Wednesday, 31 January 2018

DAFFODIL

Narcissus is a genus of predominantly spring perennial plants in the Amaryllidaceae (amaryllis) family. Various common names including daffodil, daffadowndilly, narcissus, and jonquil are used to describe all or some members of the genus. Narcissus has conspicuous flowers with six petal-like tepals surmounted by a cup- or trumpet-shaped corona. The flowers are generally white or yellow (orange or pink in garden varieties), with either uniform or contrasting coloured tepals and corona.

Narcissus were well known in ancient civilisation, both medicinally and botanically, but formally described by Linnaeus' in his "Species Plantarum" (1753). The genus is generally considered to have about ten sections with approximately 50 species. The number of species has varied, depending on how they are classified, due to similarity between species and hybridisation. The genus arose some time in the Late Oligocene to Early Miocene epochs, in the Iberian peninsula and adjacent areas of southwest Europe.

The exact origin of the name Narcissus is unknown, but it is often linked to a Greek word for intoxicated (narcotic) and the myth of the youth of that name who fell in love with his own reflection. The English word 'daffodil' appears to be derived from "asphodel", with which it was commonly compared.

The species are native to meadows and woods in southwest Europe and North Africa with a centre of diversity in the Western Mediterranean, particularly the Iberian peninsula. Both wild and cultivated plants have naturalised widely, and were introduced into the Far East prior to the tenth century. Narcissi tend to be long-lived bulbs, which propagate by division, but are also insect-pollinated. Known pests, diseases and disorders include viruses, fungi, the larvae of flies, mites and nematodes. Some Narcissus species have become extinct, while others are threatened by increasing urbanisation and tourism.

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, 30 January 2018

ATOMIUM, BRUSSELS, BELGIUM

The Atomium is a landmark building in Brussels, originally constructed for the 1958 Brussels World's Fair (Expo 58). It is located on the Heysel Plateau, where the exhibition took place. It is now a museum. Designed by the engineer André Waterkeyn and architects André and Jean Polak, it stands 102 m tall.

Its nine 18 m diameter stainless steel clad spheres are connected, so that the whole forms the shape of a unit cell of an iron crystal magnified 165 billion times. Tubes of 3 m diameter connect the spheres along the 12 edges of the cube and all eight vertices to the centre. They enclose stairs, escalators and a lift (in the central, vertical tube) to allow access to the five habitable spheres, which contain exhibit halls and other public spaces. The top sphere includes a restaurant which has a panoramic view of Brussels. In 2013, CNN named it Europe's most bizarre building.

In the 1950s, faith in scientific progress was great, and a structure depicting atoms was chosen to embody this. The Atomium depicts nine iron atoms in the shape of the body-centred cubic unit cell of an iron crystal, magnified 165 billion times. Though the Atomium depicts an iron unit cell, the balls were originally clad with aluminium. Following the 2004–2007 renovations, however, the aluminium was replaced with stainless steel, which is primarily iron. Likewise, while the subject of Atomium was chosen to depict the enthusiasm of the Atomic Age, iron is not and cannot be used as fuel in nuclear reactions.

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, 29 January 2018

SUMMER INSECTS

A selection of insects lurking in the Summer grass, tree bark, leaf and litter; creepy crawlies and tiny beasties - flying, hopping or walking...

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, 28 January 2018

FRESHLY GROUND

Come in, sit down, help yourself to a cup of freshly ground, and slowly brewed coffee. Enjoy...

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, 27 January 2018

A SUMMER WALK

Walking in the Darebin Parklands one fine Summer's day, enjoying the green ambience, the sound of running water, the splashing and barking of happy dogs...

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





Friday, 26 January 2018

Thursday, 25 January 2018

TUBEROSE

Polianthes tuberosa, the tuberose, is a perennial plant related to the agaves, family Agavaceae. Extracts of the extremely fragrant flower are used as a component of perfumes in perfumery. The common name derives from the Latin tuberosa, meaning swollen or tuberous in reference to its root system. Polianthes means "white-flowered" in Greek.

The tuberose is a night-blooming plant native to Mexico, as is every other known species of Polianthes. It grows in elongated spikes up to 45 cm long that produce clusters of fragrant waxy white flowers that bloom from the bottom towards the top of the spike. It has long, bright green leaves clustered at the base of the plant and smaller, clasping leaves along the stem. Epiphyllous adhesion of stamens is seen in the flower.

Members of the closely related genus Manfreda are often called "tuberoses". While once associated with funerals, it is now used in floral arrangements for other occasions, including weddings. In Indonesia, tuberose flowers are also used in cooking.

