Monday, 31 December 2018

2018 IN REVIEW

Twelve photos, one from each month of 2018, as published in this blog. Last year certainly flew by quickly. Best wishes for a health-filled, happy and creative 2019!

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

Sunday, 30 December 2018

MY SUNDAY BEST MEME #99 - NEW YEAR WISHES

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!


THANK YOU FOR YOUR CONTRIBUTION TO THIS MEME IN 2018, I LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING YOUR WORK IN 2019! BE HAPPY, BE HEALTHY, BE CREATIVE!

HAVE A JOYOUS NEW YEAR!
This post is also part of the My Sunday Photo meme.

Saturday, 29 December 2018

COOTS IN THE RAIN

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 it equally often occurs 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. 

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



Thursday, 27 December 2018

MINT BUSH

Prostanthera, commonly known as mintbush or mint bush, is a genus of flowering plants of the family Lamiaceae. There are about 90 species within the genus, all of which are endemic to Australia. The word Prostanthera is derived from the Greek for an appendage. Within the flowers are small spur-like appendages on the anthers.

These plants are bushy, evergreen shrubs, usually with strongly aromatic leaves, and 2-lipped, 5-lobed flowers. They are cultivated as ornamentals and for essential oils and spices. All require varying degrees of winter protection in temperate regions, and are usually grown under glass. Prostanthera species are used as food plants by the larvae of hepialid moths of the genus Aenetus including A. eximia and A. ligniveren.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday, 26 December 2018

YULE

Yule or Yuletide ("Yule time" or "Yule season") is a festival observed by the historical Germanic peoples. Scholars have connected the Wild Hunt, the god Odin, and the pagan Anglo-Saxon Mōdraniht. It later underwent Christianised reformulation resulting in the term Christmastide. Holly and mistletoe are symbols of Yule.

Terms with an etymological equivalent to Yule are used in the Nordic countries for Christmas with its religious rites, but also for the holidays of this season. Today Yule is also used to a lesser extent in the English-speaking world as a synonym for Christmas. Present-day Christmas customs and traditions such as the Yule log, Yule goat, Yule boar, Yule singing, and others stem from pagan Yule. Today the event is celebrated in Heathenry and some other forms of Modern Paganism.

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.

Monday, 24 December 2018

Sunday, 23 December 2018

MY SUNDAY BEST MEME #98 - CHRISTMAS WISHES

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 Best meme,
and also part of the My Sunday Photo meme.

Saturday, 22 December 2018

HOVERFLY ON DANDELION

Hoverflies, sometimes called flower flies, or syrphid flies, make up the insect family Syrphidae. As their common name suggests, they are often seen hovering or nectaring at flowers; the adults of many species feed mainly on nectar and pollen, while the larvae (maggots) eat a wide range of foods. In some species, the larvae are saprotrophs, eating decaying plant and animal matter in the soil or in ponds and streams. In other species, the larvae are insectivores and prey on aphids, thrips, and other plant-sucking insects.

Aphids alone cause tens of millions of dollars of damage to crops worldwide every year; because of this, aphid-eating hoverflies are being recognised as important natural enemies of pests, and potential agents for use in biological control. Some adult syrphid flies are important pollinators. About 6,000 species in 200 genera have been described. Hoverflies are common throughout the world and can be found on all continents except Antarctica. Hoverflies are harmless to most other animals, despite their mimicry of more dangerous wasps and bees, which wards off predators.

This post is part of the Saturday Critters meme.

Thursday, 20 December 2018

ORIENTAL LILY

Lilium (members of which are true lilies) is a genus of herbaceous flowering plants growing from bulbs, all with large prominent flowers. Lilies are a group of flowering plants which are important in culture and literature in much of the world. Most species are native to the temperate northern hemisphere, though their range extends into the northern subtropics. Many other plants have "lily" in their common name but are not related to true lilies.

Lilies are tall perennials ranging in height from 60–180 cm. They form naked or tunicless scaly underground bulbs which are their organs of perennation. In some North American species the base of the bulb develops into rhizomes, on which numerous small bulbs are found. Some species develop stolons. Most bulbs are buried deep in the ground, but a few species form bulbs near the soil surface. Many species form stem-roots. With these, the bulb grows naturally at some depth in the soil, and each year the new stem puts out adventitious roots above the bulb as it emerges from the soil. These roots are in addition to the basal roots that develop at the base of the bulb.

