Friday, 29 September 2017

CONTRAIL

Contrail |ˈkɒntreɪl| noun (chiefly North American): another term for vapour trail.
ORIGIN 1940s: abbreviation of condensation trail.

This post is part of the Skywatch Friday meme,
and also part of the Friday Photo Journal meme.


Thursday, 28 September 2017

SCHIZANTHUS

Schizanthus also called butterfly flower, fringeflower, poor-man's-orchid, is a genus of plants in the Solanaceae (nightshade) family. They are annual or biennial herbaceous plants, with attractive flowers. The genus includes species native to Chile and Argentina, many species are adventitious in other parts of the world such as New Zealand and the United States.

Annual or biennial, glandulous-pubescent herbaceous plants, with alternate, pinnatilobate or bipinnatisect leaves and attractive flowers, arranged at the end of stems. The flowers are zygomorphic and hermaphrodite. Plants in the Schizanthus genus are entomophilous, that is, they require that their pollen is transported from plant to plant by insects. The majority of Schizanthus species are pollinated by hymenoptera (bees, bumblebees and wasps). However, the species with white flowers (S. candidus, S. integrifolius and S. lacteus) are pollinated by moths, and Schizanthus grahamii is pollinated by hummingbirds.

Schizanthus species are cultivated in the horticulture trade and widely available as an ornamental plant for gardens. The flowers are available in a wide range of colours and sizes, and are delicately spotted and blotched like the smaller butterflies. The blooms on a well-grown plant are produced in such profusion as to completely cover it. For the garden the dwarfed varieties should be chosen as the tall sorts grow rather slender and crooked. The leaves are attractive with soft green, deeply cut and fern like that are often covered with fine hair.

This flower was used by Celia Sánchez in the Cuban Revolution to hide telegrams. A number of species are cultivated as ornamentals throughout the world, but perhaps the most used is Schizanthus × wisetonensis. Some cultivars of this species are "Angel Wings", "Disco", "Hit Parade", "Treasure Trove™ Lilac", "Treasure Trove™ Pure White", "Treasure Trove™ Pure Scarlet Shades" (the latter have been patented in the United States).

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

LAMB

"Mary had a little lamb,
Its fleece was white as snow;
And everywhere that Mary went,
The lamb was sure to go.

He followed her to school one day,
Which was against the rule;
It made the children laugh and play
To see a lamb at school..."

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.

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

SORRENTO, ITALY

Sorrento (Neapolitan: Surriento) is a town and comune in Campania, southern Italy, with some 16,500 inhabitants. It is a popular tourist destination which can be reached easily from Naples and Pompeii, as it lies at the south-eastern end of the Circumvesuviana rail line. The town overlooks the Bay of Naples as the key place of the Sorrentine Peninsula, and many viewpoints allow sight of Naples itself, Vesuvius, and the Isle of Capri.

The Amalfi Drive (connecting Sorrento and Amalfi) is a narrow road that threads along the high cliffs above the Tyrrhenian Sea. Ferry boats and hydrofoils provide services to Naples, Amalfi, Positano, Capri and Ischia. Sorrento's sea cliffs and luxury hotels have attracted notable people, including Enrico Caruso and Luciano Pavarotti. Sorrento is famous for the production of limoncello, a digestif made from lemon rinds, alcohol, water and sugar. Other agricultural production includes citrus fruit, wine, nuts and olives. Wood craftsmanship is also well-developed in the area.

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.







Sunday, 24 September 2017

HAPPINESS

Is travelling for fun, and having your photo taken to remember those good times...

This post is part of the My Sunday Best meme,
and also part of the My Sunday Photo meme,
and also part of the Photo Sunday meme.

Thursday, 21 September 2017

LOROPETALUM - CHINESE FRINGE FLOWER

Loropetalum is a genus of three species of shrubs or small trees in the witch-hazel family, Hamamelidaceae, native to China, Japan, and south-eastern Asia. The name Loropetalum refers to the shape of the flowers and comes from the Greek loron meaning strap and petalon meaning petal. Flowers are produced in clusters during spring and are similar to those of the closely related witch-hazel. Each flower consists of four to six (depending on species) slender strap shaped petals 1-2 cm long. Illustrated here is Loropetalum chinense var. rubrum, often called "Chinese Fringe Flower".

