Saturday, 18 May 2019

WALKABOUT

A dog taking itself for a walk! - Well, not really, its owner was a few metres behind.

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



Thursday, 16 May 2019

HELLEBORE

Helleborus niger, commonly called Christmas rose or black hellebore, is an evergreen perennial flowering plant in the buttercup family, Ranunculaceae. It is poisonous. Although the flowers resemble wild roses (and despite its common name), Christmas rose does not belong to the rose family (Rosaceae).

The plant is a traditional cottage garden favourite because it flowers in the depths of winter. Large-flowered cultivars are available, as are pink-flowered and double-flowered selections. It has been awarded an Award of Garden Merit (AGM). It can be difficult to grow well; acid soil is unsuitable, as are poor, dry conditions and full sun. Moist, humus-rich, alkaline soil in dappled shade is preferable. Leaf-mould can be dug in to improve heavy clay or light sandy soils; lime can be added to 'sweeten' acid soils.

The cultivar illustrated is Helleborus 'Anna's Red'. This beautiful variety has stunning deep flower colour. Deep magenta blooms which adorn the plant in winter and early spring, make this is one variety that is very popular. 'Anna's Red' is a vigorous grower with a tidy habit. Plant alongside our other varieties for maximum impact. Hellebores provide stunning results when mass planted in shady areas of the garden.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday, 15 May 2019

SAND & SEA

"S" stands for Summer, sea, sand and St Kilda Beach in Melbourne. St Kilda is an inner suburb of the metropolitan area of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 6 km south-east of Melbourne's Central Business District. Its local government area is the City of Port Phillip. At the 2011 Census, St Kilda had a population of 17,795. St Kilda was named after a schooner, Lady of St Kilda (which moored at the main beach for much of 1841) by Charles La Trobe, and the ship's master and early settler Lieutenant James Ross Lawrence.

During the Victorian and Edwardian eras, St Kilda became a favoured suburb of Melbourne's elite, and many palatial mansions were constructed along its hills and waterfront. Shortly after the turn of the 20th century, St Kilda served a similar function for Melburnians as did Coney Island to the residents of New York City and its history draws an interesting parallel.

St Kilda is home to many of Melbourne's famous visitor attractions including Luna Park, the Esplanade Hotel, Acland Street and Fitzroy Street. It is home to St Kilda Beach, Melbourne's most famous beach, several renowned theatres and several of Melbourne's big events and festivals. Considering its popularity and the large number of visitors, St Kilda beach is quite clean and well-looked after.

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, 14 May 2019

SHREWSBURY, UK

Shrewsbury is the county town of Shropshire, England. It is on the River Severn and has a population of approximately 72,000. Shrewsbury is a market town whose centre has a largely unspoilt medieval street plan and over 660 listed buildings, including several examples of timber framing from the 15th and 16th centuries. Shrewsbury Castle, a red sandstone fortification, and Shrewsbury Abbey, a former Benedictine monastery, were founded in 1074 and 1083 respectively by the Norman Earl of Shrewsbury, Roger de Montgomery.

The town is the birthplace of Charles Darwin. Horticulture remains popular, and the Shrewsbury Flower Show is one of the largest horticultural events in England. Located 14 km east of the Welsh border, Shrewsbury serves as the commercial centre for Shropshire and mid-Wales, with a retail output of over £299 million per year and light industry and distribution centres, such as Battlefield Enterprise Park, on the outskirts. The A5 and A49 trunk roads cross near to the town, and five railway lines meet at Shrewsbury railway station.

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, 12 May 2019

MY SUNDAY BEST MEME #117 - CHALLENGE: WATER

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 according to the "CHALLENGE" theme, 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!

NEXT WEEK'S CHALLENGE THEME IS: VIEW
Zakynthos or Zante, is a Greek island in the Ionian Sea, on the Western part of Greece. It is the third largest of the Ionian Islands. It covers an area of 410 km2 and its coastline is roughly 123 km in length. The island is named after Zakynthos, the son of a legendary Arcadian chief Dardanus. The name, like all similar names ending in -nthos, is pre-Mycenaean or Pelasgian in origin.

