Saturday, 30 June 2012


A few begonia flowers fell into the pond, fracturing the reflections on the water surface. A watery death for these flowers...

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


Children the world over are similar, showing the same playfulness, ingenuousness, curiosity, humour and genuine interest in everything new. When we were travelling through Turkey, the children were lovely and often approached us curious as to who we were and we were doing there. Many were keen to have their photograph taken and there were squeals of delight when their image was shown to them on the camera display screen.

This post is part of the Challenge Walk In The Street meme,
and also part of Madge's Weekly TopShot meme.

Friday, 29 June 2012


Brisbane is the capital and most populous city in the Australian state of Queensland and the third most populous city in Australia. Brisbane's metropolitan area has a population of approximately 2.1 million, and the South East Queensland urban conurbation, centred around Brisbane, encompasses a population of more than 3 million.

The Brisbane central business district stands on the original European settlement and is situated inside a bend of the Brisbane River, approximately 23 km from its mouth at Moreton Bay. The metropolitan area extends in all directions along the floodplain of the Brisbane River valley between the bay and the Great Dividing Range. While the metropolitan area is governed by several municipalities, a large portion of central Brisbane is governed by the Brisbane City Council, which is by far Australia's largest Local Government Area by population.

Brisbane is named after the river on which it sits, which, in turn, was named after Scotsman Sir Thomas Brisbane, the Governor of New South Wales from 1821 to 1825. The first European settlement in Queensland was a penal colony at Redcliffe, 28 kilometres north of the Brisbane central business district, in 1824. That settlement was soon abandoned and moved to North Quay in 1825. Free settlers were permitted from 1842. Brisbane was chosen as the capital when Queensland was proclaimed a separate colony from New South Wales in 1859.

This post is part of the Skywatch Friday meme.

Brisbane City Hall, in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, is the seat of the Brisbane City Council. It is located adjacent to King George Square, where the rectangular City Hall has its main entrance. The City Hall also has frontages and entrances in both Ann Street and Adelaide Street. The building is considered one of Brisbane's finest, with the foundation stone laid in 1920, was registered on the Register of the National Estate since 1978.

The Treasury Casino, also known as The Treasury is a casino in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. It also houses a hotel, five restaurants, seven bars, and a nightclub.  The casino and hotel occupy two of Australia's grandest heritage buildings, the Treasury Building, and the nearby Lands Administration Building. The buildings are separated by Queens Park.
City view from the Story Bridge.

Thursday, 28 June 2012


I have posted here before some photos of traditional Greek shop signs. Here are some more of these hand-painted shop signs that remind one of a bygone era.

This post is part of the Signs, Signs meme.
A traditional dairy products store in Metsovo, one of the mountain villages of northern Greece.

Café, named after the Dioscurii, the twin brothers of Helen of Troy and sons of Zeus.
A tavern named "Of Stone" - referring to the building, which is made of stone.
Ouzo bar and restaurant, called "The Athenian", established in 1932.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012


The Auckland Domain is Auckland's oldest park, and at 75 hectares one of the largest in the city. Located in the central suburb of Grafton, the park contains all of the explosion crater and most of the surrounding tuff ring of the Pukekawa volcano. The park is home to one of Auckland's main tourist attractions, the Auckland War Memorial Museum, which sits prominently on the crater rim (tuff ring).

Several sports fields occupy the floor of the crater, circling to the south of the cone, while the rim opposite the Museum hosts the cricket pavilion and Auckland City Hospital. The Wintergarden, with two beautiful glass houses, lie on the north side of the central scoria cone. The fernery has been constructed in an old quarry in part of the cone.The duck ponds lie in the northern sector of the explosion crater, which is breached to the north with a small overflow stream.

This post is part of Kim's Water World Wednesday meme,
and also part of Susan's Outdoor Wednesday meme,
and also part of Nature Footsteps Waters meme.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012


First settled in the 1840's Warrnambool is home to many shipwrecks, a historic boathouse, a state heritage listed Lighthouse and Maritime Village which was Victoria’s most active port in the 1880s.

Granny’s Grave is a lone monument in the dunes close to The Promenade, off Hickford Parade overlooking Lady Bay. The gravestone was erected in 1904 in recognition of the first white woman to be buried in Warrnambool. It marks the final resting place of Mrs. James Raddleston who died in 1848, when the Warrnambool settlement was less than a year old.