The flowers are large, often fragrant, and come in a wide range of colours including whites, yellows, oranges, pinks, reds and purples. Markings include spots and brush strokes. The plants are late spring- or summer-flowering. Flowers are borne in racemes or umbels at the tip of the stem, with six tepals spreading or reflexed, to give flowers varying from funnel shape to a "Turk's cap". The tepals are free from each other, and bear a nectary at the base of each flower. The ovary is 'superior', borne above the point of attachment of the anthers. The fruit is a three-celled capsule.

Oriental lilies are based on hybrids within the Lilium section, specifically Lilium auratum and Lilium speciosum, together with crossbreeds from several species native to Japan, including Lilium nobilissimum, Lilium rubellum, Lilium alexandrae, and Lilium japonicum. They are fragrant, and the flowers tend to be outward facing. Plants tend to be tall, and the flowers may be quite large. The whole group are sometimes referred to as "stargazers" because many of them appear to look upwards.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday, 19 December 2018

XEROGRAPHY

Xerography or electrophotography is a dry photocopying technique. Its fundamental principle was invented by American physicist Chester Carlson and based on Hungarian physicist Pál Selényi's publications. Chester Carlson applied for and was awarded U.S. Patent 2,297,691 on October 6, 1942.

The technique was originally called electrophotography. It was later renamed xerography — from the Greek roots ξηρός xeros, "dry" and -γραφία -graphia, "writing" — to emphasise that, unlike reproduction techniques then in use such as cyanotype, this process used no liquid chemicals. Carlson's innovation combined electrostatic printing with photography, unlike the dry electrostatic printing process invented by Georg Christoph Lichtenberg in 1778.

Carlson's original process was cumbersome, requiring several manual processing steps with flat plates. It was almost 18 years before a fully automated process was developed, the key breakthrough being use of a cylindrical drum coated with selenium instead of a flat plate. This resulted in the first commercial automatic copier, the Xerox 914, being released by Haloid/Xerox in 1960. Before that year, Carlson had proposed his idea to more than a dozen companies, but none were interested. Xerography is now used in most photocopying machines and in laser and LED printers.

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

Tuesday, 18 December 2018

TAHBILK WINERY

Tahbilk Winery is situated 120 km north of Melbourne in Shire of Strathbogie in the Nagambie Lakes region of central Victoria, near Nagambie. The name Tahbilk originated from the wineries location, Tabilk. The aboriginal people first referred to the site as "tabilk-tabilk" meaning "place of many waterholes", the 'h' being added in by Tahbilk Winery to assist the wines sale-ability in Europe.

Until 2000, the winery was known as Chateau Tahbilk. Original cellars from the 1860s and 1870s are still in use. These and the buildings are classified by the National Trust of Australia. The winery also runs the Tahbilk Cafe and the Tahbilk Wetlands and Wildlife Reserve.The winery specialises in the Rhone varietals of Marsanne, Viognier and Roussanne and also produces Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay, Riesling, Semillon, Sauvignon blanc, Verdelho, Grenache and Mourvedre. Some original pre-phylloxera Shiraz vines survive from 1860.

Tahbilk is the oldest family owned winery in Victoria, Australia, established in 1860. Tahbilk is part of Australian wine alliance Australia’s First Families of Wine a multi-million-dollar venture to help resurrect the fortunes of the $6 billion industry highlighting the quality and diversity of Australian wine. The main criteria are that the family-owned companies need to have a “landmark wine” in their portfolios listed under Langton’s Classification and/or 75% agreement by group that a wine is considered “iconic”, must have the ability to do at least a 20-year vertical tasting, have a history going back a minimum of two generations, ownership of vineyards more than 50 years old and/or ownership of distinguished sites which exemplify the best of terroir, commitment to export and environmental best practice, appropriate cellar door experience, and be paid-up members of the Winemakers Federation of Australia.

