Sunday, 31 December 2017

MY SUNDAY BEST MEME #47 - GOODBYE 2017...

Welcome to the meme, "My Sunday Best", which is a photographic and creative meme that allows you to showcase your talents in imaging. Every Sunday, you can post here showing an image you have created using your camera, (and/or) image processing software, and/or painting and drawing in the conventional way and have scanned in.

The rules are simple:
1) Create your image and post it up on your blog;
2) Put the "My Sunday Best" logo image link somewhere on your post so people can click and come by here;
3) Leave a comment here once you have posted;
4) Visit other posters' blogs and be amazed with their creativity! Please do not use this meme to advertise your goods or services.

This is a creative meme and any inappropriate links or comments shall be removed immediately!

Melbourne fireworks to usher the New Year in began at 9:30 pm with a "Family Fireworks Display". The "proper" New Year's fireworks will commence at 12:00 midnight, with 14-tonnes of fireworks to be launched from the top of 22 city buildings. More than 500,000 revellers are expected in the city to watch tonight’s main fireworks, with the earlier family-friendly show being well-received. However some people were concerned about attending following the Flinders St attack, so they opt for watching suburban fireworks displays.

That being said, may your New Year's Eve celebration be enjoyable and remember to party safely. All the best for the New Year with health, happiness and prosperity!


HAPPY NEW YEAR 2018!

This post is part of the My Sunday Photo meme,
and also part of the Photo Sunday meme.
Please add your link below:

Friday, 29 December 2017

SUMMER SERENITY

At the Edward Hunter Heritage Bush Reserve in Moe, Victoria. Perfect weather on a Summery Christmas day, Downunder!

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

Thursday, 28 December 2017

RAFFLESIA

Rafflesia arnoldii is a species of flowering plant in the parasitic genus Rafflesia. It is noted for producing the largest individual flower on earth. It has a very strong and horrible odour of decaying flesh, earning it the nickname "carrion flower". It is endemic to the rainforests of Sumatra and possibly Borneo.

Although there are some plants with larger flowering organs like the titan arum (Amorphophallus titanum) and talipot palm (Corypha umbraculifera), those are technically clusters of many flowers. Rafflesia arnoldii (Indonesian: Padma raksasa), also called Kerubut (Devil's Betelnut Box) is one of the three national flowers in Indonesia, the other two being the white jasmine and moon orchid. It was officially recognised as a national "rare flower" (Indonesian: Puspa langka) in Presidential Decree No. 4 in 1993.

The flower of Rafflesia arnoldii grows to a diameter of around one meter and weighs up to 11 kilograms. These flowers emerge from very large, cabbage-like, maroon or magenta buds typically about 30 cm wide, but the largest (and the largest flower bud ever recorded) found at Mount Sago, Sumatra in May 1956 was 43 cm.  It lives as a parasite on several vines of the genus Tetrastigma, which grow only in primary (undisturbed) rainforests.

Rafflesia lacks any observable leaves, stems or even roots, yet is still considered a vascular plant. Similar to fungi, individuals grow as thread-like strands of tissue completely embedded within and in intimate contact with surrounding host cells from which nutrients and water are obtained. This plant produces no leaves, stems or roots and does not have chlorophyll. It can only be seen outside the host plant when it is ready to reproduce. Perhaps the only part of Rafflesia that is identifiable as distinctly plant-like are the flowers, though even these are unusual since they attain massive proportions, have a reddish-brown coloration, and stink of rotting flesh. This scent attracts insects such as flies which then pollinate the rare plant.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.


Wednesday, 27 December 2017

'Y' IS FOR YOLK

yolk | jəʊk |noun The yellow internal part of a bird's egg, which is surrounded by the white, and which is rich in protein and fat, and nourishes the developing embryo.[mass noun] Zoology - The part corresponding to the yolk in the ovum or larva of all egg-laying vertebrates and many invertebrates. Old English geol(o)ca, from geolu ‘yellow’.This post is part of the Wordless Wednesday meme,and also part fo the ABC Wednesday meme.

