Tuesday 30 April 2013


The Bromeliaceae (the bromeliads) are a family of monocot flowering plants of around 3,170 species native mainly to the tropical Americas, with a few species found in the American subtropics and one in tropical west Africa, Pitcairnia feliciana. They are among the basal families within the Poales and are unique because they are the only family within the order that has septal nectaries and inferior ovaries. These inferior ovaries characterise the Bromelioideae, a subfamily of the Bromeliaceae.

Many bromeliads are epiphytes, meaning they live on other plants but do not parasitise those plants. Rather than growing in soil, they are found up in the forks of tree branches, surviving mainly on the moisture and nutrients they obtain from the air. Bromeliads can be quite spectacular grown in the garden, but they also make very good pot plants.

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

Monday 29 April 2013


Alonnisos is a Greek island in the Aegean Sea. After Skiathos and Skopelos it is the third member of the Northern Sporades. It is 3 km E of the island of Skopelos. Alonnisos is also the name of a village on the island, as well as the municipality that encompasses the island and the village.The village of Alonnisos is located on the southern part of the island. It is locally known as Chora. The main port of the island is located in the southeast and is called Patitiri. There is ferry and hydrofoil service from Patitiri to Volos, Agios Konstantinos, and Thessaloniki on the mainland and to the islands of Skiathos, Skopelos and Skyros. The bay at the southern end of the island is also called Alonnisos.

The National Marine Park of Alonnisos was founded by Presidential Decree on 28 May 1992 and is the first to be founded in Greece. It is located in Eastern Central Greece, in the region of the North Sporades Islands. The Sporades administratively belong to the district of Skopelos in the Prefecture of Magnesia. Alonnisos is the only inhabited island in the Marine National Park.

This post is part of the Blue Monday meme,
and also part of the Nature Footsteps Inspiring Photography meme.

Sunday 28 April 2013


At this time of the year, every now and then, we are enjoying some wonderful Autumn days where the sun is warm and bright, the days pleasant and the nights cool. Capturing some of this warm sunshine and the cool shadows is a challenge for any photographer.

This post is part of the Shadow Shot Sunday meme.

Saturday 27 April 2013


Autumn brings with it ripening fruit, juicy berries and wild mushrooms...

This post is part of the Weekend in Black & White meme.

Friday 26 April 2013


Flying above the clouds one may be lucky enough to see a rainbow, and even luckier to snap a photo of it!

This post is part of the Skywatch Friday meme.

Thursday 25 April 2013


Geranium robertianum, commonly known as Herb Robert, Red Robin, Death-Come-Quickly, Storksbill, Dove's Foot, Crow's Foot, or (in North America) Robert Geranium, is a common species of cranesbill in Europe, Asia, North America, and North Africa.

Geranium robertianum can grow at altitudes of up to 1,500 metres. It grows as an annual or biennial plant, producing small, pink, five-petalled flowers (about 1 cm in diameter) from April until the autumn. The leaves are fern-like, and the stems often reddish; the leaves too turn red at the end of the flowering season. The plant has little root structure.

In Great Britain is commonly found in hedgerows. It has been introduced into other temperate parts of the world, probably through its use as an ornamental plant, such as in the San Francisco Bay Area in California. In the state of Washington, it is known as Stinky Bob and classified as a noxious weed.

In traditional herbalism, Herb Robert was used as a remedy for toothache and nosebleeds. Freshly picked leaves have an odour resembling burning tyres when crushed, and if they are rubbed on the body the smell is said to repel mosquitoes. The active ingredients are tannins, a bitter compound called geraniin, and essential oils. It was carried to attract good luck, and due to its analogical association with storks, to enhance fertility.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday 24 April 2013


The Gold Coast is a coastal city located in the South East of Queensland, Australia. The city is 94 km south of the state capital Brisbane. It is the second most populous city in the state, the sixth most populous city in the country, and the most populous non-capital city in Australia. The Gold Coast has the largest cross-state metropolitan area population in Australia, due to the inclusion of Tweed Heads, New South Wales in its metropolitan area. The Gold Coast's metropolitan area converges with that of Greater Brisbane, forming part of an urban conurbation of over 3 million people.