Plan your colours to begin with. This particular loropetalum looks great in a black pot for an oriental feel or try a bright contrasting colour for a real statement.As it’s low growing, plant it at the front of garden beds for maximum impact. Loropetalums in general prefer moist but well drained soils but are quite adaptable to less than ideal conditions. Pruning is generally not required, however, you can give a light trim after flowering to help keep them in your preferred shape. A feed with a slow release fertiliser in early spring is beneficial. They are ideal for low maintenance areas, rockeries and garden edges.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.





Wednesday, 20 September 2017

KOALA

The koala (Phascolarctos cinereus or, inaccurately, koala bear) is an arboreal herbivorous marsupial native to Australia. It is the only extant representative of the family Phascolarctidae, and its closest living relatives are the wombats. The koala is found in coastal areas of the mainland's eastern and southern regions, inhabiting Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia.

It is easily recognisable by its stout, tailless body; round, fluffy ears; and large, spoon-shaped nose. The koala has a body length of 60–85 cm and weighs 4–15 kg. Pelage colour ranges from silver grey to chocolate brown. Koalas from the northern populations are typically smaller and lighter in colour than their counterparts further south. It is possible that these populations are separate subspecies, but this is disputed. Koalas typically inhabit open eucalypt woodlands, and the leaves of these trees make up most of their diet. Because this eucalypt diet has limited nutritional and caloric content, koalas are largely sedentary and sleep for up to 20 hours a day.

They are asocial animals, and bonding exists only between mothers and dependent offspring. Adult males communicate with loud bellows that intimidate rivals and attract mates. Males mark their presence with secretions from scent glands located on their chests. Being marsupials, koalas give birth to underdeveloped young that crawl into their mothers' pouches, where they stay for the first six to seven months of their life. These young koalas are known as joeys, and are fully weaned at around a year. Koalas have few natural predators and parasites but are threatened by various pathogens, like Chlamydiaceae bacteria and the koala retrovirus, as well as by bushfires and droughts.

Koalas were hunted by indigenous Australians and depicted in myths and cave art for millennia. The first recorded encounter between a European and a koala was in 1798, and an image of the animal was published in 1810 by naturalist George Perry. Botanist Robert Brown wrote the first detailed scientific description of the koala in 1814, although his work remained unpublished for 180 years. Popular artist John Gould illustrated and described the koala, introducing the species to the general British public. Further details about the animal's biology were revealed in the 19th century by several English scientists.

Because of its distinctive appearance, the koala is recognised worldwide as a symbol of Australia. Koalas are listed as of Least Concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. The Australian government lists populations in Queensland and New South Wales as Vulnerable. The animal was hunted heavily in the early 20th century for its fur, and large-scale cullings in Queensland resulted in a public outcry that initiated a movement to protect the species. Sanctuaries were established, and translocation efforts moved to new regions koalas whose habitat had become fragmented or reduced. The biggest threat to their existence is habitat destruction caused by agriculture and urbanisation.

This post is part of the ABC Wednesday meme,
and also part of the Outdoor Wednesday meme,
and also part of the Wordless Wednesday meme,
and also part of the My Town Shootout meme.


Tuesday, 19 September 2017

MONTÉLIMAR, FRANCE

Montélimar (Latin name: Acumum, and Montelaimar in Occitan) is a commune in the Drôme department in southeastern France. It is the second-largest town in the department after Valence. The site where the city of Montélimar stands today has been inhabited since the Celtic era. It was reconstructed during the Roman reign, including a basilica, aqueducts, thermae and a forum. The Adhémar family reigned over the city in the Middle Ages and built a castle (Château des Adhémar) which dominates the city silhouette even today.

Montélimar is widely regarded as the world capital of nougat. The local nougat is one of the 13 desserts of Provence and highly appreciated throughout the country. Montelimar nougat is mentioned in the opening lines of the Beatles' Savoy Truffle from The White Album. Travellers used to buy nougat de Montélimar on their way to the south of France (or when returning) as the city is next to the Rhône and to the primary route N7. Since the construction of the A7 autoroute, many nougat factories have been forced to close as tourists no longer stop in Montélimar but bypass it instead.

