Wednesday, 17 July 2019

BACH IN CHURCH

The Scots' Church, a Presbyterian church in Melbourne, Australia, was the first Presbyterian Church to be built in the Port Phillip District (now the state of Victoria). It is located in Collins Street and is a congregation of the Presbyterian Church of Australia. It has been described as "an icon for well over a hundred years." The foundation stone of the first purpose built church building was laid on 22 January 1841 and it was opened on 3 October 1841.

It was designed to seat 500 and the contract sum was £2,485 without plastering, gallery, vestry or fittings. The building was opened with temporary seating. Plastering was carried out the following year, proper pews, gallery and vestry were added in 1849 and a spire some years later. The first church building was demolished partly because of concerns that the tower and spire would collapse after it developed huge cracks and became crooked. During the ministry of Rev Peter Menzies (1868–74) the building was too small for the congregation but in any case a building more suited to the site and the social position of the congregation was considered appropriate.

Construction of the current building took place between 1871 and 1874, during the ministry of Rev Irving Hetherington and his colleague Rev Peter Menzies, and was opened on 29 November 1874 with fixed seating for about 900. It was designed by Joseph Reed of the firm Reed and Barnes, and built by David Mitchell, the father of Dame Nellie Melba. Reed and Barnes also designed the Melbourne Town Hall, the State Library of Victoria, Trades Hall, the Royal Exhibition Building, the Wesley Church in Lonsdale Street, the original Presbyterian Ladies' College in East Melbourne, and Collins Street Independent Church, now St. Michael’s Uniting Church, on the opposite corner of Russell Street.

Scots' Church is in the Neo-Gothic style and built of Barrabool freestone, with dressings in Kakanui stone from New Zealand. During the last decades of the nineteenth century the spire of Scots' Church was the tallest structure in Melbourne at about 210 feet from the ground. The interior features the large stained glass window depicting the Last Supper, basalt aisle columns, timber beamed roof and an elevated floor for a good view of the pulpit.

Listening to Bach being played on the organ of this church is a breathtaking experience! Johann Sebastian Bach (31 March [O.S. 21 March] 1685 – 28 July 1750) was a German composer and musician of the Baroque period. He is known for instrumental compositions such as the Art of Fugue, the Brandenburg Concertos, and the Goldberg Variations, and for vocal music such as the St Matthew Passion and the Mass in B minor. Since the 19th-century Bach Revival he has been generally regarded as one of the greatest composers of the Western musical canon. Here you can listen to some organ music by Bach.

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







Tuesday, 16 July 2019

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND

Edinburgh (Scottish Gaelic: Dùn Èideann) is the capital city of Scotland and one of its 32 local government council areas. Located in Lothian on the Firth of Forth's southern shore, it is Scotland's second most populous city and the seventh most populous in the United Kingdom. The 2014 official population estimates are 464,990 for the city of Edinburgh, 492,680 for the local authority area, and 1,339,380 for the City region as of 2014 (Edinburgh lies at the heart of the Edinburgh & South East Scotland).

Recognised as the capital of Scotland since at least the 15th century, Edinburgh is home to the Scottish Parliament and the seat of the monarchy in Scotland. The city is also the annual venue of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland and home to national institutions such as the National Museum of Scotland, the National Library of Scotland and the Scottish National Gallery. It is the largest financial centre in the UK after London.

Historically part of Midlothian, the city has long been a centre of education, particularly in the fields of medicine, Scots law, literature, the sciences and engineering. The University of Edinburgh, founded in 1582 and now one of four in the city, was placed 17th in the QS World University Rankings in 2013 and 2014. The city is also famous for the Edinburgh International Festival and the Fringe, the latter being the world's largest annual international arts festival.

The city's historical and cultural attractions have made it the United Kingdom's second most popular tourist destination after London, attracting over one million overseas visitors each year. Historic sites in Edinburgh include Edinburgh Castle, Holyrood Palace, the churches of St. Giles, Greyfriars and the Canongate, and the extensive Georgian New Town, built in the 18th century. Edinburgh's Old Town and New Town together are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which has been managed by Edinburgh World Heritage since 1999.

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, 15 July 2019

ABSTRACT

It's Winter here in Melbourne and the weather has been cold, wet and grey for quite a few days. We took the opportunity to stay in and do some painting. This mosaic is composed of photos of details of four different paintings that I have completed in acrylic.

