Sunday, 17 November 2019

MY SUNDAY BEST MEME #144 - AQUARIUM

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 theme is of your own choosing, so post on any subject you desire.


Last week Lydia from Sydney, Australia shared some of her snaps from her recent trip to China and I liked this photo, which is my favourite for the week. Please visit her blog for more of her images.

Thursday, 14 November 2019

SWEET PEA

The sweet pea (Lathyrus odoratus) is a flowering plant in the genus Lathyrus in the family Fabaceae (legumes), native to Sicily, Cyprus, southern Italy and the Aegean Islands. It is an annual climbing plant, growing to a height of 1–2 metres, where suitable support is available.

The leaves are pinnate with two leaflets and a terminal tendril, which twines around supporting plants and structures, helping the sweet pea to climb. In the wild plant the flowers are purple, 2–3.5 centimetres broad; they are larger and very variable in colour in the many cultivars. The annual species, L. odoratus, may be confused with the everlasting pea, L. latifolius, a perennial.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Tuesday, 12 November 2019

SYROS, GREECE

Ermoupoli (Greek: Ερμούπολη), also known by the formal older name Ermoupolis or Hermoupolis (Greek: Ἑρμούπολις < Ἑρμοῦ πόλις “City of Hermes”), is a town and former municipality on the island of Syros, in the Cyclades, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform, it is part of the municipality Syros-Ermoupoli, of which it is the seat and a municipal unit. It is also the capital of the South Aegean region. The municipal unit has an area of 11.181 km2.

Ermoupoli was founded during the Greek Revolution in the 1820s, as an extension to the existing Ano Syros township, by war refugees from other Greek islands. It soon became the leading commercial and industrial centre of Greece, as well as its main port. The renowned Greek Steamship Company was founded in the city in 1856. Thousands of ships were built in the various Syros shipyards. Eventually Ermoupoli was eclipsed by Piraeus in the late 19th century. In the following decades the city declined. Recently, its economy has greatly improved, based on the service industry.

Ermoupoli is sited on a naturally amphitheatrical site, with neo-classical buildings, old mansions and traditional island houses cascading down to the harbour. The City Hall, on Miaoulis Square is ringed by cafes and seating areas under palm trees. The “City of Hermes” has numerous churches, including Metamorphosis, Koimisis, St. Demetrius, Three Hierarchs, Anastasis, Evangelistria and St. Nicholas. The Archaeological Museum has many significant exhibits and the Municipal Library contains numerous books, including some rare editions. The quarter of the town known as Vaporia is where the sea captains lived. Along its narrow streets, stand many neo-classical mansions of rich and significant architecture.

Ano Syros is the second town of Syros and was built by the Venetians at the beginning of the 13th century on the hill of San Giorgio, north-west of Ermoupoli. Ano Syros maintains a medieval atmosphere. Innumerable steps between narrow streets and houses with brightly coloured doors lead to the top of the town. The medieval settlement of Ano Syros is accessible by car, although the town is served mostly by marble steps. The distance from the harbour up to the main entry point of the town is approximately 1000 metres. The Catholic cathedral of Saint George dominates Ano Syros. The cathedral church was constructed during the 13th century. From the cathedral visitors have a panoramic view of the neighbouring islands of Tinos, Delos, Mykonos, Paros, Andros and Naxos.

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 November 2019

TETRAPTYCH

And now for something slightly different... The last couple of weeks I was busy completing a series of four paintings that were inspired by photographs. The photographs are given in the four upper panels, and they merge with the paintings in the panels below. A mosaic of images and ideas, colours and emotional responses. Tell me what you think!

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

Sunday, 10 November 2019

MY SUNDAY BEST MEME #143 - QUIET POND

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 theme is of your own choosing, so post on any subject you desire.

Last week, Jesh from the USA contributed some fine photos, the one below being my fave this week. Go to her blog for more wonderful photography!

Saturday, 9 November 2019

FEAST

Caterpillars enjoying a meal of a fallen gum leaf. I don't know what type these are and would appreciate an ID, if you know it!

This post is part of the Saturday Critters meme.


Thursday, 7 November 2019

SPIDERWORT

Tradescantia virginiana is found in eastern North America, west to Missouri, south to northern South Carolina and Alabama, and north to Ontario, Vermont, and Michigan. Much of the northern range, however, may represent garden escapes rather than indigenous wild populations. It is an attractive garden plant and many showy hybrids  bear striking, large blue flowers, such as this one illustrated, T. virginiana 'Zwanenburg Blue'.

