Wednesday, 31 October 2018

QUAGGA

The quagga (Equus quagga quagga) was a plains zebra that lived in South Africa until becoming extinct late in the 19th century. It was long thought to be a distinct species, but early genetic studies have supported it being a subspecies of plains zebra. A more recent study suggested that it was merely the southernmost ecotype of the species. The name was derived from its call, which sounded like "kwa-ha-ha".

The quagga is believed to have been around 257 cm long and 125–135 cm tall at the shoulder. It was distinguished from other zebras by its limited pattern of primarily brown and white stripes, mainly on the front part of the body. The rear was brown and without stripes, and therefore more horse-like. The distribution of stripes varied considerably between individuals.

Little is known about the quagga's behaviour, but it may have gathered into herds of 30–50. Quaggas were said to be wild and lively, yet were also considered more docile than Burchell's zebra. They were once found in great numbers in the Karoo of Cape Province and the southern part of the Orange Free State in South Africa. After the Dutch settlement of South Africa began, the quagga was heavily hunted as it competed with domesticated animals for forage. Some were taken to zoos in Europe, but breeding programmes were unsuccessful.

The last wild population lived in the Orange Free State, and the quagga was extinct in the wild by 1878. The last captive specimen died in Amsterdam on 12 August 1883. Only one quagga was ever photographed alive and only 23 skins are preserved today. In 1984, the quagga was the first extinct animal to have its DNA analysed, and the Quagga Project is trying to recreate the phenotype of hair coat pattern and related characteristics by selectively breeding Burchell's zebras.

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

Tuesday, 30 October 2018

GREAT OCEAN ROAD

The Great Ocean Road is an Australian National Heritage listed 243-kilometre stretch of road along the south-eastern coast of Australia between the Victorian cities of Torquay and Warrnambool. The road was built by returned soldiers between 1919 and 1932, and is the world's largest war memorial; dedicated to casualties of World War I. It is an important tourist attraction in the region, which winds through varying terrain alongside the coast, and provides access to several prominent landmarks; including the nationally significant Twelve Apostles rock formations.

The Twelve Apostles is a collection of miocene limestone rock stacks jutting from the water in Port Campbell National Park, between Princetown and Peterborough on the Great Ocean Road. The Apostles were formed by erosion: The harsh weather conditions from the Southern Ocean gradually eroded the soft limestone to form caves in the cliffs, which then became arches, which in turn collapsed; leaving rock stacks up to 45 metres high. The site was known as the Sow and Piglets until 1922 (Muttonbird Island, near Loch Ard Gorge, was the Sow, and the smaller rock stacks the Piglets); after which it was renamed to The Apostles for tourism purposes. The formation eventually became known as the Twelve Apostles, despite only ever having nine stacks.

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, 28 October 2018

MY SUNDAY BEST MEME #90 - PERTH, WA

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!
Perth is the capital and largest city of the Australian state of Western Australia (WA). It is the fourth most populous city in Australia, with an estimated population of 1.97 million (on 30 June 2013) living in Greater Perth. Part of the South West Land Division of Western Australia, the majority of the metropolitan area of Perth is located on the Swan Coastal Plain, a narrow strip between the Indian Ocean and the Darling Scarp, a low coastal escarpment.

The first areas settled were on the Swan River, with the city's central business district and port (Fremantle) both located on its shores. Perth is formally divided into a number of local government areas, which themselves consist of a large number of suburbs, extending from Two Rocks in the north to Rockingham in the south, and east inland to The Lakes.

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


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Saturday, 27 October 2018

ANTS

"Ants have the most complicated social organization on earth next to humans." - E. O. Wilson

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

Thursday, 25 October 2018

LILAC BOUQUET

Syringa vulgaris (lilac or common lilac) is a species of flowering plant in the olive family Oleaceae, native to the Balkan Peninsula, where it grows on rocky hills. This species is widely cultivated as an ornamental and has been naturalised in other parts of Europe (including the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Italy), as well as much of North America. It is not regarded as an aggressive species, found in the wild in widely scattered sites, usually in the vicinity of past or present human habitations.