Zakynthos has a population of 41,000 people (2011) and a thriving tourism industry. The capital, which has the same name as the prefecture, is the town of Zakynthos. It lies on the eastern part of the northern coast. Apart from the official name, it is also called Chora (i.e. "the Town"). The port of Zakynthos has a ferry connecting to the port of Kyllini on the mainland. Another ferry connects the village of Agios Nikolaos to Argostoli on Kefalonia.

Last week the theme was "FRUIT" and Jesh in the USA posted a great photo of some delectable peaches. Please visit her blog to see the other great photos!

Saturday, 11 May 2019

GRASS PARROT

The red-rumped parrot (Psephotus haematonotus), also known as the red-backed parrot or grass parrot, is a common bird of south-eastern Australia, particularly in the Murray-Darling Basin. Red-rumped parrots are slim, elegant, moderate-sized parrots approximately 28 cm in length. The male's plumage is a bright emerald-green with yellow underparts, a brick-red rump and blue highlights on the wings and upper back. The female's plumage is less vibrant, with pale olive underparts, dull green wings and back and blue-black wingtips. The characteristic red rump is only found in the male.

Like many parrots, red-rumped parrots nest in tree hollows or similar places, including fenceposts and stumps. They lay 3-6 white eggs, Breeding usually takes place in spring (August to January), however, in the drier inland areas, breeding can occur at any time of year in response to rainfall. Red-rumped parrots do well in aviaries and cages. They don't like to be in crowded spaces and will sometimes be aggressive towards other birds if they don't have enough space. Red-rumped parrots can also be hand reared, provided that they have a large cage and are taken out of their cage on a daily basis to prevent boredom, as it may result in the parrot pulling out its feathers to occupy itself.

In captivity, if properly cared for, these birds will live from 15 to 32 years. Their green plumage provides such a good camouflage in ankle length grasses that they can hide quite effectively until the viewer is only 10–20 metres away. They spend a great deal of time feeding on the ground, and often call to one another with an attractive 'chee chillip chee chillip'.

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

Friday, 10 May 2019

IN THE PARK

Melbourne's lungs are large areas of parks, parklands, reserves and gardens that are spread throughout the metropolitan area. These provide a welcome natural resource for the inhabitants of this five million people megalopolis. These ancient gums by the Werribee River are a beautiful and valuable heritage for city dwellers' children.

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

WINTRY SUNRISE

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

Thursday, 9 May 2019

TWEEDIA

Oxypetalum coeruleum is a species of flowering plant, native to South America from southern Brazil to Uruguay, in the Apocynaceae family. The synonymous name Tweedia caerulea is also used. Growing to 100 cm, it is a straggling evergreen perennial with heart shaped, gray-green, downy leaves.

It is grown for its clear pale blue, star-shaped flowers, which are long lasting and cut well. The summer flowers age to purple and are followed by 30 cm long, boat-shaped seed pods. The seeds have downy parachute-like tufts (cypsela). The cultivar 'Alba' has white flowers, while 'Rosea' has pink flowers.

Oxypetalum coeruleum requires full sun in a well-drained soil that is dry. Propagation is via seed. With a minimum temperature range of 3–5 °C, it can be grown outdoors in a frost-free, sheltered environment. Alternatively it can be grown as an annual. This plant has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday, 8 May 2019

RICE

Rice (Oryza sativa) is a grain belonging to the grass family. The plant, which needs both warmth and moisture to grow, measures about 2 metres tall and has long, flat, pointed leaves and stalks bearing clusters of flowers producing the grain. It takes between 3 and 6 months for a rice plant to reach maturity. On average, farmers need 2,000 litres of water to produce one kilogram of rice, the plant needing to grow in flooded fields (rice paddies). Rice is one of the few foods that is non-allergenic and gluten-free. Scientists believe there are about 140,000 varieties of cultivated rice.

