Sunday, 17 June 2018

QUEEN'S PARK LAKE

Welcome to the meme, "My Sunday Best", which is a photographic and creative meme that allows you to showcase your talents in imaging. Every Sunday, you can post here showing an image you have created using your camera, (and/or) image processing software, and/or painting and drawing in the conventional way and have scanned in.

The rules are simple:
1) Create your image and post it up on your blog;
2) Put the "My Sunday Best" logo image link somewhere on your post so people can click and come by here;
3) Leave a comment here once you have posted;
4) Visit other posters' blogs and be amazed with their creativity!

Please do not use this meme to advertise your goods or services. This is a creative meme and any inappropriate links or comments shall be removed immediately!



Queen's Park is a significant Municipal Park in Moonee Ponds in the City of Melbourne, Australia. It is located in central Moonee Ponds bound by the following roads; Mount Alexander Road, The Strand, Pascoe Vale Road, Kellaway Avenue. Early travellers heading for the goldfields met here because fresh water was available in the lagoon. Burke and Wills camped here on their fateful journey to cross Australia.

A picturesque cottage is the focal point of the park with its idyllic surrounds and lovely public art pieces, such as mosaics, statues and monuments. A gravel path surrounds the lake where seats and picnic tables are provided beneath old established exotic trees, with the lake a haven for a variety of birds, making for a magical milieu. A rose garden and a sunken garden are part of the many attractions of the park. Music concerts and other entertainments are common on weekends.
This post is part of the Weekend Reflections meme,
and also part of the My Sunday Photo meme,
and also part of the Photo Sunday meme.

Saturday, 16 June 2018

DUCKS

In the Darebin Parklands, the waters of the Darebin Creek and the several ponds through the reserve offer a great environment for many species of waterfowl. Here are some chestnut teal ducks (Anas castanea). Chestnut teals are dabbling ducks found in Australia. They are protected under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974.

The chestnut teal is darker and a slightly bigger bird than the grey teal. The male has a distinctive green coloured head and mottled brown body. The female has a brown head and mottled brown body. The female is almost identical in appearance to the grey teal. The female chestnut teal has a loud penetrating "laughing" quack repeated rapidly nine times or more.

The chestnut teal is commonly distributed in south-eastern and south-western Australia, while vagrants may occur elsewhere. Tasmania and southern Victoria are the species’ stronghold, while vagrants can be found as far north as New Guinea and Lord Howe Island. The chestnut teal prefers coastal estuaries and wetlands, and is indifferent to salinity. This bird is an omnivore.

Chestnut teals form monogamous pairs that stay together outside the breeding season, defend the nest site and look after the young when hatched. Nests are usually located over water, in a down-lined tree hollow about 6–10 m high. Sometimes nests are placed on the ground, among clumps of grass near water. The young hatch and are ready to swim and walk within a day.

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, 15 June 2018

PARKLANDS POND

At the Darebin Parklands in suburban Melbourne, Australia. A fine Winter morning. It may look warm but it was definitely quite crisp!

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

Thursday, 14 June 2018

BLACK NIGHTSHADE

European black nightshade (Solanum nigrum) or locally just 'black nightshade', duscle, garden nightshade, garden huckleberry, hound's berry, petty morel, wonder berry, small-fruited black nightshade, or popolo) is a species in the Solanum genus, native to Eurasia and introduced in the Americas, Australasia, and South Africa. Parts of this plant can be toxic to livestock and humans. Nonetheless, ripe berries and cooked leaves of edible strains are used as food in some locales, and plant parts are used as a traditional medicine. A tendency exists in literature to incorrectly refer to many of the other "black nightshade" species as "Solanum nigrum".

Solanum nigrum has been recorded from deposits of the Palaeolithic and Mesolithic era of ancient Britain and it is suggested by the botanist and ecologist Edward Salisbury that it was part of the native flora there before Neolithic agriculture emerged. The species was mentioned by Pliny the Elder in the first century AD and by the great herbalists, including Dioscorides. In 1753, Carl Linnaeus described six varieties of Solanum nigrum in 'Species Plantarum'.

Black nightshade is a common herb or short-lived perennial shrub, found in many wooded areas, as well as disturbed habitats. It reaches a height of 30 to 120 cm, leaves 4.0 to 7.5 cm long and 2 to 5 cm wide; ovate to heart-shaped, with wavy or large-toothed edges; both surfaces hairy or hairless; petiole 1 to 3 cm long with a winged upper portion. The flowers have petals greenish to whitish, recurved when aged and surround prominent bright yellow anthers. The berry is mostly 6 to 8 mm in diam., dull black or purple-black. In India, another strain is found with berries that turn red when ripe. Sometimes S. nigrum is confused for the more toxic deadly nightshade, Atropa belladonna, which is in a different Solanaceae genus altogether. A comparison of the fruit shows that the black nightshade berries grow in bunches, the deadly nightshade berries grow individually.

