Thursday, 20 June 2019

PONTEDERIA

Pontederia cordata, common name pickerelweed (USA) or pickerel weed (UK), is a monocotyledonous aquatic plant native to the American continent. It grows in a variety of wetlands, including pond and lake margins across an extremely large range from eastern Canada south to Argentina. A few examples include northern rivers, the Everglades and Louisiana.

The species grows as an emergent plant, that is, in flooded conditions, so the plant is generally dependent upon aerenchyma in the stem to carry oxygen into the roots. Its metabolism, is, however, also tolerant of low soil oxygen. It is often found in areas where water levels fluctuate naturally, with spring flooding and later summer emergence. Apart from flooding, the species is also influenced by soil fertility, tending to grow in the more fertile bays of large lakes, for example. Like many aquatic plants, it is negatively affected by salinity and grazing. It is also negatively affected by competition from other wetland plants. 

Like many wetland plants, it can survive unfavourable conditions as buried seeds in the soil. The plant flowers in late summer. The purple flowers have yellow markings which may assist in attracting bees for pollination. One bee species known to pollinate the flowers is Dufourea (Halictoides) novaeangliae. Once the plant begins to produce seeds, the stem supporting the inflorescence bends to submerse the fruits and seeds. Seeds are dormant at the time of dispersal and will not germinate without stratification for 6-8 weeks.

The flowers of the species are tristylous, meaning the styles of individual plants occur in three different morphs, with most populations containing all three. Leaf shape, which varies considerably across populations, within populations, and even within individuals, has been the source for many taxonomic synonyms. Like many wetland and aquatic plants, the species can reproduce asexually by means of branching rhizomes, and hence can form large clonal stands. This plant is cultivated as an ornamental garden plant, and has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday, 19 June 2019

XENIUM

A xenium (ksé-ni-um) is a gift or offering given to a stranger (Greek: xénos), which in its native Ancient Greece would once have been a lavish feast or a refreshing spread of food and fruit. In the 19th century art world, however, xenium came to refer to a still-life painting depicting something like an extravagant display of food or a bowl of fruit.

This is a xenium still life by Cornelis de Heem (8 April 1631 [baptised] – 17 May 1695 [buried]) who was a still-life painter associated with both Flemish Baroque and Dutch Golden Age painting. He was a member of a large family of still-life specialists, of which his father, Jan Davidszoon de Heem (1606–1684), was the most significant.

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

Tuesday, 18 June 2019

GALAXIDI, GREECE

Galaxidi or Galaxeidi (Greek: Γαλαξίδι/Γαλαξείδι), is a town and a former municipality in the southern part of Phocis, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality Delphi, of which it is a municipal unit. The municipal unit has an area of 126.088 km2. Galaxidi has a small harbour on the north coast of the Gulf of Corinth. It is 7 km southwest of Itea, 15 km southwest of Delphi, 17 km south of Amfissa and 48 km east of Naupactus. The Greek National Road 48 connects Galaxidi with Naupactus, Itea and Delphi. Galaxidi is a 2.5 to 3 hour drive from the capital Athens and a relatively popular weekend retreat.

Modern Galaxidi is built on the site of ancient Haleion, a city of western Locris. Traces of habitation are discernible since prehistoric times with a peak in the Early Helladic Period (Anemokambi, Pelekaris, Kefalari, islet of Apsifia). A significant Mycenaean settlement has been located at Villa; the hill of St. Athanasios also revealed a fortified Geometric settlement (ca. 700 BC). In the Archaic and Classical periods (7th-4th centuries BC) was developed the administrative and religious centre at the modern site of Agios Vlasis. It seems that in ca. 300 BC the present site was settled and surrounded by a fortification wall; it is the period of the expansion of power of the Aetolian League. Haleion flourished throughout the Hellenistic and Roman periods until the 2nd century AD.

Galaxidi is a small port situated on a natural double harbour surrounded by mountains. The deeper main harbour provides docking facilities for yachts and small fishing boats and is lined with restaurants, bars, and stores. The smaller harbour is Chirolaka. On the rocky shoreline by the side of the larger harbour, is a pine forest planted by school children in the early twentieth century. There is a road behind the town that leads up the mountain to the Monastery of the Metamorphosis (actually a convent that was inhabited by one nun as of 2010). This provides a splendid view of the town and its surroundings. No traces remain of the town's medieval castle. The Church of Saint John of Jerusalem, built by the Hospitallers in 1404, survived until after World War I, when it was replaced by a modern church dedicated to Saint Nicholas.

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, 16 June 2019

MY SUNDAY BEST MEME #122 - CHALLENGE: SMALL

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 according to the "CHALLENGE" theme, 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!

