Tuesday, 24 April 2018

DRESDEN, GERMANY

Dresden is the capital city and, after Leipzig, the second-largest city of the Free State of Saxony in Germany. It is situated in a valley on the River Elbe, near the border with the Czech Republic. Dresden has a long history as the capital and royal residence for the Electors and Kings of Saxony, who for centuries furnished the city with cultural and artistic splendour, and was once by personal union the family seat of Polish monarchs. The city was known as the Jewel Box, because of its baroque and rococo city centre.

The controversial American and British bombing of Dresden in World War II towards the end of the war killed approximately 25,000 people, many of whom were civilians, and destroyed the entire city centre. After the war, restoration work has helped to reconstruct parts of the historic inner city, including the Katholische Hofkirche, the Zwinger and the famous Semper Oper. Since German reunification in 1990 Dresden is again a cultural, educational and political centre of Germany and Europe.

The Dresden University of Technology is one of the 10 largest universities in Germany and part of the German Universities Excellence Initiative. The economy of Dresden and its agglomeration is one of the most dynamic in Germany and ranks first in Saxony. It is dominated by high-tech branches, often called as “Silicon Saxony”. The city is also one of the most visited in Germany with 4.3 million overnight stays per year, with their Christmas markets attracting many during the holidays.

The royal buildings are among the most impressive buildings in Europe. Main sights are also the nearby National Park of Saxon Switzerland, the Ore Mountains and the countryside around Elbe Valley and Moritzburg Castle. The most prominent building in the city skyline of Dresden is the Frauenkirche. Built in the 18th century, the Protestant church was destroyed during World War II. The remaining ruins were left for 50 years as a war memorial. The remains were also left in the city centre of Dresden because funds to rebuild the Frauenkirche were scarce. The newly built Frauenkirche has charred stones from the destroyed church adapted with new stones as a reminder of the destruction from World War II. The church was rebuilt from 1994 to 2005.

According to the Hamburgische Weltwirtschaftsinstitut (HWWI) and Berenberg Bank in 2017, Dresden has the fourth best prospects for the future of all cities in Germany.

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.

Dresden in the early 1900s


Dresden after the WWII bombings




Dresden today - Old City rebuilt and restored




Monday, 23 April 2018

PEACE

We certainly need it around the world right now...

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.

Sunday, 22 April 2018

BENTLEY

Bentley Motors Limited is a British luxury automaker, and a wholly owned subsidiary of the German company Volkswagen AG. Its principal activity is the design, engineering, manufacture, and distribution of luxury automobiles sold under the Bentley marque. Based in Crewe, England, Bentley Motors Limited was founded by W. O. Bentley on 18 January 1919 in Cricklewood near London and was acquired by Rolls-Royce in 1931. Bentley Motors Limited is the direct successor of Rolls-Royce Motors, which Volkswagen AG purchased in 1998.

The purchase included the vehicle designs, model nameplates, production and administrative facilities, the Spirit of Ecstasy and Rolls-Royce grille shape trademarks, but not the rights to the use of the Rolls-Royce name or logo, which are owned by Rolls-Royce Holdings plc and were later licensed to BMW AG. Bentley vehicles are sold via franchised dealers worldwide, and as of November 2012, China was the largest individual market for Bentley automobiles. Most Bentley cars are assembled at the company's plant in Crewe, with a small number of Continental Flying Spurs assembled at the Transparent Factory in Dresden, Germany.

Automobile bodies for the Continental model line are produced in Zwickau, Germany. Bentley cars are largely hand-built. Bentley cars won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1924, 1927, 1928, 1929, 1930 and 2003. The current Bentley production models are the Continental Flying Spur, Continental GT and Mulsanne. Notable former Bentley production models include the Bentley 4½ Litre, Bentley Speed Six, Bentley R Type Continental, Bentley Turbo R and Bentley Arnage.

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



Saturday, 21 April 2018

HAPPY DOG

The Jack Russell Terrier is a small terrier that has its origins in fox hunting; it is principally white-bodied and smooth, rough or broken-coated. The term "Jack Russell" is commonly misapplied to other small white terriers. The Jack Russell is an energetic breed that relies on a high level of exercise and stimulation and is relatively free from serious health complaints. Originating from dogs bred and used by Reverend John Russell in the early 19th century, it has similar origins to the modern Fox terrier. It has gone through several changes over the years corresponding to different use and breed standards set by kennel clubs.