Most garden plants of S. vulgaris are cultivars, the majority of which do not exceed 4–5 m tall. Between 1876 and 1927, the nurseryman Victor Lemoine of Nancy introduced over 153 named cultivars, many of which are considered classics and still in commerce today. Lemoine's "French lilacs" extended the limited colour range to include deeper, more saturated hues, and they also introduced double-flowered "sports", with the stamens replaced by extra petals. Illustrated here is the hybrid 'Agincourt Beauty' that grows in our garden.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Tuesday, 23 October 2018

NIAGARA FALLS

Niagara Falls is the collective name for three waterfalls that straddle the international border between Canada and the United States; more specifically, between the province of Ontario and the state of New York. They form the southern end of the Niagara Gorge. From largest to smallest, the three waterfalls are the Horseshoe Falls, the American Falls and the Bridal Veil Falls. The Horseshoe Falls lies on the border of the United States and Canada, with the American Falls entirely on the American side, separated by Goat Island. The smaller Bridal Veil Falls are also on the American side, separated from the other waterfalls by Luna Island. The international boundary line was originally drawn through Horseshoe Falls in 1819, but the boundary has long been in dispute due to natural erosion and construction.

Located on the Niagara River, which drains Lake Erie into Lake Ontario, the combined falls form the highest flow rate of any waterfall in the world that has a vertical drop of more than 50 m. Horseshoe Falls is the most powerful waterfall in North America, as measured by vertical height and flow rate.The falls are 27 km north-northwest of Buffalo, New York, and 121 km south-southeast of Toronto, between the twin cities of Niagara Falls, Ontario, and Niagara Falls, New York.

Niagara Falls were formed when glaciers receded at the end of the Wisconsin glaciation (the last ice age), and water from the newly formed Great Lakes carved a path through the Niagara Escarpment en route to the Atlantic Ocean. While not exceptionally high, the Niagara Falls are very wide. More than 168,000 m3 of water falls over the crest line every minute in high flow, and almost 110,000 m3 on average.The Niagara Falls are famed both for their beauty and as a valuable source of hydroelectric power. Balancing recreational, commercial, and industrial uses has been a challenge for the stewards of the falls since the 19th century.

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, 21 October 2018

MY SUNDAY BEST MEME #89 - FLAMES IN SOUTHBANK

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!
Dominating the Southbank landscape is the Crown Casino complex, here seen from Southbank Promenade. It is one of the central features of the Southbank area in the central business district and the Crown Promenade fronts onto the waterfront as part of Southbank Promenade.
On the hour, along the promenade outside the Casino there is a display of jets of fire that can quite terrify someone standing nearby who does not know about them or is not expecting them!
This post is part of the My Sunday Photo meme,
and also part of the Photo Sunday meme.

Saturday, 20 October 2018

SWAMPHEN

The Australasian swamphen (Porphyrio melanotus) is a species of swamphen occurring in eastern Indonesia, the Moluccas, Aru and Kai Islands, as well as in Papua New Guinea and Australia. It is also found in New Zealand, where it is known as the pukeko, a term derived from the Māori language. The Australasian swamphen used to be considered a subspecies of the purple swamphen.

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



Thursday, 18 October 2018

CARNATION 'MEMORIES'

Dianthus caryophyllus, the carnation or clove pink, is a species of Dianthus. It is probably native to the Mediterranean region but its exact range is unknown due to extensive cultivation for the last 2,000 years. It is an herbaceous perennial plant growing to 80 cm tall. The leaves are glaucous greyish green to blue-green, slender, up to 15 cm long.

The flowers are produced singly or up to five together in a cyme; they are 3–5 cm diameter, and sweetly scented; the original natural flower colour is bright pinkish-purple, but cultivars of other colours, including red, white, yellow and green, have been developed. Some fragrance-less carnation cultivars are often used as boutonnieres for men.