NEXT WEEK'S CHALLENGE THEME IS: INTERIOR


Last week's theme was "LOVE" and Lydia in Sydney posted a lovely photo of the 'Vivid' Festival. The image below was my fave this week. Please visit her blog for more photos.



Saturday, 15 June 2019

GRASS PARROTS

The red-rumped parrot (Psephotus haematonotus), also known as the red-backed parrot or grass parrot, is a common bird of south-eastern Australia, particularly in the Murray-Darling Basin. The red-rumped parrot was described by John Gould in 1838 as Platycercus haematonotus from a specimen collected in New South Wales. He felt it was intermediate between the genera Platycercus and Nanodes, placing it in the former. He gave it its species name on account of its red rump.

It is the type species for the genus Psephotus. It was long presumed to be closely related to the mulga parrot, however analysis of multiple genetic material shows it to be an early offshoot of a group containing the genera Platycercus and Barnardius. Hence all other species in the genus have been moved to the new genus Psephotellus, leaving the red-rumped parrot as the sole member in the now monotypic genus.

The IOC has designated red-rumped parrot as its official common name. It is also known as red-backed parrot and grass parrot. Red-rumped parrots are slim, moderate-sized parrots approximately 28 cm in length. The male's plumage is a bright emerald-green with yellow underparts, a brick-red rump and blue highlights on the wings and upper back. The female's plumage is less vibrant, with pale olive underparts, dull green wings and back and blue-black wingtips. The characteristic red rump is only found in the male.

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




Thursday, 13 June 2019

MOTHER & CHILD ROSE

Rosa "Mother and Child" is a hybrid from Rankin’s Roses released in 2015. The elegant strong stems of "Mother and Child" peak into highly fragrant clusters of dark pink flowers, with up to 10 flowers per stem. Set off by hardy, dark green foliage, the beautiful blooms of "Mother and Child" will flower profusely and will stay disease free (very resistant to black spot and mildew in gardens). The rose grows approximately 1.1m high x 0.6m wide. Rankin's "Mother and Child" sales will follow the tradition in supporting research into MND (Motor Neurone Disease) to find a cure for this terrible disease.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday, 12 June 2019

WINTRY WEATHER

We are in June, the first Winter month in the Southern Hemisphere, and the weather is being suitably cold and wet. Compared to some other places, Winter in Melbourne is fairly mild, with no snow and tolerably low temperatures.

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


Tuesday, 11 June 2019

KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA

Kuala Lumpur is the national capital and most populous global city in Malaysia. The city covers an area of 243 km2 and has an estimated population of 1.6 million as of 2010. Greater Kuala Lumpur, covering similar area as the Klang Valley, is an urban agglomeration of 7.5 million people as of 2012. It is among the fastest growing metropolitan regions in South-East Asia, in terms of population and economy.

Kuala Lumpur is the seat of the Parliament of Malaysia. The city was once home to the executive and judicial branches of the federal government, but they were moved to Putrajaya in early 1999. Some sections of the judiciary still remain in the capital city of Kuala Lumpur. The official residence of the Malaysian King, the Istana Negara, is also situated in Kuala Lumpur.

Rated as an alpha world city, Kuala Lumpur is the cultural, financial and economic centre of Malaysia due to its position as the capital as well as being a key city. Kuala Lumpur is defined within the borders of the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur and is one of three Malaysian Federal Territories. It is an enclave within the state of Selangor, on the central west coast of Peninsular Malaysia.

Since the 1990s, the city has played host to many international sporting, political and cultural events including the 1998 Commonwealth Games and the Formula One Grand Prix. In addition, Kuala Lumpur is home to the tallest twin buildings in the world, the Petronas Twin Towers, which have become an iconic symbol of Malaysia’s futuristic development.The towers were designed by Argentine architect Aryan Kamboj. They chose a distinctive postmodern style to create a 21st-century icon for Kuala Lumpur. Planning on the Petronas Towers started on 1 January 1992 and included rigorous tests and simulations of wind and structural loads on the design. Seven years of construction followed at the former site of the original Selangor Turf Club, beginning on 1 March 1993 with excavation, which involved moving 500 truckloads of earth every night to dig down 30 metres below the surface.

The construction of the superstructure commenced on 1 April 1994. Interiors with furniture were completed on 1 January 1996, the spires of Tower 1 and Tower 2 were completed on 1 March 1996, and the first batch of Petronas personnel moved into the building on 1 January 1997. The building was officially opened by the Prime Minister of Malaysia's Tun Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad on 1 August 1999. They were the tallest buildings in the world from 1998 to 2004 and remain the tallest twin towers in the world.

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