Wednesday, 18 September 2019

KITES OF KOULOUMA

Kathara Deftera is an important public holiday in Greece. It is the first day of the forty day fasting period before Easter that starts immediately after the carnival. It is called this way to indicate spiritual and physical cleansing and refers to Jesus Christ fasting for forty days in the wilderness. Katharà or Katharòs means ‘clean’ in Greek. The day of Clean Monday is sometimes called “Ash Monday,” by analogy to “Ash Wednesday,” the day during which Lent in western Christianity begins.

On Clean Monday, many Greeks travel to the countryside to fly a kite and to enjoy a picnic meal together. You can see kites everywhere on Clean Monday, they symbolize the spirit flying to heaven. The Greeks call this exodus to the countryside Koulouma. Families and friends meet and everyone will bring fasting foods and drinks. Wine is very popular on this occasion and there will often be singing and dancing. Clean Monday, however, is not only associated with eating permitted fasting food, it is also considered to mark the beginning of the spring season, the kite flying is also part of this tradition.

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

Tuesday, 17 September 2019

LAUNCESTON, TASMANIA

Launceston is a city in the north of Tasmania, Australia, at the junction of the North Esk and South Esk rivers where they become the Tamar River. Launceston is the second largest city in Tasmania after Hobart. With a population of 86,633, Launceston is the twelfth-largest non-capital city in Australia. It is the only inland city in Tasmania.

Settled by Europeans in March 1806, Launceston is one of Australia’s oldest cities and is home to many historic buildings. Like many Australian places, it was named after a town in the United Kingdom – in this case, Launceston, Cornwall. Launceston has also been home to several firsts such as the first use of anaesthetic in the Southern Hemisphere, the first Australian city to have underground sewers and the first Australian city to be lit by hydroelectricity. The city has a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. Local government is split between the City of Launceston and the Meander Valley and West Tamar Councils.

Built in two complementary sections forty years apart (1863 and 1903), King’s Bridge near Launceston, Tasmania, is a very elegant and gracefully arched, open girder steel bridge which carries Bridge Road/Trevallyn Road across the Tamar River. Built to carry main road traffic north from Launceston to the town on the coasts of Bass Strait, the bridge is now protected from heavy West Tamar traffic by the newer adjoining Paterson Bridge, which was brought into service in the 1960s. King’s Bridge is now reserved for local traffic only. Part of the bridge’s appeal is that it is the perfect terminating element to the renowned Launceston Gorge within the Trevallyn State Reserve. The reserve is bounded by the South Esk River on all but the northern side. In the east is the Trevallyn Lake, formed by the Trevallyn Dam, and in the east is Cataract Gorge.

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, 15 September 2019

MY SUNDAY BEST MEME #135 - MOONRISE

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.
Full moon rising in Melbourne, Australia.

Last week, Jesh from the USA had a post with some wonderful photos, the one below being my favourite this week. Visit her blog for more great images!

Saturday, 14 September 2019

IBIS 2X2

A pair of ibises reflected in the still waters of a pond in the Darebin Parklands in suburban Melbourne.

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

Thursday, 12 September 2019

SHASTA DAISIES

Leucanthemum × superbum (or Shasta daisy) is a commonly grown flowering herbaceous perennial plant with the classic daisy appearance of white petals (ray florets) around a yellow disc, similar to the oxeye daisy Leucanthemum vulgare Lam. but larger. Shasta daisies are characterised by a distinct odour which some find unpleasant.

This flower originated as a hybrid produced in 1890 by the American horticulturist Luther Burbank from a number of daisies. First, he crossed Leucanthemum vulgare with Leucanthemum maximum (Ramond) DC.; this double hybrid was itself crossed with Leucanthemum lacustre (Brot.) Samp. The resulting Leucanthemum triple hybrid was crossed with Nipponanthemum nipponicum (Franch. ex Maxim.) Kitam., creating an intergeneric cross of species from three continents.

It was named after Mount Shasta, because its petals were the colour of the snow. Some members of the genus are considered noxious weeds, but the Shasta daisy remains a favourite garden plant and ground-cover. Many cultivars are suitable for cut flowers, such as 'Becky', 'Esther Read', 'Silberprinzesschen' (Silver Princess), 'Snow Lady', 'Tinkerbell', 'Wirral Pride', 'Wirral Supreme'. The cultivar 'T.E. Killin' has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit. The illustrated variety is 'Snowdrift', which we have growing in our garden.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday, 11 September 2019

JEWEL BUG

Jewel Bugs (Family Scutelleridae) have broad rounded bodies with an undivided shield covering the whole abdomen. Jewel bugs get their common name from their bright colours. Jewel Bugs have the scutellum expanded to cover the whole abdomen and both pairs of wings, leading to their other common name, Shield-backed Bugs.