Tuesday, 26 December 2017

DONEGAL CASTLE

Donegal Castle (Irish: Caisleán Dhún na nGall) is a castle situated in the centre of Donegal Town in County Donegal in Ulster, Ireland. For most of the last two centuries, the majority of the buildings lay in ruins but the castle was almost fully restored in the early 1990s. The castle consists of a 15th-century rectangular keep (right) with a later Jacobean style wing (left).

The complex is sited on a bend in the River Eske, near the mouth of Donegal Bay, and is surrounded by a 17th-century boundary wall. There is a small gatehouse at its entrance mirroring the design of the keep. Most of the stonework was constructed from locally sourced limestone with some sandstone. The castle was the stronghold of the O'Donnell clan, Lords of Tír Conaill and one of the most powerful Gaelic families in Ireland from the 5th to the 16th centuries.

This post is part of the Our World Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Travel Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Wordless Wednesday meme.

Sunday, 24 December 2017

MY SUNDAY BEST MEME #46 - MERRY CHRISTMAS

Welcome to the meme, "My Sunday Best", which is a photographic and creative meme that allows you to showcase your talents in imaging. Every Sunday, you can post here showing an image you have created using your camera, (and/or) image processing software, and/or painting and drawing in the conventional way and have scanned in.

The rules are simple:
1) Create your image and post it up on your blog;
2) Put the "My Sunday Best" logo image link somewhere on your post so people can click and come by here;
3) Leave a comment here once you have posted;
4) Visit other posters' blogs and be amazed with their creativity!

Please do not use this meme to advertise your goods or services. This is a creative meme and any inappropriate links or comments shall be removed immediately!
This post is part of the My Sunday Photo meme.

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU AND YOUR FAMILY!

Saturday, 23 December 2017

BLACK & WHITE BIRDS

These birds are all common in the Darebin Parklands in suburban Melbourne. It was only as I was looking at the photos that I realised they were all dressed in fashionable black and white...

This post is part of the Saturday Critters meme,
and also part of the Camera Critters meme,
and also part of the I'd Rather Be Birdin' meme.
The pied currawong (Strepera graculina) is a medium-sized black passerine bird native to eastern Australia and Lord Howe Island. One of three currawong species in the genus Strepera, it is closely related to the butcherbirds and Australian magpie of the family Artamidae. Six subspecies are recognised. 

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.

The Australian white ibis (Threskiornis moluccus) is a wading bird of the ibis family, Threskiornithidae. It is widespread across much of Australia

The Eurasian Coot (Fulica atra family Rallidae), with its sooty-black plumage and gleaming white bill and frontal shield covering its forehead, is a familiar bird across Europe and Asia as well as Australia. It is often seen running across the water’s surface or swimming in huge flocks on large wetlands, but they equally often occur on small ponds. They require submerged aquatic vegetation or mats of floating waterweed, among which they forage, diving below the surface for up to 20 seconds, or plucking the stems of emergent shoots.

The magpie-lark (Grallina cyanoleuca) is a conspicuous Australian bird of small to medium size, also known as the mudlark in Victoria and Western Australia, the Murray magpie in South Australia, and as the peewee in New South Wales and Queensland

The Australian magpie (Cracticus tibicen) is a medium-sized black and white passerine bird native to Australia and southern New Guinea

On the right is the the little pied cormorant, little shag or kawaupaka (Microcarbo melanoleucos) is a common Australasian waterbird, found around the coasts, islands, estuaries, and inland waters of Australia, New Guinea, New Zealand, Malaysia, and Indonesia. On the left is a noisy miner (Manorina melanocephala), which is a bird in the honeyeater family, Meliphagidae, and is endemic to eastern and south-eastern Australia
The Grey Butcherbird (Cracticus torquatus) is a widely distributed species endemic to Australia. The grey butcherbird occurs in a range of different habitats including arid, semi-arid and temperate zones. The grey butcherbird is found across southern Australia, but is absent from the deserts of central Australia and the monsoon tropics of northern Australia.