Look closely at a bloom and you'll notice tiny hairs covering the stamens. Under normal circumstances, they're the same blue colour as the flower. However, as Steve Bender and Felder Rushing revealed in their classic, best-selling book, "Passalong Plants", in the presence of radiation the hairs turn pink. Thus, spiderwort is an essential part of any garden near nuclear plants! Your very own natural Geiger counter in your garden...

Spiderwort had many uses in First Nation’s culture as food and medicine. The seeds are edible when roasted and are ground into a powder (although they are somewhat bitter to taste). Leaves can be made into a tea or tossed into salads, soups, etc. The root can be collected all year round. The flowers can be tossed on top of a salad and eaten.

Dried, powdered flowers were once used as a snuff for nosebleeds. Externally, this plant can be used as a poultice to help heal wounds and haemorrhoids. Internally the leaves and roots are a valuable alternative medicine used by medical herbalists for their patients as an antidiarrhoeal, analgesic, anthelminthic, antiperiodic, astringent, diaphoretic, emetic, emmenagogue, expectorant, sedative, tonic, vermifuge, and vulnerary. Also, drinking spiderwort tea is supposed to be a good for increasing breast milk (galactagogue).

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Sunday, 3 November 2019

MY SUNDAY BEST MEME #142 - MOORHEN

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 theme is of your own choosing, so post on any subject you desire.
The dusky moorhen is a waterbird native to Australasia.

Last week Taken for Granted posted a whimsical photo featuring a giant red teapot, which was my favourite. Go to his blog for many more great shots.

Saturday, 2 November 2019

DOG WALKERS

The Darebin Parklands in suburban Melbourne is a conservation area, a green nature reserve and an important leisure area. Many dog walkers find it a suitable place to take their animals for a walk, keeping them on a leash in areas where free-ranging dogs may chase the wildlife. There are also a couple of large grassy areas where the dogs can be let off their leashes to exercise.

This post is part of the Saturday Critters meme.

Thursday, 31 October 2019

CEANOTHUS

Ceanothus L. is a genus of about 50–60 species of shrubs or small trees in the family Rhamnaceae. Common names for members of this genus are California Lilac, Wild Lilac, and Soap Bush. Ceanothus comes from a Greek word meaning "spiny plant". The genus is confined to North America, with the centre of its distribution in California. Some species (e.g. C. americanus) are found in the eastern United States and southeast Canada, and others (e.g. C. coeruleus) extend as far south as Guatemala. Most are shrubs 0.5–3 m tall, but C. arboreus and C. thyrsiflorus, both from California, can be small trees up to 6–7 m tall.

The species illustrated here is Ceanothus thyrsiflorus (also known as blueblossom or blue blossom ceanothus), which is an evergreen shrub in the genus Ceanothus that is endemic to California. The term 'Californian lilac' is also applied to this and other varieties of Ceanothus, though it is not closely related to Syringa, the true lilac. In late spring and early summer, this bushy evergreen shrub is smothered in clusters of dark blue flowers among small, dark green, glossy leaves.

It looks great in the middle of a south or west-facing mixed border, or as a specimen at the edge of a terrace or path. It requires protection from cold, drying winds. Each year, after the plant has flowered, take out dead, diseased or damaged shoots and trim back the flowered shoots to the required shape. Apply a 5-7cm mulch of well-rotted organic matter around the base of the plant in spring.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Tuesday, 29 October 2019

RETHYMNO, GREECE

Rethymno (Greek: Ρέθυμνο) is a city of approximately 40,000 people in Greece, the capital of Rethymno regional unit on the island of Crete, a former Latin Catholic bishopric as Retimo and former Latin titular see. Rethymno was originally built during the Minoan civilisation (ancient Rhithymna and Arsinoe). The city was prominent enough to mint its own coins and maintain urban growth. One of these coins is today depicted as the crest of the town: Two dolphins in a circle.

This region as a whole is rich with ancient history, most notably through the Minoan civilisation centred at Kydonia east of Rethymno. Rethymno itself began a period of growth when the Venetian conquerors of the island decided to put an intermediate commercial station between Heraklion and Chania, acquiring its own bishop and nobility in the process. Today’s old town (palia poli) is almost entirely built by the Republic of Venice. It is one of the best-preserved old towns in Crete.

