Friday, 2 December 2016

FRIDAY GREENS #100 - "YOU HAVE MAIL!"

Welcome to this meme active every Friday. The theme is "Friday Greens" and you can post images, art, photos where the predominant colour is GREEN!
GREEN is the colour between blue and yellow in the spectrum; coloured like grass or emeralds.
In these days of email, SMS, twitter, MSN, Talkatone, Viber and numerous other means of modern communication, it is wonderful to get an old-fashioned, handwritten letter. Thankfully we still have our postie who delivers such treasures right there in our mailbox...
If you take part in this meme:
*Please link back to this page from your blog, with the Friday Greens logo or link text;
*In the spirit of community, please visit other participants to see their photos and leave a comment;
*Leave a comment here in the comments box, which is always appreciated!

Thursday, 1 December 2016

LOVE-IN-A-MIST

Nigella damascena (love-in-a-mist, ragged lady or devil in the bush) is an annual garden flowering plant, belonging to the buttercup family Ranunculaceae. It is native to southern Europe (but adventive in more northern countries of Europe), north Africa and southwest Asia, where it is found on neglected, damp patches of land. The specific epithet damascena relates to Damascus in Syria.

The plant's common name comes from the flower being nestled in a ring of multifid, lacy bracts. It grows to 20–50 cm tall, with pinnately divided, thread-like, alternate leaves. The flowers, blooming in early summer, are most commonly different shades of blue, but can be white, pink, or pale purple, with 5 to 25 sepals. The actual petals are located at the base of the stamens and are minute and clawed.

The sepals are the only coloured part of the perianth. The four to five carpels of the compound pistil have each an erect style. The fruit is a large and inflated capsule, growing from a compound ovary, and is composed of several united follicles, each containing numerous seeds. This is rather exceptional for a member of the buttercup family. The capsule becomes brown in late summer. The plant self-seeds, growing on the same spot year after year.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.




Wednesday, 30 November 2016

ULURU, AUSTRALIA

Uluru, also known as Ayers Rock, is a large sandstone rock formation in the southern part of the Northern Territory, central Australia. It lies 335 km south west of the nearest large town, Alice Springs, 450 km by road. Kata Tjuta and Uluru are the two major features of the Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa National Park. Uluru is sacred to the Anangu, the Aboriginal people of the area. The area around the formation is home to a plethora of springs, waterholes, rock caves and ancient paintings. Uluru is listed as a World Heritage Site.

Uluru is an inselberg, literally "island mountain". An inselberg is a prominent isolated residual knob or hill that rises abruptly from and is surrounded by extensive and relatively flat erosion lowlands in a hot, dry region. Uluru is also often referred to as a monolith, although this is a somewhat ambiguous term that is generally avoided by geologists. The remarkable feature of Uluru is its homogeneity and lack of jointing and parting at bedding surfaces, leading to the lack of development of scree slopes and soil. These characteristics led to its survival, while the surrounding rocks were eroded.

I took the the first two photos of Uluru on board a plane while we were flying to Singapore. The remaining more conventional photos were taken when we drove there in July 2002. We climbed to the top of the rock and we were thoroughly awe-struck by its sheer size and majesty. The weathering of iron-bearing minerals in the rock by the process of oxidation gives the outer surface layer of Uluru a red-brown rusty colour, making for spectacular photos at sunrise and sunset when the reddish sun accentuates the rock's colour.

This post is part of the Outdoor Wednesday meme,
and also part of the Wordless Wednesday meme,
and also part of the ABC Wednesday meme,
and also part of the Travel Tuesday meme.






Tuesday, 29 November 2016

COIMBRA, PORTUGAL

Coimbra is a city and a municipality in Portugal. The population at the 2011 census was 143,397, in an area of 319.40 square kilometres. The fourth-largest urban centre in Portugal (after Lisbon, Porto and Braga), it is the largest city of the district of Coimbra, the Centro region and the Baixo Mondego subregion. About 460,000 people live in the Região de Coimbra, comprising 19 municipalities and extending into an area 4,336 square kilometres.

Among the many archaeological structures dating back to the Roman era, when Coimbra was the settlement of Aeminium, are its well-preserved aqueduct and cryptoporticus. Similarly, buildings from the period when Coimbra was the capital of Portugal (from 1131 to 1255) still remain. During the Late Middle Ages, with its decline as the political centre of the Kingdom of Portugal, Coimbra began to evolve into a major cultural centre. This was in large part helped by the establishment the University of Coimbra in 1290, the oldest academic institution in the Portuguese-speaking world.


Apart from attracting many European and international students, the university is visited by many tourists for its monuments and history. Its historical buildings were classified as a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 2013: "Coimbra offers an outstanding example of an integrated university city with a specific urban typology as well as its own ceremonial and cultural traditions that have been kept alive through the ages."


This post is part of the Our World Tuesday meme,

and also part of the Ruby Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Travel Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Wordless Wednesday meme.

And here is the immortal Amalia Rodrigues singing the famous Portuguese fado "Coimbra".

