Thursday, 28 November 2013


The irony of this sign is the didactic message of a petroleum product multinational espousing messages regarding "better energy solutions", amplified greatly by the graffiti beneath and its "green" advice!

I took the photo at Clifton Hill railway station in Melbourne, yesterday while riding a commuter train. Our trains are bike friendly and many bike riders use the trains for long-haul trips and then ride their bikes at their destination.

This post is part of the Signs, Signs meme.


Salvia officinalis 'Purpurascens' or purple sage, is a useful and beautiful addition to the home garden. Cooks and gardeners alike are indebted to this evergreen perennial for the unique, pungent flavour and aroma that its gray-green leaves produce. This cultivar has leaves suffused with steely-gray purple.

It forms a 40-50 cm tall bush with woody stems that may be trimmed back to newly emerging growth or strong stems in spring. In early to mid-summer, it sends up lavender-purple flower spikes; it has both ornamental and culinary qualities in an herb garden. It tolerates alkaline soils, but cannot survive wet winter conditions.

Salvias are some of the showiest plants for containers, annual borders, and mixed borders. Butterflies, bees and hummingbirds love them. Provide moist but well-drained soil in full sun. The plant tolerates alkaline soil.
This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Monday, 25 November 2013


A selection of fruits available at our local greengrocer's shop. Interesting mix of temperate and tropical fruit, local and imported, but all yellow and orange: Apricots, loquats, mandarins, mangoes and oranges.

This post is part of the Monday Mellow Yellows meme,
and also part of the Mandarin Orange Monday meme.

Saturday, 23 November 2013


Tumbalong Park is a park in Darling Harbour, located in Sydney, Australia. The parkland was designed using native Australian foliage incorporated with fountains as an urban stream. The park is used as a venue for central Sydney events, including New Year's Eve and Australia Day celebrations. Public toilets, cafes and restaurants are located on the park's fringes.

Tumbalong Park is easy to get to with the closest train station at Town Hall and many buses travelling down Market, Park, Druitt, Bathurst or Liverpool Streets. You can catch a ferry to Darling Harbour by alighting at King Street Wharf or Pyrmont Bay Wharf. Paddy’s Market light rail station is closest and there are also car parking stations nearby.

This post is part of the Weekend Reflections meme,
and also part of the Weekly TopShot meme,
and also part of the Scenic Weekends meme.

Thursday, 21 November 2013


Craspedia is a genus of flowering plants in the daisy family commonly known as billy buttons and woollyheads. They are native to Australia and New Zealand where they grow in a variety of habitats from sea level to the Alps. The genus is found in every state of Australia except the Northern Territory. In New Zealand, Craspedia is found from East Cape on the North Island south to Stewart Island. It also occurs on Campbell Island and the Chatham Islands. There are about 23 species: 6 from New Zealand and 17 from Australia.

Craspedia are rosette-forming herbs with compound capitula borne on erect, unbranched scapes. The capitula are hemispherical to spherical heads of tiny flowers. Most species are perennial; one species is recorded as an annual (Craspedia haplorrhiza). The leaves have considerable variation in form, ranging in colour from white to green, and are often covered in fine hairs.

Species of Craspedia are found in a wide range of habitats from coastal to alpine and are generally plants of open areas, sometimes ruderal. Observations of some Australian species suggest they re-establish well after fire. In Australia Craspedia are commonly found growing in forest habitat, whereas in New Zealand they are generally excluded from closed Nothofagus forests. Craspedia species may occur in dense, widespread populations in mainland Australia, but generally not in New Zealand or Tasmania.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme,
and also part of the Nature Footsteps Winged meme.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013


The Australian Magpie (Cracticus tibicen) is a medium-sized black and white passerine bird native to Australia and southern New Guinea. A member of the Cracticidae, it is closely related to the butcherbirds. At one stage, the Australian Magpie was considered to be three separate species, although zones of hybridisation between forms reinforced the idea of a single species with several subspecies, nine of which are now recognised. The adult Australian Magpie is a fairly robust bird ranging from 37 to 43 cm in length, with distinctive black and white plumage, gold brown eyes and a solid wedge-shaped bluish-white and black bill. The male and female are similar in appearance, and can be distinguished by differences in back markings. With its long legs, the Australian Magpie walks rather than waddles or hops and spends much time on the ground. This adaptation has led to many authorities maintaining it in its own genus Gymnorhina, however a genetic study published in 2013 has shown it to be most closely related to the Black Butcherbird (C. quoyi) rather than an early offshoot from the other butcherbirds.

Described as one of Australia's most accomplished songbirds, the Australian Magpie has an array of complex vocalisations. It is omnivorous, with the bulk of its varied diet made up of invertebrates. It is generally sedentary and territorial throughout its range. Common and widespread, it has adapted well to human habitation and is a familiar bird of parks, gardens and farmland in Australia and New Guinea. Magpies were introduced into New Zealand in the 1860s but have subsequently been accused of displacing native birds and are now treated as a pest species. Introductions also occurred in the Solomon Islands and Fiji, where the birds are not considered an invasive species. Spring in Australia is magpie season, when a small minority of breeding magpies (almost always males) around the country become aggressive and swoop and attack those who approach their nests, especially bike riders. This species is commonly fed by households around the country and is the mascot of several Australian sporting teams.

