Thursday 31 January 2013


Begonia is a genus in the flowering plant family Begoniaceae and is a perennial. The only other members of the family Begoniaceae are Hillebrandia, a genus with a single species in the Hawaiian Islands, and the genus Symbegonia which more recently was included in Begonia. "Begonia" is the common name as well as the generic name for all members of the genus. The genus name, coined by Charles Plumier, a French patron of botany, honors Michel B├ęgon, a former governor of the French colony of Haiti. It was adopted by Carl Linnaeus. As a member of the order Curcurbitales, begonias are related to such food crops as pumpkins / squash, gourds, cucumbers, and melons.

Begonia X hybrida "Dragon Wings" is a heat-tolerant and vigorous, hardy perennial begonia suitable for a wide range of garden situations. It has a glorious pendulous habit with arching branches bearing a proliferation of bright red blooms in spring and summer. The foliage is lush and glossy green.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.


Ducks are such a cheerful sight by a pond! The moorhens that join them are a constant source of amusement as they try to steal some of the food thrown to the ducks...

This post is part of the Nature Footstep Winged meme.

Wednesday 30 January 2013


The Swan River in Perth is a wonderful resource and provides many a beautiful vista for the residents. The parklands on its banks are a beautiful location for relaxation and sporting activities, while the waters and wetlands are a refuge for wildlife.

This post is part of the  Water World Wednesday meme,

and also part of the Outdoor Wednesday meme.

Tuesday 29 January 2013


Where the bee sucks, there suck I:
In a cowslip’s bell I lie;
There I couch when owls do cry.
On the bat’s back I do fly
After summer merrily. 
Merrily, merrily shall I live now
Under the blossom that hangs on the bough.

William Shakespeare

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

Monday 28 January 2013


Tagetes is a genus of 56 species of annual and perennial mostly herbaceous plants in the sunflower family (Asteraceae or Compositae). The genus is native to North and South America, but some species have become naturalised around the world. Depending on the species, marigold foliage has a musky, pungent scent, though some varieties have been bred to be scentless. It is said to deter some common insect pests, as well as nematodes. Tagetes are hence often used in companion planting for tomato, eggplant, chili pepper, tobacco and potato. Due to antibacterial thiophenes exuded by the roots, tagetes should not be planted near any legume crop. Some of the perennial species are deer-, rabbit-, rodent- and javalina or peccary-resistant.

This post is part of the Mandarin Orange Monday meme.

Sunday 27 January 2013


12. So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom...

This post is part of the Psalm Sunday meme.

Saturday 26 January 2013


"Ophelia", the large face statue by Deborah Halpern has become the face of Melbourne. Deborah Halpern is a well-respected ceramic and mosaic artist who is inspired by the free spirit of Pablo Picasso. She has been passionate about her form of art for the past 20 years and has pieces on display throughout the country. Deborah Halpern’s "Ophelia" is situated near the main entrance to Southgate. Deborah believes her work is a joyful expression of her life. Like Angel in Birrarung Marr, Ophelia is decorated with a “big face”, giving the artwork life and emotion.

This post is part of the Pink Saturday meme.

Friday 25 January 2013


Mining the archives: By the banks of the majestic Swan River in Perth. A winter's day.

This post is part of the Skywatch Friday meme.

Thursday 24 January 2013


Dianthus caryophyllus -carnation -  is a species of Dianthus. It is probably native to the Mediterranean region but its exact range is unknown due to extensive cultivation for the last 2,000 years. It is the wild ancestor of the garden carnation. It is a herbaceous perennial plant growing to 80 cm tall. The leaves are glaucous greyish green to blue-green, slender, up to 15 cm long. The flowers are produced singly or up to five together in a cyme; they are 3–5 cm diameter, and sweetly scented; the original natural flower colour is bright pinkish-purple, but cultivars of other colours, including red, white, yellow and green, have been developed.