Australian jewel bugs suck plant sap and feed on a broad range of seeds, either while they are still attached to the plant, or after they have fallen to the ground. In Australia, some are known as Harlequin Bugs, a common name used for several other sorts of bugs elsewhere in the world. There are 25 Australian species of jewel bugs in the Family Scutelleridae

The Hibiscus Harlequin Bug, Tectocoris diophthalmus, sucks sap from hibiscus plants, bottle trees and related species. Its main foodplant is the native Beach Hibiscus (Hibiscus tiliaceus). It is also a minor pest of cultivated cotton, a member of the hibiscus family Malvaceae, leading to its other common name, the Cotton Harlequin Bug. In our garden it was feeding on a native hibiscus bush.

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, 10 September 2019

ST PETERSBURG, RUSSIA

Saint Petersburg (Russian: Санкт-Петербу́рг, tr. Sankt-Peterburg) is the second largest city in Russia, politically incorporated as a federal subject (a federal city). Situated on the Neva River, at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea, it was named Saint Petersburg in 1703. In 1914, the name was changed from Saint Petersburg to Petrograd (Russian: Петрогра́д), in 1924 to Leningrad (Russian: Ленингра́д), and in 1991 back to Saint Petersburg.

Tsar Peter the Great founded Saint Petersburg on May 27 [O.S. 16] 1703. Between 1713–1728 and 1732–1918, Saint Petersburg was the imperial capital of Russia. In 1918, the central government bodies moved to Moscow. It is Russia’s second-largest city after Moscow, with five million inhabitants in 2012, and an important Russian port on the Baltic Sea. Saint Petersburg is the most Westernised city of Russia, as well as its cultural capital. It is the northernmost city in the world with a population of over one million.The Historic Centre of Saint Petersburg and Related Groups of Monuments constitute a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Saint Petersburg is home to The Hermitage, one of the largest art museums in the world. A large number of foreign consulates, international corporations, banks, and businesses have offices in Saint Petersburg.

We visited St Petersburg in 2001 and thoroughly enjoyed it, seeing an amazing number of significant sites, museums, historical and cultural areas. The people we met were courteous, helpful and friendly.

The Church of the Saviour on Spilled Blood (Russian: Церковь Спаса на Крови, Tserkovʹ Spasa na Krovi) is one of the main sights of St. Petersburg. Other names include the Church on Spilled Blood (Russian: Церковь на Крови, Tserkov’ na Krovi), the Temple of the Saviour on Spilled Blood (Russian: Храм Спаса на Крови, Khram Spasa na Krovi), and the Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ (Russian: Собор Воскресения Христова, Sobor Voskreseniya Khristova). This church was built on the site where Emperor Alexander II was fatally wounded by political nihilists in March 1881.

The church was built between 1883 and 1907. The construction was funded by the imperial family.Architecturally, the Cathedral differs from St. Petersburg’s other structures. The city’s architecture is predominantly Baroque and Neoclassical, but the Saviour on Blood harks back to medieval Russian architecture in the spirit of romantic nationalism. It intentionally resembles the 17th-century Yaroslavl churches and the celebrated St. Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow.

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, 8 September 2019

MY SUNDAY BEST MEME #134 - INTIMATE 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!

The theme is of your own choosing, so post on any subject you desire.
This post is also part of the Photo Sunday meme.

Last week, Jesh from the USA had a post with some wonderful photos, the one below being my favourite this week. Visit her blog for more great images!


Friday, 6 September 2019

Thursday, 5 September 2019

ANDROMEDA

Andromeda polifolia, common name bog-rosemary, is a species of flowering plant native to Northern parts of the Northern Hemisphere. It is the only member of the genus Andromeda, and is only found in bogs in cold peat-accumulating areas.