Jack Russells have appeared many times in film, television and print with several historical dogs of note. This is a popular pet dog in Melbourne and one can encounter it on a walk in parks and parklands around town. Despite their small size, these dogs are not recommended for the condominium or apartment dweller unless the owner is ready to take on the daunting task of providing the dog with the necessary amount of exercise and stimulation. They have a tremendous amount of energy for their size, a fact which can sometimes lead to trouble involving larger animals. They may seem never to tire and will still be energetic after their owner has called it a day. While socialised members of the breed are friendly towards children, they will not tolerate abuse even if it is unintentional.

This post is part of the Saturday Critters meme,
and also part of the Camera Critters meme.


Friday, 20 April 2018

HEIDELBERG SKY

Heidelberg is a suburb of Melbourne, Australia, 11 km north-east of Melbourne's central business district. Its local government area is the City of Banyule. At the 2011 Census, Heidelberg had a population of 5,714. Once a large town on Melbourne's fringe, Heidelberg was absorbed into Melbourne as part of the latter's northward expansion after World War II. Heidelberg once had its own historic Central Business District and its own municipality in the former City of Heidelberg. It was named after the German city of Heidelberg.

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

Thursday, 19 April 2018

SPIDERWEB TRADESCANTIA

Tradescantia sillamontana is a perennial evergreen herbaceous plant of the genus Tradescantia, of the family  This species is one of the most succulent and xerophytic, but at the same time one of the most attractive species of Tradescantia. It is endemic to dry areas of the State of Nuevo León in northeastern Mexico.

This plant has a very recognisable and distinctive appearance. The leaves are arranged in a precise geometric shape. Almost completely white hairs cover all parts of the plant: Leaves, shoots, and even the buds. These protect the plant from direct sunlight and excessive evaporation. Shoots and stems reach a height of 30–40 cm, first erect, later prostrate and rooting at the soil surface. The leaves are fleshy, ovate, 3–7 cm long, covered with grayish-white short hairs. During the summer, the flowers appear at apical growth points or in the axils of the bracts; these are typical Tradescantia flowers. The corolla consists of three bright purplish-pink to purple petals and three small sepals.

Tradescantia sillamontana is almost as easy to grow as other species of the genus Tradescantia. However, unlike most species of Tradescantia, this species is almost succulent and nearly xerophytic (perhaps the only more xerophytic and succulent member of the genus is Tradescantia navicularis). T. sillamontana should be grown in a well lit position, although direct summer sun can cause burns, so gradual acclimatisation is needed. Flowering in summer is quite abundant, if well-cultivated. The plant quickly loses its desirable appearance with abundant watering, too dark a location, and an excess of nitrogen. Spraying the leaves is not recommended at all. Soil should allow good drainage, with at least a third to a half made up of coarse sand and gravel.

Moderate watering is required during the growing season; the plant should be kept almost dry in winter maintenance. The minimum temperature during the period of dormancy is 10°C. The plant can be divided in Spring, with any shoots which are too long being trimmed. In the subtropical zone this is one of the most popular garden plants. In Europe it is sometimes cultivated in gardens and rock gardens, but in the winter it is brought into a cool greenhouse or protected from cold and moisture with a temporary shelter. Reproduction is easy by cuttings 5–8 cm long, rooted in sandy soil, or by dividing and transplanting the bush.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.


Wednesday, 18 April 2018

ORCHID

The orchid family, Orchidaceae, is a diverse and widespread family of flowering plants, with blooms that are often colourful and fragrant. Along with the Asteraceae (daisy family), they are one of the two largest families of flowering plants. The Orchidaceae have about 28,000 currently accepted species, distributed in about 763 genera.

The determination of which family is larger is still under debate, because verified data on the members of such enormous families are continually in flux. Regardless, the number of orchid species nearly equals the number of bony fishes and is more than twice the number of bird species, and about four times the number of mammal species. Moreover, since the introduction of tropical species into cultivation in the 19th century, horticulturists have produced more than 100,000 hybrids and cultivars!

Below is Phalaenopsis first described by Blume (1825), also known as moth orchids, abbreviated Phal in the horticultural trade. This is an orchid genus of approximately 60 species. Phalaenopsis is one of the most popular orchids in the trade, through the development of many artificial hybrids. It is native to southern China, the Indian Subcontinent, Southeast Asia (Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, etc.), New Guinea, the Bismarck Archipelago, and Queensland.

