill' where soldiers were forced to climb a manufactured hill in full gear, including a large rucksack.
This is me with our guide, at the top, explaining that I had not expected to find anything - and I had not been disappointed!  Well we did find a large tortoise.


Here is that large tortoise.  It was at least 30cm. long
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: Maggi Young on June 18, 2008, 04:59:02 PM
When I was a little girl in Libya, I had a large collection of tortoises that my Father's soldiers brought me from all over the place..... not that such things would be countenanced nowadays but this was many moons ago and the gathered shell dwellers had free range in an enormous garden. They were obviously different species but I had no idea which, only that I found them quite fascinating and a joy to observe. The largest would have been around 60 cms, measured over the dome of the shell. A most impressive sight!   Those were Happy Days indeed.
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: ranunculus on June 18, 2008, 07:26:07 PM
You've certainly come out of your shell since then Maggi!   ;)
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: Lesley Cox on June 18, 2008, 09:16:32 PM
Thanks for these extra pics and tortoise notes. I like them so much but we have nothing like them here alas.

Thanks too Arthur for the note about Archibald's article and Maggi for the reference. I remember it and read it avidly at the time, though don't remember the "moleskin" note. I"ll go back to it almost immediately.The Farrer quotation seems so apt, when we look at them in cultivation, though pictures on the Forum over the last couple of years suggest at least some people are learning their tricks and their manners, to misquote Dickens.
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: Anthony Darby on June 19, 2008, 10:19:19 AM
There are two species of tortoise in Iran: Testudo graeca and Agrionemys horsfieldi. The former is recognised by a spur on the thigh.
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: Tony Willis on June 19, 2008, 10:40:27 AM
I have always had a passing interest in them and enjoy seeing them in the wild ,they are quite numerous in Greece and Turkey and easy to find. The down side is that they are invariably covered in lice. Having now been prompted to look at then further they seem as fascinating and as complicated as plants  and every variation seems to have been put in a sub species. A good pictorial link.

http://www.chelonia.org/testudo_gallery.htm

Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: Anthony Darby on June 19, 2008, 11:11:51 AM
Testudo graeca ibera is found in the west and north of Iran and T. g. zarudnyi in the east and southern.
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: art600 on June 19, 2008, 11:41:50 AM
Anthony

Think this is the Jewelled beetle
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: Anthony Darby on June 19, 2008, 12:06:41 PM
Ah, Buprestidae. These are used as living jewels and in some countries they encrust them with precious stones. 8)
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: art600 on June 19, 2008, 12:31:05 PM
 ;D
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: art600 on June 19, 2008, 02:34:07 PM
Here are just a few additional shots taken by John Ingham.
1.  They get everywhere
2.  When you are desparate for a cup of tea, who cares about Health and Safety
3.  In the Islamic Republic of Iran, the last thing you would expect to see would be Pink Pigs as toys
4.  A trifle overloaded I would suggest
5.  This shows how really small the Iris meda were
6.  I said taking the Scilla khorasanica was dangerous
7.  Site of the first Iris acutiloba
8.  The granddaddy of all tortoise
9.  A Crocus biflorus ssp. ?
10. A splendid dark Allium
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: art600 on June 19, 2008, 02:41:56 PM
A few more

1.  Aristolochea ?bottiae
2.  Fritillaria crassifolia kurdica
3.  Fritillaria crassifolia kurdica
4.  ? Golden eagle
5.  Unknown bird
6.  Unknown bird
7.  Gentiana ?olivieri
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: Anthony Darby on June 19, 2008, 03:14:22 PM
Could the bird be a male black-eared wheatear (Oenanthe hispanica)?
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: Maggi Young on June 19, 2008, 08:26:38 PM
Arthur, will you thank John Ingham for allowing you to share these photos with us?


I must say I had thought the Iris meda would be a bit bigger than that! 
I do like Aristolochias..... such improbable shapes  ;D
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: art600 on June 19, 2008, 08:38:34 PM
Arthur, will you thank John Ingham for allowing you to share these photos with us?