It is a small shrub growing to 10–20 centimetres (rarely to 40 cm) tall with slender stems. The leaves are evergreen, alternately arranged, lanceolate, 1–5 centimetres long and 2–8 millimetres broad, dark green above (purplish in winter) and white beneath with the leaf margins curled under. The flowers are bell-shaped, white to pink, 5–8 mm long; flowering is in late spring to early summer. The fruit is a small capsule containing numerous seeds.

'Compacta' shown here is a small evergreen shrub to 20cm in height, with oval leaves and terminal clusters of clear pink, globose flowers.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday, 4 September 2019

ILLUSTRATION

An interesting, illustrated book is ideal for infants learning their ABC... Especially if accompanied by ice-cream!

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

Tuesday, 3 September 2019

YORK, UK

York is a historic walled city at the confluence of the rivers Ouse and Foss in North Yorkshire, England. The municipality is the traditional county town of Yorkshire to which it gives its name. The city has a rich heritage and has provided the backdrop to major political events in England throughout much of its two millennia of existence. The city offers a wealth of historic attractions, of which York Minster is the most prominent, and a variety of cultural and sporting activities making it a popular tourist destination for millions.

The city was founded by the Romans as Eboracum in 71 AD. It became the capital of the Roman province of Britannia Inferior, and later of the kingdoms of Northumbria and Jórvík. In the Middle Ages, York grew as a major wool trading centre and became the capital of the northern ecclesiastical province of the Church of England, a role it has retained.

In the 19th century, York became a hub of the railway network and a confectionery manufacturing centre. In recent decades, the economy of York has moved from being dominated by its confectionery and railway-related industries to one that provides services. The University of York and health services have become major employers, whilst tourism has become an important element of the local economy.

From 1996, the term City of York describes a unitary authority area which includes rural areas beyond the old city boundaries. In 2011 the urban area had a population of 153,717, while in 2010 the entire unitary authority had an estimated population of 202,400.

The Cathedral and Metropolitical Church of Saint Peter in York, commonly known as York Minster, is the cathedral of York, England, and is one of the largest of its kind in Northern Europe. The minster is the seat of the Archbishop of York, the second-highest office of the Church of England, and is the mother church for the Diocese of York and the Province of York. It is run by a dean and chapter, under the Dean of York. The title “minster” is attributed to churches established in the Anglo-Saxon period as missionary teaching churches, and serves now as an honorific title. Services in the minster are sometimes regarded as on the High Church or Anglo-Catholic end of the Anglican continuum.

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, 1 September 2019

MY SUNDAY BEST MEME #133 - SPRING, WAITING

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.
Our Winter dragged on for a while this year and it felt as though Spring was tarrying somewhere, reluctant to come to us...
Last week, Jesh from the USA had a post with some wonderful photos, the one below being my favourite this week. Visit her blog for more great images!

Friday, 30 August 2019

Thursday, 29 August 2019

ISOPOGON

Isopogon formosus or Rose Cone Flower is a shrub in the Proteaceae family that is endemic to areas near Albany and Esperance in Western Australia. In occurs naturally in heathland and woodland areas. It has an erect or bushy form and is usually between 1.5 and 2 metres high. The pink flowers appear from mid winter to early summer. Rounded "drumsticks" containing the seeds appear later, formed from the old flower parts. The plant's leaves are divided, narrow, terete and about 5 cm long.

Isopogon formosus prefers full sun to partial shade in a well-drained sandy or gravelly soil. In the Australian National Botanic Gardens (ANBG) in Canberra they use a special mix of 2:1 sand and granite. It will tolerate light or moderate frosts but will not tolerate heavy frosts or extended periods of dryness. It can be propagated by either seed or cutting. The ANBG have had more success with cuttings than seed. When taking cuttings use older material, not that from the soft tips. A rooting hormone such as IBA should be used to promote root growth.

Isopogon formosus responds well to light pruning which improves the shape. Tip pruning from an early stage promotes lateral growth, however it must not be over-pruned. It does not suffer from any particular pest but is susceptible to the root rot fungus Phytophthora cinnamoni. You should also only use a slow release fertiliser or one that is suitable for Australian natives as this Isopogon is particularly sensitive to soluble phosphorus.

It is difficult to cultivate this plant in the eastern states, as it will not tolerate humidity and is less hardy than some of the naturally occurring eastern species. A possible alternate way for it to be grown is to grow it in a pot as the particular conditions it requires can be satisfied readily and be more easily monitored. It is well worth attempting to grow, as it is a spectacular plant that can be used as a feature in the garden all year round.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday, 28 August 2019

HANDMADE

A handmade embroidery family heirloom made using traditional folk designs.