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

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

CLUNES, VICTORIA

Clunes is a town in Victoria, Australia, 36 kilometres north of Ballarat, and 146 km from Melbourne, in the Shire of Hepburn. At the 2006 census it had a population of 1,026. The 2011 census recorded a population of 1,656 usual residents. The town was home to Victoria's first registered gold discovery made by James Esmond. His discovery, first published in the Geelong Advertiser on 7 July 1851 triggered the first gold rush in Victoria. 

The township was established a few years later and subsequent gold mining, predominantly driven by the Port Phillip and Colonial Mining Company saw the town's population rising to well over 6,000 residents in the late 1880s. Clunes post office opened as early as 1 October 1857 and in 1874 Clunes was connected to the Victorian railway network. Clunes station was opened in the same year.

In 1873 mine employers attempted to introduce Saturday afternoon and Sunday shifts. The miners refused to sign the new terms outlined in their contract renewals and went on strike. Some days into the action the miners organised the Clunes Miners' Association and what were to become known as the Clunes Riots, successfully resisting the use of foreign labour as strikebreakers. The Clunes Miners' Association is one of the earliest antecedents of the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union.

From the 1850s through to 1893, when gold mining eventually came to an end, Clunes was an important gold production location in Victoria. During this period gold in excess of 1.2 million ounces was produced at Clunes. Surrounded by grassland, meadows and pastures, the town has preserved many of its elegant historic buildings until today and is recognised as one of the architecturally most intact gold towns in Victoria.

The idea of transforming Clunes into a European-style booktown was first conceived and developed by Councillor Tim Hayes, Linda Newitt, Graeme Johnston and Tess Brady. Clunes held its first 'Booktown for a Day' event on 20 May 2007. Over 50 booksellers from around Australia set up shop for the day in the town's heritage buildings. Renamed to 'Back to Booktown' a year later and to 'Clunes Booktown Festival' in 2012, the township now holds the event each year on the first weekend in May. With more than 60 booksellers, millions of books and 15,000 visitors, it has become the largest collection of books in any regional centre of Australia and the major Victorian regional book event.

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, 16 April 2018

Sunday, 15 April 2018

WAITING...

For his master...

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.

Saturday, 14 April 2018

QUOKKA

The quokka (Setonix brachyurus), the only member of the genus Setonix, is a small macropod about the size of a domestic cat. Like other marsupials in the macropod family (such as kangaroos and wallabies), the quokka is herbivorous and mainly nocturnal.

Quokkas can be found on some smaller islands off the coast of Western Australia, in particular on Rottnest Island just off Perth and Bald Island near Albany. A small mainland colony exists in the protected area of Two Peoples Bay Nature Reserve, where they co-exist with the critically endangered Gilbert's potoroo.

This post is part of the Saturday Critters meme,
and also part of the Camera Critters meme.

Friday, 13 April 2018

STORM BREWING

As Autumn progresses, our weather is becoming more unstable and we begin to experience wilder weather events.

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

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

NIGELLA

Nigella damascena (love-in-a-mist, ragged lady) 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 is also sometimes called devil-in-the-bush.
It grows to 20–50 cm (8–20 in) 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 seed capsule becomes brown in late summer.

The plant self-seeds, growing on the same spot year after year. This easily-grown plant has been a familiar subject in English cottage gardens since Elizabethan times, admired for its ferny foliage, spiky flowers and bulbous seed-heads. It is now widely cultivated throughout the temperate world, and numerous cultivars have been developed for garden use. The related Nigella sativa (and not N. damascena) is the source of the spice variously known as nigella, kalonji or black cumin.

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

ROSA, 'EBB TIDE'

Rosa 'Ebb Tide' was bred by Tom Carruth, USA, in 2004. It is a wonderful rose, which created a massive impact for the intense colour and fragrance which was rarely seen in modern roses. This very free-flowering rose bears flowers in small clusters with an amazingly intense clove fragrance throughout the flowering season.

Ebb Tide has beautiful, medium sized, glossy and dark green foliage which is highly disease resistant. The bushy growth is around 90 cm in height with flowers all over the shrub. The striking purple colour and the intense, spicy fragrance will make this rose variety a delightful addition to the rose garden.

