Friday, 27 February 2015


This is a view downstream on the Yarra River at Warrandyte, an outer suburb of Melbourne, Australia.

"The Island" (seen on the right) is located at Thompson Bend, approximately 24 kilometres north-east of Melbourne. It was created by gold miners in 1859-60, during the Victorian gold rush. They dug a diversion channel to alter the course of the Yarra River, providing access to the alluvial gold in the exposed river bed. The canal was widened by subsequent flooding becoming the main river course, with the previous river bed becoming a willow-choked backwater.

We haven't had too hot a Summer this year and there has been some rain, ensuring that the vegetation is quite lush, with a reasonable flow of water in the Yarra over the hot months.

This post is part of the Friday Greens meme.

Thursday, 26 February 2015


Aechmea fasciata (silver vase, urn plant) is a species of flowering plant in the Bromeliaceae family, native to Brazil. This plant is probably the best known species in this genus, and it is often grown as a houseplant in temperate areas. It has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.

The plant grows slowly, reaching 30–90 cm in height, with a spread of up to 60 cm. It has elliptic–oval-shaped leaves 45–90 cm long and arranged in a basal rosette pattern. A. fasciata requires partial shade and a well-drained, but moisture-retentive soil. It can also be grown epiphytically, as, for example, with moss around its roots and wired to rough bark. Root rot can be a problem if the soil is too moist.

Scale insects and mosquitos will sometimes breed in the pools of water that are trapped between the leaves. A. fasciata is listed in the FDA Poisonous Plant Database under the section for "Skin irritating substances in plants" and is known to cause contact dermatitis, phytophotodermatitis, and contact allergy.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday, 25 February 2015


Rhodes (Greek: Ρόδος, Ródos) is the principal city on the island of Rhodes, an island in the Dodecanese, Greece. It has a population of approximately 80,000. Rhodes has been famous since antiquity as the site of Colossus of Rhodes, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. The citadel of Rhodes, built by the Hospitalliers, is one of the best preserved medieval towns in Europe which in 1988 was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The City of Rhodes is a popular international tourist destination. The city is home to numerous landmarks. Some of them date back to antiquity and most of the others remain from the medieval period. They include: The Grand Master's Palace (15th century); Knights Street; Acropolis of Rhodes; Mosque of Suleiman the Magnificent; Medieval walls, created in the mid-14th century on a previous line and remade after the Ottoman siege of 1480 and the earthquake of the following year; Gothic buildings in the historical upper town. Recently, the Byzantine harbour was excavated, discovering medieval shipwrecks.

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

Tuesday, 24 February 2015


Bangkok is the capital and the most populous city of Thailand. It is known in Thai as Krung Thep Maha Nakhon (กรุงเทพมหานคร, ) or simply Krung Thep. The city occupies 1,568.7 square kilometres in the Chao Phraya River delta in Central Thailand, and has a population of over 8 million, or 12.6 percent of the country's population. Over 14 million people (22.2 percent) live within the surrounding Bangkok Metropolitan Region, making Bangkok an extreme primate city, dwarfing Thailand's other urban centres in terms of importance.

Bangkok traces its roots to a small trading post during the Ayutthaya Kingdom in the 15th century, which eventually grew in size and became the site of two capital cities: Thonburi in 1768 and Rattanakosin in 1782. Bangkok was at the heart of Siam's (as Thailand used to be known) modernisation during the later 19th century, as the country faced pressures from the West. The city was the centre stage of Thailand's political struggles throughout the 20th century, as the country abolished absolute monarchy, adopted constitutional rule and underwent numerous coups and uprisings. The city grew rapidly during the 1960s through the 1980s and now exerts a significant impact among Thailand's politics, economy, education, media and modern society.

Bangkok's rapid growth amidst little urban planning and regulation has resulted in a haphazard cityscape and inadequate infrastructure systems. Limited roads, despite an extensive expressway network, together with substantial private car usage, have resulted in chronic and crippling traffic congestion. The high population density and the busy streetscape at almost any hour of the day and night provides plenty of opportunity for the street photographer.

This post is part of the Our World Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Ruby Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Wordless Wednesday meme.

Monday, 23 February 2015


Brunia albiflora is a tall, slender, single-stemmed but well-branched shrub, reaching 2-3 m in height. The long, slender branches are densely leafy, with beautiful dark green foliage that resembles a pine tree, but is much softer. The leaves are 10-14 mm long and narrow (0.7 mm diameter), narrowly lanceolate to linear, black-tipped and covered with delicate hairs.

The flowers are tiny, and are crowded into tight spherical knob-like inflorescences (± 15 mm wide) that are clustered into flat, rounded heads. The knobby inflorescences are covered by scale-like leaves, and before the white flowers break through, they are green touched with black and silver and are also very decorative. Each tiny flower is about 7 mm long, white with yellow stamens sticking out, giving the inflorescence a yellowish tinge. Old flowers age to cream.

After flowering and fertilisation, the flowers turn brown and drop off. The knobby infructescence turns green, ageing to brown in time (seen in its natural colour in the first photo) and it stays on the bush for up to six years, so the remains of the previous year's flowerhead can be seen lower down on the stem. Flowering time is late summer to autumn.
I've digitally processed the remaining four photos through a lengthy and superimposed bunch of filters and colour effects.