Saturday, 26 November 2016

GUMTREE SUNSET

"Keep looking up! I learn from the past, dream about the future and look up. There's nothing like a beautiful sunset to end a healthy day." - Rachel Boston

This post is part of the Skywatch Friday meme,
and also part of the Orange you Glad It's Friday meme,
and also part of the Saturday Silhouettes meme.

Friday, 25 November 2016

FRIDAY GREENS #99 - AUSTRALIAN CUSTARD APPLES

Welcome to this meme active every Friday. The theme is "Friday Greens" and you can post images, art, photos where the predominant colour is GREEN!
GREEN is the colour between blue and yellow in the spectrum; coloured like grass or emeralds.
The Australian custard apple is a hybrid of the sugar apple (Annona squamosa) and the cherimoya (Annona cherimola), and is unique to any other custard apples grown around the world. Originally native to South America, this luscious and flavoursome fruit has Australia as its largest commercial producer.

There are four main custard apple growing regions, all found on the east coast of Australia. These regions stretch from the Atherton Tablelands in tropical north Queensland down to Lismore sub-tropical NSW, allowing for a great supply of quality and delicious fruit throughout the season.

Tropical North Queensland kicks off the custard apple season, with the first fruit of the year ripe for the picking in late January/early February, followed by Yeppoon in Central Queensland. The season then follows the coast down to the Wide Bay area, and the Sunshine Coast starts producing by mid to late February. Northern New South Wales is the last region to produce with harvest starting around May each year.
If you take part in this meme:
*Please link back to this page from your blog, with the Friday Greens logo or link text;
*In the spirit of community, please visit other participants to see their photos and leave a comment;
*Leave a comment here in the comments box, which is always appreciated!

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

SOCIETY GARLIC

Tulbaghia violacea, also known as society garlic or pink agapanthus, is a species of flowering plant in the onion family Amaryllidaceae, indigenous to southern Africa (KwaZulu-Natal and Cape Province), and reportedly naturalised in Tanzania and Mexico. Growing to 60 cm tall by 25 cm wide, it is a clump-forming perennial with narrow pungent-smelling leaves and large clusters of fragrant, violet flowers from midsummer to autumn. When grown as an ornamental, this plant requires some protection from winter frosts. It has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.

Tulbaghia violacea grows very easily in most soils. It can be used as an edging plant, along a pathway, or can be displayed to great advantage in a rockery and can also be mass planted to form a groundcover, in sunny or partially shaded positions. It thrives in well-drained soil containing plenty of compost. Propagate from seed or by dividing larger clumps. The hard black seeds are best sown in spring in deep seed trays and can be planted out during their second year. Once the clumps that have been divided are planted, they should be left undisturbed for as long as possible. First flowering can generally be expected in the second or third year. Tulbaghia seldom falls prey to pests and diseases, but slugs and snails can cause considerable damage to the foliage.

This attractive plant is ideal for the herb garden, as both the leaves and flowers can be used in salads and other dishes. The Zulus use the leaves and flowers as spinach and as a hot, peppery seasoning with meat and potatoes. They also use the bulb to make an aphrodisiac medicine. The crushed leaves may be used to help cure sinus headaches and to discourage moles from the garden (by their strong smell). The smell repels fleas, ticks and mosquitoes when crushed on the skin. Wild garlic is a very good snake repellent and for this reason the Zulus plant it around their homes.

Recently it was demonstrated to have androgenic and anti-cancer properties in vitro. T. violacea exhibited antithrombotic activities which were higher than those found in garlic. Wild garlic may prove to have the same or similar antibacterial and antifungal activities as has been scientifically verified for real garlic. In herbal medicine, the fresh bulbs are boiled in water and the decoctions are taken orally to clear up coughs and colds. The bulb has been used as a remedy for pulmonary tuberculosis and to destroy intestinal worms. The leaves are used in adjunctive treatment of cancer of the oesophagus.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme,
and also part of the Friday Greens meme.

TOWNSVILLE, AUSTRALIA

Townsville is a city on the north-eastern coast of Queensland, Australia. It is in the dry tropics region of Queensland, adjacent to the central section of the Great Barrier Reef. Townsville is Australia's largest urban centre north of the Sunshine Coast, with a 2015 population estimate of 180,333. Considered the unofficial capital of North Queensland by locals, Townsville hosts a significant number of governmental, community and major business administrative offices for the northern half of the state.

Popular attractions include "The Strand", a long tropical beach and garden strip; Riverway, a riverfront parkland attraction located on the banks of Ross River; Reef HQ, a large tropical aquarium holding many of the Great Barrier Reef's native flora and fauna; the Museum of Tropical Queensland, built around a display of relics from the sunken British warship HMS Pandora; Castle Hill, the most prominent landmark of the area and a popular fitness destination; The Townsville Sports Reserve; and Magnetic Island, a large neighbouring island, the vast majority of which is national park.

This post is part of the Travel Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Wednesday Waters meme,
and also part of the Outdoor Wednesday meme,
and also part of the Wordless Wednesday meme,
and also part of the ABC Wednesday meme.