Tuesday 30 June 2015


The chili pepper (also chile pepper or chilli pepper, from Nahuatl "chīlli") is the fruit of plants from the genus Capsicum, members of the nightshade family, Solanaceae. In Britain, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, India, and other Asian countries, the word "pepper" is usually omitted.

The substances that give chili peppers their intensity when ingested or applied topically are capsaicin (8-methyl-N-vanillyl-6-nonenamide) and several related chemicals, collectively called capsaicinoids. Chili peppers originated in the Americas. After the Columbian Exchange, many cultivars of chili pepper spread across the world, used in both food and medicine.

Chilies were brought to Asia by Portuguese navigators during the 16th century. India is the world's largest producer, consumer and exporter of chili peppers. Guntur in the South Indian state of Andhra Pradesh produces 30% of all the chilies produced in India, and Andhra Pradesh as a whole contributes 75% of India's chili exports.

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 29 June 2015


St Andrews Market is held between 8am – 2pm every Saturday except on days of Total Fire Ban in the central district (same as Melbourne). It is located opposite the Hotel on the Kangaroo Ground-St Andrews Rd, about 36 km North of the Melbourne CBD.

Regulars each week include Organic Fruit and Veggies, Massage, Preserves, Art & Craft, Handmade Soap and organic Skin care products, Pre-loved including vintage and retro goods, Free Range Eggs, Hair Braids and Wraps, The Chai Tent, Kids Pony Rides, Delicious food with Vegetarian and Gluten free options and a great variety of Buskers to name just a few.

Located in the foothills of the Yarra Ranges with a passion for Fresh, Handmade, Recycled and Creative products St Andrews market is a great place to relax and take in the atmosphere or somewhere to sell your creations and/or pre-loved goods.

This post is part of the Monday Mellow Yellows meme,
and also part of the Blue Monday meme,
and also part of the Our World Tuesday meme.

Friday 26 June 2015


This post is part of the Friday Greens meme.


Welcome to the Saturday Silhouettes meme. This is a weekly meme that looks at SILHOUETTES in photography.

SILHOUETTE |ˌsɪlʊˈɛt| noun
The dark shape and outline of someone or something visible in restricted light against a brighter background.
ORIGIN - late 18th century: Named (although the reason remains uncertain) after Étienne de Silhouette (1709–67), French author and politician.

Please join me by linking your photo in which a silhouette plays a prominent part in the composition of your image.

Thursday 25 June 2015


Clivia miniata (Natal lily, bush lily) is a species of flowering plant in the genus Clivia of the family Amaryllidaceae, native to damp woodland habitats in South Africa (Western Cape, Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal provinces) as well as in Swaziland. It is also reportedly naturalised in Mexico.

It grows to a height of about 45 cm, and flowers are red, orange or yellow, with a faint, but very sweet perfume. It is sometimes known in cultivation as "Kaffir lily". However, this name is also confusingly applied to the genus Schizostylis, and in any case is best avoided as it is considered an offensive ethnic slur in South Africa.

With a minimum temperature of 10 °C, in temperate regions C. miniata is normally cultivated as a houseplant. It has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit, along with the variety C. miniata var. citrina. It contains small amounts of lycorine, making it poisonous.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday 24 June 2015


Patmos (Greek, Πάτμος; Italian: Patmo) is a small Greek island in the Aegean Sea. One of the northernmost islands of the Dodecanese complex, it has a population of 2,998 and an area of 34.05 km2. The highest point is Profitis Ilias, 269 metres above sea level. The Municipality of Patmos, which includes the offshore islands of Arkoi (pop. 44), Marathos (pop. 5), and several uninhabited islets, has a total population of 3,047 (2011 census) and a combined land area of 45.039 square kilometres.

Forbes in a 2009 research has named Patmos as Europe's Most Idyllic Place to live, due to the fact that "Patmos has evolved over the centuries but has not lost its air of quiet tranquility, which is one reason why people that know it return again and again."

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

Tuesday 23 June 2015


The pomegranate is one of the most famous and celebrated fruits of the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern regions. Since ancient times, the many seeds of the fruit have symbolised hope, eternity, fertility and prosperity. Ancient Greeks used the tart, sharp-tasting juice of unripe pomegranates in the same way that we use lemon juice today. Since ancient times and right up to the present, Greeks have broken a pomegranate fruit on the threshold of shops, homes and offices on New Year’s day to ensure happiness and prosperity for the year ahead.