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

Tuesday, 27 August 2019

FLORENCE, ITALY

Florence (Italian: Firenze) is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany and of the province of Florence. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with approximately 382,000 inhabitants, expanding to over 1,520,000 in the metropolitan area. Florence is famous for its history: A centre of medieval European trade and finance and one of the wealthiest cities of the time, it is considered the birthplace of the Renaissance, and has been called “the Athens of the Middle Ages”.

A turbulent political history includes periods of rule by the powerful Medici family, and numerous religious and republican revolutions. From 1865 to 1871 the city was the capital of the recently established Kingdom of Italy. The Historic Centre of Florence attracts millions of tourists each year, and Euromonitor International ranked the city as the world's 89th most visited in 2012, with 1.8 million visitors.

It was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1982. The city is noted for its culture, Renaissance art and architecture and monuments. The city also contains numerous museums and art galleries, such as the Uffizi Gallery and the Palazzo Pitti, and still exerts an influence in the fields of art, culture and politics. Due to Florence's artistic and architectural heritage, it has been ranked by Forbes as one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

Florence is an important city in Italian fashion, being ranked in the top 51 fashion capitals of the world; furthermore, it is a major national economic centre, as a tourist and industrial hub. In 2008, the city had the 17th highest average income in Italy. And if it’s all too much for you, why not sit down, relax and enjoy a cup of genuine Italian coffee in the piazza?

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, 25 August 2019

MY SUNDAY BEST MEME #132 - IN THE 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.
Reflection of commuters in a City train.

This post is also part of the Weekend Reflections meme.

Last week, Lydia in Sydney, Australia posted some beautiful shots of sun and moon. The photo below was my favourite this week! Please visit her blog to see other great photos!

Friday, 23 August 2019

MORNING

On the Yarra River in the City, looking towards the East on a very nippy Winter's morning in Melbourne. The sunrise colours make it worthwhile to wake up at an ungodly hour!

This post is part of the Skywatch Friday meme.

Thursday, 22 August 2019

CYCLAMEN

Cyclamen persicum, the Persian cyclamen, in the family Primulaceae, is a species of flowering herbaceous perennial plant growing from a tuber, native to rocky hillsides, shrubland, and woodland up to 1,200 m above sea level, from south-central Turkey to Israel and Jordan. It also grows in Algeria and Tunisia and on the Greek islands of Rhodes, Karpathos, and Crete, where it may have been introduced by monks.

Cultivars of this species are the commonly seen florist's cyclamen. Wild plants have heart-shaped leaves, up to 14 cm usually green with lighter marbling on the upper surface. Flowers bloom from winter to spring (var. persicum) or in autumn (var. autumnale) and have 5 small sepals and 5 upswept petals, usually white to pale pink with a band of deep pink to magenta at the base. After pollination, the flower stem curls downwards slightly as the pod develops, but does not coil as in other cyclamens. Plants go dormant in summer.

Cyclamen persicum has a dark-brown tuberous root which is semi-poisonous. In some cultures, the tubers were used in making soap, as they generate a lather when mixed with water. The Bedouins of Mandate Palestine used to collect the root, and after grating it, would mix it with lime and sprinkle it over the surface of lakes or other large bodies of water known to contain fish. These poisonous mixtures would stun fish, which would then come to the surface and be collected by the fishermen. Such methods, as well as fishing with explosives, which came into use in the early 20th century, were banned by the British Mandate authorities.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday, 21 August 2019

GRAVEYARD

The Melbourne General Cemetery is a large necropolis located 2 km north of the city of Melbourne in the suburb of Carlton North.  The cemetery was opened on 1 June 1853, and the Old Melbourne Cemetery (on the site of what is now the Queen Victoria Market) was closed the next year.  The Melbourne Cemetery has much history and home to more than half a million stories.  This cemetery is full of fiery preachers, con men, courageous women, scandals, disasters and joyous occasions. Musicians, actors, scientists and ordinary people who have helped make Melbourne the metropolis it is now. The grey tones of this photo seem to suit the mood of the graveyard...