Friday, 22 December 2017

MIDSUMMER SKY

A beautiful warm, sunny and fine day for the Summer Solstice. And so the year begins its decline as we mark the longest day and shortest night...

This post is part of the Skywatch Friday meme,
and also part of the Friday Photo Journal meme,
and also part of the Weekend Green meme.

Thursday, 21 December 2017

PHILADELPHUS

Philadelphus, (the mock-orange) is a genus of about 60 species of shrubs from 1 to 6 m tall, native to North America, Central America, Asia and (locally) in southeast Europe. They are named "mock-orange" in reference to their flowers, which in wild species look somewhat similar to those of oranges and lemons (Citrus) at first glance, and smell of orange flowers and jasmine (Jasminum).

Philadelphus is named after an ancient Greek king of Egypt, Ptolemy II Philadelphus and the name literally means ‘loving one's brother’ (hence Philadelphia, 'City of brotherly love'). Most Philadelphus are deciduous but a few species from the south of the genus' range are evergreen. The leaves are opposite, simple, with serrated margins, from 1 to 14 cm long. The flowers are white, with four petals and sepals, 1–4 cm diameter, and commonly (but not in all species) sweetly scented. The fruit is a small capsule, containing numerous small seeds. The bark is thin and flaky, finely shredding in longitudinal strips.

For a long time, Philadelphus coronarius was the only mock-orange of gardens, though some adventurous Americans grew the native P. inodorus that Mark Catesby had discovered growing on the banks of the Savannah River; it appeared in Lady Skipwith's garden lists and George Washington ordered some from Bartram in 1792. Mock-oranges are popular shrubs in parks and gardens, grown for their reliable display of late spring flowers; the scented species are particularly valued. In addition to the species, there are numerous garden origin hybrids and cultivars available, selected for doubleness and large flowers, with some compromise as to scent.

This blossom seemed apt today as in Melbourne we have had an incident where a car driven by a mentally disturbed drug addict ploughed into a crowd of people in a busy central thoroughfare in the City and injured seriously 19 people. This floral offering in sympathy for all affected and in thanks to our emergency services and personnel who responded in a timely and effective fashion.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.



Wednesday, 20 December 2017

'X' IS FOR XEROPHYTE

xerophyte | ˈzɪərə(ʊ)fʌɪt, ˈzɛrə(ʊ)fʌɪt | noun Botany: A plant which needs very little water to grow.
DERIVATIVES xerophytic | ˌzɪərə(ʊ)ˈfɪtɪk | adjective

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

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

PERTH, SCOTLAND

Perth (Scottish Gaelic: Peairt) is a city in central Scotland, located on the banks of the River Tay. It is the administrative centre of Perth and Kinross council area and the historic county of Perthshire. According to the preliminary 2011 census results Perth, including its immediate suburbs, has a population of 50,000. Perth has been known as The Fair City since the publication of the story Fair Maid of Perth by Scottish writer Sir Walter Scott in 1828. During the later medieval period the city was also called St John's Toun or Saint Johnstoun by its inhabitants in reference to the main church dedicated to St John the Baptist. This name is preserved by the city's football team, St Johnstone F.C.

There has been a settlement at Perth since prehistoric times, on a natural mound raised slightly above the flood plain of the Tay, where the river could be crossed at low tide. The area surrounding the modern city is known to have been occupied since Mesolithic hunter-gatherers arrived more than 8000 years ago. Nearby Neolithic standing stones and circles also exist, dating from about 4000 BC, following the introduction of farming in the area.

Perth in Australia and Perth in Canada are both named after Perth in Scotland. The presence of Scone Abbey, home of the Stone of Destiny (rightfully known as the stone of Scone) where the King of Scots was crowned, enhanced the early importance of the city. Perth became known as a 'capital' of Scotland, due to the frequent residence of the royal court. Royal Burgh status was soon given to the city by King William the Lion in the early 12th century. The city became one of the richest burghs in the country, doing trade with France, the Low Countries and Baltic Countries for goods such as Spanish silk and French wine. The Scottish Reformation also played a big role in the city with the sacking of the Houses of the Greyfriars and Blackfriars, after a sermon given by John Knox in St John's Kirk in 1559.