Solanine levels in S. nigrum can be toxic. Children have died from poisoning after eating unripe berries. However, the plant is rarely fatal, with ripe berries causing symptoms of mild abdominal pains, vomiting, and diarrhoea. Poisoning symptoms are typically delayed for 6 to 12 hours after ingestion. Initial symptoms of toxicity include fever, sweating, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhoea, confusion, and drowsiness. Death from ingesting large amounts of the plant results from cardiac arrhythmias and respiratory failure. Livestock have also been poisoned from nitrate toxicity by grazing the leaves of S. nigrum. All kinds of animals can be poisoned after ingesting nightshade, including cattle, sheep, poultry, and swine.

Nevertheless, S. nigrum has been widely used as a food since early times, and the fruit was recorded as a famine food in 15th-century China. Despite toxicity issues with some forms, the ripe berries and boiled leaves of edible strains are eaten. The thoroughly boiled leaves (although strong and slightly bitter flavoured) are used like spinach as horta (see here) and in fataya pies and quiches. The ripe black berries are described as sweet and salty, with hints of liquorice and melon. In South India, the leaves and berries are routinely consumed as food after cooking with tamarind, onion, and cumin seeds.

If you decide to pick and consume black nightshade, ensure you know that you are picking the right plant and also that you are preparing it correctly!

The plant has a long history of medicinal usage, dating back to ancient Greece. In the fourteenth century, the plant under the name of Petty Morel was being used for "canker" and with Horehound and wine taken for "dropsy". It was a traditional European medicine used as a strong sudorific, analgesic and sedative with powerful narcotic properties, but was considered a "somewhat dangerous remedy". Internal use has fallen out of favour in Western herbalism due to its variable chemistry and toxicity, but it is used topically as a treatment for herpes zoster. In the language of flowers, a sprig of flowering black nightshade signifies "truth".

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.




Wednesday, 13 June 2018

'WALLS' BY C. CAVAFY

Walls

Without thought, without pity, without shame
They built around me tall, forbidding walls.

And as I sit here now, in hopelessness,
I think of nothing else, my mind corroded by this misfortune;

Because I had so much to do outside the walls.
How careless I must have been, not to have seen them building walls…

And yet I never heard the sound of builders, or of construction.
They isolated me from the world around me quite imperceptibly.

Constantine Cavafy (1863-1933)

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

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

SEGOVIA, SPAIN

Segovia is a city in the autonomous region of Castile and León, Spain. The city is famous for its historical buildings and for three main landmarks: Its magnificent Roman aqueduct, its cathedral, one of the last Gothic temples to be built in Europe, and the castle, which was an influence for Walt Disney's Cinderella Castle. The city centre of Segovia was declared World Heritage by the Unesco in 1985. It is the capital of Province of Segovia.

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, 10 June 2018

MY SUNDAY BEST MEME #70 - BLACK SWANS

Welcome to the meme, "My Sunday Best", which is a photographic and creative meme that allows you to showcase your talents in imaging. Every Sunday, you can post here showing an image you have created using your camera, (and/or) image processing software, and/or painting and drawing in the conventional way and have scanned in.

The rules are simple:
1) Create your image and post it up on your blog;
2) Put the "My Sunday Best" logo image link somewhere on your post so people can click and come by here;
3) Leave a comment here once you have posted;
4) Visit other posters' blogs and be amazed with their creativity! Please do not use this meme to advertise your goods or services.

This is a creative meme and any inappropriate links or comments shall be removed immediately!



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.

After hatching, the beige-coloured cygnets are tended by the parents for about 9 months until fledging, when the chicks become black. Described scientifically by English naturalist John Latham in 1790, the Black Swan was formerly placed into a monotypic genus, Chenopis. Black Swans can be found singly, or in loose companies numbering into the hundreds or even thousands. Black Swans are popular birds in zoological gardens and bird collections, and escapees are sometimes seen outside their natural range. These fine specimens were snapped at the Coburg Lake Park in Melbourne.
This post is part of the My Sunday Photo meme,
and also part of the Photo Sunday meme.

Friday, 8 June 2018

WINTRY SKY

Early Winter morning in the Darebin Parklands in Melbourne. The air cold and crisp and the sunshine deceptive as it failed to warm the air.

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