Dianthus 'Memories'  shown here is a modern version of the old-time favourite carnation variety 'Mrs Sinkins' introduced in 1863. It is an evergreen perennial with masses of highly scented, pure white flowers. Blooming in late Spring through Summer (with regular deadheading), the frilled blossoms rise on short, stout stems. Easy to grow, these carnations are perfect for a rock garden, a border or in containers. This hybrid belongs to the ScentFirst® series of carnations from Whetman Pinks.

Alzheimer’s Australia and its current president, Ita Buttrose worked with Carolyn Whetman in the UK, towards the release of the plant in order to raise awareness, and fund research for Alzheimer's disease. Ita is a passionate ambassador for Alzheimer’s Australia and extremely knowledgable on the subject. With scent being a powerful trigger of memory, the selection of this fragrant flowering plant to support this cause is very apt.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.


Wednesday, 17 October 2018

ORCHID

Perhaps no other orchid surpasses the Cattleya in popularity amongst orchid fanciers around the world. And it is the Cattleya which means "orchid" to the lay person, if they are asked to think about orchid types. It is the Cattleya which has been the mainspring of the orchid industry and it is the Cattleya which has done most to stimulate interest in orchid growing as a hobby.

Cattleya is a genus of 113 species of orchids from Costa Rica and the Lesser Antilles south to Argentina. The genus was named in 1824 by John Lindley after William Cattley who received and was the first to bloom a specimen of Cattleya labiata. William Swainson had discovered the new plant in Pernambuco, Brazil, in 1817 and shipped to the Glasgow Botanic Gardens for identification. Swainson requested that a few plants be later sent to Cattley, who was able to bloom one a full year before the plants in Glasgow.

These orchids are widely known for their large, showy flowers, and were used extensively in hybridisation for the cut-flower trade until the 1980s when pot plants became more popular. The flowers of the hybrids can vary in size from 5 cm to 15 cm or more. They occur in all colours except true blue and black. Many of these species and hybrids are very fragrant. 

The specimen below is a Cattleya mossiae hybrid and is fragrant. The typical flower has three rather narrow sepals and three usually broader petals: two petals are similar to each other, and the third is the quite different conspicuous lip, featuring various markings and specks and an often frilly margin. At the base, the margins are folded into a tube. Each flower stalk originates from a pseudobulb. The number of flowers varies; it can be just one or two, or sometimes up to ten.

This post is part of the Wordless Wednesday meme,
and also part of the ABC Wednesday meme,
and also part of the Nature Notes meme

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

ADELAIDE, STH AUSTRALIA

Adelaide is the capital city of South Australia and the fifth-largest city in Australia. As at June 2013, Adelaide had an estimated resident population of 1.29 million. The demonym "Adelaidean" is used in reference to the city and its residents. Adelaide is north of the Fleurieu Peninsula, on the Adelaide Plains between the Gulf St Vincent and the low-lying Mount Lofty Ranges which surround the city. Adelaide stretches 20 km from the coast to the foothills, and 90 km from Gawler at its northern extent to Sellicks Beach in the south.

Named in honour of Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen, queen consort to King William IV, the city was founded in 1836 as the planned capital for a freely settled British province in Australia. Colonel William Light, one of Adelaide's founding fathers, designed the city and chose its location close to the River Torrens, in the area originally inhabited by the Kaurna people. Light's design set out Adelaide in a grid layout, interspaced by wide boulevards and large public squares, and entirely surrounded by parklands. Early Adelaide was shaped by religious freedom and a commitment to political progressivism and civil liberties, which led to the moniker "City of Churches".

As South Australia's seat of government and commercial centre, Adelaide is the site of many governmental and financial institutions. Most of these are concentrated in the city centre along the cultural boulevard of North Terrace, King William Street and in various districts of the metropolitan area. Today, Adelaide is noted for its many festivals and sporting events, its food and wine, its long beachfronts, and its large defence and manufacturing sectors. It ranks highly in terms of liveability, being listed in the Top 10 of The Economist's World's Most Liveable Cities index in 2010, 2011 and 2012.