Rice is one of the world’s staple foods and to give you an idea of the enormous scale of its cultivation, here are some astounding figures: In the year 2003, the world produced about 589 million tonnes of paddy rice. Most of that (≈534 million tonnes) was grown in Asia. In 2002, it is estimated that rice fields covered almost 1.5 million square km of land. Again, most of those fields are in Asia - around 1.3 million square km. When all developing countries are considered together, rice provides 30% of people’s energy intake and 20% of their dietary protein. Whenever I have visited SE Asian countries I have been impressed by the enormous tracts of land that are devoted to rice cultivation. I guess that is why most people have a typical image of the Far East in their mind and this image at some point includes a flooded rice paddy…

Today, rice is grown and harvested on every continent except Antarctica, where conditions make its growth impossible (not much is grown as a crop in Antarctica!). The majority of all rice produced comes from India, China, Japan, Indonesia, Thailand, Burma, and Bangladesh. Asian farmers still account for 92% of the world's total rice production. Talking with a Chinese colleague, I was told that rice in Asian countries is viewed very much as bread is viewed by the Europeans. Just as in the Southern Mediterranean countries bread was the basis of every meal, in Asian countries boiled or steamed rice is the basis of every meal.

Rice and its by-products are used for making straw and rope, paper, wine, crackers, beer, cosmetics, packing material, and even toothpaste! Now for that risotto recipe. Risotto is a classic dish of Italy prepared with special varieties of rice rich in starch, especially the Arborio type, and there are a multitude of recipes and variations. They all have as common feature the toasting of the rice with butter or olive oil, before broth is added to cook the grains thoroughly.

Here are a few rice recipesPumpkin Risotto, Rice Pudding and Diet Brown Fried Rice.

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, 7 May 2019

MILAN, ITALY

An exceptionally large and elaborate Gothic cathedral on the main square of Milan, the Duomo di Milano is one of the most famous buildings in Europe. It is the largest Gothic cathedral and the second largest Catholic cathedral in the world (Seville Cathedral is the largest).

The street plan of Milan, with streets either radiating from the Duomo or circling it, indicates that the Duomo occupied the most important site in the ancient Roman city of Mediolanum. Saint Ambrose built a new basilica on this site at the beginning of the 5th century, with an adjoining basilica added in 836. When fire damaged both buildings in 1075, they were rebuilt as the Duomo.

In 1386 the archbishop, Antonio da Saluzzo, began the new project in a rayonnant Late Gothic style that is more characteristic of France than Italy. Work proceeded for generations. The main spire was topped in 1762 with a polychrome statue of the Madonna, to whom the Duomo and its predecessor have always been dedicated. Even now, some uncarved blocks remain to be turned into sculpture. Gothic construction on the rest of the Duomo was largely complete in the 1880s. The Duomo was recently under major renovations and cleaning for several years, obscuring the west front with scaffolding. Works were finally completed in 2009, revealing the newly-cleaned façade in all its glory.

Milan Cathedral is 157 meters long and 40,000 people can fit comfortably within. The Duomo of Milan blurs the distinction between Gothic and neo-Gothic, for the Gothic west front was begun in 1616 and completed 200 years later. Only in its details does it reveal its Baroque and Neo-Classical date. From 1900 some of the less Gothic details of the facade were replaced in a true Gothic style, to designs of Giuseppe Brentano.The roofline dissolves into openwork pinnacles that are punctuated by a grove of spires, topped with statues that overlook the city. The main spire is 109 meters high. These can all be investigated up close on a breathtaking walk on the roof.

The huge building is made of brick faced with marble from the quarries that Gian Galeazzo Visconti donated in perpetuity to the cathedral chapter. The cathedral's five wide naves are reflected in the hierarchic openings of the facade. Even the transepts have aisles. The great windows of the choir are reputed to be the largest in the world.

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, 6 May 2019

PARKLANDS WALK

A walk in the Darebin Parklands with many a treasure to discover...

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 Blue Monday meme.

Sunday, 5 May 2019

MY SUNDAY BEST MEME #116 - CHALLENGE: FRUIT

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 according to the "CHALLENGE" theme, 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!