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, 14 July 2019

MY SUNDAY BEST MEME #126 - "MINE"

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: "ART"
Mount Lyell Mining and Railway Company was a Tasmanian mining company formed on 29 March 1893, most commonly referred to as Mount Lyell. Mount Lyell was the dominant copper mining company of the West Coast from 1893 to 1994, and was based in Queenstown, Tasmania.

Following consolidation of leases and company assets at the beginning of the twentieth century, Mount Lyell was the major company for the communities of Queenstown, Strahan and Gormanston. It remained dominant until its closure in 1994. The Mount Lyell mining operations produced more than a million tonnes of copper, 750 tonnes of silver and 45 tonnes of gold since mining commenced in the early 1890s - which is equivalent to over 4 billion dollars worth of metal in 1995 terms.

Pollution of the Queen and King Rivers, and Macquarie Harbour was caused by the release of mine waste and effluent into the rivers. It is estimated that 100 million tonnes of tailings were disposed of into the Queen River. The environmental impacts included: Tailings, slag and acid drainage into rivers and a delta of tailings the size of a city suburb in Macquarie Harbour; all aquatic life in the Queen River and lower King River has been killed; waterways contaminated with toxic metals, particularly copper, representing a potential hazard to the fishing industry and other harbour uses; vegetation on Queenstown hills destroyed by felling, fire, erosion and toxic fumes from smelting.

Last week's theme was "X" and Jesh in the USA posted a photo of a chair with two prominent Xs in the back. The image below was my fave this week. Please visit her blog for more photos.

Saturday, 13 July 2019

THREE BIRDS

The Masked Lapwing (Vanellus miles), also known as the masked plover and often called the spur-winged plover or just plover in its native range, is a large, common and conspicuous bird native to Australia, particularly the northern and eastern parts of the continent, New Zealand and New Guinea.

The Noisy Miner Bird (Manorina melanocephala) is a common sight around Melbourne gardens and parks. Noisy Miners are nectar-eating birds native to eastern Australia. They enjoy nectar, fruit and also eat the occasional insect. Noisy Miner is a good name for them, because of the repetitive noisy chirping they make, especially when there are young miners around. They can also make a whole lot of noise when an intruder enters their territory. That intruder could be another type of bird, or a monitor lizard, a snake, a cat, or even a person.

The Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo (Cacatua galerita) is a relatively large white cockatoo found in wooded habitats in Australia, and New Guinea and some of the islands of Indonesia. They can be locally very numerous, leading to them sometimes being considered pests. A highly intelligent bird, they are well known in aviculture, although they can be demanding pets.

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



Thursday, 11 July 2019

GUM TREE IN FLOWER

Eucalyptus leucoxylon, commonly known as the Yellow Gum, (South Australian) Blue Gum or White Ironbark, is a small to medium-sized tree with rough bark on the lower 1-2 metres of the trunk, above this, the bark becomes smooth with a white, yellow or bluish-grey surface. Adult leaves are stalked, lanceolate to broad-lanceolate, to 13 x 2.5 cm, concolorous, dull, green. Flowers in white, pink or red appear during winter.

This post is part of the Floral Friday meme.

Wednesday, 10 July 2019

ALBINONI

Tomaso Giovanni Albinoni (8 June 1671 – 17 January 1751) was an Italian Baroque composer. While famous in his day as an opera composer, he is known today for his instrumental music, especially his concertos. He is also remembered today for a work called "Adagio in G minor", supposedly written by him, but probably written by Remo Giazotto, a modern musicologist and composer, who was a cataloguer of the works of Albinoni.

Here are Albinoni's Oboe Concertos, which provide a marvellous listening experience for lovers of Baroque music.

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, 9 July 2019

LOOE, CORNWALL

Cornwall (Cornish: Kernow) is a ceremonial county and unitary authority area of England within the United Kingdom. It is bordered to the north and west by the Celtic Sea, to the south by the English Channel, and to the east by the county of Devon, over the River Tamar. Cornwall has a population of 536,000 and covers an area of 3,563 km2. The administrative centre, and only city in Cornwall, is Truro, although the town of Falmouth has the largest population for a civil parish and the conurbation of Camborne, Pool and Redruth has the highest total population. Cornwall is the homeland of the Cornish people and is recognised as one of the Celtic nations, retaining a distinct cultural identity that reflects its history.