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, 16 December 2018

MY SUNDAY BEST MEME #97 - FESTIVE 2

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 Mosaic Monday meme,
and also part of the Seasons meme.

Saturday, 15 December 2018

HARDHEADS

The hardhead (Aythya australis), also White-eyed duck, is the only true diving duck found in Australia. Hardheads are common in the south-east of Australia, particularly in the Murray-Darling Basin, but also in the wetter country near the coasts. They are moderately nomadic in normal years, but disperse widely in times of drought. Significant numbers reach as far afield as New Guinea, New Zealand, and the islands of the Pacific, where they can remain for some time, even breeding for a season or two.

Like the other members of the pochard group, hardheads feed by diving deeply, often staying submerged for as long as a minute at a time. They slip under the water with barely a ripple, simply lowering their heads and thrusting with their powerful webbed feet. They eat a broad range of small aquatic creatures, and supplement this with water weeds. Hardheads prefer larger lakes, swamps and rivers with deep, still water, but are often seen in smaller streams, flooded grasslands, and shallow pools. As a general rule, they avoid coastal waters. They rarely come to land and never perch in trees.

Hardheads are small by duck standards, usually not much more than 45 cm long but reaching 60 cm sometimes, and noticeably more rounded in overall form than most ducks. Both male and female are a fairly uniform chocolate-brown above, with rufous flanks and white undersides (which are often not visible if the duck is in the water). The trailing edges and almost the entire underside of the wings are white. In the male, the eyes are a striking white, in the female, brown.

These were sighted in the Darebin Parklands during the very wet weather and flooding we saw in the area lately. I do not see these birds at this location commonly, so it is the flooded areas that must have attracted them here. They certainly seemed to be enjoying the rain!

This post is part of the Saturday Critters meme.




Wednesday, 12 December 2018

WATERLILY

Nymphaea caerulea, known primarily as blue lotus (or blue Egyptian lotus), but also blue water lily (or blue Egyptian water lily), and sacred blue lily (or sacred narcotic lily of the Nile), is a water-lily in the genus Nymphaea.

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, 11 December 2018

ABU SIMBEL, EGYPT

The Abu Simbel temples are two massive rock temples at Abu Simbel (أبو سمبل in Arabic), a village in Nubia, southern Egypt, near the border with Sudan. They are situated on the western bank of Lake Nasser, about 230 km southwest of Aswan (about 300 km by road). The complex is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site known as the "Nubian Monuments," which run from Abu Simbel downriver to Philae (near Aswan).

The twin temples were originally carved out of the mountainside during the reign of Pharaoh Ramesses II in the 13th century BC, as a lasting monument to himself and his queen Nefertari, to commemorate his victory at the Battle of Kadesh. Their huge external rock relief figures have become iconic. The complex was relocated in its entirety in 1968, on an artificial hill made from a domed structure, high above the Aswan High Dam reservoir. The relocation of the temples was necessary to prevent their being submerged during the creation of Lake Nasser, the massive artificial water reservoir formed after the building of the Aswan High Dam on the Nile River.

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, 10 December 2018

MYSTERIOUS

Objects seen on my walk, in the parklands, in the shop windows, in the gardens, in the gutter.

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 Blue Monday meme.

Sunday, 9 December 2018

MY SUNDAY BEST MEME #96 - LIFE CIRCLE

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!
"I fight to embrace the entire circle of human activity to the full extent of my ability." - Nikos Kazantzakis

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

Saturday, 8 December 2018

LONELY DUCK

In the Darebin Parklands, the waters of the Darebin Creek and the several ponds through the reserve offer a great environment for many species of waterfowl. Here is a male chestnut teal duck (Anas castanea) on top of nesting box. Chestnut teals are dabbling ducks found in Australia. They are protected under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974.

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


Friday, 7 December 2018

Thursday, 6 December 2018

SPIDERWORT

Tradescantia is a genus of 75 species of herbaceous perennial wildflowers in the family Commelinaceae, native to the New World from southern Canada to northern Argentina, including the West Indies. Members of the genus are known by the common name spiderwort. They were introduced into Europe as ornamental plants in the 17th century and are now grown as such in many parts of the world. Subsequently, some species have become naturalised in various regions of Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia, as well as on some oceanic islands.