NEXT WEEK'S CHALLENGE THEME IS: WATER

Passiflora edulis is a vine species of passion flower that is native to Brazil, Paraguay and northern Argentina. Its common names include passion fruit (US), passionfruit (UK and Commonwealth), and purple granadilla (South Africa). It is cultivated commercially in tropical and subtropical areas for its sweet, seedy fruit and is widely grown in several countries of South America, Central America, the Caribbean, Africa, Southern Asia, Israel, Australia, Hawaii (Liliko'i) and United States.

The passionfruit is round to oval, either yellow or dark purple at maturity, with a soft to firm, juicy interior filled with numerous seeds. The fruit is both eaten and juiced; passionfruit juice is often added to other fruit juices to enhance flavour. In Australia, passionfruit are very popular fruit and they are often added to fruit salads, various cakes and the famous dessert, pavlova!

Last week the theme was "THROUGH MY WINDOW" and Jesh in the USA posted some great photos taken from her car window. This photo was my favourite! Please visit her blog to see the other great photos!

Saturday, 4 May 2019

CURRAWONG

The pied currawong (Strepera graculina) is a medium-sized black passerine bird native to eastern Australia and Lord Howe Island. One of three currawong species in the genus Strepera, it is closely related to the butcherbirds and Australian magpie of the family Artamidae. Six subspecies are recognised.

It is a robust crow-like bird averaging around 48 cm in length, black or sooty grey-black in plumage with white undertail and wing patches, yellow irises, and a heavy bill. The male and female are similar in appearance. Known for its melodious calls, the species' name currawong is believed to be of indigenous origin. Within its range, the pied currawong is generally sedentary, although populations at higher altitudes relocate to lower areas during the cooler months.

It is omnivorous, with a diet that includes a wide variety of berries and seeds, invertebrates, bird eggs and juvenile birds. It is a predator which has adapted well to urbanisation and can be found in parks and gardens as well as rural woodland. The habitat includes all kinds of forested areas, although mature forests are preferred for breeding. Roosting, nesting and the bulk of foraging take place in trees, in contrast with the ground-foraging behaviour of its relative, the Australian magpie. Here it is seen in suburban Melbourne, in the Darebin Parklands in Fairfield.

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



Here is the song of the currawong:

Thursday, 2 May 2019

EASTER CACTUS

Hatiora gaertneri is a species of epiphytic cactus which belongs to the tribe Rhipsalideae within the subfamily Cactoideae of the Cactaceae family. Together with the hybrid with H. rosea, Hatiora × graeseri, it is known as the Easter Cactus or Whitsun Cactus and is a widely cultivated ornamental plant. H. gaertneri is found in southeastern Brazil, in Paraná and Santa Catarina, at altitudes of 350–1,300 m.

As with other species of the genus, H. gaertneri grows on trees (epiphytic) or less often rocks (lithophytic) in tropical rain forests. With maturity, it develops into a branching pendant leafless shrub with a woody base. The stems are made up of segments, most of which are flattened and which are the photosynthetic organs (cladodes) of the plant. Younger segments are dullish green, 4–7 cm long and 2–2.5 cm wide, with small notches on the margins. Structures characteristic of cacti, called areoles, form in these notches. Flowers form from areoles at the ends of the stems. These are scarlet in colour, 4–5 cm long, radially symmetrical (actinomorphic), opening to a funnel shape with a maximum diameter of about 4–7.5 cm. Red oblong fruits form after the flowers are fertilised.