Looe (Cornish: Logh, meaning deep water inlet) is a small coastal town, fishing port and civil parish in the former Caradon district of south-east Cornwall, UK, with a population of 5,280 at recent census (2001 & 2011 census). The two electoral wards mentioning Looe but also including Polperro had a total population of 7,117 at the 2011 census.The town of Looe is approximately 32 km west of the city of Plymouth and 11 km south of Liskeard. and is divided in two by the River Looe, East Looe and West Looe (Cornish: Porthbyhan, meaning Little Cove) being connected by a bridge. The town centres around a small harbour and along the steep-sided valley of the River Looe which flows between East and West Looe to the sea beside a sandy beach. Off shore to the west, opposite the stonier Hannafore Beach, lies the idyllic St George’s Island, otherwise known as Looe Island.

Looe’s main business today is tourism, with much of the town given over to hotels, guest houses and holiday homes, along with a large number of pubs, restaurants and beach equipment, ice cream and Cornish pasty vendors. Inland from Looe lie many camping and caravan sites, as well as the famous Woolly Monkey Sanctuary. Other local attractions include the beaches, sailing, fishing and diving, and spectacular coastal walks (especially via Talland to Polperro).

South East Cornwall boasts several stately homes, including Antony House, Cotehele, Mount Edgcumbe and Lanhydrock House, as well as the Eden Project near St Austell which tourists can access by road. Outside the busy summer months, the town remains a centre for shopping and entertainment for local villagers. Annually in late September, the town is the destination of choice for thousands of music lovers and top name performers for the Looe Music Festival, which takes place in temporary venues around the town, harbour and on East Looe beach.

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, 8 July 2019

NICHT ALLEIN

Yesterday I was sorting through a cupboard and found some old sketch books. I scanned some images and they resonated with some recent photographs I'd taken.

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

Sunday, 7 July 2019

MY SUNDAY BEST MEME #125 - "X"

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: "MINE"
A point where two paths cross at the Darebin Parklands in the Melbourne suburbs.

Last week's theme was "IN SEASON" and Jesh in the USA posted a great view of a famous landmark in her home State. The image below was my fave this week. Please visit her blog for more photos.

Saturday, 6 July 2019

SYNECDOCHE

Synecdoche | sɪˈnɛkdəki | noun
A figure of speech in which a part is made to represent the whole or vice versa, as in common English expressions that include "suits" (for "businessmen"), "boots" (for "soldiers") and why not, "feather" (for "bird")...
ORIGIN
Late Middle English: Via Latin from Greek synekdokhē, from syn- ‘together’ + ekdekhesthai ‘take up’.

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

Thursday, 4 July 2019

CHINESE LANTERN

Abutilon or 'Chinese lanterns' are closely related to hibiscus, and most of the hundred or so species have pendulous, hibiscus-like flowers. Cultivars produced by hybridising some of the South American abutilons have all been placed in one group known as Abutilon x hybridum, and these are the ones most commonly grown in Australian gardens.

They have a wispy, delicate form and colourful, lantern-shaped flowers. For gardeners who prefer plants with a more dense habit, new compact varieties are also available. Another popular abutilon is Abutilon megapotamicum, which is a prostrate or ground covering species with small orange flowers.

Abutilon are evergreen shrubs with attractive maple-like leaves and an open, pendulous habit. They grow to about 2-3 metres tall. Flowers in the Southern Hemisphere are produced in September to December, but they spot flower at other times. Flower colours include white, pink, red, yellow, orange and salmon. These plants grow well in most parts of Australia, except for the very cold mountain zones. In inland areas be sure to water well and keep protected with mulch. In hot inland climates abutilons appreciate some light shade.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Tuesday, 2 July 2019

PRAGUE, CZECHIA

Prague (Czech: Praha) is the capital and largest city of the Czech Republic. It is the 15th largest city in the European Union. It is also the historical capital of Bohemia. Situated in the north-west of the country on the Vltava River, the city is home to about 1.26 million people, while its larger urban zone is estimated to have a population of nearly 2 million. The city has a temperate climate, with warm summers and chilly winters. Prague has the lowest unemployment rate in the European Union.

Prague has been a political, cultural, and economic centre of central Europe with waxing and waning fortunes during its 1,100-year existence. Founded during the Romanesque and flourishing by the Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque eras, Prague was not only the capital of the Czech state, but also the seat of two Holy Roman Emperors and thus also the capital of the Holy Roman Empire. It was an important city to the Habsburg Monarchy and its Austro-Hungarian Empire and after World War I became the capital of Czechoslovakia. The city played major roles in the Bohemian and Protestant Reformation, the Thirty Years' War, and in 20th-century history, during both World Wars and the post-war Communist era.

