Tuesday, 30 January 2018

ANTWERP, BELGIUM

Antwerp (Flemish: Antwerpen, French: Anvers) is a Flemish city in Belgium, and is the capital of Antwerp province in the community of Flanders. With a population of 520,504, it is the most populous city proper in Belgium. Its metropolitan area houses around 1,200,000 people, coming in second behind Brussels.

Antwerp is on the River Scheldt, linked to the North Sea by the Westerschelde estuary. It is about 40 kilometres north of Brussels, and about 15 kilometres from the Dutch border. The Port of Antwerp is one of the biggest in the world, ranking second in Europe and within the top 20 globally. Antwerp was also the place of the world's oldest stock exchange building, originally built in 1531 and re-built in 1872, it has been derelict since 1997.

Antwerp has long been an important city in the Low Countries, both economically and culturally, especially before the Spanish Fury (1576) in the Dutch Revolt. The inhabitants of Antwerp are nicknamed Sinjoren, after the Spanish honorific señor or French seigneur, "lord", referring to the Spanish noblemen who ruled the city in the 17th century.  Antwerp had an artistic reputation in the 17th century, based on its school of painting, which included Rubens, Van Dyck, Jordaens, the two Teniers and many others.

Today Antwerp is a major trade and cultural centre, and is the world's second most multi-cultural city (after Amsterdam) home to 170 nationalities. It is also known as "the diamond capital of the world" for its large diamond district. The city hosted the 1920 Summer Olympics.

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, 29 January 2018

PARKLANDS "MOSAIC"

Down by the creek, in the Darebin Parklands, there is a crossing constructed of rocks, concrete and stone slabs set in concrete. This provides a convenient thoroughfare for walkers wishing to cross the creek and is passable most times except when the weather is very rainy and the swollen creek inundates the crossing.

Some of the stone slabs have worked loose over the years and have been washed off. This leaves behind lacunae surrounded by raised concrete borders, in which water collects.The trees and sky are reflected in these and provided me with this week's "mosaic".

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




Sunday, 28 January 2018

MY SUNDAY BEST MEME #51 - GROUND

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,
and also part of the Photo Sunday meme.


Saturday, 27 January 2018

NANKEEN NIGHT HERON

The nankeen night heron (Nycticorax caledonicus) also commonly referred to as the rufous night heron, and in Melanesia as Melabaob, is a medium-sized heron. It is found in Indonesia, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Melanesia, and throughout much of Australia except the arid inland. A small colony has also established near Wanganui, New Zealand.

The nankeen night heron stands about 60 cm tall with a stooped appearance. It is a stocky heron with rich cinnamon upperparts, white-buff underparts, a black crown, and yellow legs and feet. The head is large, the neck short (giving a stooped appearance), and the legs relatively short. During breeding the back of the head bears three white nuptial plumes. The bill is dark olive-green, and the eyes are yellow. Young birds are heavily spotted and streaked white, brown and orange-brown. As they mature, the black cap of the adult develops first, with the body plumage remaining streaked for some time.

It is not strictly nocturnal. It often feeds during the day, especially during wet weather. The bird is dependent on a diet of small fish, reptiles, insects and sometimes eggs. It can be seen around freshwater rivers, lakes, bulrushes, estuaries, harbours and in residential fishponds for goldfish.

The species breeds in the period from September to April, building a nest platform out of sticks. It nests communally, near water. Two to five light green eggs are laid, with a 22-day incubation followed by a 42- to 49-day fledging period. Widespread throughout its large range, the nankeen night heron is evaluated as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

This post is part of the Weekend Green meme,
and also 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.




Thursday, 25 January 2018

IPOMOEA

Ipomoea is the largest genus in the flowering plant family Convolvulaceae, with over 500 species. It is a large and diverse group with common names including morning glory, sweet potato, bindweed, moonflower, etc. The most widespread common name is morning glories, but there are also species in related genera bearing the same common name. Those formerly separated in Calonyction (Greek καλός, kalos, good and νύκτα, nycta, night) are called moonflowers. The generic name is derived from the Greek words ιπς (ips) or ιπος (ipos), meaning "worm" or "bindweed," and όμοιος (homoios), meaning "resembling". It refers to their twining habit.

The genus occurs throughout the tropical and subtropical regions of the world, and comprises annual and perennial herbaceous plants, lianas, shrubs and small trees; most of the species are twining climbing plants. Ipomoea tricolor (morning glory) is native to the New World tropics, and widely cultivated and naturalised elsewhere. It is an herbaceous annual or perennial twining liana growing to 2–4 m tall. The leaves are spirally arranged, 3–7 cm long with a 1.5–6 cm long petiole.

