Monday 30 April 2012


Snapped this when visiting a nursery at the weekend. The last autumn flowering of the cosmos is a perfect setting for this cute statue.

This post is part of the Mellow Yellow Monday meme.

Sunday 29 April 2012


Fremantle is the port of Perth, Western Australia. It has many heritage buildings, including the historic St John's Anglican Church. The site of the building had been a place of worship for Fremantle Anglicans since 1843. As early as 1839, a request was made to the Governor for Kings Square to be the site of an Anglican church. In 1841 the first rector, the Reverend George King, took up duties and his parish covered some 2,300 sq kms - including the locations of Murray and Canning which he covered on horseback.

The first church of St John's was opened in 1843 and planning for a new church began in 1875. London architect W Smith was commissioned and it was built by J J Harwood and Son, with stone from the Government quarry in Cantonment Street. The foundation stone was laid by Bishop Hale of Perth in 1878 and the building was consecrated in July, 1882.

The old St John's Church was then demolished to make way for the extension of High Street and the construction of the Fremantle Town Hall. A plan of the old church is outlined in the pavement. In 1884 a new organ was installed and the bell turret was added in 1906 or early 1907.  In 1923 an arrangement was made with the Fremantle Municipal Council to maintain the grounds in return for their use by the public. The church currently stands in the spacious paved and treed surrounds of one of Fremantle's most popular areas.

Various other additions were made over the years and in 1979, with the centenary of the laying of the foundation stone, the restoration of the church fabric was commenced.

This post is part of the Psalm Sunday meme hosted by Robert and Louis,
and it is also part of the Spiritual Sunday meme.

Here is the aria "Meine Seele dürstet nach Gott" from Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy's setting of Psalm 42: "Wie der Hirsch schreit", with Christine Wolff, Soprano, Thomanerchor Leipzig, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig directed by Georg Christoph Biller.

Saturday 28 April 2012


Reflecting on how lucky we are to live in peace in such a beautiful city. These ducks are swimming gracefully on the Yarra River, about a kilometre from our house.

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

Friday 27 April 2012


Trapani is a city and comune on the west coast of Sicily in Italy. It is the capital of the Province of Trapani. Trapani was founded by the Elymians to serve as the port of the nearby city of Erice (ancient Eryx), which overlooks it from Monte San Giuliano. The city sits on a low-lying promontory jutting out into the Mediterranean Sea. It was originally named Drépanon from the Greek word for "sickle", because of the curving shape of its harbour. Carthage seized control of the city in 260 BC, subsequently making it an important naval base, but ceded it to Rome in 241 BC following the Battle of the Aegates in the First Punic War.

The city is still an important fishing port and the main gateway to the nearby Egadi Islands. The city was badly damaged during World War II when it was subjected to intense Allied bombardments. It has grown greatly since the end of the war, sprawling out virtually to the foot of Monte San Giuliano. Tourism has grown in recent years due to the city's proximity to popular destinations such as Erice, Segesta and the Egadi Islands.

This post is part of Sylvia's Skywatch Friday meme.

Thursday 26 April 2012


The Camille Pissaro rose is a yellow blend Floribunda rose, bred by G. Delbard (France, 1996).  It is a striking, striped yellow and red rose with a moderate, apple/rose fragrance.  Double (17-25 petals) blooms form, prolifically in flushes throughout the season.   The bush attains a height of 100 to 120 cm and width of 50 to 60 cm. USDA zone 6b and warmer.  Can be used for cut flower or as a decorative garden rose. It is quite disease resistant.

We have this rose in our garden, where this photo was taken and it has rewarded us with many spectacular blooms.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.


The small town of Woomera is located in the south east corner of the Woomera Prohibited Area (WPA); colloquially known as the Woomera Rocket Range. Established as a restricted access township in 1947, Woomera Defence Village is an Australian Defence Force (ADF) facility supporting the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Woomera Test Range (WTR) which, today, is used to evaluate military and civilian missile, ordnance, and aerospace systems.

Woomera is in the 'outback' desert area of South Australia, approximately 488 kilometres north of Adelaide. An easement through the WPA allows public transit on the Trans-Australian Railway, The Central Australia Railway, and the Stuart Highway. Travellers are prohibited from leaving these routes. In 1982 restrictions on public access to Woomera township were lifted, allowing the town to develop as a tourist destination, while maintaining its support role for the WTR. Desert surrounds the town and one may drive many kilometres aroudn it and see only the occasional road train thundering along the highway...

This post is part of Lesley's Signs Signs meme.

Wednesday 25 April 2012


Zakynthos or Zante, is a Greek island in the Ionian Sea, on the Western part of Greece. It is the third largest of the Ionian Islands. It covers an area of 410 km2 and its coastline is roughly 123 km in length. The island is named after Zakynthos, the son of a legendary Arcadian chief Dardanus. The name, like all similar names ending in -nthos, is pre-Mycenaean or Pelasgian in origin. Zakynthos has a population of 41,000 people (2011) and a thriving tourism industry.

The capital, which has the same name as the prefecture, is the town of Zakynthos. It lies on the eastern part of the northern coast. Apart from the official name, it is also called Chora (i.e. "the Town"). The port of Zakynthos has a ferry connecting to the port of Kyllini on the mainland. Another ferry connects the village of Agios Nikolaos to Argostoli on Kefalonia.
Bochali hill above the Zakynthos town contains a small venetian castle, and offers panoramic views onto the town. Strani's hill, located on the other side of Bochali, is the place where Dionysios Solomos, called "Our National Poet" by the Greeks, wrote Greece's national anthem.