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

Tuesday, 20 August 2019

MONTE CARLO, MONACO

Monaco, officially the Principality of Monaco (French: Principauté de Monaco), is a sovereign city-state and microstate, located on the French Riviera in Western Europe. France borders the country on three sides while the other side borders the Mediterranean Sea. Monaco has an area of 2.02 km2 and a population of about 37,800; it is the second smallest and the most densely populated country in the world. Monaco has a land border of 4.4 km, a coastline of 4.1 km, and a width that varies between 1,700 and 349 m. The highest point in the country is a narrow pathway named Chemin des Révoires on the slopes of Mont Agel, in the Les Révoires Ward, which is 161 metres above sea level. Monaco's most populous Quartier is Monte Carlo and the most populous Ward is Larvotto/Bas Moulins. Through land reclamation, Monaco's land mass has expanded by twenty percent.

Although small, Monaco is very old and quite well known, especially because of its status as a playground for the rich and famous, who are a spectacle for tourists. In 2014, it was noted about 30% of the population was made up of millionaires, similar to Zürich or Geneva. Monaco is a principality governed under a form of constitutional monarchy, with Prince Albert II as head of state. Although Prince Albert II is a constitutional monarch, he wields immense political power. The House of Grimaldi have ruled Monaco, with brief interruptions, since 1297.

The official language is French, but Monégasque, Italian, and English are widely spoken and understood. The state's sovereignty was officially recognised by the Franco-Monegasque Treaty of 1861, with Monaco becoming a full United Nations voting member in 1993. Despite Monaco's independence and separate foreign policy, its defence is the responsibility of France. However, Monaco does maintain two small military units. Economic development was spurred in the late 19th century with the opening of the country's first casino, Monte Carlo, and a railway connection to Paris. Since then, Monaco's mild climate, splendid scenery, and upscale gambling facilities have contributed to the principality's status as a premier tourist destination and recreation centre for the rich and famous.

In more recent years, Monaco has become a major banking centre and has successfully sought to diversify its economy into services and small, high-value-added, non-polluting industries. The state has no income tax, low business taxes, and is well known for being a tax haven. It is also the host of the annual street circuit motor race Monaco Grand Prix, one of the original Grands Prix of Formula One. Monaco is not formally a part of the European Union (EU), but it participates in certain EU policies, including customs and border controls. Through its relationship with France, Monaco uses the euro as its sole currency (prior to this it used the Monégasque franc). Monaco joined the Council of Europe in 2004. It is a member of the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF).

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, 18 August 2019

MY SUNDAY BEST MEME #131 - IN THE CITY

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.
Looking West on Collins St, in the Melbourne CBD. Fewer cars around as the building and public transport works are keeping many motorists away.

Last week, Taken for Granted in the USA posted a beautifully lit and composed shot. The photo below was my favourite this week! Please visit his blog to see other great photos!

Saturday, 17 August 2019

SUBURBAN GOAT

Emerald is a town and semi-rural locality in the Greater Melbourne area, Victoria, Australia, 44 km south-east from Melbourne's central business district, outside the urban area. Its local government areas are the Shires of Cardinia and Yarra Ranges. At the 2011 Census, Emerald had a population of 5,813.

Emerald also includes Cardinia Reservoir, Melbourne's second largest reservoir. There are many farmlets in the area and it's not unusual to come across friendly, spoiled livestock, such as this goat, that we were tempted to call "Casper"...

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



Friday, 16 August 2019

IN HOLLAND

Kinderdijk is a village in the Netherlands, belonging to the municipality of Molenwaard, in the province South Holland, about 15 km east of Rotterdam. Kinderdijk is situated in a polder in the Alblasserwaard at the confluence of the Lek and Noord rivers. To drain the polder, a system of 19 windmills was built around 1740. This group of mills is the largest concentration of old windmills in the Netherlands. The windmills of Kinderdijk are one of the best-known Dutch tourist sites. They have been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997. 

This post is part of the Skywatch Friday meme.

Thursday, 15 August 2019

ST JOHN'S WORT

Hypericum perforatum, also known as St John's wort, is a flowering plant species of the genus Hypericum and a medicinal herb that is sold over-the-counter as a treatment for depression. Other names for it include Tipton's weed, rosin rose, goatweed, chase-devil, or Klamath weed. With qualifiers, St John's wort is used to refer to any species of the genus Hypericum. Therefore, H. perforatum is sometimes called common St John's wort or perforate St John's wort to differentiate it.