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.









Sunday, 14 October 2018

MY SUNDAY BEST MEME #88 - LIGHTS IN SOUTHBANK

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 has a large Chinese population so during Chinese festivals, the Southbank precinct really lights up. The Chinese lanterns are always a very festive sight!
This post is part of the My Sunday Photo meme,
and also part of the Photo Sunday meme.

Friday, 12 October 2018

SUNRISE SKY

“Awake! for Morning in the Bowl of Night
Has flung the Stone that puts the Stars to Flight:
And Lo! the Hunter of the East has caught
The Sultan's Turret in a Noose of Light”
             
             Omar Khayyám, Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám

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, 11 October 2018

FELICIA ANGUSTIFOLIA

Felicia is a genus of small shrubs, perennial or annual herbaceous plants, with 85 known species, that is assigned to the daisy family (Asteraceae). Like in almost all Asteraceae, the individual flowers are pentamerous, small and clustered in typical heads, and which are surrounded by an involucre of, in this case between two and four whorls of, bracts. In Felicia, the centre of the head is taken by yellow, seldomly whitish or blackish blue disc florets, and is almost always surrounded by one single whorl of mostly purple, sometimes blue, pink, white or yellow ligulate florets and rarely ligulate florets are absent. These florets sit on a common base (or receptacle) and are not individually subtended by a bract (or palea).

Most species occur in the Cape Floristic Region, which is most probably the area where the genus originates and had most of its development. Some species can be found in the eastern half of Africa up to Sudan and the south-western Arabian peninsula, while on the west coast species can be found from the Cape to Angola and one species having outposts on the Cameroon-Nigeria border and central Nigeria. Some species of Felicia are cultivated as ornamentals and several hybrids have been developed for that purpose.

Shown here is Felicia angustifolia, sometimes referred to as F. hyssopifolia. It is a well branched subshrub, becoming rather straggling with age, to 30cm or more in height. Leaves linear, 8-12mm long, softly hairy. Flowerheads 2.5cm or more across, the ray florets blue or mauve, on long naked stalks. Several hybrids have been developed of more compact and bushier habit, that flower profusely in late Spring to Summer.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.


Tuesday, 9 October 2018

IN PERTH, AUSTRALIA

Perth is the capital and largest city of the Australian state of Western Australia. It is the fourth most populous city in Australia, with an estimated population of 1.74 million living in the Perth metropolitan area. The metropolitan area is located in the South West Division of Western Australia, between the Indian Ocean and a low coastal escarpment known as the Darling Range. The central business district and suburbs of Perth are situated on the banks of the Swan River.

Shortly after the establishment of the port settlement of Fremantle, Perth was founded on 12 June 1829 by Captain James Stirling as the political centre of the Swan River Colony. As the business and administration centre for the resource-rich state, Perth has grown consistently. Perth became known worldwide as the “City of Light” when city residents lit their house lights and streetlights as American astronaut John Glenn passed overhead while orbiting the earth on Friendship 7 in 1962. The city repeated the act as Glenn passed overhead on the Space Shuttle in 1998.

Perth is tied for eighth place in The Economist’s 2011 list of the world's most liveable cities. Perth’s residents have traditionally enjoyed the highest standard of living of any of Australia’s big cities. Until recently, the reason for this has been that, for most occupations, wages were only a little less than could be found in cities such as Sydney and Melbourne while house prices in Perth were considerably lower than the other cities.

Western Australia has huge deposits of metal ores and coal. Booming Asian economies, particularly China, have sourced many of their raw materials from Western Australia, resulting in high economic growth for the state and its capital, Perth. Many large mining and mineral concerns have their headquarters in Perth. Mining itself is carried on outside Perth but the city is home to many support industries employing engineers and scientists. There is a large oil refinery at Kwinana, 25 km south of Perth, with associated engineering and chemicals jobs. With the worldwide economic downturn, Perth is now seeing reduced growth.

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