The town still maintains its old aristocratic appearance, with its buildings dating from the 16th century, arched doorways, stone staircases, Byzantine and Hellenic-Roman remains, the small Venetian harbour and narrow streets. The Venetian Loggia houses the information office of the Ministry of Culture and Sports. A Wine Festival is held there annually at the beginning of July. Another festival, in memory of the destruction of the Arkadi Monastery, is held on 7–8 November.

The city’s Venetian-era citadel, the Fortezza of Rethymno, is one of the best-preserved castles in Crete. Other monuments include the Neratze mosque (the Municipal Odeon arts centre), the Great Gate (Μεγάλη Πόρτα or Porta Guora), the Piazza Rimondi and the Loggia. The town was captured by the Ottoman Empire in 1646 during the Cretan War (1645–69) and they ruled it for almost three centuries. The town, called Resmo in Turkish, was the centre of a sanjak (administrative part of a province) during Ottoman rule.

During the Battle of Crete (20–30 May 1941), the Battle of Rethymno was fought between German paratroopers and the Second Australian Imperial Force and Hellenic Army. Although initially unsuccessful, the Germans won the battle after receiving reinforcements from Maleme in the Northwestern part of the island. Today the city’s main income is from tourism, many new facilities having been built in the past 20 years. Agriculture is also notable, especially for olive oil and other Mediterranean products.

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, 27 October 2019

MY SUNDAY BEST MEME #141 - MORNING TRAIN

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 theme is of your own choosing, so post on any subject you desire.
Morning and waiting for the commuter train to go into the City for work...

Last week Lydia from Sydney, Australia shared some of her snaps and I fell in love with this photo, which is my favourite for the week. Please visit her blog for more of her images.

Thursday, 24 October 2019

HIBISCUS 'TROPICANA'

Hibiscus rosa-sinensis, known colloquially as Chinese hibiscus, China rose, Hawaiian hibiscus, and shoe flower, is a species of flowering plant in the Hibisceae tribe of the family Malvaceae, native to East Asia. It is widely grown as an ornamental plant throughout the tropics and subtropics.

As it does not tolerate temperatures below 10 °C, in temperate regions it is best grown under glass. However, plants in containers may be placed outside during the summer months or moved into shelter during the winter months. Numerous varieties, cultivars, and hybrids are available, with flower colours ranging from white through yellow and orange to scarlet and shades of pink, with both single and double sets of petals.

The cultivar 'Cooperi' has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit. Illustrated here is a Flamenco™ Hibiscus 'Tropicana', featuring spectacular long-lasting (4-5 days) large flowers. These varieties have a compact, well branched habit that provides a neat frame for the lush dark green foliage and the many spectacular full blooms that appear continuously during the warmer months.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday, 23 October 2019

PAINT POUR ART

The last few years, a new form of abstract art has developed. This is a rather heuristic and serendipitous form of art where acrylic paints are mixed with a fluid medium, a few drops of silicone oil are added, the mixed paints are layered in a beaker and then poured on a canvas. The canvas is tilted so that it is completely covered by the paint and the painting is heated with a butane torch so that the silicone oil droplets laden with paint come to the top forming multi-coloured "cells".

Although one may try one's best to control the process, it is largely a matter of chance what patterns develop and how the paints interact and mix with one another. Until I tried it for myself I discounted it as a mechanistic and "easy" way to make art. However, as is often the case, trying my hand at it convinced me that there was indeed skill involved and the choice of colours, the mixing of paint, and close control of a number of variables that one can control, made the difference between a pleasing end-result or the formation of a picture seemingly besmirched with mud.

You may see a paint pour artist at work in this link. It is a fellow Australian, Julie Cutts, who lives in Queensland and produces excellent instructional videos on how she makes her paint pour art.

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





Tuesday, 22 October 2019

PERTH, AUSTRALIA

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. Perth was originally founded by Captain James Stirling in 1829 as the administrative centre of the Swan River Colony, and gained city status in 1856 (currently vested in the smaller City of Perth). The city is named for Perth, Scotland, by influence of Sir George Murray, then British Secretary of State for War and the Colonies.