Tuberose is best cultivated in hardiness zones 8-10. It is a tropical plant, and is perennial in hardiness zones 9 to 11. Plant the bulbs in late Winter to early Spring (after the frosts have finished). Plant bulbs in succession (leaving two weeks between plantings) for a longer, staggered flowering period. The soil must be well-drained and loamy. It needs to be prepared deeply with compost or well-rotted manure. The soil must be lime-free. Full sun yields the best results. If necessary, plant in pots which can be moved to gain maximum sunshine.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday, 24 January 2018

CALENDULA

Calendula, is a genus of about 15–20 species of annual and perennial herbaceous plants in the daisy family Asteraceae that are often known as marigolds. They are native to southwestern Asia, western Europe, Macaronesia, and the Mediterranean. Other plants are also known as marigolds, such as corn marigold, desert marigold, marsh marigold, and plants of the genus Tagetes.

The genus name Calendula is a modern Latin diminutive of calendae, meaning "little calendar", "little clock" or possibly "little weather-glass". The common name "marigold" refers to the Virgin Mary. The most commonly cultivated and used member of the genus is the pot marigold (Calendula officinalis). Popular herbal and cosmetic products named 'calendula' invariably derive from C. officinalis.

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, 23 January 2018

WILSONS PROMONTORY

Wilsons Promontory is a peninsula that forms the southernmost part of the Australian mainland and is located in the state of Victoria. South Point at 39°08′06″S 146°22′32″E is the southernmost tip of Wilsons Promontory and hence of mainland Australia. Located at nearby South East Point, (39°07′S 146°a25′E) is the Wilsons Promontory Lighthouse. Most of the peninsula is protected by the Wilsons Promontory National Park and the Wilsons Promontory Marine National Park.

The first European to see the promontory was George Bass in January 1798. He initially referred to it as "Furneaux's Land" in his diary, believing it to be what Captain Furneaux had previously seen. But on returning to Port Jackson and consulting Matthew Flinders he was convinced that the location was so different it could not be that land. Bass and Flinders recommended the name Wilsons Promontory to Governor Hunter, honouring Flinders's friend from London Thomas Wilson. Little is known of Wilson except that he was a merchant engaged in trade with Australia.

The promontory has been a national park, to one degree or another, since 1898. Wilsons Promontory National Park, also known locally as "the Prom", contains the largest coastal wilderness area in Victoria. The site was closed to the public during World War II, as it was used as a commando training ground. The only settlement within Wilsons Promontory is Tidal River which lies 30 kilometres south of the park boundary and is the focus for tourism and recreation. This park is managed by Parks Victoria.

Wilsons Promontory is home to many marsupials, native birds and other creatures. One of the most common marsupials found on the promontory is the common wombat, which can be found in much of the park (especially around campsites where it has been known to invade tents searching for food). The peninsula is also home to kangaroos, snakes, wallabies, koalas, long-nosed potoroos, white-footed dunnarts, broad-toothed rats, feather-tailed gliders and emus. Some of the most common birds found on the promontory include crimson rosellas, yellow-tailed black cockatoos and superb fairywrens. There are also many pests hog deer, foxes, feral cats, rabbits, common starlings, and common blackbirds.

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, 22 January 2018

PARKLANDS TRIPTYCH

The mosaic below is from three different photos which I have "stitched" together using the Layers tool in Photoshop. This creates a composite view, each photo contributing a vertical third of the final image. I've then processed the image with a dry brush filter.

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

Sunday, 21 January 2018

SILVERY POSSUM...

The common brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula, from the Greek for "furry tailed" and the Latin for "little fox", previously in the genus Phalangista) is a nocturnal, semi-arboreal marsupial of the family Phalangeridae, it is native to Australia, and the second largest of the possums.

Like most possums, the common brushtail possum is nocturnal. It is mainly a folivore, but has been known to eat small mammals such as rats. In most Australian habitats, leaves of eucalyptus are a significant part of the diet but rarely the sole item eaten. The tail is prehensile and naked on its lower underside. There are four colour variations: silver-grey, brown, black, and gold.

It is the Australian marsupial most often seen by city-dwellers, as it is one of few that thrives in cities, as well as a wide range of natural and human-modified environments. Around human habitations, common brushtails are inventive and determined foragers with a liking for fruit trees, vegetable gardens, and kitchen raids. We often get raids by possums in our garden at night, where they help themselves to our citrus fruits from our trees, as you can see in the photo taken under our grapefruit tree.

The coin illustrated in the second photo is a 2013 silver non-circulating 50 cent coin issued by the Perth mint. The image on the reverse features a realistically-coloured baby possum, with big, brown eyes. It perches in the vegetation as an insect wanders by in the background. The “P” mint mark of the Perth Mint is tucked under the branch the possum sits on. In the upper right border is the legend, “Australian Possum.”

