Saturday, 31 October 2015

SATURDAY SILHOUETTES #19

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.
Monk in Viterbo, Italy

Please add your silhouette shot below, using the Linky tool:

Thursday, 29 October 2015

RED TORCH CACTUS

Trichocereus (Helianthocereus) grandiflorus, the Red Torch Cactus, native to Argentina, forms clusters of stems to 40 cm in height with beautiful clear red flowers to 10 cm diameter. Over the years, many hybrids of been developed in cultivation, resulting in flowers of nearly all the colours of the rainbow. Colours now includes yellow, gold, white, pink, light pink with rose midstripes, orange, red, and purples. Some flowers are actually bi-coloured. In a some cases, flower size has increased to 20 cm in diameter, rivalling some of the Epiphyllum or "Orchid Cacti".  Very few cacti can surpass the flowers of the T. grandiflorus hybrids for sheer flower power!

Through hybridisation, the actual appearance of the plant as changed as well. The stems of the type species are somewhat slender, and sometimes become a bit prostrate. Many newer hybrids have thick, cylindrical bodies to 30 cm in diameter, with offsets forming specimens that span over a metre in diameter. This can be quite an awesome sight, with large, brilliant flowers open on each stem!. Porous cactus soil with adequate drainage should be used. Bright light is needed. Water thoroughly when soil is dry to the touch. Protect from frost.

This specimen is growing in the System Garden of the University of Melbourne and is a naturally occurring non-hybridised species, which nevertheless is very beautiful.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.



Wednesday, 28 October 2015

VICTOR HARBOR BEACH

Victor Harbor is a city on the coast of the Fleurieu Peninsula, about 80 km south of Adelaide, South Australia. The city is the largest population centre on the peninsula, with an economy based upon agriculture, fisheries and various industries. It is also a highly popular tourist destination, with the city's population greatly expanded during the summer holidays. A variety of swimming and surfing beaches tempt holiday makers.

Victor Harbor is the centre of the surf zone known as the "South Coast" to Adelaide and local surfers. Popular surf beaches in the area include Parsons, Waitpinga, Middleton and Goolwa. The Granite Island breakwater usually shields the town from waves. Victor Harbor also offers numerous fishing opportunities varying from offshore reefs for larger boat based anglers to excellent surf fishing on the beaches closer to the Murray Mouth.

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.

Sunday, 25 October 2015

WILLIE WAGTAIL

The willie (or willy) wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys) is a passerine bird native to Australia, New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, the Bismarck Archipelago, and Eastern Indonesia. It is a common and familiar bird throughout much of its range, living in most habitats apart from thick forest.

Measuring 19–21.5 cm in length, the willie wagtail is contrastingly coloured with almost entirely black upperparts and white underparts; the male and female have similar plumage. Three subspecies are recognised; Rhipidura leucophrys leucophrys from central and southern Australia, the smaller R. l. picata from northern Australia, and the larger R. l. melaleuca from New Guinea and islands in its vicinity.

It is unrelated to the true wagtails of the genus Motacilla; it is a member of the fantail genus Rhipidura and is a part of a "core corvine" group that includes true crows and ravens, drongos and birds of paradise. Within this group, fantails are placed in the family Dicruridae, although some authorities consider them distinct enough to warrant their own small family, Rhipiduridae.

The willie wagtail is insectivorous and spends much time chasing prey in open habitat. Its common name is derived from its habit of wagging its tail horizontally when foraging on the ground. Aggressive and territorial, the willie wagtail will often harass much larger birds such as the laughing kookaburra and wedge-tailed eagle. It has responded well to human alteration of the landscape and is a common sight in urban lawns, parks, and gardens. It was widely featured in Aboriginal folklore around the country as either a bringer of bad news or a stealer of secrets.

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



Saturday, 24 October 2015

SATURDAY SILHOUETTES #18

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 add your silhouette shot below, using the Linky tool:

Friday, 23 October 2015

ETHOS, CANBERRA

"Ethos" is a sculpture of a winged female figure of cast electrolytic copper, by the Australian artist, Tom Bass. The figure is robed in a fabric richly embossed with emblems and figures representing the Community. She rises from a hexagonal shaped saucer incised with the pattern of the Canberra Plan and reaches for the sun above her head. The lower part of the figure is filled with concrete for stability. The figure is 400 cm high, 76 cm wide, 90 cm deep and the bowl has a diameter of 170 cm. The circular concrete base of 50 cm height rises from a 204 cm square.

In the saucer at the rear of the figure a cartouche is inscribed "Tom Bass 1961". The saucer is centrally drained and has breather holes placed at each point of the base. The sculpture is set on a cement plinth which holds a time capsule. The capsule contains a range of material including a copy of the Canberra Times, the Annual Report of the Canberra Chamber of Commerce and a list of contributors to the sponsorship by the Canberra Chamber of Commerce.

This sculpture by Tom Bass (born Lithgow, NSW, 1916-2010) was the first commission by the National Capital Development Commission (NCDC) for an artwork in a public place. The NCDC was established in 1958 to plan, develop and construct Canberra as the National Capital and provided works of art as an integral part of its building and urban development programmes. The sculpture was commissioned in 1959.