Tradescantia are weakly-upright to scrambling plants, growing 30–60 cm tall, and are commonly found individually or in clumps in wooded areas and open fields. A number of species have flowers that unfold in the morning and close when the sun shines on the flowers in the afternoon but can remain open on cloudy days until evening.

Three species known colloquially as "Wandering Jew", one native to eastern Mexico, also belong to the genus Tradescantia. Other names used for various species include spider-lily, cradle-lily, oyster-plant and flowering inch plant. The genus is of interest to cytogenetics because of evolutionary changes in the structure and number of their chromosomes. In addition to their use as ornamentals, Tradescantia is of economic importance because a number of species have become pests to cultivated crops. They have also been used as bioindicators for the detection of environmental mutagens.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

VANILLA

Vanilla is a flavouring agent derived from orchids of the genus Vanilla, in the Orchidaceae family, primarily from the Mexican species, flat-leaved vanilla (V. planifolia). The word vanilla, derived from the diminutive of the Spanish word vaina (vaina itself meaning sheath or pod), is translated simply as “little pod”. Pre-Columbian Mesoamerican people cultivated the vine of the vanilla orchid, called tlilxochitl by the Aztecs. Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés is credited with introducing both vanilla and chocolate to Europe in the 1520s.

Initial attempts to cultivate vanilla outside Mexico and Central America proved futile because of the symbiotic relationship between the vanilla orchid and its natural pollinator, the local species of Melipona bee. Pollination is required to set the fruit from which the flavouring is obtained. In 1837, Belgian botanist Charles François Antoine Morren discovered this fact and pioneered a method of artificially pollinating the plant. The method proved financially unworkable and was not deployed commercially. In 1841, Edmond Albius, a slave who lived on the French island of Réunion in the Indian Ocean, discovered at the age of 12 that the plant could be hand-pollinated. Hand-pollination allowed global cultivation of the plant.

Three major species of vanilla currently are grown globally, all of which derive from a species originally found in Mesoamerica, including parts of modern-day Mexico. They are V. planifolia (synonym V. fragrans), grown on Madagascar, Réunion, and other tropical areas along the Indian Ocean; V. tahitensis, grown in the South Pacific; and V. pompona, found in the West Indies, and Central and South America. The majority of the world’s vanilla is the V. planifolia species, more commonly known as Bourbon vanilla (after the former name of Réunion, Île Bourbon) or Madagascar vanilla, which is produced in Madagascar and neighbouring islands in the southwestern Indian Ocean, and in Indonesia.

Vanilla is the second-most expensive spice after saffron, because growing the vine and producing the vanilla seed pods is labour-intensive. Despite the expense, vanilla is highly valued for its flavour. As a result, vanilla is widely used in both commercial and domestic baking, perfume manufacture, and aromatherapy.

Vanilla grows as a vine, climbing up an existing tree (also called a tutor), pole, or other support. It can be grown in a forest (on trees), in a plantation (on trees or poles), or in a “shader”, in increasing orders of productivity. Its growth environment is referred to as its terroir, and includes not only the adjacent plants, but also the climate, geography, and local geology. Left alone, it will grow as high as possible on the support, with few flowers. Every year, growers fold the higher parts of the plant downward so the plant stays at heights accessible by a standing human. This also greatly stimulates flowering.

Flowers are greenish-yellow, with a diameter of 5 cm. They last only a day, and must be pollinated manually, during the morning, if fruit is desired. The plants are self-fertile, and pollination simply requires a transfer of the pollen from the anther to the stigma. If pollination does not occur, the flower is dropped the next day. In the wild, there is less than 1% chance that the flowers will be pollinated, so in order to receive a steady flow of fruit, the flowers must be hand-pollinated when grown on farms.

Fruit is produced only on mature plants, which are generally over 3 m long. The fruits are 15-23 cm long pods (often incorrectly called beans). Outwardly they resemble small bananas. They mature after about five months, at which point they are harvested and cured. Curing ferments and dries the pods while minimising the loss of essential oils. Vanilla extract is obtained from these pods.