While the origin of the city's name is debatable, the name "Gold Coast" was bestowed upon the city by real estate investors. The first settlement in what is now South East Queensland was as a penal colony at Redcliffe. The Gold Coast region remained largely uninhabited by Europeans until 1823 when explorer John Oxley landed at Mermaid Beach. The hinterland's red cedar supply attracted people to the area in the mid-19th century. Later in 1875, Southport was surveyed and established and grew a reputation as a secluded holiday destination for upper class Brisbane residents.The Gold Coast region grew significantly after the establishment of the Surfers Paradise hotel in the late 1920s.

The area boomed in the 1980s as a leading tourist destination and in 1994, the Gold Coast City local government area was expanded to encompass the majority of the Gold Coast's metropolitan area, becoming the second most populous local government area in Australia after the City of Brisbane. The Gold Coast is today a major tourist destination with its sunny subtropical climate, surfing beaches, canal and waterway systems, its high-rise dominated skyline, theme parks, nightlife, and rainforest hinterland, making tourism one of its most significant industries. Gold Coast will host the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

These shots were taken while flying in to Brisbane early in the morning. I was really testing my camera's capabilities, and considering it was a compact camera, shooting through the airplane window, I was pleased with the results.

This post is part of the Water World Wednesday meme,
and also part of the Outdoor Wednesday meme.

Tuesday 23 April 2013


Gladiolus (from Latin, the diminutive of gladius, a sword) is a genus of perennial bulbous flowering plants in the iris family (Iridaceae). It is sometimes called the 'Sword lily', but usually by its generic name (plural gladioli, gladioluses, glads). The genus is distributed in Mediterranean Europe, Asia, Tropical Africa and South Africa. The centre of diversity of the genus is located in the Cape Floristic Region, where most species were discovered. The genera Oenostachys, Homoglossum, Anomalesia and Acidanthera, traditionally considered independent entities, currently are included in Gladiolus.

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

Monday 22 April 2013


A stroll in the market resulted in spotting quite a few orange things for sale! However, those macarons in the last photo look a little toxic :-)

This post is part of the Mandarin Orange Monday meme.

Sunday 21 April 2013


A praying mantis enjoying the morning sunshine on the insect screen of my window, casts a respectful shadow...

This post is part of the Shadow Shot Sunday meme.

Saturday 20 April 2013


Unfortunately, this protea bush was dying wholesale just before the flowering season. It does make for some interesting B&W textures, though.

This post is part of the Weekend in Black & White meme.

Friday 19 April 2013


I am in Brisbane for work and it has been good to enjoy some very pleasant Northern Australian autumn weather with lovely sunshine, warmth (27˚C maximum today), and not a whisper of a wind. Meanwhile back in Melbourne there was windy, cool conditions (18˚C) and definitely not as pleasant as in Brisbane. Not that I got to enjoy the weather much, but at least it was to be able to walk out at lunchtime in between meetings and of course in the afternoon and evening.

This post is part of the Skywatch Friday meme.

Thursday 18 April 2013


Although Autumn is here, our garden is still giving us some roses. Here is a bouquet of the last roses of the season...

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday 17 April 2013


The Great Salt Lake, located in the northern part of the U.S. state of Utah, is the largest salt water lake in the Western Hemisphere, and the fourth-largest terminal lake in the world. In an average year the lake covers an area of around 1,700 square miles (4,400 km2), but the lake's size fluctuates substantially due to its shallowness. For instance, in 1963 it reached its lowest recorded level at 950 square miles (2,460 km²), but in 1988 the surface area was at the historic high of 3,300 square miles (8,500 km2).

