28 September 2013

A family tradition: camping at Hnevank

One year after our first camping experience in Armenia, we decided to do it again!  This time we didn't have a 3-day weekend (Armenian Independence Day fell on a Saturday), so we just went for one night.  We invited the Alanis family, as well as Diane, so we had a nice group, and Nate had little Ruben to keep him company.

The weather was excellent most of the time, but it started raining in the evening, so we moved our tents into the half-restored church for sanctuary.  Because we got a new camera over the summer, I decided to use it to document the many varieties of flowering plants dotting the mountainside in early autumn.  (I seriously need a field guide to local plants.)  Overall, it was another wonderful experience, and we look forward to continuing the tradition next September 21!

Nathan and Rubencito enjoying the view -- and the chips!

A farm down in the Debed River valley.

This appears to be a subspecies of Argiope trifasciata, known in the US as a banded garden spider.

Can you spot the praying mantis in this picture?

A rusty trailer on the premises, probably used as shelter by shepherds passing through the area.

An awesome grasshopper of some kind.

Waking up, safe and dry in the main church at Hnevank.

I photographed some of these flowers last year.

A mountainside stream.

A view of Hnevank from higher ground.

Rose hips!

Armen grows vegetables and raises pigs on the hill just above the monastery.

Armen's mother tends to a large cooking pot outside their humble abode.

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