Roses thrive in generally sunny, dry and hot conditions as we experience in most Australian gardens, and roses will flourish when you take measures to provide the following:

WATER – Roses are very deep rooted plants and require one good, deep soaking at least every 10 days in hot and dry conditions.
FEED – Because roses flower throughout all but the Winter season, they should be regularly fertilised with quality (preferably organic) fertiliser which contains a balance of major nutrients (NPK) and trace elements. The fertiliser should be applied at least once a month – small amount often – with fortnightly applications of liquid seaweed over the foliage.
PRUNE – During Winter, 70% of the rose plant should be pruned and all old wood removed back to the crown and the bush pruned to shape. During the flowering seasons, 25% of all flowering stems should be cut back after flowering to encourage strong re-growth.
MULCH – Particular attention to application of lucerne or pea straw directly around the root-zone of each rose will enhance the overall health of the rose and then the whole bed should be mulched to 75mm with any other mulch medium available.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

TRIESTE, ITALY

Trieste is a city and a seaport in northeastern Italy. It is situated towards the end of a narrow strip of Italian territory lying between the Adriatic Sea and Slovenia, which lies almost immediately south and east of the city. It is also located near Croatia some further 30 kilometres south. Trieste is located at the head of the Gulf of Trieste and throughout history it has been influenced by its location at the crossroads of Latin, Slavic, and Germanic cultures.

In 2009, it had a population of about 205,000 and it is the capital of the autonomous region Friuli-Venezia Giulia. The metropolitan population of Trieste is 410,000, with the city comprising about 240,000 inhabitants. Trieste was one of the oldest parts of the Habsburg Monarchy, belonging to it from 1382 until 1918. In the 19th century the monarchy was one of the Great Powers of Europe and Trieste was its most important seaport. As a prosperous seaport in the Mediterranean region, Trieste became the fourth largest city of the Austro-Hungarian Empire (after Vienna, Budapest, and Prague).

In the fin de siècle period at the end of the 19th century it emerged as an important hub for literature and music. Trieste underwent an economic revival during the 1930s, and Trieste was an important spot in the struggle between the Eastern and Western blocs after the Second World War. Today, Trieste province is one of the richest in Italy, and it is a great centre for shipping (through the Port of Trieste), shipbuilding and financial services. Trieste is the most important port of Italy and it will be the 2020 European Capital of Science - ESOF.

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, 8 April 2018

AUTUMN SEASCAPE

Where land and sea meet, where Autumn leaves fly onto the water, where evening sky reflects the colour of the woods, where seabirds wander over the forest, where wet sodden earth mingles with bracing salty winds...

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.

RENDEZVOUS

The time when you have eyes only for one other person, and none other.

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.

Saturday, 7 April 2018

WILLIE WAGTAIL

The willie (or willy) wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys) is a passerine bird native to Australia, New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, the Bismarck Archipelago, and Eastern Indonesia. It is a common and familiar bird throughout much of its range, living in most habitats apart from thick forest. Measuring 19–21.5 cm in length, the willie wagtail is contrastingly coloured with almost entirely black upperparts and white underparts; the male and female have similar plumage.

Three subspecies are recognised; Rhipidura leucophrys leucophrys from central and southern Australia, the smaller R. l. picata from northern Australia, and the larger R. l.  melaleuca from New Guinea and islands in its vicinity. It is unrelated to the true wagtails of the genus Motacilla.

The willie wagtail is insectivorous and spends much time chasing prey in open habitat. Its common name is derived from its habit of wagging its tail horizontally when foraging on the ground. Aggressive and territorial, the willie wagtail will often harass much larger birds such as the laughing kookaburra and wedge-tailed eagle. It has responded well to human alteration of the landscape and is a common sight in urban lawns, parks, and gardens. It was widely featured in Aboriginal folklore around the country as either a bringer of bad news or a stealer of secrets.

This post is part of the Saturday Critters meme,
and also part of the Camera Critters meme.

Friday, 6 April 2018

AUTUMN SUNSHINE

The pond on the grounds of La Trobe University in Bundoora, Melbourne.

