Well, seemingly endless.
Sunflower fields are lovely, but after so many hours, they're just sunflowers.
Then the fields give way to the shimmering salt flats of Tuz Gölü. (Literally: "Salt Lake")
The lake draws the eye like a magnet, even though the bright whiteness makes me squint as I get closer. It's a huge lake,Turkey's second largest.
My father-in-law mentions that there are salt mines, and he keeps driving. (Salt mines there produce 63% of the salt consumed in Turkey.)It takes a while to drive past.
Over the years, I passed the lake several times, never stopping. I should have.
The lake is like a natural spa. The cosmetics industry uses the water, salt, mud, and extracts from the 22 types of minerals found there for various skin softening treatments. Honestly though, the cosmetics angle doesn't interest me all that much.
But - Tuz Gölü is home to the largest Mediterranean flock of the greater flamingo, Phoenicopterus roseus. THAT interests me.
In 2011, the major breeding colony there hatched over 18,000 chicks. That's a lot of pink!
Speaking of: You probably know the flamingo's food source is the reason their feathers turn pink. At Tuz Gölü, the brine shrimp artemia salina is their favorite snack. Artemia salina likes to feed off the red algae, dunaliella salina.
Sometimes the red algae gets out of hand. Ever heard of a crimson tide? A blood red algae bloom rolls in along the shores, and against the white salt flats, it's particularly shocking. (link to pic) Never thought I'd see a crimson tide on a lake shore. You?
A little bit of housekeeping:
A) Summer isn't officially over until September 21st, right? I'm keeping to one post per week until then. ;)
B) I've rearranged the blogroll on the left sidebar. See how there's a whole widget for Blogs on Turkey? These are all interesting, mostly written by expats, but all about some aspect of Turkish life. Check them out!
Also, I'll be evaluating the author/writer/reviewer widget soon.