In terms of surface area, it is the largest lake in the United States that is not part of the Great Lakes region.The lake is the largest remnant of Lake Bonneville, a prehistoric pluvial lake that once covered much of western Utah. The three major tributaries to the lake, the Jordan, Weber, and Bear rivers together deposit around 1.1 million tons of minerals in the lake each year. As it is endorheic (has no outlet besides evaporation), it has very high salinity, far saltier than sea water, and its mineral content is constantly increasing. Its shallow, warm waters cause frequent, sometimes heavy lake-effect snows from late fall through spring.

Although it has been called "America's Dead Sea", the lake provides habitat for millions of native birds, brine shrimp, shorebirds, and waterfowl, including the largest staging population of Wilson's Phalarope in the world. We visited the Great Lake in July 2003 and, when the Lake was once again greatly reduced in size.

This post is part of the Water World Wednesday meme,
and also part of the Outdoor Wednesday meme.

Tuesday 16 April 2013


Hibiscus is a genus of flowering plants in the mallow family, Malvaceae. It is quite large, containing several hundred species that are native to warm-temperate, subtropical and tropical regions throughout the world. Member species are often noted for their showy flowers and are commonly known simply as hibiscus, or less widely known as rose mallow. The genus includes both annual and perennial herbaceous plants, as well as woody shrubs and small trees. The generic name is derived from the Greek word ἱβίσκος (hibískos), which was the name Pedanius Dioscorides (ca. 40–90) gave to Althaea officinalis.

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

Monday 15 April 2013


You don't realise how fast planes are travelling until you try and take a photo of them while they are passing overhead!

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

Sunday 14 April 2013


Princes Bridge (originally called Prince's Bridge), is an important bridge in central Melbourne, Australia that spans the Yarra River. It is built on the site of one of the oldest river crossings in Australia. The bridge connects Swanston Street on the north bank of the Yarra River to St Kilda Road on the south bank, and carries road, tram and pedestrian traffic. The present bridge was built in 1888 and is listed on the Victorian Heritage Register. Because of its position, Princes Bridge is often a focal point for celebratory events in Melbourne such as the Moomba Festival, New Years Eve and many celebrations taking place on the Yarra River where it flows through the city.

This post is part of the Sunday Bridges meme.

Saturday 13 April 2013


Taraxacum is a large genus of flowering plants in the family Asteraceae. They are native to Eurasia and North and South America, and two species, T. officinale and T. erythrospermum, are found as weeds worldwide. Both species are edible in their entirety.

The common name dandelion (from French dent-de-lion, meaning "lion's tooth") is given to members of the genus, and like other members of the Asteraceae family, they have very small flowers collected together into a composite flower head. Each single flower in a head is called a floret. The downy seedhead is called a 'dandelion clock' as blowing on it, supposedly, will result in as many seeds left on the seedhead as it is the time o'clock.

This post is part of the Weekend in Black & White meme.


"By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest." - Confucius

This post is part of the Weekend Reflections meme,

and also part of the Weekly TopShot meme,
and also part of the Nature Footsteps Waters meme.

Friday 12 April 2013


Coming back from Sydney recently I took some photos of the setting sun at 10,000 km.

This post is  part of the Skywatch Friday meme.

Thursday 11 April 2013


Anagallis arvensis (also known as scarlet pimpernel, red chickweed, poorman's barometer, poor man's weather-glass, shepherd's weather glass or shepherd's clock) is a low-growing annual plant. The native range of the species is Europe and Western and North Africa. The species has been distributed widely by humans, either deliberately as an ornamental flower or accidentally.