I must say I had thought the Iris meda would be a bit bigger than that! 
I do like Aristolochias..... such improbable shapes  ;D

Maggi
In a normal season, the Iris meda would be approx 10 inches tall.
I will tell John his pictures are being admired on the Forum.
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: Lesley Cox on June 20, 2008, 12:15:10 AM
There are two species of tortoise in Iran: Testudo graeca and Agrionemys horsfieldi. The former is recognised by a spur on the thigh.

I have a spur on my left heel at the moment. Bl....y painful! :'(
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: Paul T on June 22, 2008, 02:08:51 AM
Arhtur,

Thank you So much for emailing me re this topic.  I hadn't yet caught up on it since my month away from the SRGC and it was definitely WELL worth seeing.  Oh those Irises!!  I have fallen seriously in lust (even more if that is possible) with Iris acutiloba, then there's Iris meda, some of those wonderful orange or pink Frits etc.  WOW!!!!!!!!!

Amazing topic.  Thanks to all who have posted or contributed pics!!!!!!!!! 8) 8) 8)
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: biodiversite on June 23, 2008, 09:42:02 AM
We need "Bio" from France, the Tortoise expert to help with the other question! I will PM her!

Thanks Maggy for the mp (but I'm a man  ;) ).
The Testudo pressented from Iran is a Testudo ibera sensu lato, a large group of spur tortoises from Romania to Iran. Subspecies are very difficult to identify, moreover on babies.
The tortoises from SW Turkey are Testudo ibera too, but from a different subspecies : Testudo antalyensis or the more common Testudo racovitzai.
The tortoise from Greece is a Testudo marginata  ;).
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: Anthony Darby on June 23, 2008, 09:59:38 AM
Is it official that Testudo ibera is no longer a subspecies of graeca?
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: Maggi Young on June 23, 2008, 01:03:43 PM
Quote
We need "Bio" from France, the Tortoise expert to help with the other question! I will PM her!


Thanks Maggy for the mp (but I'm a man  ;)  ).


AARRGH! So Sorry, Bio!   :-[  Mr Bio, that is!!  8)
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: Paul T on June 23, 2008, 01:29:00 PM
It's always the difficulty when we have no name in the signature...... although sometimes seeing the name doesn't help in that regard anyway.  ;D

I originally had difficulties with the gentleman running a seedex...... I knew someone here in Canberra by the same name who is of the female persuasion.  They have an unusual name that I've never come across except for these two individuals.  For quite a while I used to refer to the seedex person as she or her, until I got corrected by someone.  I never wrote it again, but I still had it in my head every time I ran across his name.  ;D
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: Maggi Young on June 23, 2008, 01:50:13 PM
Quote
It's always the difficulty when we have no name in the signature...... although sometimes seeing the name doesn't help in that regard anyway. 
Indeed, Paul! "Bio" declined to give a more "usual" name when he joined the forum and I do regret that this is the case for quite a few Forumists........if one is terribly shy, why not at least choose a pseudonym which gives us poor souls a clue?  ::)

So, all you unamed folks out there, why not at least give us a hint, along with where you garden, in the signature line, shown in posts/  :D
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: biodiversite on June 23, 2008, 06:57:00 PM
Is it official that Testudo ibera is no longer a subspecies of graeca?

Tortoise nomenclature evolves quickly : T. ibera was considered as a subspecies of graeca, but actually there are probably two parallele lineage, with a common ancestor : for graeca, evolution in Maghreb, for ibera, evolution in Asia Minor. Nowadays, the true ibera is located only in a small region of the north of Turkey, and the quite totality of all "iberas" in captivity are in fact Testudo racovitsai, from center Turkey and Balkans (Romania, Greece).
Iranian subspecies are Testudo perses and Testudo buxtonii but I just have a short description for each of them : they are unknown in captivity in France.
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: biodiversite on June 23, 2008, 07:02:15 PM
Quote
It's always the difficulty when we have no name in the signature...... although sometimes seeing the name doesn't help in that regard anyway. 
Indeed, Paul! "Bio" declined to give a more "usual" name when he joined the forum and I do regret that this is the case for quite a few Forumists........if one is terribly shy, why not at least choose a pseudonym which gives us poor souls a clue?  ::)