Prague is home to a number of famous cultural attractions, many of which survived the violence and destruction of 20th-century Europe. Main attractions include the Prague Castle, the Charles Bridge, the Old Town Square with the Prague astronomical clock, the Jewish Quarter, Petřín hill and Vyšehrad. Since 1992, the extensive historic centre of Prague has been included in the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. The city boasts more than ten major museums, along with numerous theatres, galleries, cinemas, and other historical exhibits. An extensive modern public transportation system connects the city. Also, it is home to a wide range of public and private schools, including Charles University in Prague, the oldest university in Central Europe.

Prague is classified as an “Alpha” Global City according to GaWC studies, comparable to Vienna, Seoul and Washington, D.C. Prague ranked sixth in the Tripadvisor world list of best destinations in 2016. Its rich history makes it a popular tourist destination, and the city receives more than 6.4 million international visitors annually, as of 2014. Prague is the fifth most visited European city after London, Paris, Istanbul and Rome. Prague’s low cost of living makes it a popular destination for expats relocating to Europe.

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, 30 June 2019

MY SUNDAY BEST MEME #124 - CHALLENGE: IN SEASON

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: "X"
Apples are in season at the moment in Melbourne and we are able to enjoy a large variety of organic local produce, wonderfully displayed here at the CERES shop.

This post is also part of the Photo Sunday meme

Last week the theme was "INTERIOR" and Taken for Granted in the USA posted a nice indoor selfie shot. The photo below was my favourite this week! Please visit his blog to see other great photos!

Thursday, 27 June 2019

JONQUILS

Narcissus jonquilla (Jonquil, Rush daffodil) is a bulbous flowering plant, a species of Narcissus (daffodil) that is native to southwestern Europe and northern Africa, but has naturalised throughout Europe and the United States. It bears long, narrow, rush-like leaves (hence the name "jonquil", Spanish junquillo, from the Latin juncus = "rush"). It is in the Amaryllidaceae family of plants.

In Spring it bears heads of up to 5 scented yellow or white flowers. It is a parent of numerous varieties within Division 7 of the horticultural classification. Division 7 in the Royal Horticultural Society classification of Narcissus includes N. jonquilla and N. apodanthus hybrids and cultivars that show clear characteristics of those two species. N. jonquilla has been cultivated since the 18th century in France as the strongest of the Narcissus species used in Narcissus Oil, a component of many modern perfumes.

Like other members of their family, narcissi produce a number of different alkaloids, which provide some protection for the plant, but may be poisonous if accidentally ingested. This property has been exploited for medicinal use in traditional healing and has resulted in the production of galantamine for the treatment of Alzheimer's dementia.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Tuesday, 25 June 2019

TOULOUSE, FRANCE

Toulouse (Occitan: Tolosa, Latin: Tolosa) is the capital of the French department of Haute-Garonne and of the region of Occitanie. The city is on the banks of the River Garonne, 150 kilometres from the Mediterranean Sea, 230 km from the Atlantic Ocean and 680 km from Paris. It is the fourth-largest city in France, with 466,297 inhabitants as of January 2014. The Toulouse Metro area, with 1,312,304 inhabitants as of 2014, is France’s fourth-largest metropolitan area, after Paris, Lyon and Marseille, and ahead of Lille and Bordeaux.

Toulouse is the centre of the European aerospace industry, with the headquarters of Airbus (formerly EADS), the Galileo positioning system, the SPOT satellite system, ATR and the Aerospace Valley. It also hosts the European headquarters of Intel and CNES’s Toulouse Space Centre (CST), the largest space centre in Europe. Thales Alenia Space, and Astrium Satellites also have a significant presence in Toulouse.

The University of Toulouse is one of the oldest in Europe (founded in 1229) and, with more than 103,000 students, it is the fourth-largest university campus in France, after the universities of Paris, Lyon and Lille. The air route between Toulouse–Blagnac and Paris Orly is the busiest in Europe, transporting 2.4 million passengers in 2014. According to the rankings of L’Express and Challenges, Toulouse is the most dynamic French city.

The city was the capital of the Visigothic Kingdom in the 5th century and the capital of the province of Languedoc in the Late Middle Ages and early modern period (provinces were abolished during the French Revolution), making it the unofficial capital of the cultural region of Occitania (Southern France). It is now the capital of the Occitanie region, the largest region in Metropolitan France.