The city’s population increased substantially as a result of the Western Australian gold rushes in the late 19th century, largely as a result of emigration from the eastern colonies of Australia. During Australia's involvement in World War II, Fremantle served as a base for submarines operating in the Pacific Theatre, and a US Navy Catalina flying boat fleet was based at Matilda Bay. An influx of immigrants after the war, predominantly from Britain, Greece, Italy and Yugoslavia, led to rapid population growth. This was followed by a surge in economic activity flowing from several mining booms in the late 20th and early 21st centuries that saw Perth become the regional headquarters for a number of large mining operations located around the state.

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, 20 October 2019

MY SUNDAY BEST MEME #140 - CAFE

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 theme is of your own choosing, so post on any subject you desire.
Brunswick Street is a street in inner northern Melbourne, known for cafés, live music venues, quirky shops, street entertainment and alternative fashion boutiques. Brunswick Street runs north-south through the inner northern Melbourne suburbs of Fitzroy and Fitzroy North, from Victoria Parade at its southernmost end, crossing Alexandra Parade, and continuing until it reaches St Georges Road in Fitzroy North, near the Edinburgh Gardens; there, its former northward course is continued by a much smaller residential street named Brunswick Street North. Tram route 112 runs along the entire length of Brunswick Street for part of its journey.

Last week, Klara from Poland contributed some fine photos, the one below being my fave this week. Go to her blog for more wonderful photography!

Friday, 18 October 2019

Thursday, 17 October 2019

FORGET-ME-NOT

Myosotis (from the Greek: "mouse's ear", from the resemblance of the leaf) is a genus of flowering plants in the family Boraginaceae. In the northern hemisphere they are commonly called forget-me-nots or scorpion grasses. The common name "forget-me-not" was calqued from German, Vergissmeinnicht and first used in English in AD 1398 through King Henry IV. Similar names and variations are found in many languages. Myosotis alpestris is the state flower of Alaska.

Plants of this genus are commonly confused with Chatham Islands forget-me-nots which belong to a related genus, Myosotidium. Myosotis have pentamerous actinomorphic flowers with 5 sepals and petals. Flowers are typically 1 cm diameter (or less), flat, and blue, pink, white or yellow with yellow centres, growing on scorpioid cymes. They may be annual or perennial with alternate leaves. They typically flower in spring or soon after snow-melt in alpine eco-systems.

Their root systems are generally diffuse. Their seeds are found in small, tulip-shaped pods along the stem to the flower. The pods attach to clothing when brushed against and eventually fall off, leaving the small seed within the pod to germinate elsewhere. Seeds can be collected by putting a piece of paper under the stems and shaking the seed pods and some seeds will fall out. Myosotis scorpioides is also known as scorpion grass due to the spiralling curve of its inflorescence.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Tuesday, 15 October 2019

VALLADOLID, SPAIN

Valladolid is a city in Spain and the de facto capital of the autonomous community of Castile and León. It has a population of 309,714 people (2013 est.), making it Spain's 13th most populous municipality and northwestern Spain’s biggest city. Its metropolitan area ranks 20th in Spain with a population of 414,244 people in 23 municipalities. The city is situated at the confluence of the Pisuerga and Esgueva rivers 15 km before they join the Duero, and located within five winegrowing regions: Ribera del Duero, Rueda, Toro, Tierra de León, and Cigales.

Valladolid was originally settled in pre-Roman times by the Celtic Vaccaei people, and later the Romans themselves. It remained a small settlement until being re-established by King Alfonso VI of Castile as a Lordship for the Count Pedro Ansúrez in 1072. It grew to prominence in the Middle Ages as the seat of the Court of Castile and being endowed with fairs and different institutions as a collegiate church, University (1241), Royal Court and Chancery and the Royal Mint.

The Catholic Monarchs, Isabel I of Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragon, married in Valladolid in 1469 and established it as the capital of the Kingdom of Castile and later of united Spain. Christopher Columbus died in Valladolid in 1506, while authors Francisco de Quevedo and Miguel de Cervantes lived and worked in the city. The city was briefly the capital of Habsburg Spain under Phillip III between 1601 and 1606, before returning indefinitely to Madrid. The city then declined until the arrival of the railway in the 19th century, and with its industrialisation into the 20th century.