The Easter Cactus is considered more difficult to grow than the Christmas or Thanksgiving Cactus (Schlumbergera). Recommendations for care include:
Temperature: Summer temperatures around 25 °C are suggested, with lower temperatures down to 7–13 °C in the winter (November to January in the Northern Hemisphere) to initiate good bud formation.
Light: As epiphytic forest plants, they are not exposed to strong sunlight. Half-shade is recommended; plants can be placed outside in the summer.
Watering: The Easter Cactus is said to respond badly to over- or under-watering, e.g. by losing stem segments; continuously moist soil is recommended.
Propagation: Stem segments may be removed in late Spring and the cut surface allowed to dry out before being placed in slightly moist soil.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday, 1 May 2019

QUOTE

"I think it is a quest of literature throughout the ages to describe the human condition." -  Werner Herzog

A sunset walk to quest for some quietude in the nature reserve along Werribee River in the Melbourne suburbs. It is a wonderful place to relax in and unwind, trying to collect one's thoughts and reflect upon life.

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, 30 April 2019

AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS

Amsterdam is the capital and most populous municipality of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Its status as the capital is mandated by the Constitution of the Netherlands, although it is not the seat of the government, which is The Hague. Amsterdam has a population of 840,486 within the city proper, 1,337,743 in the urban area, and 2,431,000 in the Amsterdam metropolitan area. The city is located in the province of North Holland in the west of the country, and is also North Holland’s largest city. It comprises much of the northern part of the Randstad, one of the larger conurbations in Europe, with a population of approximately 7 million.

Amsterdam’s name derives from Amstelredamme, indicative of the city's origin as a dam of the river Amstel. Originating as a small fishing village in the late 12th century, Amsterdam became one of the most important ports in the world during the Dutch Golden Age (17th century), a result of its innovative developments in trade. During that time, the city was the leading centre for finance and diamonds.

In the 19th and 20th centuries the city expanded, and many new neighbourhoods and suburbs were planned and built. The 17th-century canals of Amsterdam and the 19–20th century Defence Line of Amsterdam are on the UNESCO World Heritage List. As the commercial capital of the Netherlands and one of the top financial centres in Europe, Amsterdam is considered an alpha world city by the Globalization and World Cities (GaWC) study group. The city is also the cultural capital of the Netherlands. Many large Dutch institutions have their headquarters there, and seven of the world’s 500 largest companies, including Philips and ING, are based in the city.

In 2012, Amsterdam was ranked the second best city in which to live by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) and 12th globally on quality of living for environment and infrastructure by Mercer . Famous Amsterdam residents included Anne Frank the diarist, the artists Rembrandt van Rijn and Vincent van Gogh, and the philosopher Baruch Spinoza. The Amsterdam Stock Exchange, the oldest stock exchange in the world, is located in the city centre.  Amsterdam’s main attractions, including its historic canals, the Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum, Stedelijk Museum, Hermitage Amsterdam, Anne Frank House, Amsterdam Museum, its red-light district, and its many cannabis coffee shops draw more than 5 million international visitors annually.

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 April 2019

IN THE GARDEN

In Autumn, the garden becomes a colourful, adventurous place. Brightly coloured berries and fruits counterpoint the changing leaf hues, while the sobering greys, browns and yellow ochres of dying vegetation give the eyes some repose.

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

Sunday, 28 April 2019

MY SUNDAY BEST MEME #115 - CHALLENGE: THROUGH MY WINDOW

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 according to the "CHALLENGE" theme, 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!

NEXT WEEK'S CHALLENGE THEME IS: FRUIT
Looking out from my window as the sun sets.

Last week the theme was "SHADOWS" and Jim in Sydney posted a lovely photo of a historic church with beautiful shadows that showed off the architecture. Please visit his blog to see other great photos!

Saturday, 27 April 2019

GINGER

A neighbour's cat tries to keep warm as the temperatures fall with advancing Autumn.

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

Friday, 26 April 2019

Thursday, 25 April 2019

JAPANESE ANEMONE

Anemone hupehensis, Anemone hupehensis var. japonica, and Anemone × hybrida (commonly known as the Chinese anemone or Japanese anemone, thimbleweed, or windflower) are species of flowering herbaceous perennials in the Ranunculaceae family. A. hupehensis is native to central China, though it has been naturalised in Japan for hundreds of years.