Hypericum is classified in the family Hypericaceae, having previously been classified as Guttiferae or Clusiaceae. Approximately 370 species of the genus Hypericum exist worldwide with a native geographical distribution including temperate and subtropical regions of Europe, Turkey, Ukraine, Russia, Middle East, India, and China. St John's wort is a perennial plant with extensive, creeping rhizomes. Its stems are erect, branched in the upper section, and can grow to 1 m high. It has opposing, stalkless, narrow, oblong leaves that are 12 mm long or slightly larger. The leaves are yellow-green in colour, with transparent dots throughout the tissue and occasionally with a few black dots on the lower surface. Leaves exhibit obvious translucent dots when held up to the light, giving them a ‘perforated’ appearance, hence the plant's Latin name.

Its flowers measure up to 2.5 cm across, have five petals, and are coloured bright yellow with conspicuous black dots. The flowers appear in broad cymes at the ends of the upper branches, between late spring and early to mid summer. The sepals are pointed, with glandular dots in the tissue. There are many stamens, which are united at the base into three bundles. The pollen grains are ellipsoidal. When flower buds (not the flowers themselves) or seed pods are crushed, a reddish/purple liquid is produced.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday, 14 August 2019

FIRE

Making a fire by a campsite provides flames for a cheery sight as night falls. Then it's time for some fireside tales by the warmth and flickering flame light... Be sure to put the fire out afterwards as the fiery friend can become a fiendish foe that can devastate a whole forest!

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, 13 August 2019

GRAND CANYON, USA

The Grand Canyon (Hopi: Ongtupqa; Yavapai: Wi:kaʼi:la, Navajo: Tsékooh Hatsoh, Spanish: Gran Cañón) is a steep-sided canyon carved by the Colorado River in Arizona, United States. The Grand Canyon is 446 km long, up to 29 km wide and attains a depth of over 1,850 metres. The canyon and adjacent rim are contained within Grand Canyon National Park, the Kaibab National Forest, Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument, the Hualapai Indian Reservation, the Havasupai Indian Reservation and the Navajo Nation.

President Theodore Roosevelt was a major proponent of preservation of the Grand Canyon area, and visited it on numerous occasions to hunt and enjoy the scenery. Nearly two billion years of Earth's geological history have been exposed as the Colorado River and its tributaries cut their channels through layer after layer of rock while the Colorado Plateau was uplifted. While some aspects about the history of incision of the canyon are debated by geologists, several recent studies support the hypothesis that the Colorado River established its course through the area about 5 to 6 million years ago.

Since that time, the Colorado River has driven the down-cutting of the tributaries and retreat of the cliffs, simultaneously deepening and widening the canyon. For thousands of years, the area has been continuously inhabited by Native Americans, who built settlements within the canyon and its many caves. The Pueblo people considered the Grand Canyon a holy site, and made pilgrimages to it. The first European known to have viewed the Grand Canyon was García López de Cárdenas from Spain, who arrived in 1540.

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, 11 August 2019

MY SUNDAY BEST MEME #130 - WATTLE

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 first wattles (Acacia spp) are beginning to bloom in wintry Melbourne and provide a welcome sight in the grey of wintry days. You may know this type of tree as mimosa.

The genus Acacia constitutes, in its traditional circumspection, the second largest genus in the family Fabaceae (Astragalus being the largest), with roughly 1,300 species, about 960 of them native to Australia, with the remainder spread around the tropical to warm-temperate regions of both hemispheres, including Europe, Africa, southern Asia, and the Americas.

Last week Klara in Poland posted some lovely photos of wintry plants with beautiful lighting. Please visit her blog to see other great photos!

Saturday, 10 August 2019

MOORHENS

The Dusky Moorhen (Gallinula tenebrosa) is a medium-sized, dark grey-black water bird with a white undertail. It has a red bill with a yellow tip and a red facial shield. Young birds are much duller and browner than adults, with a greenish bill and face shield. It is found from Indonesia through New Guinea to Australia. It is widespread in eastern and south-western Australia, ranging from Cooktown to eastern South Australia and in the southern corner of Western Australia.

Dusky Moorhens are found in wetlands, including swamps, rivers, and artificial waterways. They prefer open water and water margins with reeds, rushes and waterlilies, but may be found on grasses close to water such as parks, pastures and lawns. The Dusky Moorhen has been favoured by artificial water sources such as dams, ponds and lakes in parks and gardens and associated grassy areas. However, wetland drainage in other areas may have negative impacts.

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.