The Old Town is made up of a variety of historic houses, palaces, churches, plazas, avenues and parks, and includes the National Museum of Sculpture, the Museum of Contemporary Art Patio Herreriano or the Oriental Museum, as well as the houses of José Zorrilla and Cervantes which are open as museums. Among the events that are held each year in the city there is Holy Week, Valladolid International Film Week (Seminci), and the Theatre Festival and street arts (TAC).

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, 13 October 2019

MY SUNDAY BEST MEME #139 - SPRING BLOSSOM

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 theme is of your own choosing, so post on any subject you desire.



Last week, Jesh from the USA contributed some fine photos, the one below being my fave this week. Go to her blog for more wonderful photography!

Friday, 11 October 2019

YARRA MORNING

The Yarra River or historically, the Yarra Yarra River, (Aboriginal: Birrarung, and Wongete) is a perennial river in east-central Victoria, Australia. The lower stretches of the river are where the city of Melbourne was established in 1835 and today Greater Melbourne dominates and influences the landscape of its lower reaches.

From its source in the Yarra Ranges, it flows 242 kilometres west through the Yarra Valley which opens out into plains as it winds its way through Greater Melbourne before emptying into Hobsons Bay in northernmost Port Phillip. The river was a major food source and meeting place for indigenous Australians from prehistoric times.

Shortly after the arrival of European settlers land clearing forced the remaining Wurundjeri to neighbouring territories and away from the river. Originally called Birrarung by the Wurundjeri, the current name was mistranslated from another Wurundjeri term in the Boonwurrung language; Yarro-yarro, meaning "ever-flowing".

This post is part of the Skywatch Friday meme.

Thursday, 10 October 2019

ICELAND POPPY

The Iceland Poppy (Papaver nudicaule, syn. Papaver croceum, P. miyabeanum, P. amurense, and P. macounii) is a boreal flowering plant. Native to subpolar regions of Europe, Asia and North America, and the mountains of Central Asia (but not in Iceland), Iceland poppies are hardy but short-lived perennials, often grown as biennials, that yield large, papery, bowl-shaped, lightly fragrant flowers supported by hairy, one foot, curved stems among feathery blue-green foliage.

They were first described by botanists in 1759. The wild species blooms in white or yellow, and is hardy from USDA Zones 3a-10b. All parts of this plant are likely to be poisonous, containing (like all poppies) toxic alkaloids. In particular, P. nudicaule has been shown to contain the benzophenanthidine alkaloid, chelidonine.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday, 9 October 2019

NATURE

It's Spring and the perfect time of the year to find time to stop and seek out a serene spot where one can find a little wilderness in order to admire the wonders of nature awaking from her Winter sleep. Here in the Darebin Parklands in suburban Melbourne, Australia, the Darebin Creek winds it way through 40 hectares of urban bushland, between the suburbs of Ivanhoe and Alphington.

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, 8 October 2019

CARCASSONE, FRANCE

Carcassonne is a fortified town in the French department of Aude, in the region of Occitanie. It is the departmental prefecture. Inhabited since the Neolithic period, Carcassonne is located in the Aude plain between historic trade routes, linking the Atlantic to the Mediterranean sea and the Massif Central to the Pyrénées. Its strategic importance was quickly recognised by the Romans, who occupied its hilltop until the demise of the Western Roman Empire. In the fifth century, it was taken over by the Visigoths, who founded the city.

Its strategic location led successive rulers to expand its fortifications until the Treaty of the Pyrenees in 1659. The city is famous for the Cité de Carcassonne, a medieval fortress restored by the theorist and architect Eugène Viollet-le-Duc in 1853 and added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites in 1997. Consequently, Carcassonne relies heavily on tourism but also counts manufacture and wine-making as some of its other key economic sectors.

The fortified city itself consists essentially of a concentric design of two outer walls with 53 towers and barbicans to prevent attack by siege engines. The castle itself possesses its own drawbridge and ditch leading to a central keep. The walls consist of towers built over quite a long period. One section is Roman and is notably different from the medieval walls with the tell-tale red brick layers and the shallow pitch terracotta tile roofs. One of these towers housed the Catholic Inquisition in the 13th century and is still known as “The Inquisition Tower”. 