The Act of Settlement later brought about Jacobite uprisings. The city was occupied by Jacobite supporters on three occasions (1689, 1715 and 1745). The founding of Perth Academy in 1760 helped to bring major industries, such as linen, leather, bleach and whisky, to the city. Given its location, Perth was perfectly placed to become a key transport centre with the coming of the railways, and its first station was built in 1848. Today, Perth serves as a retail centre for the surrounding area. Following the decline of the whisky industry locally, the city's economy has now diversified to include insurance and banking. Due to its location, the city is often referred to as the "Gateway to the Highlands".

This post is part of the Our World Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Travel Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Wordless Wednesday meme.

Sunday, 17 December 2017

MY SUNDAY BEST MEME #45 - SNOW-IN-SUMMER

Welcome to the meme, "My Sunday Best", which is a photographic and creative meme that allows you to showcase your talents in imaging. Every Sunday, you can post here showing an image you have created using your camera, (and/or) image processing software, and/or painting and drawing in the conventional way and have scanned in.

The rules are simple:
1) Create your image and post it up on your blog;
2) Put the "My Sunday Best" logo image link somewhere on your post so people can click and come by here;
3) Leave a comment here once you have posted;
4) Visit other posters' blogs and be amazed with their creativity!

Please do not use this meme to advertise your goods or services. This is a creative meme and any inappropriate links or comments shall be removed immediately!

Melaleuca linariifolia, popularly known as Snow-in-Summer, is a plant native to eastern Australia. Other names include Narrow-leaved Paperbark, Flax-leaved Paperbark and the Gadigal Budjur. The taxonomy of Melaleuca linariifolia has recently undergone revision and another species, Melaleuca trichostachya has been split out.

Melaleuca linariifolia is found in heath and dry sclerophyll forest habitats, usually growing near watercourses or swamps. The tree grows to 5–10 metres high and 3–6 metres wide. It has distinctive and attractive creamy white papery bark. The tree bears perfumed, white flowers in early summer. The flowering can be profuse, covering the tree in white and giving rise to its common name.

Melaleuca linariifolia is cultivated as an ornamental tree for parks and gardens. It is popular as a nature strip tree in Melbourne. It is also used as a screen or windbreak. It tolerates both dry and boggy conditions and is frost hardy. The tree attracts a wide variety of insects and birds. It commonly has a number of structural faults that can result in limb failure when tree is mature or around 30 plus years old.



This post is part of the My Sunday Photo meme,
and also part of the Photo Sunday meme.

Saturday, 16 December 2017

MIRRORWORLD

A building in the neigbourhood whose façade is covered with dark glass. Can be a little disorienting if standing at the corner and looking at the reflected streets at 90˚ angles...

This post is part of the Weekend Reflections meme.

Friday, 15 December 2017

MAYFLY SEASON

No, don't try to clean your monitor screen... The tiny spots you see in the photo are not dirt on the glass, they are hundreds if not thousands of little mayflies. 

Mayflies (also known as Canadian soldiers in the United States, or shadflies or fishflies in Canada and Michigan; also up-winged flies in the United Kingdom ) are aquatic insects belonging to the order Ephemeroptera. This order is part of an ancient group of insects termed the Palaeoptera, which also contains dragonflies and damselflies.

Over 3,000 species of mayfly are known worldwide, grouped into over 400 genera in 42 families. Mayflies are relatively primitive insects and exhibit a number of ancestral traits that were probably present in the first flying insects, such as long tails and wings that do not fold flat over the abdomen. Their immature stages are aquatic fresh water forms (called "naiads" or "nymphs").