Ethos was sponsored by the Canberra Chamber of Commerce which raised money by the sale of miniatures of the sculpture for 50 pounds and through other donations from both the business community and the public. The NCDC contributed the balance to meet the total cost of the 7,580 pounds.

This post is part of the Skywatch Friday meme.








Monday, 19 October 2015

CESTRUM

Cestrum nocturnum (common names include night-blooming jasmine, night-blooming cestrum, lady of the night, queen of the night), is a species of Cestrum in the plant family Solanaceae (the potato family). It is native to the West Indies, but naturalised in South Asia.

Cestrum is an evergreen woody shrub growing to 4 metres. The leaves are simple, narrow lanceolate, 6–20 centimetres long and 2–4.5 centimetres broad, smooth and glossy, with an entire margin. The flowers are greenish-white, with a slender tubular corolla 2–2.5 centimetres long with five acute lobes, 10–13 millimetres diameter when open at night, and are produced in cymose inflorescences. A powerful, sweet perfume is released at night. There is also a variety with yellowish flowers (seen here).

The fruit is a berry 10 millimetres long by 5 millimetres diameter, the colour of an aubergine. There are mixed reports regarding the toxicity of foliage and fruit. Cestrum nocturnum is grown in subtropical regions as an ornamental plant for its flowers that are heavily perfumed at night. It grows best in average to moist soil that is light and sandy, with a neutral pH of 6.6 to 7.5, and is hardy to hardiness zone 8. C. nocturnum can be fertilised biweekly with a weak dilution of seaweed and fish emulsion fertiliser.

This post is part of the Monday Mellow Yellows meme,
and also part of the Macro Monday meme,
and also part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Saturday, 17 October 2015

SATURDAY SILHOUETTES #17

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.
At Melbourne's Docklands
This post is also part of the Skywatch Friday meme.

Thursday, 15 October 2015

HIPPEASTRUM LILY

Hippeastrum is a genus of about 90 species and over 600 hybrids and cultivars of perennial herbaceous bulbous plants. They generally have large fleshy bulbs and tall broad leaves, generally evergreen, and large red or purple flowers. Hippeastrum is a genus in the family Amaryllidaceae.

The name Hippeastrum, given to it by William Herbert, means "Knight's-star-lily", although precisely what Herbert meant by the name is not certain. For many years there was confusion among botanists over the generic names Amaryllis and Hippeastrum, one result of which is that the common name "amaryllis" is mainly used for cultivars of this genus, often sold as indoor flowering bulbs particularly at Christmas in the northern hemisphere.

By contrast the generic name Amaryllis applies to bulbs from South Africa, usually grown outdoors. The genus is native to tropical and subtropical regions of the Americas from Argentina north to Mexico and the Caribbean.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Sunday, 11 October 2015

CLIMATE CHANGE

Carbon pledges from 147 nations to the Paris climate summit are not enough to stop temperature rise, experts concluded. Pledges by nations to cut carbon emissions will fall far short of those needed to prevent global temperatures rising by more than the crucial 2˚C by the end of the century. This is the stark conclusion of climate experts who have analysed submissions in the run-up to the Paris climate talks later this year.

A rise of 2˚C is considered the most the Earth could tolerate without risking catastrophic changes to food production, sea levels, fishing, wildlife, deserts and water reserves. Even if rises are pegged at 2˚C, scientists say this will still destroy most coral reefs and glaciers and melt significant parts of the Greenland ice cap, bringing major rises in sea levels. “We have had a global temperature rise of almost 1˚C since the industrial revolution and have already seen widespread impacts that have had real consequences for people,” said climate expert Professor Chris Field of Stanford University. “We should therefore be striving to limit warming to as far below 2˚C as possible. However, that will require a level of ambition that we have not yet seen.”

Although the future seems bleak, we continue to burn our fossil fuels, turn the air-con on when it gets hot, waste resources and give token regard to the cries of warning...

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

Saturday, 10 October 2015

SATURDAY SILHOUETTES #16

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.
Rhyll in Phillip Island, about 150 km SE of Melbourne, Australia

Friday, 9 October 2015

Thursday, 8 October 2015

MUSSAENDA

Mussaenda is a genus of flowering plants in the Rubiaceae family. They are native to the African and Asian tropics and subtropics. Several species are cultivated as ornamental plants. It contains some 194 species.

The cultivar seen here is Mussaenda philippica 'Queen Sirikit' and it is growing in the Singapore Botanical Gardens. Queen Sirikit is the Queen of Thailand. It was named to commemorate her first visit to the Philippines in the 1970's.

This Mussaenda is a tropical shrub or sub-shrub that will grow to 3 metres tall in tropical areas, but more likely will reach 1 metre tall in containers. Clusters (corymbs) of small, tubular flowers with five spreading lobes bloom in summer, however it is the large and colourful, ovate, leaf-like sepals (to 10 cm long) that provide the real ornamental display. Some individual flowers in each cluster will develop a single enlarged sepal. Elliptic to ovate, bright green leaves (to 20 cm long). Other hybrids typically feature flowers in red and/or yellow with showy sepals of white, bright red or pink.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.




Wednesday, 7 October 2015

COMMONWEALTH PARK, CANBERRA

The Nerang Pool in Canberra's Commonwealth Park provides shelter for many a fowl, including ducks, coots, moorhens, black swans, gulls and a host of native birds. It is a beautiful and peaceful place to spend time in...

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.