This post is part of the Monday Mellow Yellows meme,
and also part of the Mandarin Orange Monday meme,
and also part of the Nature Footstep Digital Art Meme.

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Thursday, 19 February 2015


Helianthus x multiflorus 'Flore Pleno' is a robust plant produces double yellow flowers throughout the summer. Its deep green foliage is an excellent screen or foil to showcase small plants. Flowers of Helianthus x mult. 'Flore Pleno' are scattered all throughout this "green wall" which makes it an excellent choice for the back of your border.

This is a good plant for cut flowers and blooms for 4 weeks or more. It can be planted in containers and attracts butterflies. Prefers average, neutral to slightly alkaline soil. Well drained soil is good for overwintering, but give Helianthus a good soaking if August begins to overpower. Can be divided in spring every 3-4 years. Cut back by one-half in early to midsummer to prevent staking.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday, 18 February 2015


Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) is a flowering plant species in the celery family Apiaceae or Umbelliferae. It is the sole species in the genus Foeniculum. It is a hardy, perennial herb with yellow flowers and feathery leaves. It is indigenous to the shores of the Mediterranean but has become widely naturalised in many parts of the world, especially on dry soils near the sea-coast and on riverbanks. It is a highly aromatic and flavourful herb with culinary and medicinal uses and, along with the similar-tasting anise, is one of the primary ingredients of absinthe. Florence fennel or finocchio is a variety with a swollen, bulb-like stem base that is used as a vegetable.

This post is part of the Friday Greens meme,
and also part of the Outdoor Wednesday meme,
and also part of the ABC Wednesday meme.

Monday, 16 February 2015


Victor Harbor is a city on the coast of the Fleurieu Peninsula, about 80 km south of Adelaide, South Australia. The city is the largest population centre on the peninsula, with an economy based upon agriculture, fisheries and various industries. It is also a highly popular tourist destination, with the city's population greatly expanded during the summer holidays.

A variety of swimming and surfing beaches tempt holiday makers. Victor Harbor is the centre of the surf zone known as the "South Coast" to Adelaide and local surfers. Popular surf beaches in the area include Parsons, Waitpinga, Middleton and Goolwa. The Granite Island breakwater usually shields the town from waves. Victor Harbor also offers numerous fishing opportunities varying from offshore reefs for larger boat based anglers to excellent surf fishing on the beaches closer to the Murray Mouth.

This post is part of  the Monday Mellow Yellows meme,
and also part of the Monday Murals meme,
and also part of the Blue Monday meme.

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Friday, 13 February 2015

Thursday, 12 February 2015


Amaryllis is a small genus of flowering bulbs, with two species. The better known of the two, Amaryllis belladonna, is a native of the Western Cape region of South Africa, particularly the rocky southwest area between the Olifants River Valley to Knysna. 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 the genus Hippeastrum, widely sold in the winter months for their ability to bloom indoors.

Plants of the genus Amaryllis are known as belladonna lily, Jersey lily, naked lady, amarillo, Easter lily in Southern Australia or, in South Africa, March lily due to its propensity to flower around March. This is one of numerous genera with the common name "lily" due to their flower shape and growth habit. However, they are only distantly related to the true lily, Lilium.

Each bulb produces one or two leafless stems 30–60 cm tall, each of which bears a cluster of 2 to 12 funnel-shaped flowers at their tops. Each flower is 6–10 cm diameter with six tepals (three outer sepals, three inner petals, with similar appearance to each other). The usual colour is white with crimson veins, but pink or purple also occur naturally.

Amaryllis belladonna was introduced into cultivation at the beginning of the eighteenth century. It reproduces slowly by either bulb division or seeds and has gradually naturalised from plantings in urban and suburban areas throughout the lower elevations and coastal areas in much of the West Coast of the USA since these environments mimic their native South African habitat. Hardiness zones 6-8. It is also naturalised in Australia.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday, 11 February 2015


The modern Egyptian village of Esna, which was ancient Iunyt or Ta-senet (from which the Coptic Sne and Arabic Isna derive), was built in the area of ancient Latopolis and is the site of a major temple dedicated to the god Khnum. Under the Greeks and Romans, the city became the capital of the Third Nome of Upper Egypt. Besides Khnum, the temple was dedicated to several other deities, the most prominent of whom were Neith and Heka. This was the ram god that was worshipped through out this area and who fashioned mankind from mud of the Nile on his potter's wheel.

Esna is located about 50 km south of Luxor. The temple now stands in the middle of the modern town at a level about nine meters below that of the surrounding grounds. However, texts mentions that it was built on the site of a temple that may have been constructed as early as the reign of Tuthmosis III. Some blocks of the earlier 18th Dynasty structure are preserved. The present structure dates to the Greek and Roman periods and is one of the latest temples to have been built by the ancient Egyptians.

We visited Egypt in June 2005 and went on a leisurely cruise down the Nile, stopping in many of the important ancient sites. It was certainly one of the most memorable trips and seeing first hand all those magnificent ancient ruins that one learnt about in school was quite amazing.

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