So, all you unamed folks out there, why not at least give us a hint, along with where you garden, in the signature line, shown in posts/  :D


There is absolutely no problem Mag : I am responsible as I have a "feminine" pseudo in France too. A little story : once upon a time, a french film obtained an Oscar. The two main players were Stephane Audran and Jean Rochefort : Stephane Audran received the Oscar first male role, but she is a woman (but it's true that Stephane is exceptionnaly a feminine name), and Jean Rochefort the Oscar first female role (there, Jean is always for men in french  8) ).
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: Anthony Darby on June 23, 2008, 07:46:10 PM
Quote
It's always the difficulty when we have no name in the signature...... although sometimes seeing the name doesn't help in that regard anyway. 
Indeed, Paul! "Bio" declined to give a more "usual" name when he joined the forum and I do regret that this is the case for quite a few Forumists........if one is terribly shy, why not at least choose a pseudonym which gives us poor souls a clue?  ::)

So, all you unamed folks out there, why not at least give us a hint, along with where you garden, in the signature line, shown in posts/  :D

....................and there was me thinking the required answer on these forms where the question is "sex?" was "yes". ::)
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: Maggi Young on June 23, 2008, 08:22:14 PM
Anthony, you might at least add 'please'  :o

In answer to all those who have asked about the statistics and  demographic of the Forumists, and whether these are broken down by age and sex: I have to admit, yes, most of them........ ::) ;)
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: Michael J Campbell on June 23, 2008, 08:26:55 PM
 ;D
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: David Nicholson on June 23, 2008, 08:27:54 PM
Well age anyway. What was the other thing you mentioned??  ???
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: Lesley Cox on June 23, 2008, 09:46:05 PM
Paul, we know you're a man because of your TyerMAN. But is Yvonne a Tyerwoman? (Though spelt differently, that's something else altogether.) Of course if it were not for that name, we'd not know whether you were a dog or a bitch. :-\

I know someone whose daughter married a man with the surname of Stringleman. It was back in the days when feminism was rife. The woman concerned refused to change her maiden name to Stringleman and became ... Stringleperson.
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: David Nicholson on June 23, 2008, 09:49:09 PM
 ;D ;D
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: Anthony Darby on June 24, 2008, 12:05:36 AM
Ah, but son is a male child, so she should have been Stringlehuperchildbeing? ::)

Overheard in Morningside (in Edinburgh). "Do you still have sex Millicent?" "Oh no no no Dorothy, we have no need as we have a wheely bin now."
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: Paul T on June 24, 2008, 06:46:44 AM
Paul, we know you're a man because of your TyerMAN. But is Yvonne a Tyerwoman? (Though spelt differently, that's something else altogether.) Of course if it were not for that name, we'd not know whether you were a dog or a bitch. :-\

Lesley,

Doesn't my signature come through for you?  It should include "Paul T." as my name in there, so I would have thought (up until now at least) that that was fairly clear?

Do you have any more of your wonderful photos of Iran to share Arthur?
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: art600 on June 24, 2008, 09:11:49 AM
Paul, we know you're a man because of your TyerMAN. But is Yvonne a Tyerwoman? (Though spelt differently, that's something else altogether.) Of course if it were not for that name, we'd not know whether you were a dog or a bitch. :-\

Do you have any more of your wonderful photos of Iran to share Arthur?

Paul

At the moment I do not have the time to post more pictures.  It is distribution time for the Cyclamen Society Journal and that is taking a lot of my time.  Plus of course the garden and repotting.
Will certainly post more - probably next month and on a separate thread.
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: Paul T on June 24, 2008, 12:04:47 PM
No problemo Arthur, I understand.  I figured a quiet prompt wouldn't hurt, just in case.  ;)  Thanks for all the pics you've posted here.... they're positively fascinating.  8)
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: Anthony Darby on June 24, 2008, 12:38:01 PM
Is it official that Testudo ibera is no longer a subspecies of graeca?