A. arvensis is now naturalised almost worldwide, with a range that encompasses The Americas, Central and East Asia, the Indian Subcontinent, Malesia, the Pacific Islands, Australasia and Southern Africa. Although traditionally included in the family Primulaceae, the genus Anagallis is now considered to be better placed within the related family Myrsinaceae. This common European plant is generally considered a weed and is an indicator of light soils.It is most well known for being the emblem of the fictional hero The Scarlet Pimpernel.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday 10 April 2013


I was in Sydney for work today and the trip was quite eventful, full of non-stop appointments, meetings and, well, work, work and more work! Having just got home, I’ve checked my emails and I think I’ll have an early night. Travelling for work certainly is hard work and the travel part of it quickly loses its mystique! At least the trip went well and my two travel companions supported me well. Overall success of a work trip makes the travel worthwhile and the discomforts one experiences bearable.

This post is part of the Water World Wednesday meme,
and also part of the Outdoor Wednesday meme.

Tuesday 9 April 2013


The Iceland Poppy (Papaver nudicaule) is a boreal flowering plant. Native to subpolar regions of Europe, Asia and North America, and the mountains of Central Asia (but not in Iceland!), Iceland poppies are hardy but short-lived perennials, often grown as biennials, that yield large, papery, bowl-shaped, lightly fragrant flowers supported by hairy, 30 cm, curved stems among feathery blue-green foliage 4-5 cm long. They were first described by botanists in 1759. The wild species blooms in white or yellow, and is hardy from USDA Zones 3a-10b. All parts of this plant are likely to be poisonous, containing (like all poppies) toxic alkaloids. Cultivars come in shades of yellow, orange, salmon, rose, pink, cream and white as well as bi-colored varieties. This scarlet bloom is the cultivar "Matador".

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

Monday 8 April 2013


The Pinnacles are limestone formations contained within Nambung National Park, near the town of Cervantes, Western Australia. The raw material for the limestone of the Pinnacles came from seashells in an earlier epoch rich in marine life. These shells were broken down into lime rich sands which were blown inland to form high mobile dunes.

The Pinnacles remained unknown to most Australians until the 1960s, when the area was added to Nambung National Park. The area receives over 250,000 visitors a year. A visitor precinct and interpretive centre was completed in March 2008.  The best season to see the Pinnacles is Spring (from August to October), as the days are mild and wildflowers start to bloom.

The pinnacle formations are best viewed in the early morning or late afternoon as the play of light brings out the colours and the extended shadows of the formations delivers a contrast that brings out their features. Most animals in the park are nocturnal, but emus and kangaroos can be seen during the daytime, more commonly in the evening or early morning.

This post is part of the Mandarin Orange Monday meme,
and also part of the Blue Monday meme,
and also part of the Nature Footsteps Inspiring Photography meme.

Sunday 7 April 2013


Psalm 97 King James Version (KJV)
1 The Lord reigneth; let the earth rejoice; let the multitude of isles be glad thereof.
2 Clouds and darkness are round about him: righteousness and judgment are the habitation of his throne.
3 A fire goeth before him, and burneth up his enemies round about.
4 His lightnings enlightened the world: the earth saw, and trembled.
5 The hills melted like wax at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the Lord of the whole earth.
6 The heavens declare his righteousness, and all the people see his glory.
7 Confounded be all they that serve graven images, that boast themselves of idols: worship him, all ye gods.
8 Zion heard, and was glad; and the daughters of Judah rejoiced because of thy judgments, O Lord.
9 For thou, Lord, art high above all the earth: thou art exalted far above all gods.
10 Ye that love the Lord, hate evil: he preserveth the souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked.
11 Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart.
12 Rejoice in the Lord, ye righteous; and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness.

This post is part of the Psalm Sunday meme,
And also part of the Shadow Shot Sunday meme,
And also part of the Nature Footsteps Waters meme,
And also part of the Sunday Bridges meme.

Saturday 6 April 2013


"The time has come," the Walrus said,
"To talk of many things:
Of shoes--and ships--and sealing-wax--
Of cabbages--and kings--
And why the sea is boiling hot--
And whether pigs have wings."

This post is part of the Weekend in Black & White meme.