This post is part of the Saturday Critters meme,
and also part of the Camera Critters 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, 20 January 2018

BLACK SWAN

The Black Swan (Cygnus atratus) is a large waterbird, a species of swan, which breeds mainly in the southeast and southwest regions of Australia. The species was hunted to extinction in New Zealand, but later reintroduced. Within Australia they are nomadic, with erratic migration patterns dependent upon climatic conditions. Black Swans are large birds with mostly black plumage and red bills. They are monogamous breeders that share incubation duties and cygnet rearing between the sexes. We very often see black swans on Melbourne waterways and the Yarra at Southbank in central Melbourne is no exception.

This post is part of the Weekend Reflections meme,
and also part of the Saturday Critters meme,
and also part of the Camera Critters meme,
and also part of the I'd Rather Be Birdin' meme.



Friday, 19 January 2018

Thursday, 18 January 2018

HIPPEASTRUM

Hippeastrum is a genus of about 90 species and over 600 hybrids and cultivars of perennial herbaceous bulbous plants. They generally have large fleshy bulbs and tall broad leaves, generally evergreen, and large red or purple flowers. Hippeastrum is a genus in the family Amaryllidaceae.

The name Hippeastrum, given to it by William Herbert, means "Knight's-star-lily", although precisely what Herbert meant by the name is not certain. For many years there was confusion among botanists over the generic names Amaryllis and Hippeastrum, one result of which is that the common name "amaryllis" is mainly used for cultivars of this genus, often sold as indoor flowering bulbs particularly at Christmas in the northern hemisphere. By contrast the generic name Amaryllis applies to bulbs from South Africa, usually grown outdoors. The genus is native to tropical and subtropical regions of the Americas from Argentina north to Mexico and the Caribbean.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

BEGONIA

Begonia is a genus of perennial flowering plants in the family Begoniaceae. The genus contains 1,795 different plant species. The begonias are native to moist subtropical and tropical climates. Some species are commonly grown indoors as ornamental houseplants in cooler climates. In temperate climates some species are cultivated outside in summertime for their bright colourful flowers, which have sepals but no petals.

With 1,839 species, Begonia is the fifth-largest angiosperm genus. The species are terrestrial (sometimes epiphytic) herbs or undershrubs, and occur in subtropical and tropical moist climates, in South and Central America, Africa, and southern Asia. Terrestrial species in the wild are commonly upright-stemmed, rhizomatous, or tuberous.

The plants are monoecious, with unisexual male and female flowers occurring separately on the same plant; the male contains numerous stamens, and the female has a large inferior ovary and two to four branched or twisted stigmas. In most species, the fruit is a winged capsule containing numerous minute seeds, although baccate fruits are also known. The leaves, which are often large and variously marked or variegated, are usually asymmetric (unequal-sided).

The genus name Begonia, coined by Charles Plumier, a French patron of botany, and adopted by Linnaeus in 1753, honours Michel Bégon, a former governor of the French colony of Saint-Domingue (now Haiti). The hybrid below is a vigorous perennial growing in our garden and is the Begonia 'Dragon Wing Red" variety.

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, 16 January 2018

METÉORA, GREECE

The Metéora (Greek: Μετέωρα, pronounced [mɛˈtɛoɾɐ], lit. "middle of the sky", "suspended in the air" or "in the heavens above" — etymologically related to "Meteorite") is one of the largest and most important complexes of Eastern Orthodox monasteries in Greece, second only to Mount Athos. The six monasteries are built on natural sandstone rock pillars, at the northwestern edge of the Plain of Thessaly near the Pineios river and Pindus Mountains, in central Greece.

The nearest town is Kalambaka. The Metéora is included on the UNESCO World Heritage List. All of the monasteries that are located at Metéora are perched on high cliffs and accessible by staircases cut into the rock formations. They were created to serve monks and nuns following the teachings of the Greek Orthodox Church. Much of the architecture of these buildings is Athonite in origin. Of the six intact monasteries, the Holy Monastery of St. Stephen and Monastery Roussanou are inhabited by nuns.

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, 15 January 2018

IN OUR GARDEN

It takes a lot of work to keep a garden green and flourishing, but it is worth it in the end when you see the great results of your toil. No pain, no gain...

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,
and also part of the Ruby Tuesday meme.

Sunday, 14 January 2018

MELBOURNE MORNING

Looking towards the East down Bourke St from Queen St, one early morning with only a few early birds around...

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, 13 January 2018

MELBOURNE REFLECTIONS

Melbourne by night, reflected in the waters of the Yarra River. I rather like the City of Melbourne logo, which I've added on the photo. What do you think of it?

This post is part of the Weekend Reflections meme.

Friday, 12 January 2018

PARKLANDS MOONSET

The moon setting in the West at the Darebin Parklands in the Melbourne suburb of Fairfield.

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.