Peck's personal Web site
Georgia in the springtime
Work and play in the Caucasus
You may not find this terribly rewarding unless you're included here, so this is a good time for casual and random browsers to turn back before they get too caught up in the sweep and majesty of the proceedings and can't let go.
The 41st meeting of the Ramsar Standing Committee, late April 2010
The Ispani Mire Ramsar site
According to the Ramsar Sites Information Service (RSIS), maintained by Wetlands International in the Netherlands, one of Georgia's two Wetlands of International Importance ("Ramsar sites") is right here in Kobuleti, or near it.
We haven't found it yet, so we're following one of the local ladies in case she's headed for the swamp.
This is a long residential road just inshore from the coastal "highway", with some nicely reclaimed houses along the way from time to time. Not this one.
But perhaps this one
The main road through the residential district, with spare parts piled alongside.
These aren't great examples, but my impression of the most attractive feature of the local architecture is the front stairway starting out perpendicular and then curving up to a first floor entrance, usually with verandas and balconies . . .
Sort of like this, but sometimes with another layer of outside staircase wending up another story, too. Beautiful, when kept up.
The Ispani Mires Ramsar site, part of the Kobuleti Nature Reserve protected area. It's a relatively rare "percolation mire", supposedly depending entirely upon rainwater flow.
The sound on the wind of copulating frogs. We're dashing to see more.
The Ramsar sign
-- Going my way?
Nice infrastructure, and good interpretation panels in English and Georgian. Iron Age artifacts have been dug out of this place, so somebody must once have sat out here and planned out his life and his family's aspirations ankle-deep in mud.
We've seen a couple of big flapping birds, but so far no bears, antelopes, cougars, even chamois -- evidently, for the moment, this whole thing is all about FROGS. In fact, the noise of frogs is awful and you can't get away from it out here.
Frog enthusiasts are slipped off the leash and heading for the frogs.
Frogs down there, betcha.
-- That's disgusting. Copulating frogs!
95% of the frogs I saw were glimpsed going a lot faster than my new Fujifilm AX250 could get organized, and the other 5% were asleep.
We're waiting them out. None of our famous Dick Cheney impersonations to pass the time -- we sit quietly, with the camera pre-focused.
Got one! Not copulating, though.
Nearby livestock grazing back the vegetation
We've seen a few frogs, but they're evidently smarter than we are and know when to croak and copulate and when not to.
A world of frogs out here, and we've only scratched the surface!
The site map shows this as part of the protected area, but doubts are sniggling in.
The lines of water channels on the far side are ancient peat cuts
Cows are everywhere, both in and out of town, all nearly skeletal
Fascinated by copulating frogs. Barriers up to preserve their modesty, to no avail.
Back now to the shore, a children's toy with obstacles
A leftover pedalos
Beach facilities, awaiting the summer crowds
A balcony awaiting a speech
Ringing with laughter and gaiety in the Russian era, no doubt
Another bridge to nowhere.
Georgia wines, BTW, are famous and very good.
And this one's mine (but already empty)
and suggestions are welcome if positive, resented if negative, .
All rights reserved, all wrongs avenged. Posted 10 May 2010, revised 4 October 2014.