The pomegranate is the fruit of Punica granatum, a bush or small tree of Western Asia. The plant, which may attain 5 or 7 metres in height, has lance-shaped, bright-green leaves about 75 millimetres long and beautiful orange-red flowers, the petals of which are borne on a bright red, waxy calyx tube. The fruit is the size of a large orange, obscurely six-sided, with a smooth, leathery skin that ranges from brownish yellow to red; within, it is divided into several chambers containing many thin, transparent vesicles of reddish, juicy pulp, each surrounding an angular, elongated seed. The fruit is eaten fresh, and the juice is the source of grenadine syrup, used in flavourings and liqueurs.

Throughout the Orient, the pomegranate has since earliest times occupied a position of importance alongside the grape and the fig. According to the Bible, King Solomon possessed an orchard of pomegranates, and, when the children of Israel, wandering in the wilderness, sighed for the abandoned comforts of Egypt, the cooling pomegranates were remembered longingly. The Muslims held the fruit in high regard as it was praised in the Koran. While the pomegranate is considered indigenous to Iran and neighbouring countries, its cultivation long ago encircled the Mediterranean and extended through the Arabian Peninsula, Afghanistan, and India. It is commonly cultivated in the Americas from the warmer parts of the United States to Chile.

The ancient Greek legend of Persephone (Latin = Proserpina) contains a poignant detail involving the pomegranate. Persephone was the daughter of Zeus, the chief god, and Demeter, the goddess of agriculture. Persephone was gathering flowers in the Vale of Nysa when she was seized by Hades, god of the Underworld, and taken to the nether regions. Upon learning of the abduction, her mother, Demeter, in her misery, became unconcerned with the harvest or the fruitfulness of the Earth, so that widespread famine ensued. Zeus then intervened, commanding Hades to release Persephone to her mother. Because Persephone had eaten four pomegranate seeds in the underworld, she could not be completely freed but had to remain one-third of the year with Hades, spending the other two-thirds with her mother. The story that Persephone spent four months of each year in the underworld was no doubt meant to account for the barren appearance of Greek fields in full summer (after harvest), before their revival in the autumn rains, when they are ploughed and sown.

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,
and also part of the Trees & Bushes meme.

Monday 22 June 2015


Bergenia (elephant-eared saxifrage, elephant's ears) is a genus of ten species of flowering plants in the family Saxifragaceae, native to central Asia, from Afghanistan to China and the Himalayan region. They are clump-forming, rhizomatous, evergreen perennials with a spirally arranged rosette of leaves 6–35 cm long and 4–15 cm broad, and pink flowers produced in a cyme.

The leaves are large, leathery, ovate or cordate, and often have wavy or saw-toothed edges. For most of the year, the leaves have a glossy green colour, but in cooler climates, they turn red or bronze in the fall. The flowers grow on a stem similar in colour to a rhubarb stalk and most varieties have cone-shaped flowers in varying shades of pink. These can range from almost white to ruby red and purple.

The common names for Bergenia are pigsqueak (due to the sound produced when two leaves are rubbed together), elephant's ears (due to the shape of the leaves) and large rockfoil. Bergenia is closely related to Mukdenia, Oresitrophe, Astilboides and Rodgersia. The creator of the taxonomic genus name, Conrad Moench, honoured the German botanist and physician Karl August von Bergen by coining the name Bergenia in 1794.

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

Sunday 21 June 2015


A bee that got rather friendly with me and attached itself to my windcheater. I walked around with it for about 500 metres and then it decided to fly off. It just wanted to have its photo taken (I am not allergic to bees).

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

Friday 19 June 2015


The Darebin Creek flows through the Darebin Parklands and it's seen here in Fairfield, which is an inner Melbourne suburb. The Parklands provide a much needed natural reserve in the midst of densely populated suburban neighbourhoods. Needless to say, wildlife finds refuge in this oasis of green within the bustling metropolis.

This post is part of the Skywatch Friday meme,
and also part of the Friday Greens meme.

Thursday 18 June 2015


Our Winters in Melbourne are mild enough to allow many flowers to bloom right through even the coldest of them. Here is a beautiful scarlet geranium (Pelargonium spp) flowering in our first month of Winter, while next to it the wattle (Acacia spp) is budding and getting ready to burst into colourful yellow blossom within the next week or two.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday 17 June 2015


It's Winter in the Southern Hemisphere and Winter solstice approaches next week. We have wet, cool weather and here is a poem I wrote to celebrate Winter's Wwwwwwwww's!

Welcome the Winter Weather

A rain shower, wetting leaves and washing clean the garden -
Water trickles and weaves intricate patterns
Of winding rivulets as it wends its way amongst the weeds.

Winter's wet weather soaks wildflower seeds
And will ensure a crop of winsome bouquets in a few weeks:
Winterberry, wisteria, woodruff, windflower and wreath of wallflowers...