Carcassonne was demilitarised under Napoleon and the Restoration, and the fortified cité of Carcassonne fell into such disrepair that the French government decided that it should be demolished. A decree to that effect that was made official in 1849 caused an uproar.The antiquary and mayor of Carcassonne, Jean-Pierre Cros-Mayrevieille, and the writer Prosper Mérimée, the first inspector of ancient monuments, led a campaign to preserve the fortress as a historical monument. Later in the year the architect Eugène Viollet-le-Duc, already at work restoring the Basilica of Saint-Nazaire, was commissioned to renovate the place. In 1853, work began with the west and southwest walls, followed by the towers of the porte Narbonnaise and the principal entrance to the cité.

The fortifications were consolidated here and there, but the chief attention was paid to restoring the roofing of the towers and the ramparts, where Viollet-le-Duc ordered the destruction of structures that had encroached against the walls, some of them of considerable age.Viollet-le-Duc left copious notes and drawings on his death in 1879, when his pupil Paul Boeswillwald and, later, the architect Nodet continued the rehabilitation of Carcassonne. The restoration was strongly criticised during Viollet-le-Duc’s lifetime. Fresh from work in the north of France, he made the error of using slates and restoring the roofs as point-free environment. Yet, overall, Viollet-le-Duc’s achievement at Carcassonne is agreed to be a work of genius, though not of the strictest authenticity.

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, 7 October 2019

ZENBOX 2

Zen | zɛn | noun [mass noun]

A Japanese school of Mahayana Buddhism emphasizing the value of meditation and intuition rather than ritual worship or study of scriptures.

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

Sunday, 6 October 2019

MY SUNDAY BEST MEME #138 - POND

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 theme is of your own choosing, so post on any subject you desire.


Last week, Till Klipt from Sweden contributes some fine Autumnal photos, the one below being my fave this week. Go to her blog for more wonderful photography.

Saturday, 5 October 2019

PRINCES BRIDGE

Princes Bridge (originally Prince's Bridge), is an important bridge in central Melbourne, Australia that spans the Yarra River. It is built on the site of one of the oldest river crossings in Australia. The bridge connects Swanston Street on the north bank of the Yarra River to St Kilda Road on the south bank, and carries road, tram and pedestrian traffic. The present bridge was built in 1888 and is listed on the Victorian Heritage Register. Because of its position, Princes Bridge is often a focal point for celebratory events in Melbourne such as the Moomba Festival, New Years Eve and many celebrations taking place on the Yarra River where it flows through the city.

This post is part of the Weekend Reflections meme.

Thursday, 3 October 2019

ROSEMARY

Rosmarinus officinalis, commonly known as rosemary, is a woody, perennial herb with fragrant, evergreen, needle-like leaves and white, pink, purple, or blue flowers, native to the Mediterranean region. It is a member of the mint family Lamiaceae, which includes many other herbs. The name "rosemary" derives from the Latin for "dew" (ros) and "sea" (marinus), or "dew of the sea". The plant is also sometimes called anthos, from the ancient Greek word ἄνθος, meaning "flower". The plant has a fibrous root system.

Rosemary is an aromatic evergreen shrub that has leaves similar to hemlock needles. The leaves are used as a flavouring in foods such as stuffings and roast lamb, pork, chicken and turkey. It is native to temperate climates, but is reasonably hardy in cool climates. It can withstand droughts, surviving a severe lack of water for lengthy periods. Forms range from upright to trailing; the upright forms can reach 1.5 m tall, rarely 2 m. The leaves are evergreen, 2–4 cm long and 2–5 mm broad, green above, and white below, with dense, short, woolly hair.

The plant flowers in spring and summer in temperate climates, but the plants can be in constant bloom in warm climates; flowers are white, pink, purple or deep blue. Rosemary also has a tendency to flower outside its normal flowering season; it has been known to flower as late as early December, and as early as mid-February. Since it is attractive and drought-tolerant, rosemary is used as an ornamental plant in gardens and for xeriscape landscaping, especially in regions of Mediterranean climate. It is considered easy to grow and pest-resistant.

Rosemary can grow quite large and retain attractiveness for many years, can be pruned into formal shapes and low hedges, and has been used for topiary. It is easily grown in pots. The groundcover cultivars spread widely, with a dense and durable texture. Rosemary grows on friable loam soil with good drainage in an open, sunny position. It will not withstand waterlogging and some varieties are susceptible to frost. It grows best in neutral to alkaline conditions (pH 7–7.8) with average fertility. It can be propagated from an existing plant by clipping a shoot (from a soft new growth) 10–15 cm long, stripping a few leaves from the bottom, and planting it directly into soil.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.