Nougat is a family of confections made with sugar or honey, roasted nuts (almonds, walnuts, pistachios, hazelnuts, and macadamia nuts are common), whipped egg whites, and sometimes chopped candied fruit. The consistency of nougat is chewy, and it is used in a variety of candy bars and chocolates. The word nougat comes from Occitan pan nogat (pronounced [ˈpa nuˈɣat]), seemingly from Latin panis nucatus 'nut bread' (the late colloquial Latin adjective nucatum means 'nutted' or 'nutty').

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.






Sunday, 17 September 2017

BRONZEWING PIGEON

The common bronzewing (Phaps chalcoptera) is a species of medium-sized, heavily built pigeon. Native to Australia and one of the country's most common pigeons, the common bronzewing is able to live in almost any habitat, with the possible exception of very barren areas and dense rainforests.

Males of the species have pale-yellow to yellow-white foreheads, and pink breasts. Both males and females have an easily discernible white line around and proximate to their eyes. Common bronzewings also have patches of red, blue and green on their wings, a feature which is characteristic of all bronzewing pigeons. Young birds are usually duller in colour and browner than the mature common bronzewing. Rarely found far from a source of water, common bronzewings either travel alone or in pairs or in flocks, and are usually cautious, making approach by humans or other animals difficult. Common bronzewings are, on average, between 30 and 36 centimetres in length.

The common bronzewing's diet primarily consists of seeds and all varieties of vegetables. It searches for food in small groups. The search can sometimes last for days, and, since the pigeon must drink frequently, it utilises watering holes or any other available source of water. 

Common bronzewings construct a rough nest of twigs and sticks, which is placed low down in a tree or bush. The eggs hatch after a period of roughly 14 to 16 days, after being incubated by both the male and the female. Both parents share the responsibility of caring for the young. In common with other pigeons, common bronzewings release a milky substance from their crop to feed their young.

This post is part of the Saturday Critters meme,
and also part of the My Sunday Best meme,
and also part of the Camera Critters meme,
and also part of the My Sunday Photo meme.



Saturday, 16 September 2017

AT DIGHTS FALLS

Dights Falls is located in Melbourne, Victoria just downstream of the junction of the Yarra River with Merri Creek, about 2 km east of the City. At this point the river narrows and is constricted between 800,000 year old volcanic, basaltic lava flow and a much older steep, Silurian, sedimentary spur.

Prior to European settlement, the area was occupied by the indigenous Wurundjeri tribe of the Kulin nation. The rock falls would have provided the Aboriginal people with a natural river crossing and place to trap migrating fish. It was also a meeting place for many clans where they would trade, settle disputes and exchange brides.

In the 1840s, an artificial weir was built on the natural bar of basalt boulders to provide water to the “Ceres” flour mill, one of the first in Victoria. In the early 1840s John Dight established Melbourne’s first water-powered flour mill on the site. In 1888 “Yarra Falls Roller Mills” built a water-turbine powered mill, which was the largest and most sophisticated of the thirty two water powered mills built in Victoria before 1900.

This post is part of the Weekend Reflections meme,
and also part of the Weekend Green meme.

Friday, 15 September 2017

BLACK COCKATOOS

These are the Australian native black cockatoos. More information about these birds can be found here.

This post is part of the Skywatch Friday meme,
and also part of the Friday Photo Journal meme.

SUNRISE FROM MY WINDOW

Looking over the neighbourhood rooftops early in the morning...

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


Thursday, 14 September 2017

SPRING BOUQUET

An early Spring bouquet from our garden. You can see anemones, freesias, bluebells, stocks, primulas, calendulas, marigolds and eau-de-cologne plant foliage.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

JACKS

"Life is not a matter of holding good cards, but of playing a poor hand well." - Robert Louis Stevenson

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

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

CANTERBURY, ENGLAND

Canterbury is a historic English cathedral city and UNESCO World Heritage Site, which lies at the heart of the City of Canterbury, a local government district of Kent, England. It lies on the River Stour. The Archbishop of Canterbury is the primate of the Church of England and the worldwide Anglican Communion owing to the importance of St Augustine, who served as the apostle to the pagan Kingdom of Kent around the turn of the 7th century.

The city's cathedral became a major focus of pilgrimage following the 1170 martyrdom of Thomas Becket, although it had already been a well-trodden pilgrim destination since the murder of St Alphege by the men of King Canute in 1012. A journey of pilgrims to Becket's shrine served as the frame for Geoffrey Chaucer's 14th century classic The Canterbury Tales. Canterbury is a popular tourist destination: consistently one of the most-visited cities in the United Kingdom, the city's economy is heavily reliant upon tourism.