The wind stirs wistful branches of willows weeping
And wizened twigs of witch-hazel writhe,
As inside, a warming fire burns, fuelled by walnut wood.

Warlock Winter has arrived wearing furs
And wishing us a wondrous white season;
Welcome the Winter weather with wassail warm,
Wail, whine and whimper not,
For Spring will surely Winter follow.

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

Monday 15 June 2015


We have had a couple of days of warmer, fine weather in Melbourne and a few of the bulbs have started flowering. Just a whiff of Spring, even before Winter has set in for good...

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

Sunday 14 June 2015


Yarra Bend Park is a 260 hectare (642 acre) park in the Melbourne suburb of Kew. It is located 4 km northeast of Melbourne's CBD and is the largest area of natural bushland left in inner Melbourne. The most notable feature of the park is the Yarra River which flows for 12 km through it. The park hosts two golf courses, two historic boathouses, sheds and a number of cycle and walking trails. It receives approximately 1.5 million visitors per year.

Studley Park is named after settler John Hodgson's house, which in turn was named after a town in Yorkshire, England. Both Studley Park and Yarra Bend were held back from sale, the former for recreation, the latter for public institutions. Amalgamated in 1924 after the closure of Yarra Bend Asylum, they were connected by Kane's Bridge until it was destroyed by flooding. It was replaced by the present bridge in 1935.

In the 1860s boating and swimming became popular, reaching their peak in the interwar years. The Studley Park Boathouse, established as the Burn's Boathouse, has been in continuous use since 1863. The park's popularity waned mid-century as motor cars expanded leisure choices. Since the early 1980s revegetation and the construction of the Main Yarra Trail have led to a resurgence of popularity.

This post is part of the Scenic Weekends meme.

Friday 12 June 2015


Our Winter has been relatively mild so far and there is quite a lot to in the garden and street trees and flowers.

This post is part of the Friday Greens meme.

Thursday 11 June 2015


Echium candicans (syn. Echium fastuosum J.Jacq.), commonly known as pride of Madeira, is a species of flowering plant in the family Boraginaceae, native to the island of Madeira. It is a large herbaceous perennial subshrub, growing to 1.5–2.5 m. In the first year after germination the plant produces a broad rosette of leaves. In the second and subsequent years more or less woody flowering stalks are produced clothed in rough leaves. The flower head is large and covered with blue flowers having red stamens. It is much visited by bees and butterflies for its nectar.

Echium candicans is cultivated in the horticulture trade and widely available throughout the world as an ornamental plant for traditional and drought tolerant water conserving gardens. It is particularly suitable for coastal planting, and is a popular ornamental in coastal California. With a minimum temperature requirement of 5–7 °C, in frost-prone areas it needs some winter protection. It has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.

In California, it is also an invasive species. It is removed from native plant communities as part of habitat restoration efforts in coastal parks such as the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. In New Zealand it is a common garden escape onto road-side verges and shingle banks throughout the drier parts of the two principal islands. In the state of Victoria, Australia, it is considered to be a high weed risk and an alert has been posted by the Department of Primary Industries.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday 10 June 2015


The Werribee River is a perennial river of the Port Phillip catchment that is located on the plain west of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. The headwaters of a tributary, the Lerderderg River, are north of Ballan near Daylesford and it flows across the basalt plain, through the suburb of Werribee to enter Port Phillip. A linear park follows the Werribee River along much of its course. In total the Werribee River completes a journey of approximately 110 kilometres.

The river flows through the Werribee Gorge State Park before being utilised for irrigation of market gardens at Bacchus Marsh, then through Werribee where it is crossed by the Maltby By-pass. It then flows through the Werribee Open Range Zoo in Werribee Park, and finally the small coastal settlement of Werribee South before entering Port Phillip. The Western Treatment Plant, a sewage treatment site, is located near the mouth of the river, and supplies irrigation needs to the zoo.

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

Tuesday 9 June 2015


Pyracantha coccinea is the European species of Firethorn that has been cultivated in gardens since the late 16th century. The tree has small white flowers. It produces small, bright red berries. The fruit is bitter and astringent, making it inedible when raw. The fruit can be cooked to make jellies, jams, sauces and marmalade.

It ranges from southern Europe to western Asia. It has been introduced to North America and cultivated there as an ornamental plant since the 18th century. In England, since the late of 18th century, it was used to cover unsightly walls.  About 1874 M. Lalande, a nurseryman in Angers, France, selected from seedlings of P. coccinea an improved form, more freely berrying than the type. A sport has produced a yellow-berried form. These, and further selections, have largely ousted the ordinary form from nursery stock.

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