A city with unique architecture made of pinkish terracotta bricks, which earned it the nickname la Ville Rose (“the Pink City”), Toulouse counts two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Canal du Midi (designated in 1996 and shared with other cities), and the Basilica of St. Sernin, the largest remaining Romanesque building in Europe, designated in 1998 because of its significance to the Santiago de Compostela pilgrimage route.

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, 24 June 2019

MELBOURNE POSTCARD

Melbourne is the capital and most populous city in the Australian state of Victoria, and the second most populous city in Australia. The name "Melbourne" refers to the area of urban agglomeration (as well as a census statistical division) spanning 9,900 km2, which comprises the broader metropolitan area, as well as being the common name for its city centre. The metropolis is located on the large natural bay of Port Phillip and expands into the hinterlands towards the Dandenong and Macedon mountain ranges, Mornington Peninsula and Yarra Valley. Melbourne consists of 31 municipalities. It has a population of 4,529,500 as of 2015, and its inhabitants are called Melburnians.

Founded by free settlers from the British Crown colony of Van Diemen's Land on 30 August 1835, in what was then the colony of New South Wales, it was incorporated as a Crown settlement in 1837. It was named "Melbourne" by the Governor of New South Wales, Sir Richard Bourke, in honour of the British Prime Minister of the day, William Lamb, 2nd Viscount Melbourne. It was officially declared a city by Queen Victoria in 1847, after which it became the capital of the newly founded colony of Victoria in 1851. During the Victorian gold rush of the 1850s, it was transformed into one of the world's largest and wealthiest cities. After the federation of Australia in 1901, it served as the nation's interim seat of government until 1927.

Melbourne rates highly in education, entertainment, health care, research and development, tourism and sport, making it the world's most liveable city—for the fifth year in a row in 2015, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit. It is a leading financial centre in the Asia-Pacific region, and ranks among the top 30 cities in the world in the Global Financial Centres Index. Referred to as Australia's "cultural capital", it is the birthplace of Australian impressionism, Australian rules football, the Australian film and television industries, and Australian contemporary dance. It is recognised as a UNESCO City of Literature and a major centre for street art, music and theatre. It is home to many of Australia's largest and oldest cultural institutions such as the Melbourne Cricket Ground, the National Gallery of Victoria, the State Library of Victoria and the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Royal Exhibition Building.

It was the host city of the 1956 Summer Olympics. The main passenger airport serving the metropolis and the state is Melbourne Airport (also called Tullamarine Airport), which is the second busiest in Australia, and the Port of Melbourne is Australia's busiest seaport for containerised and general cargo. Melbourne has an extensive transport network. The main metropolitan train terminus is Flinders Street Station, and the main regional train and coach terminus is Southern Cross Station. Melbourne is also home to Australia's most extensive freeway network and has the world's largest urban tram network.

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, 23 June 2019

MY SUNDAY BEST MEME #123 - CHALLENGE: INTERIOR

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: IN SEASON
We are experiencing Winter's cold and rainy weather at the moment, and the garden outside looks a little bleak. This year I forced some hyacinth bulbs by refrigerating them for a few weeks and then placed them in a hyacinth vase in a dark cupboard until they sprouted. They they were moved to bright spot indoors and soon, they bloomed and filled our home's interior with delicious perfume!


Last week's theme was "SMALL" and Jesh in the USA posted a lovely photo of a tiny wildflower. The image below was my fave this week. Please visit her blog for more photos.

Thursday, 20 June 2019

PONTEDERIA

Pontederia cordata, common name pickerelweed (USA) or pickerel weed (UK), is a monocotyledonous aquatic plant native to the American continent. It grows in a variety of wetlands, including pond and lake margins across an extremely large range from eastern Canada south to Argentina. A few examples include northern rivers, the Everglades and Louisiana.

The species grows as an emergent plant, that is, in flooded conditions, so the plant is generally dependent upon aerenchyma in the stem to carry oxygen into the roots. Its metabolism, is, however, also tolerant of low soil oxygen. It is often found in areas where water levels fluctuate naturally, with spring flooding and later summer emergence. Apart from flooding, the species is also influenced by soil fertility, tending to grow in the more fertile bays of large lakes, for example. Like many aquatic plants, it is negatively affected by salinity and grazing. It is also negatively affected by competition from other wetland plants. 

Like many wetland plants, it can survive unfavourable conditions as buried seeds in the soil. The plant flowers in late summer. The purple flowers have yellow markings which may assist in attracting bees for pollination. One bee species known to pollinate the flowers is Dufourea (Halictoides) novaeangliae. Once the plant begins to produce seeds, the stem supporting the inflorescence bends to submerse the fruits and seeds. Seeds are dormant at the time of dispersal and will not germinate without stratification for 6-8 weeks.