Tortoise nomenclature evolves quickly : T. ibera was considered as a subspecies of graeca, but actually there are probably two parallele lineage, with a common ancestor : for graeca, evolution in Maghreb, for ibera, evolution in Asia Minor. Nowadays, the true ibera is located only in a small region of the north of Turkey, and the quite totality of all "iberas" in captivity are in fact Testudo racovitsai, from center Turkey and Balkans (Romania, Greece).
Iranian subspecies are Testudo perses and Testudo buxtonii but I just have a short description for each of them : they are unknown in captivity in France.

Jings. I must get myself an up-to-date book on the subject.
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: biodiversite on June 24, 2008, 01:36:36 PM
Jings. I must get myself an up-to-date book on the subject.

It does not exist  ;D. The most interesting for taxonomy of these species was a special number of Manouria (the revue of a tortoise parc in Corsica), march 2004. Numerous things changed for three years, but the truth is that there is no consensus. The last one is at least 20 years old, and it doesn't recognise genus names as Agrionemys (for horsfieldi). Moreover, nowadays, hermanni and boettgeri are clearly distinct, as two different species, but in a different genus : not Testudo but Eurotestudo...
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: Anthony Darby on June 24, 2008, 02:24:04 PM
Does this mean hybrids, if they existed, between hermanii and boettgeri would be infertile? I have a young male (8 years) of the former and young female (3 years) of the latter. They are very similar in size. The former loves his comforts and spends most of his time in the indoor shelter with the heat mat. The latter would rather burrow into damp sand under a roof tile in the outside part of the enclosure. I intend to get a partner for each. I have a friend 50 miles north of me who breeds them commercially.
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: biodiversite on June 24, 2008, 03:32:49 PM
The notion of infertility between hybrid is an old criterium almost useful for mamalians only. Hermanni x boettgeri is possible, hermanni x hosfieldi, graeca x ibera, ibera x marginata, etc. But what is the interest to obtain hybrids ? The main aim of breeders nowadays is to maintain pure lineages, and when we know that total population of chelonians was divided in 90% for 100 years, it's a absolute necessity.

The problem is that a great number of breeders don't know from where they are their tortoises. For example, for France, there is a great problem for hermanni, as we have two populations : in Corsica and in Var. For years, they were only "hermanni". Some breeders did not mix the origins, but others crossed them. Nowadays, it is prooved that they are genetically different, but also morphologically... and the taxonomy still not differenciate the two origins, as subspecies for example. It is a pity : about 30% of breeders in France have hybrids, but the most sad is that wild population in Var, where some people put their tortoises, have 8% hybrids...

If you have a "boettgeri", it is important to diffenciate between "true" boettgeri and hercegovinensis, etc.

Then, it is difficult, but you have to find strict lineages and to avoid to make hybrids...
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: Lesley Cox on June 24, 2008, 09:23:42 PM

Doesn't my signature come through for you?  It should include "Paul T." as my name in there, so I would have thought (up until now at least) that that was fairly clear?


Of course it does Paul, but you know me by now. If there's a chance to have a go....... ::)
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: Paul T on June 25, 2008, 08:17:59 AM
That's OK Lesley.  Just checking in case it wasn't..... Whew!
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: ashley on February 10, 2010, 11:03:22 AM
Further to Art's fine pictures (page 6/reply #82) & subsequent comments, there's an interesting article on Phelypaea boissieri in the Feb 2010 (http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/118498343/home) issue of Curtis' Botanical Magazine devoted to parasitic plants.
Title: Re: Iran 2008
Post by: John Mitchell on February 10, 2010, 12:34:55 PM
Some more Iris acutiloba - I think ssp acutiloba.  These were magnificent plants found at 1500m.  The flowers were more than 11 cm tip to tip.


Hi Author the iris here looks like I acutiloba ssp longitepala which used to be called I acutiloba ssp lineolata the first name has just been described by Mathews and Zarrei and is very distinctive species did you find it near Zanjan. Great pictures and makes me wont to go back!!