The major chemical components from the pods are vanillin, vanillic acid, 4-hydroxybenzaldehyde and 4-hydroxybenzoic acid. Natural vanilla extract is a mixture of several hundred different compounds in addition to the main ones listed previously. Artificial “vanilla essence” is often a solution of pure vanillin, of synthetic origin. Because of the scarcity and expense of natural vanilla extract, synthetic preparation of its predominant component has long been of interest. The first commercial synthesis of vanillin began with the more readily available natural compound eugenol. Today, artificial vanillin is made either from guaiacol or lignin. Lignin-based artificial vanilla flavouring is alleged to have a richer flavour profile than oil-based flavouring; the difference is due to the presence of acetovanillone, a minor component in the lignin-derived product that is not found in vanillin synthesised from guaiacol.

Vanilla was cultivated for use as a flavouring by pre-Columbian Mesoamerican people; at the time of their conquest by Hernán Cortés, the Aztecs used it as a flavouring for drinking chocolate. Europeans became aware of both chocolate and vanilla around 1520. The major use of vanilla nowadays is as a flavouring, usually in sweet foods. The ice cream and chocolate industries together comprise 75% of the market for vanillin as a flavouring, with smaller amounts being used in confections and baked goods.

Vanillin is also used in the fragrance industry, in perfumes (unfortunately for me – as I find these perfumes quite distasteful!), and to mask unpleasant odours or tastes in medicines, livestock fodder, and cleaning products. It is also used in the flavour industry, as a very important keynote for many different flavours, especially creamy profiles such as creamy soda.

Vanillin has been used as a chemical intermediate in the production of pharmaceuticals and other fine chemicals. In 1970, more than half the world’s vanillin production was used in the synthesis of other chemicals, but as of 2004, this use accounts for only 13% of the market for vanillin. Additionally, vanillin can be used as a general-purpose stain for developing thin layer chromatography plates to aid in visualising components of a reaction mixture. This stain yields a range of colours for these different components. Vanillin–HCl staining can be used to visualise the localisation of tannins in cells.

In the language of flowers the vanilla orchid signifies the sentiment: “My pure love will overcome all obstacles”. A vanilla pod indicates “my affection has turned to sweet love.”

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, 4 December 2018

CÁDIZ, SPAIN

Cádiz is a city and port in southwestern Spain. It is the capital of the Province of Cádiz, one of eight which make up the autonomous community of Andalusia. Cádiz, regarded by many as the oldest continuously inhabited city in Western Europe, with archaeological remains dating to 3100 years, was founded by the Phoenicians. It has been a principal home port of the Spanish Navy since the accession of the Spanish Bourbons in the 18th century.

The city is a member of the Most Ancient European Towns Network. It is also the site of the University of Cádiz. Situated on a narrow slice of land surrounded by the sea‚ Cádiz is, in most respects, a typically Andalusian city with a wealth of attractive vistas and well-preserved historical landmarks. The older part of Cádiz within the remnants of the city walls is commonly referred to as the Old Town (Spanish: Casco Antiguo).

It is characterized by the antiquity of its various quarters (barrios), among them El Pópulo, La Viña, and Santa María, which present a marked contrast to the newer areas of town. While the Old City's street plan consists of narrow winding alleys connecting large plazas, newer areas of Cádiz typically have wide avenues and more modern buildings. In addition, the city is dotted with numerous parks where exotic plants flourish, including giant trees supposedly brought to Spain by Columbus from the New World.

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, 2 December 2018

MY SUNDAY BEST MEME #95 - TIME

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!
"Live the Hour"

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

Saturday, 1 December 2018

CORMORANT

The Australian pied cormorant (Phalacrocorax varius), also known as the pied cormorant, pied shag, or great pied cormorant, is a medium-sized member of the cormorant family. It is found around the coasts of Australasia. In New Zealand, it is usually known either as the pied shag or by its Māori name of Kāruhiruhi. Older sources may refer to it as the "yellow-faced cormorant".

The Noongar Aboriginal people who live in the south-west corner of Western Australia believe that the pied cormorant (medi) is responsible for the transport of souls of the deceased across and beneath the Western sea to their final resting place (Kurannup).

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.