The city has been occupied since Palaeolithic times and served as the capital of the Celtic Cantiaci and Jute Kingdom of Kent. Many historical structures fill the area, including a city wall founded in Roman times and rebuilt in the 14th century, the ruins of St Augustine's Abbey and a Norman castle, and the oldest extant school in the world, the King's School. Modern additions include the Marlowe Theatre and the St Lawrence Ground, home of the Kent County Cricket Club.

There is also a substantial student population, brought about by the presence of the University of Kent, Canterbury Christ Church University, the University for the Creative Arts, and the Girne American University Canterbury campus. Canterbury remains, however, a small city in terms of geographical size and population, when compared with other British cities.

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.






Monday, 11 September 2017

BEADS

Winter lingers in Melbourne and what better way to spend a cold and rainy day, than doing crafts indoors, painting or drawing perhaps, or playing some music and reading? Here are some beads that can be used to make jewellery or some other gewgaws.

This post is part of the Mosaic Monday meme,
and also part of the Macro Monday meme,
and also part of the Through my Lens meme,
and also part of the Seasons meme.

Friday, 8 September 2017

VIVID LEAVES

On a mossy riverbank...

This post is part of the Friday Photo Journal meme,
and also part of the Orange you Glad It's Friday meme.


Thursday, 7 September 2017

WHITE CAMELLIA

“Her delight in the smallest things was like that of a child. There were days when she ran in the garden, like a child of ten, after a butterfly or a dragon-fly. This courtesan who had cost more money in bouquets than would have kept a whole family in comfort, would sometimes sit on the grass for an hour, examining the simple flower whose name she bore.” ― Alexandre Dumas fils, La Dame aux Camélias

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

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

IRIS

Iris is a genus of about 300 species of flowering plants with showy flowers in the Iridaceae family. It takes its name from Iris, the ancient Greek goddess of the rainbow, referring to the wide variety of flower colours found among the many species. As well as being the scientific name, iris is also very widely used as a common name for all Iris species, though some plants called thus belong to other closely related genera. A common name for some species is 'flags', while the plants of the subgenus Scorpiris are widely known as 'junos', particularly in horticulture. 

Irises are popular garden flowers and their blossoms provide wonderful splashes of colour in the Spring garden. The genus is widely distributed throughout the north temperate zone. Their habitats are varied, ranging from cold and montane regions to the grassy slopes, meadowlands and riverbanks of Europe, the Middle East and northern Africa, Asia and across North America. Irises are perennial herbs, growing from creeping rhizomes (rhizomatous irises) or, in drier climates, from bulbs (bulbous irises). They have long, erect flowering stems which may be simple or branched, solid or hollow, and flattened or have a circular cross-section. The rhizomatous species usually have 3–10 basal sword-shaped leaves growing in dense clumps. The bulbous species have cylindrical, basal leaves.

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.


Tuesday, 5 September 2017

THE NILE

The Nile is a major north-flowing river in northeastern Africa, generally regarded as the longest river in the world. It is 6,650 km long. It runs through ten countries: Sudan, South Sudan, Burundi, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda and Egypt.

The Nile has two major tributaries, the White Nile and Blue Nile. The White Nile is longer and rises in the Great Lakes region of central Africa, with the most distant source still undetermined but located in either Rwanda or Burundi. It flows north through Tanzania, Lake Victoria, Uganda and South Sudan.

The Blue Nile is the source of most of the water and fertile soil. It begins at Lake Tana in Ethiopia and flows into Sudan from the southeast. The two rivers meet near the Sudanese capital of Khartoum.The northern section of the river flows almost entirely through desert, from Sudan into Egypt, a country whose civilization has depended on the river since ancient times.

Most of the population and cities of Egypt lie along those parts of the Nile valley north of Aswan, and nearly all the cultural and historical sites of Ancient Egypt are found along riverbanks. The Nile ends in a large delta that empties into the Mediterranean Sea. One of the highlights of any trip to Egypt is taking a Nile cruise, which stops at many significant archaeological and cultural sites along the length of the river. The photos above are from an area near Kom Ombo.

This post is part of the Our World Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Travel Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Wordless Wednesday meme.






Monday, 4 September 2017