The flowers are trumpet-shaped, 4–9 cm in diameter, most commonly blue with a white to golden yellow centre.In cultivation, the species is very commonly grown misnamed as Ipomoea violacea, actually a different though related species. Numerous cultivars of I. tricolor with different flower colours have been selected for use as ornamental plants; widely grown examples include Blue Star, Flying Saucers, Heavenly Blue, Heavenly Blue Improved, Pearly Gates, Rainbow Flash, Skylark, Summer Skies and Wedding Bells. The cultivar 'Heavenly Blue' has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.


Wednesday, 24 January 2018

COBURG LAKE

Coburg Lake Reserve is a popular district level park in Melbourne's Northern suburbs, offering a great variety of activities including picnicking, playgrounds, barbecue facilities, walking and bike paths and nature play all set in a beautiful heritage setting overlooking Coburg Lake. Several playgrounds are located throughout the park. These are nestled amongst the gardens and next to the lake. If you like to watch wildlife you will love the Coburg Lake Reserve. Ducks, swans and native birds can be observed here.

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, 23 January 2018

YELLOWSTONE

Yellowstone National Park is a national park located in the U.S. states of Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho. It was established by the U.S. Congress and signed into law by President Ulysses S. Grant on March 1, 1872. Yellowstone was the first national park in the U.S. and is also widely held to be the first national park in the world.

The park is known for its wildlife and its many geothermal features, especially Old Faithful geyser, one of its most popular features. It has many types of ecosystems, but the subalpine forest is the most abundant. It is part of the South Central Rockies forests ecoregion. Native Americans have lived in the Yellowstone region for at least 11,000 years. Aside from visits by mountain men during the early-to-mid-19th century, organised exploration did not begin until the late 1860s.

Management and control of the park originally fell under the jurisdiction of the Secretary of the Interior, the first being Columbus Delano. However, the U.S. Army was subsequently commissioned to oversee management of Yellowstone for a 30-year period between 1886 and 1916. In 1917, administration of the park was transferred to the National Park Service, which had been created the previous year. Hundreds of structures have been built and are protected for their architectural and historical significance, and researchers have examined more than a thousand archaeological sites.

Yellowstone National Park spans an area of 8,983 km2, comprising lakes, canyons, rivers and mountain ranges. Yellowstone Lake is one of the largest high-elevation lakes in North America and is centred over the Yellowstone Caldera, the largest supervolcano on the continent. The caldera is considered an active volcano. It has erupted with tremendous force several times in the last two million years. Half of the world's geothermal features are in Yellowstone, fuelled by this ongoing volcanism. Lava flows and rocks from volcanic eruptions cover most of the land area of Yellowstone. The park is the centrepiece of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, the largest remaining nearly-intact ecosystem in the Earth's northern temperate zone. In 1978, Yellowstone was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Hundreds of species of mammals, birds, fish, and reptiles have been documented, including several that are either endangered or threatened. The vast forests and grasslands also include unique species of plants. Yellowstone Park is the largest and most famous megafauna location in the contiguous United States. Grizzly bears, wolves, and free-ranging herds of bison and elk live in the park. The Yellowstone Park bison herd is the oldest and largest public bison herd in the United States.

Forest fires occur in the park each year; in the large forest fires of 1988, nearly one third of the park was burnt. Yellowstone has numerous recreational opportunities, including hiking, camping, boating, fishing and sightseeing. Paved roads provide close access to the major geothermal areas as well as some of the lakes and waterfalls. During the winter, visitors often access the park by way of guided tours that use either snow coaches or snowmobiles.

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, 22 January 2018

IT'S SUMMERTIME

We are enjoying a rather eventful Summer (weatherwise), with temperatures soaring to the low 40˚C region for a couple of days, the a cool change comes through with temperature coming down to the more reasonable mid 20˚C region for a few days. Mostly it's fine but we do get the odd shower and a couple of real Summer storms with torrential rain. Never a dull moment! Nevertheless, one plans to make the most of each day and one is thankful for the variety...

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

Sunday, 21 January 2018

MY SUNDAY BEST MEME #50 - SILVER YEARS

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!

The "Silver Years" is a euphemism for old age, prompted perhaps by the silvering of our hair... How lucky are those in their silver years who still love with youthful fervour and retain the gold of a precious relationship!
This post is part of the My Sunday Photo meme,
and also part of the Photo Sunday meme.