They are unique among insect orders in having a fully winged terrestrial adult stage, the subimago, which moults into a sexually mature adult, the imago. Mayflies "hatch" (emerge as adults) from spring to autumn, not necessarily in May, in enormous numbers. Seeing lots of mayflies in the Darebin Parklands close to where we live is good news as their presence indicates a clean, unpolluted environment!

This post is part of the Skywatch Friday meme,
and also part of the Friday Photo Journal meme,
and also part of the Weekend Green meme.

Thursday, 14 December 2017

ECHINACEA 'HOT PAPAYA'

Echinacea purpurea (eastern purple coneflower, hedgehog coneflower, or purple coneflower) is a North American species of flowering plant in the Asteraceae family. It is native to eastern North America and present to some extent in the wild in much of the eastern, southeastern and midwestern United States as well as in the Canadian Province of Ontario. It is most common in the Ozarks and in the Mississippi/Ohio Valley.

Echinacea purpurea is a herbaceous perennial up to 120 cm tall by 25 cm wide at maturity. Depending on the climate, it blooms throughout spring to late summer. Its cone-shaped flowering heads are usually, but not always, purple in the wild. Its individual flowers (florets) within the flower head are hermaphroditic, having both male and female organs in each flower. It is pollinated by butterflies and bees. Its habitats include dry open woods, prairies and barrens, as well as in cultivated beds. Although the plant prefers loamy or sandy, well-drained soils, it is little affected by the soil's pH.

Seen here is the garden hybrid  'Hot Papaya',  the very first developed in tropical, fiery orange-red shades. 'Hot Papaya' blooms in late July to September with flowers that are held on thick, well-branched maroon stems.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.



Wednesday, 13 December 2017

'W' IS FOR WATER

Water whooshing down a waterfall, whirling into white wavelets...

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

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

HA LONG BAY, VIETNAM

Ha Long Bay, situated in the Gulf of Tonkin, includes some 1600 islands and islets forming a spectacular seascape of limestone pillars. Because of their precipitous nature, most of the islands are uninhabited and relatively unaffected by human influence. The bay is located 160 km away east of Hanoi and it takes about 3 – 3.5 hours to get there by car or minibus. 

Ha Long literally means “descending dragon” and according to local myth, long ago when their forefathers were fighting foreign invaders from the north, the gods from heaven sent a family of dragons to help defend their land. This family of dragons descended upon what is now Ha Long Bay and began spitting out jewels and jade. Upon hitting the sea, these jewels turned into the various islands and islets dotting the seascape and formed a formidable fortress against the invaders.

The locals were able to keep their land safe and formed what is now the country of Vietnam. The Dragon family fell so much in love with this area for its calm water and for the reverence of the people of Vietnam that they decided to remain on earth. This is a perfect day trip out from Hanoi.

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











Monday, 11 December 2017

SEASONAL FLOWERS

The weather we have been having lately (lots of rain and relatively warm) has been benefitting the gardens, with late Spring/early Summer flowers blooming in profusion.

This post is part of the Mosaic Monday meme,
and also part of the Macro Monday meme,
and also part of the Through my Lens meme,
and also part of the Seasons meme.


Sunday, 10 December 2017

MY SUNDAY BEST MEME #44 - AU COIN DE LA RUE

Welcome to the meme, "My Sunday Best", which is a photographic and creative meme that allows you to showcase your talents in imaging. Every Sunday, you can post here showing an image you have created using your camera, (and/or) image processing software, and/or painting and drawing in the conventional way and have scanned in.

The rules are simple:
1) Create your image and post it up on your blog;
2) Put the "My Sunday Best" logo image link somewhere on your post so people can click and come by here;
3) Leave a comment here once you have posted;
4) Visit other posters' blogs and be amazed with their creativity!

Please do not use this meme to advertise your goods or services. This is a creative meme and any inappropriate links or comments shall be removed immediately!

Rendezvous au coin de la rue...
This post is part of the My Sunday Photo meme,
and also part of the Photo Sunday meme.