The species was first named and described in Flora Japonica (1784), by Carl Thunberg. Thunberg had collected dried specimens while working as a doctor for the Dutch East Indies Company. In 1844, Robert Fortune brought the plant to England from China, where he found it often planted about graves. Height is 1–1.5 m and the leaves have three leaflets. Flowers are 40–60 mm across, with 5-6 (or up to 20 in double forms) sculpted pink or white petals and prominent yellow stamens, blooming from midsummer to autumn.

These plants thrive best in shady areas and under protection of larger plants. They are especially sensitive to drought or overwatering. They can be invasive or weedy in some areas, throwing out suckers from the fibrous rootstock, to rapidly colonise an area. Once established they can be extremely difficult to eradicate. On the other hand, they can take some time to become established.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.


Wednesday, 24 April 2019

PARLIAMENT HOUSE, VICTORIA

Parliament House in Melbourne, located at Spring Street in East Melbourne at the edge of the Melbourne city centre, has been the seat of the Parliament of Victoria, Australia, since 1855 (except for the years 1901 to 1927, when it was occupied by the Parliament of Australia). In 1851, even before the colony of Victoria acquired full parliamentary self-government, Governor Charles La Trobe instructed the colonial surveyor, Robert Hoddle, to select a site for the colony’s new parliament to meet. Hoddle selected a site on the eastern hill at the top of Bourke Street, which at that time, when few buildings were more than two storeys high, commanded a view of the whole city.

A competition was held for a design for the building, and John Knight’s design won the first prize of £500, but was not used. The government architect, Charles Pasley, subsequently came up with a design of his own. Subsequent observers have suggested that he borrowed heavily from Leeds Town Hall, which even today is widely considered to be among the finest civic buildings in the world. The design was later modified by an architect in his office, Peter Kerr. Construction of the project was managed by John Knight who was also on Casley’s staff.

The building is an example of Roman Revival architecture. In December 1855 construction began on the site in Spring Street, and the building was completed in stages between 1856 and 1929. The chambers for the Victorian Legislative Assembly and the Victorian Legislative Council were finished in 1856, at which time Bourke Street ran between the two chambers. The library was completed in 1860, and the Great Hall (now Queen’s Hall) and the vestibule in 1879. In the 1880s, at the height of the great boom fuelled by the Victorian Gold Rush, it was decided to add a classical colonnade and portico facing Spring St, which today gives the building its monumental character. This was completed in 1892. The north wing was completed in 1893 and refreshment rooms at the back of the building were added in 1929. 

Despite its protracted construction and evolution of the design, the building today feels very much a single entity. The flow of the rooms, particularly taken in context with the main facade leading to the Queen’s Hall and the parliamentary chambers, is both logical and visually impressive. Pasley and Kerr’s design included plans for a dome, but these were abandoned when a sharp depression began in 1891, and the dome was never built. From time to time governments have expressed interest in completing the building by adding the dome, but have been deterred by the enormous cost.

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





Tuesday, 23 April 2019

SINGAPORE CHINESE OPERA

Singapore has a lively cultural scene with many events staged by both local and international artists. There is the renowned Singapore Symphony Orchestra, the Singapore Lyric Opera company, the Singapore Dance Theatre, theatre, numerous galleries, museums, artistic and cultural groups that reflect the multicultural community of this small but extremely successful Asian nation. One is constantly reminded of this mixed population by the signage, which is in the four official languages of English, Malay, Chinese (Mandarin), and Tamil. Singaporean culture is best described as a melting pot of mainly Chinese, British, Malay and Indian cultures - a reflection of its immigrant history.

Although the Western influence is still strong (remembering the British were here from 1819 till 1965), the Asian flavour of the culture is ineluctable and constantly reminds one that Singapore is a strongly Asian nation. Of its permanent residents (3.75 million), close to three quarters are Chinese, 13% are Malay and 10% Indian. However, it should be kept in in mind that Singapore has the sixth-highest percentage of foreigners globally, with about forty percent foreign nationals working and living here, bringing the population up to just over 5 million). This mix of people and cultures and cultures makes the country an interesting and vibrant place to be in, especially when looking at the cultural scene. The successful economy and subsidisation by the state of many artistic and cultural bodies ensures that art and culture receive strong government support.