The flowers of the species are tristylous, meaning the styles of individual plants occur in three different morphs, with most populations containing all three. Leaf shape, which varies considerably across populations, within populations, and even within individuals, has been the source for many taxonomic synonyms. Like many wetland and aquatic plants, the species can reproduce asexually by means of branching rhizomes, and hence can form large clonal stands. This plant is cultivated as an ornamental garden plant, and has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday, 19 June 2019

XENIUM

A xenium (ksé-ni-um) is a gift or offering given to a stranger (Greek: xénos), which in its native Ancient Greece would once have been a lavish feast or a refreshing spread of food and fruit. In the 19th century art world, however, xenium came to refer to a still-life painting depicting something like an extravagant display of food or a bowl of fruit.

This is a xenium still life by Cornelis de Heem (8 April 1631 [baptised] – 17 May 1695 [buried]) who was a still-life painter associated with both Flemish Baroque and Dutch Golden Age painting. He was a member of a large family of still-life specialists, of which his father, Jan Davidszoon de Heem (1606–1684), was the most significant.

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

Tuesday, 18 June 2019

GALAXIDI, GREECE

Galaxidi or Galaxeidi (Greek: Γαλαξίδι/Γαλαξείδι), is a town and a former municipality in the southern part of Phocis, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality Delphi, of which it is a municipal unit. The municipal unit has an area of 126.088 km2. Galaxidi has a small harbour on the north coast of the Gulf of Corinth. It is 7 km southwest of Itea, 15 km southwest of Delphi, 17 km south of Amfissa and 48 km east of Naupactus. The Greek National Road 48 connects Galaxidi with Naupactus, Itea and Delphi. Galaxidi is a 2.5 to 3 hour drive from the capital Athens and a relatively popular weekend retreat.

Modern Galaxidi is built on the site of ancient Haleion, a city of western Locris. Traces of habitation are discernible since prehistoric times with a peak in the Early Helladic Period (Anemokambi, Pelekaris, Kefalari, islet of Apsifia). A significant Mycenaean settlement has been located at Villa; the hill of St. Athanasios also revealed a fortified Geometric settlement (ca. 700 BC). In the Archaic and Classical periods (7th-4th centuries BC) was developed the administrative and religious centre at the modern site of Agios Vlasis. It seems that in ca. 300 BC the present site was settled and surrounded by a fortification wall; it is the period of the expansion of power of the Aetolian League. Haleion flourished throughout the Hellenistic and Roman periods until the 2nd century AD.

Galaxidi is a small port situated on a natural double harbour surrounded by mountains. The deeper main harbour provides docking facilities for yachts and small fishing boats and is lined with restaurants, bars, and stores. The smaller harbour is Chirolaka. On the rocky shoreline by the side of the larger harbour, is a pine forest planted by school children in the early twentieth century. There is a road behind the town that leads up the mountain to the Monastery of the Metamorphosis (actually a convent that was inhabited by one nun as of 2010). This provides a splendid view of the town and its surroundings. No traces remain of the town's medieval castle. The Church of Saint John of Jerusalem, built by the Hospitallers in 1404, survived until after World War I, when it was replaced by a modern church dedicated to Saint Nicholas.

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

Sunday, 16 June 2019

MY SUNDAY BEST MEME #122 - CHALLENGE: SMALL

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: INTERIOR


Last week's theme was "LOVE" and Lydia in Sydney posted a lovely photo of the 'Vivid' Festival. The image below was my fave this week. Please visit her blog for more photos.



Saturday, 15 June 2019

GRASS PARROTS

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. The red-rumped parrot was described by John Gould in 1838 as Platycercus haematonotus from a specimen collected in New South Wales. He felt it was intermediate between the genera Platycercus and Nanodes, placing it in the former. He gave it its species name on account of its red rump.

It is the type species for the genus Psephotus. It was long presumed to be closely related to the mulga parrot, however analysis of multiple genetic material shows it to be an early offshoot of a group containing the genera Platycercus and Barnardius. Hence all other species in the genus have been moved to the new genus Psephotellus, leaving the red-rumped parrot as the sole member in the now monotypic genus.

The IOC has designated red-rumped parrot as its official common name. It is also known as red-backed parrot and grass parrot. Red-rumped parrots are slim, 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.

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