Friday, 19 January 2018

YARRA RIVER SUNRISE

The quietly flowing waters of the Yarra River provide marvellous opportunities for Melbourne's rowing enthusiasts to practice and enjoy the river. A number of rowing clubs with historic clubhouses can be found alongside the river, close to the City.

This post is part of the Skywatch Friday meme,
and also part of the Friday Photo Journal meme,
and also part of the Orange you Glad It's Friday meme.




Thursday, 18 January 2018

AUSTRALIAN BINDWEED

Convolvulus is a genus of about 200 to 250 species of flowering plants in the bindweed family Convolvulaceae, with a cosmopolitan distribution. Common names include bindweed and morning glory; both names shared with other closely related genera. They are annual or perennial herbaceous vines, bines and (a few species of) woody shrubs, growing to 0.3–3 m tall. The leaves are spirally arranged, and the flowers trumpet-shaped, mostly white or pink, but blue, violet, purple or yellow in some species. Many of the species are invasive species weeds; but others are cultivated for their attractive flowers, while some are globally threatened.

This is Convolvulus erubescens, commonly known as blushing bindweed, pinkflower bindweed or (in Britain and Ireland) Australian bindweed, is a perennial herb in the Convolvulaceae family that is native to Australia. It has trailing and twining stems and variable leaves, ovate to triangular or arrow-shaped, 25–55 mm long and 2–40 mm wide. It has rosy-pink or mauve, funnel-shaped flowers, 7–15 mm long, 8–20 mm in diameter, with a pale, greenish throat. It is found in coastal and subcoastal areas where it inhabits eucalypt forests, the margins of rainforests, grassy woodlands and grasslands.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

BRIGHTON IN BAYSIDE

The City of Bayside is a Local Government Area in Melbourne, Australia. It is located in the southern suburbs, with an area of 36 square kilometres and an estimated population of about 100,000 people. It comprises the City of Brighton, City of Sandringham, City of Moorabbin, City of Mordialloc and City of Bayside. As well as having quite exclusive and very expensive real estate by the seaside in Brighton, for example, it also has areas of industrial and business park usage, as in Moorabbin, for example.

Here are some photos from Brighton Beach where the bay is blue, the beach is beguiling, the boxes beautiful, the breeze bracing, and the bank balances buoyant!


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, 16 January 2018

CAPE SOUNION, GREECE

Cape Sounion (Modern Greek: Aκρωτήριο Σούνιο, transliterated Akrotírio Soúnio) is a promontory located 69 kilometres south-southeast of Athens, at the southernmost tip of the Attica peninsula in Greece. Cape Sounion is noted as the site of ruins of an ancient Greek temple of Poseidon, the god of the sea in classical mythology. The remains are perched on the headland, surrounded on three sides by the sea. The ruins bear the deeply engraved name of English Romantic poet Lord Byron (1788–1823). The site is a popular day-excursion for tourists from Athens, with the sunset over the Aegean Sea, as viewed from the ruins, a sought-after spectacle.

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.


Monday, 15 January 2018

SUMMER RAIN

The last couple of weeks we have had some unstable weather in Melbourne, with temperatures climbing up to 42˚C and then plunging down to 18˚C. Add to that a couple of Summer storms and rain, which at some stage really pelted down. Now this week we expect maxima in the mid-30˚C range. Still, to see rain is good and the gardens appreciate it after the hot days...

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,
and also part of the Ruby Tuesday meme.

Sunday, 14 January 2018

MY SUNDAY BEST MEME #49 - WALK

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!

An afternoon walk, a little melancholy perhaps, unaware that happiness is fluttering behind us like a little bird unseen...
This post is part of the My Sunday Photo meme,
and also part of the Photo Sunday meme.

Saturday, 13 January 2018

DUCKLING

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,
and also part of the Weekend Reflections meme.

Friday, 12 January 2018

Thursday, 11 January 2018

ROSA 'MR LINCOLN'

Bred by Swim & Weeks, USA, 1964 this very tall growing rose to 1.8 metres should be planted at the back of the rose bed where it will shine over and above all the roses and the breath-taking fragrance will still be enjoyed. Mr. Lincoln has retained its popularity over the years because it is just so reliable a performer with very tough, leathery foliage, especially loving the heat.

As with most dark red roses, Mr. Lincoln has very sharp thorns and produces huge, thick watershoots which should be pruned with loppers rather than secateurs. The dark red blooms are very high-centred and the petals have incredible substance and when fading, take a rather dark purple hue. This rose is ideal for the vase and one bush will produce many magnificent long, strong stems – have the de-thorner handy when working with this rose!

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.