Well, it’s official — Baki is 5. While we were in Istanbul, I commuted out to the Black Sea town of Sile, about 1.5 hours from my house. Out there, we used to see storks around this time of year, and it would remind my friends that Baki’s birthday was coming. Here, the signs of the season are different. Two things punctuate this time of year. One of them is a shower of pine tree pollen that literally coats every surface. If I leave something outside for an hour, a cloud of pollen rises from its surface when I pick it up. We haven’t had any rain for weeks, and I would love to have some if only to wash it all away. The other thing that marks the season is the orange blossoms. I remember people telling me that orange flowers smelled good, but I never took it that seriously. The first time I smelled them, then, I was amazed at what a heady scent it is. Down at sea level, the perfume is so strong that it seems as if someone went a little crazy with expensive perfume. Our citrus trees have not flowered yet, since it is a bit colder up here, but other trees have, and I spied little baby apricots yesterday. Not to sound thick or anything, but I can barely believe that we will have fruit in our own garden.
I always hate pictures of people coming in from their gardens smugly holding massive baskets of fresh produce. Show offs, I always think. Well, maybe I ought to take that back so I can post this photo. Sorry proud gardeners of the world. This is a very small bounty, but I glanced over at these greens that I just picked in a bowl on the counter and I liked the different textures. There is a Chinese cabbage that is bolting so I picked it, a new Asian vegetable in our garden called Yukina, and some lettuce.

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