Here you can find a poem by Maureen Clifford about Granny's Grave. Excuse the poor quality of the photos, but they were taken in 2001 with one of my early digital cameras. It's amazing how in a decade the digital technology has advanced so amazingly. Also it does not help that the writing is painted green writing on the stone, which makes for very poor contrast. For easier reading, the inscription on the marker has been transcribed for you.

This post is part of Julie's Taphophile Tragics meme.

Monday, 25 June 2012


Taraxacum is a large genus of flowering plants in the family Asteraceae. They are native to Eurasia and North America, and two species, T. officinale and T. erythrospermum, are found as weeds worldwide. Both species are edible in their entirety. The common name dandelion (from French dent-de-lion, meaning "lion's tooth") is given to members of the genus, and like other members of the Asteraceae family, they have very small flowers collected together into a composite flower head. Each single flower in a head is called a floret.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme,
and also part of the Mellow Yellow Monday meme.

Sunday, 24 June 2012


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 Scenic Sunday meme,
and also part of Madge's Weekly Topshot meme.

Saturday, 23 June 2012


One of the highlights of any visit to India is seeing the Taj Mahal in Agra. This is a white marble mausoleum built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal. The Taj Mahal is widely recognized as "the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world's heritage". It covers an area of about 1003 acres or 405 hectares.

Taj Mahal is the finest example of Mughal architecture, a style that combines elements from Persian, Turkish and Indian architectural styles. In 1983, the Taj Mahal became a UNESCO World Heritage Site. While the white domed marble mausoleum is the most familiar component of the Taj Mahal, it is actually an integrated complex of structures. The construction began around 1632 and was completed around 1653, employing thousands of artisans and craftsmen.

The construction of the Taj Mahal was entrusted to a board of architects under imperial supervision, including Abd ul-Karim Ma'mur Khan, Makramat Khan, and Ustad Ahmad Lahauri. Lahauri is generally considered to be the principal designer.

This post is part of James'
Weekend Reflections meme,
and also part of Madge's Weekly TopShot meme.

Friday, 22 June 2012


Flying into Brisbane provides great opportunities for some photography if one is sitting in a window seat. Here are some I took during my last trip there.

This post is part of the Skywatch Friday meme.

Thursday, 21 June 2012


Swainsona formosa, Sturt's Desert Pea, is an Australian plant in the genus Swainsona, named after English botanist Isaac Swainson, famous for its distinctive blood-red leaf-like flowers, each with a bulbous black centre, or "boss". It is one of Australia's best known wildflowers. It is native to the arid regions of central and north-western Australia, and its range extends into all mainland Australian states with the exception of Victoria.

The plant flowers from spring to summer, particularly after rain. There is a natural pure white form, as well as hybridised varieties which can have flowers ranging from blood scarlet, to pink and even pale cream, with variously coloured central bosses. Flowers are bird-pollinated in the wild. The fruit is a legume, about 5 centimetres long, and each yields 50 or more flat, kidney-shaped seeds at maturity Most forms of the plant are low-growing or prostrate, however in the Pilbara region of north-western Australia varieties growing as tall as 2 metres have been observed.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012


The South Island (Māori: Te Wai Pounamu) of New Zealand is the larger of the two major islands of New Zealand, the other being the more populous North Island. It is bordered to the north by Cook Strait, to the west by the Tasman Sea, to the south and east by the Pacific Ocean. The territory of the South Island covers 151,215 square kilometres and is influenced by a temperate climate. The South Island is sometimes called the "Mainland". While it has a 33% larger landmass than the North Island, only 24% of New Zealand's 4.4 million inhabitants live in the South Island. In the early stages of European (Pākehā) settlement of the country, the South Island had the majority of the European population and wealth due to the 1860s gold rushes.

The South Island is the world's 12th-largest island. It is divided along its length by the Southern Alps, the highest peak of which is Aoraki/Mount Cook at 3754 metres (12,316 ft). There are eighteen peaks of more than 3000 metres (9800 ft) in the South Island. The east side of the island is home to the Canterbury Plains while the West Coast is famous for its rough coastlines, very high proportion of native bush, and Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers. The dramatic landscape of the South Island has made it a popular location for the production of several films, including the Lord of the Rings trilogy and the The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe.

This post is part of Kim's Water World Wednesday meme,
and also part of Susan's Outdoor Wednesday meme,
and also part of Nature Footsteps Waters meme.