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

Thursday, 5 April 2018

FLANDERS POPPY

Papaver rhoeas (common names include common poppy, corn poppy, corn rose, field poppy, Flanders poppy or red poppy) is an annual herbaceous species of flowering plant in the poppy family, Papaveraceae.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

MAGNOLIA

Magnolia grandiflora, commonly known as the southern magnolia or bull bay, is a tree of the family Magnoliaceae native to the southeastern United States, from Virginia south to central Florida, and west to East Texas and Oklahoma. Reaching 28 m in height, it is a large, striking, evergreen tree with large, dark green leaves up to 20 cm long and 12 cm wide, and large, white, fragrant flowers up to 30 cm in diameter.

Widely cultivated in warmer areas around the world, over 50 cultivars have been bred and marketed commercially. The timber is hard and heavy, and has been used commercially to make furniture, pallets, and veneer. The climate in Melbourne suits this tree very well and there are many fine specimens in gardens, parks, streets and reserves. Once established, the trees are drought tolerant, and are indeed the most drought tolerant of all the Magnolia species.

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

Tuesday, 3 April 2018

GRAND CANYON

The Grand Canyon (Hopi: Ongtupqa; Yavapai: Wi:kaʼi:la, Navajo: Tsékooh Hatsoh, Spanish: Gran Cañón) is a steep-sided canyon carved by the Colorado River in Arizona, United States. The Grand Canyon is 277 miles (446 km) long, up to 18 miles (29 km) wide and attains a depth of over a mile (6,093 feet or 1,857 meters).

The canyon and adjacent rim are contained within Grand Canyon National Park, the Kaibab National Forest, Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument, the Hualapai Indian Reservation, the Havasupai Indian Reservation and the Navajo Nation. President Theodore Roosevelt was a major proponent of preservation of the Grand Canyon area, and visited it on numerous occasions to hunt and enjoy the scenery.

Nearly two billion years of Earth's geological history have been exposed as the Colorado River and its tributaries cut their channels through layer after layer of rock while the Colorado Plateau was uplifted. While some aspects about the history of incision of the canyon are debated by geologists, several recent studies support the hypothesis that the Colorado River established its course through the area about 5 to 6 million years ago. Since that time, the Colorado River has driven the down-cutting of the tributaries and retreat of the cliffs, simultaneously deepening and widening the canyon.

For thousands of years, the area has been continuously inhabited by Native Americans, who built settlements within the canyon and its many caves. The Pueblo people considered the Grand Canyon a holy site, and made pilgrimages to it. The first European known to have viewed the Grand Canyon was García López de Cárdenas from Spain, who arrived in 1540.

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, 2 April 2018

SEASONAL

Autumn is here and we are enjoying its bounty, its fine mellow days and the changing of the colours.

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.

Sunday, 1 April 2018

MELBOURNE'S RUSSIAN CATHEDRAL

The Russian Orthodox Cathedral of the Protection of the Most Holy Mother of God is located in 1 Albion St, Brunswick, an inner suburb of Melbourne. During the late 1970's and early 1980's clergy and parishioners of the Protection of the Mother of God Cathedral in Collingwood began seeking a new church site. The move was necessary as the site in Collingwood was not large enough to expand.

The decision to build rather than buy was made on the rationale that a church in Russian style is more aesthetically pleasing to those who will worship in it than a renovated church in the style of a western denomination. Three architects were invited to submit proposals for the plans for this new church (Vlad Chernov, Alex Kamenev and John Petrakis). John Petrakis secured the contract with a competitive estimate. He had a working relationship with Brunswick Municipal Council - which was another advantage.

John, who was later to become an honourary Russian dubbed Ivan Petrov, developed the design further and approached the Brunswick city council about a Planning Permit for a Church and a Community Centre. His diplomacy in dealing with the City Council, managing to appease them whilst not compromising design is a credit to him.

The foundation laying ceremony took place on the 5th November 1989. Within the stone some relics of Holy Martyr Grand Duchess Elizabeth were placed with a parchment within a sealed copper/brass cylinder. This is based on the ancient Christian practice of building churches above the graves of holy martyrs.

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,
and also part of the inSPIREd Sunday meme.



Saturday, 31 March 2018

CREEK

By the creek, one early Autumn morning. Fine, warm Autumn days just as the season has turned are beautiful...

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

Friday, 30 March 2018

MOTION BLUR

An interesting effect when the camera slipped from my hand while taking the photo. This is a twilit sky after sunset. The trees aren't on fire and that isn't smoke around them! 

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