This post is part of the Outdoor Wednesday meme,
and also part of the Wild Bird Wednesday meme.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013


Hippeastrum is a genus of about 90 species and 600+ hybrids and cultivars of bulbous plants in the family Amaryllidaceae, subfamily Amaryllidoideae, native to tropical and subtropical regions of the Americas from Argentina north to Mexico and the Caribbean. Some species are grown for their large showy flowers. For many years there was confusion amongst 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, which are widely used as indoor flowering bulbs. The generic name Amaryllis applies to bulbs from South Africa, usually grown outdoors.

This post is part of the Nature Footsteps Floral Macros meme,
and also part of the Ruby Tuesday meme.

Saturday, 16 November 2013


The Chinese Garden of Friendship was built as a symbol of the friendship between Sydney and Guangzhuo in China, to mark Australia’s bicentenary in 1988. The garden was designed and built by Chinese landscape architects and gardeners following the Taoist principles of 'Yin-Yang' and the five opposite elements—earth, fire, water, metal and wood. These principles also stress the importance of Qi, the central force of life and energy.

Yin-Yang plays such a vital role that just one missing element would disrupt the garden's harmony and balance. However when combined perfectly, the five elements form a fluid and nurturing environment. Everything you encounter in the garden has been hand-picked and meticulously placed to capture the five elements and the energy of Qi.

Unlike western-style gardens, there are no planted flowerbeds or manicured lawns. Instead, wild aspects of nature are recreated in landscapes that feature waterfalls, mountains, lakes and forests.The art of Chinese Garden design began in imperial parks during the Shang dynasty 3,000 years ago. Later they flourished on a smaller scale in the private gardens of China's rich and powerful. Darling Harbour’s Chinese Garden of Friendship is a small-scale version of a typical private garden from this era.

This post is part of the Weekend Reflections meme,
and also part o the Weekly TopShot meme,
and also part of the Scenic Weekends meme.

Friday, 15 November 2013


This magpie was enjoying a brief period of sunshine, which suddenly appeared after many grey days of cold and rain. We are experiencing a very wet Spring in Melbourne this year...

This post is part of the Skywatch Friday meme.

Thursday, 14 November 2013


Erysimum cheiri syn. Cheiranthus cheiri (common name "wallflower") is a species of flowering plant in the family Brassicaceae (Cruciferae), native to Europe but widespread as an introduced species elsewhere. It is also widely cultivated as a garden plant. It is known as giroflée and revenelle in French, Goldlack in German, alhelí in Spanish and violacciocca in Italian.

This is a popular ornamental plant, widely cultivated for its abundant, fragrant flowers in spring. Many cultivars have been developed, in shades of yellow, orange, red, maroon, purple, brown, white and cream. It associates well in bedding schemes with other spring flowers such as tulips and forget-me-nots. It is usually grown as a biennial, sown one year to flower the next, and then discarded.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme,
and also part of the Nature Footsteps Winged meme.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013


Australia’s most widespread swallow, the Welcome Swallow (Hirundo neoxena) can be seen fluttering, swooping and gliding in search of flying insects in almost any habitat, between city buildings, over farmland paddocks, in deserts, wetlands, forests and grasslands and every habitat in between.

Sometimes these birds even occur at sea — the name ‘Welcome’ swallow comes from sailors who knew that the sight of a swallow meant that land was not far away. Swallows build their mud nests in many different situations, though most noticeably beneath bridges and on the walls of buildings.

This post is part of the Outdoor Wednesday meme,
and also part of the Wild Bird Wednesday meme.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013


Epiphyllum (meaning "upon the leaf" in Greek) is a genus of 19 species of epiphytic plants in the cactus family (Cactaceae), native to Central America. Common names for these species include orchid cacti and leaf cacti, though the latter also refers to the genus Pereskia.

The stems are broad and flat, 1–5 cm broad, 3–5 mm thick, usually with lobed edges. The flowers are large, 8–16 cm diameter, white to red, with numerous petals. The fruit is edible, very similar to the pitaya fruit from the closely related genus Hylocereus, though not so large, being only 3–4 cm long. The broad-leaved epiphyllum (Epiphyllum oxypetalum) is particularly well-known. It bears large, strongly fragrant flowers that bloom for a single night only. Epiphyllum species are added to some versions of the hallucinogenic drink ayahuasca.

The plants known as epiphyllum hybrids, epiphyllums or just epis, which are widely grown for their flowers, are artificial hybrids of species within the tribe Hylocereeae, particularly species of Disocactus, Pseudorhipsalis and Selenicereus. In spite of the common name, Epiphyllum species are less often involved.

This post is part of the Nature Footsteps Floral Macros meme,
and also part of the Ruby Tuesday meme.

Sunday, 10 November 2013


Richmond is a town in Tasmania about 25 km north-east of Hobart, in the Coal River region, between the Midland Highway and Tasman Highway. At the 2006 census, Richmond had a population of 880. Richmond's most famous landmark is the Richmond Bridge, built in 1823 to 1825, around the time of the town's first settlement. It is Australia's oldest bridge still in use. St John's Catholic church was built in 1836, and is considered the oldest Roman Catholic church in Australia.

The town was initially part of the route between Hobart and Port Arthur until the Sorell Causeway was constructed in 1872. Richmond is best known as being preserved as it was at that time. It is a vibrant tourist town, with many of the sandstone structures still standing.

This post is part of the Scenic Weekends meme,
and also part of the Sunday Bridges meme.