The most famous landmark of the island is the Navagio beach. It is a cove on the southwest shore, isolated by high cliffs and accessible only by boats. The beach and sea floor are made of white pebbles, and surrounded by turquoise waters. It is named after a shipwreck (MV Panagiotis) which sunk on the shore around 1980. The ridge area from Anafonitria has a small observation deck which overlooks the shipwreck and there is a monastery nearby.

Numerous "Blue Caves", are cut into cliffs around Cape Skinari, and accessible only by small boats. Sunrays reflect through blue sea water from white stones of cave bottoms and walls, creating interesting effects. Northern and eastern shores contain numerous wide sandy beaches, many of which are packed with tourists in summer months. The largest resort is Laganas, whose beach stretches around 10 km.

This post is part of the Our World Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Water World Wednesday meme,
and also part of the Nature Footsteps Waters meme,
and also part of the Outdoor Wednesday meme.
The capital of Zakynthos - Zakynthos or "Chora" 
View of the city from Bochali Hill
The Venetian Castle
One of the buildings inside the castle
View to the Northwest from the Castle
The church of St Dionysios in the City 
Fishing is a major industry on the island and delicious fresh fish are available in all of the local taverns and restaurants
Statue of Dionysios Solomos, Greece's "National Poet" and composer of the lyrics of Greece's national Anthem, "Ode to Liberty"
Evening view of the bay from the city 
Navagio ("Shipwreck") Cove
The shipwreck can be seen on the white sands of Navagio Cove. It is only accessible by boat
Water sports, swimming and sailing are popular activities on the island
The Blue Caves region offers a coastline where numerous sea caves can be seen by boat
Blue Caves region
Interior of one of the blue caves
One of the small fishing villages that dot the coastline

Tuesday 24 April 2012


A cold snap, then rain
And green turns to precious gold,
The harvest's new wine.

Monday 23 April 2012


Giza, is the third largest city in Egypt. It is located on the west bank of the Nile River, some 20 km southwest of central Cairo. Along with Shubra El-Kheima, Cairo and Helwan, the four cities form the Province of Greater Cairo metropolis. The city's population was 2,681,863 in the 2006 national census.

Giza is most famous as the location of the Giza Plateau: The site of some of the most impressive ancient monuments in the world, including a complex of ancient Egyptian royal mortuary and sacred structures, including the Great Sphinx, the Great Pyramid of Giza, and a number of other large pyramids and temples. The plateau and its monuments have been recorded in the Giza Plateau Mapping Project run by Ancient Egypt Research Associates, directed by Dr. Mark Lehner.

Visiting the Giza plateau and seeing the great pyramids, temples and the Sphinx was one of the most memorable of our travel adventures. Crawling inside the Great Pyramid of Cheops and seeing the burial chamber in the heart of the pyramid was an awe-inspiring experience.

This post is part of the Mellow Yellow Monday meme,
and also part of Julie's Taphophile Tragics meme.

Sunday 22 April 2012


For Psalm Sunday this week, I give you Gabriel Fauré’s “Cantique de Jean Racine”, so titled as the text for this piece was written by the French tragedian Jean Racine (1639-1699). Here it is performed by the Choir of New College, Oxford and conducted by Edward Higginbottom.

This post is part of the Psalm Sunday meme hosted by Robert and Louis,
And also for the Spiritual Sunday meme.

Verbe, égal au Très-Haut, notre unique espérance,
Jour éternel de la terre et des cieux;
De la paisible nuit nous rompons le silence,
Divin Sauveur, jette sur nous les yeux!

Répands sur nous le feu de ta grâce puissante,
Que tout l'enfer fuie au son de ta voix;
Dissipe le sommeil d'une âme languissante,
Qui la conduit à l'oubli de tes lois!

O Christ, sois favorable à ce peuple fidèle
Pour te bénir maintenant rassemblé.
Reçois les chants qu'il offre à ta gloire immortelle,
Et de tes dons qu'il retourne comblé!

Word, equal to the Almighty, our only hope,
Eternal light of the earth and the Heavens;
We break the peaceful night's silence,
Divine Saviour, cast thine eyes upon us!

Spread the fire of thy mighty grace upon us.
May the entire hell flee at the sound of your voice;
Disperse from any slothful soul the drowsiness
Inducing it to forget your laws!

O Christ, look with favour upon this faithful people
Which has now gathered to bless you.
Receive its singing, offered to your immortal glory,
And may it leave with the gifts you have bestowed upon it.

Saturday 21 April 2012


We have had a couple of wonderfully mild autumn days, punctuated with some rain, which is always a pleasure to see falling. This has persuaded some of the yellow leaves of deciduous trees to follow suit, making for a beautiful tapestry of colours, shapes and reflections in the puddles.

This post is part of James' Weekend Reflections meme.

Friday 20 April 2012


Sicily has some stunning landscapes to offer, as well as thousands of years of history, unique culture, picturesque villages and bustling cities. It really is a wonderful place to visit and all three times we have been there we enjoyed ourselves immensely.

This timeless landscape near Segesta shows the rich cultivated fields, but also in the foreground some fallow ground with highly decorative dried seed heads of what I think are wild angelica.

This post is part of Sylvia's Skywatch Friday meme.

Thursday 19 April 2012


Banksia 'Birthday Candles' is a dwarf cultivar of Banksia spinulosa var. spinulosa developed by Bill Molyneux of Austraflora Nurseries in Montrose, Victoria. It was selected in 1985 from a number of seedlings which were raised at Austraflora Nurseries in Australia, the original material hailing from Schnapper Point near Ulladulla on the New South Wales South Coast.

The cultivar is adaptable to a wide range of climatic conditions including a moderate tolerance of frost. It has a high tolerance to salt-laden coastal winds. Its height averages 18 cm, and its width 44 cm. The inflorescences are short and upright and appear on branch ends from early autumn to early spring (March to September in Australia). They are yellow, with contrasting red styles.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.