The other day the planets Venus and Mercury formed a bright triangle with the moon. Due to the angle that I was looking at it out here In Turkey, Venus and the Moon (which was a crescent) formed the Turkish flag. This was really cool, but….
It got even cooler!
The Earth cast it’s shadow and eclipsed both Venus and the moon! An awesome site (and yes for my American friends this is one of the few times that you can use the word awesome, as it brought awe 😉
Now everyone knows that a good eclipse has an impact upon nature, I imagine that if this had happened a few thousand years ago that many a virgin lamb would have been sacrificed at the Apollon Temple just up the road.
What I did notice, was that the day after, many birds had flocked together; there was a flock of at least 100 magpies, and one of about 300 – 400 golfinches (damn things are hard to count).
Unfortunatly I have not got a picture of the eclipse nor the birds, but I found a nice one on the BBC website that showed what was going on.
What you want pictures from me? Well I guess that I can give you some of the nearby Apollon temple as I’m sure that this would have been an hotbed of activity during an eclipse.
The Apollo temple was occupied by an Oracle who was of equal importance to the one at Delphi. The original Temple of Apollo was destroyed by Persian invaders about 500 B.C, Alexander the great then ordered its rebuilding, but what is seen today is a further rebuilding of the temple dating from the 4th century.
Originally the temple had a porch which contained 120 columns in the same carving style as can still be seen at Luxor in Egypt. The porch had a great doorway through which oracular poems were handed to petitioners. Within these walls the oracle used to drink from a sacred stream (probably laced with mind bending drugs to help with predicting the future.
Like many sites in Turkey (Ephesus; Mauseleum), many of the nicest pieces (a road of statues) are now in the British museum; though this is a shame at least they are not in the hands of private collectors, so maybe one day they will be returned to their original home.