Carnations require well-drained, neutral to slightly alkaline soil, and full sun. Numerous cultivars have been selected for garden planting. Typical examples include 'Gina Porto', 'Helen', 'Laced Romeo', and 'Red Rocket'. Colombia is the largest carnation producer in the world.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday 23 January 2013


Catharanthus (Madagascar Periwinkle) is a genus of eight species of herbaceous perennial plants, seven endemic to the island of Madagascar, the eighth native to the Indian subcontinent in southern Asia . C. roseus (seen here) goes by its common name "sadabahar" or "sadaphuli" (perennially flowering) in parts of Western India.

This post is part of the Water World Wednesday meme.

Tuesday 22 January 2013


Crassula falcata, known by the common names airplane plant and propeller plant, is a succulent plant endemic to South Africa, from the Cape of Good Hope. The foliage is gray-green with striking texture, on plants that grow to 0.61 m tall. The flowers are tiny and scarlet red, rising in dense clusters above the foliage for a month in summer. Crassula falcata is cultivated for use in drought tolerant and succulent gardens, and in container gardens.

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

Monday 21 January 2013


Located at the back end of the Adelaide Festival Centre, Trevor Nickolls' "Untitled" mural painting of 1992 (6 metre x 30 metre) uses Aboriginal art techniques of cross hatching and dot painting, blended with contemporary western technique. Born 1949, Adelaide, South Australia, Trevor Nickolls is a significant “urban” Aboriginal artist who has been working as an artist since the 1970’s. He has inspired and influenced many artists.He is represented in collections of all of the major art museums and galleries in Australia as well as in collections in France, Germany, the Netherlands, the United States of America and Canada. He passed away October 2012.

This work addresses notions of harmony and reconciliation between all Australians, Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal cultures, mind and body, human beings and nature. The central Mimi-like figure is adapted from rock painting images in Northern Australia. It floats in a stream between earth and heaven. It is a meditative image of peace and tranquillity that creates a calming antidote to the concrete austerity of the Festival Centre architecture.

This post is part of the Mural Monday meme,
and also of the Blue Monday meme.

Sunday 20 January 2013


5 And the heavens shall praise thy wonders, O Lord: thy faithfulness also in the congregation of the saints.
6 For who in the heaven can be compared unto the Lord? who among the sons of the mighty can be likened unto the Lord?

This post is part of the Psalm Sunday meme.

Saturday 19 January 2013


A few kilometers west of Dimboola, Victoria, next to the Western Highway, you can find Pink Lake. This lake is easily viewed from the rest-stop beside the highway and you can walk down the path to the edge of the lake. As you walk along the path to the lake, you will see yellow gums, buloke trees and paperbarks, giving way to the smaller and very distinctive salt tolerant plants that grow in this unique environment. The pink colour of the water comes from a pigment secreted by microscopic algae.

The intensity of the pink varies with the amount of water in the lake. When the lake is drier more light is reflected from the white crystallised salt reducing the impact of the pink. The salt was commercially harvested from the lake for many years and some of the relics from that time can still be seen near the edge of the lake. Harvesting and selling of Pink Lake Salt is now carried out again.

This post is part of the Signs, Signs meme,
and also part of the Pink Saturday meme.

Friday 18 January 2013


The silver moon is set;
The Pleiades are gone;
Half the long night is spent,
and yet, I lie alone.                                               Sappho

This post is part of the Skywatch Friday meme.

Thursday 17 January 2013


The genus Mammillaria is one of the largest in the cactus family (Cactaceae), with currently 171 known species and varieties recognized. Most of the mammillarias are native to Mexico, but some come from the southwest USA, the Caribbean, Colombia, Venezuela, Guatemala and Honduras.