Traditional Chinese opera (Chinese: 戲曲; pinyin: xìqǔ), or Xiqu, is a form of musical theatre in China with roots going back to the early periods in China. It is an amalgamation of various art forms that existed in ancient China, and evolved gradually over more than a thousand years, reaching its mature form in the 13th century during the Song dynasty (960–1279). Early forms of Chinese theatre are simple, but over time they incorporated various art forms, such as music, song and dance, martial arts, acrobatics, costume and make-up art, as well as literary art forms to become traditional Chinese opera.

For centuries Chinese opera was the main form of entertainment for both urban and rural residents in China as well as the Chinese diaspora. Its popularity declined sharply in the second half of the 20th century as a result of both political and market factors. Chinese opera is no longer part of the popular Chinese culture, especially for young people, but it remains an attraction for many older people who find in it, among other things, a national or regional identity. For the Chinese diaspora in Singapore, Chinese opera is a popular entertainment, with often lavish productions being staged regularly.

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 April 2019

TRUGANINA TRIPTYCH

The Truganina Coastal Parklands are located 15 km west of Melbourne CBD, on the shores of Port Phillip Bay, stretching from Altona to Altona Meadows and adjacent to the Cheetham Wetlands and the Point Cook Coastal Park. They were formed through the 'recycling' of more than 300 hectares of parks and former industrial land and are now the largest cluster of parks on Port Phillip Bay, interlinked by cycling and walking trails and featuring a surprisingly high diversity and abundance of landscapes, natural environment and recreational areas, including beachside recreation, picnic & barbecue facilities, grassfields and wildlife conservation areas. The wetlands form part of the Cheetham and Altona Important Bird Area.

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, 21 April 2019

MY SUNDAY BEST MEME #115 - CHALLENGE: SHADOWS

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 according to the "CHALLENGE" theme, 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!

NEXT WEEK'S CHALLENGE THEME IS: THROUGH MY WINDOW
A shady glade in the Darebin Parklands in suburban Melbourne.

This post is also part of the Shadow Shot Sunday meme.

Last week the theme was "SUNSET" and Klara in Poland posted a lovely photo of a foggy sunset with beautiful silhouettes. Please visit her blog to see other great photos!

Saturday, 20 April 2019

FIND EASTER (BUNNIES)

The date of Easter Day is usually the first Sunday after the first Full Moon occurring on or after the March equinox. According to the Bible, Jesus’ death and resurrection occurred around the time of the Jewish Passover, which was celebrated on the first full moon following the vernal equinox. This soon led to Christians celebrating Easter on different dates. At the end of the 2nd century, some churches celebrated Easter on the day of the Passover, while others celebrated it on the following Sunday.

In 325CE the Council of Nicaea established that Easter would be held on the first Sunday after the first full moon occurring on or after the vernal equinox. From that point forward, the Easter date depended on the ecclesiastical approximation of March 21 for the vernal equinox. Easter is delayed by 1 week if the full moon is on Sunday, which decreases the chances of it falling on the same day as the Jewish Passover. The council’s ruling is contrary to the Quartodecimans, a group of Christians who celebrated Easter on the day of the full moon, 14 days into the month.

Not all Christian churches observe Easter according the Gregorian calendar. Some churches still observe Easter under the Julian calendar. The Gregorian calendar was created because the Julian calendar was slightly too long. With the Julian calendar, the equinox date moved towards the earlier dates of March and further away from the Easter. Therefore, the introduction of the Gregorian calendar allowed for a realignment with the equinox.

In the Gregorian calendar, Easter falls on a Sunday between March 22 and April 25 from 1753 to 2400. In the Julian calendar, used by some eastern or Orthodox churches, Easter also falls on a Sunday from March 22 to April 25, which in the Gregorian calendar are from April 3 to May 10 from 1753 to 2400.

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

HAPPY EASTER, WHENEVER YOU CELEBRATE IT!





Friday, 19 April 2019