The common name "pincushion cactus" refers to this and the closely related genus Escobaria. The first species was described by Carolus Linnaeus as Cactus mammillaris in 1753, deriving its name from Latin mammilla, "nipple", referring to the tubercles that are among the distinctive features of the genus. In 1812, the cactus specialist Adrian Haworth described the genus Mammillaria to contain this and related species. Numerous species are commonly known as nipple cactus, fishhook cactus or pincushion though such terms may also be used for related taxa, particularly Escobaria.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday 16 January 2013

Tuesday 15 January 2013


Squashes generally refer to four species of the genus Cucurbita, some varieties of which are also called marrows (mainly in British English). These species include C. maxima (hubbard squash, buttercup squash, some varieties of prize pumpkins, such as Big Max), C. mixta (cushaw squash), C. moschata (butternut squash), and C. pepo (most pumpkins, acorn squash, summer squash, zucchini).

In North America, squash is loosely grouped into summer squash or winter squash, depending on whether they are harvested as immature fruit (summer squash) or mature fruit (autumn squash or winter squash). Gourds are from the same family as squashes. Well known types of squash include the pumpkin and zucchini. Giant squash are derived from Cucurbita maxima and are routinely grown to weights nearing those of giant pumpkins.

This post is part of the Nature Footsteps Floral Macros meme.

Monday 14 January 2013


In midsummer's heat, a golden leaf amongst the green. Autumn's not far ahead - a warning and a foreboding sign of winter approaching.
This post is part of the Mandarin Orange Monday meme,

Sunday 13 January 2013


Psalm 88
1 O lord God of my salvation, I have cried day and night before thee:
2 Let my prayer come before thee: incline thine ear unto my cry;
3 For my soul is full of troubles: and my life draweth nigh unto the grave.
4 I am counted with them that go down into the pit: I am as a man that hath no strength:
5 Free among the dead, like the slain that lie in the grave, whom thou rememberest no more: and they are cut off from thy hand.
6 Thou hast laid me in the lowest pit, in darkness, in the deeps.
7 Thy wrath lieth hard upon me, and thou hast afflicted me with all thy waves. Selah.
8 Thou hast put away mine acquaintance far from me; thou hast made me an abomination unto them: I am shut up, and I cannot come forth.
9 Mine eye mourneth by reason of affliction: Lord, I have called daily upon thee, I have stretched out my hands unto thee.
10 Wilt thou shew wonders to the dead? shall the dead arise and praise thee? Selah.
11 Shall thy lovingkindness be declared in the grave? or thy faithfulness in destruction?
12 Shall thy wonders be known in the dark? and thy righteousness in the land of forgetfulness?
13 But unto thee have I cried, O Lord; and in the morning shall my prayer prevent thee.
14 Lord, why castest thou off my soul? why hidest thou thy face from me?
15 I am afflicted and ready to die from my youth up: while I suffer thy terrors I am distracted.
16 Thy fierce wrath goeth over me; thy terrors have cut me off.
17 They came round about me daily like water; they compassed me about together.
18 Lover and friend hast thou put far from me, and mine acquaintance into darkness.

This post is part of the Psalm Sunday meme,
and also part of the Nature Footsteps Waters meme.

Saturday 12 January 2013


The petunias are in full bloom at the moment in what is turning out to be a hot and dry summer in Melbourne. These flowers at least seem to love the hot weather!

This post is part of the Pink Saturday meme.

Friday 11 January 2013


The Australian bush, or 'Outback', has an iconic status in Australian culture and features strongly in any debate about national identity, especially as expressed in Australian literature, painting, popular music, films and foods. The bush was something that was uniquely Australian and very different to the European landscapes familiar to many new immigrants. The bush was revered as a source of national ideals by the likes of Henry Lawson and Banjo Paterson. Romanticising the bush in this way was a big step forward for Australians in steps taken towards self-identity. The legacy is a folklore rich in the spirit of the bush.

The beauty of the bush is breathtaking, but so is its terror during conditions caused by natural disasters like bushfires, cyclones or floods. While considering the bushfires that are now causing a great deal of destruction in many parts of our country, it is important to put these natural phenomena in context and understand that the beauty of the Australian bush could not be had without paying the price exacted by the wild fires...

This post is part of the Skywatch Friday meme.