Sunday, 31 March 2019

MY SUNDAY BEST MEME #112 - CHALLENGE: ROCK

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: CITY LIFE
Uluru, also known as Ayers Rock, is a large sandstone rock formation in the southern part of the Northern Territory, central Australia. It lies 335 km south west of the nearest large town, Alice Springs, 450 km by road. Kata Tjuta and Uluru are the two major features of the Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa National Park. Uluru is sacred to the Anangu, the Aboriginal people of the area. The area around the formation is home to a plethora of springs, waterholes, rock caves and ancient paintings. Uluru is listed as a World Heritage Site.

Uluru is an inselberg, literally "island mountain". An inselberg is a prominent isolated residual knob or hill that rises abruptly from and is surrounded by extensive and relatively flat erosion lowlands in a hot, dry region. Uluru is also often referred to as a monolith, although this is a somewhat ambiguous term that is generally avoided by geologists. The remarkable feature of Uluru is its homogeneity and lack of jointing and parting at bedding surfaces, leading to the lack of development of scree slopes and soil. These characteristics led to its survival, while the surrounding rocks were eroded.

It seems last week the theme "Lozenge" proved to be too difficult for people so there were no entries of note! Hopefully next week, "City Life" will prove to be an easier topic...

Saturday, 30 March 2019

DACHSHUND

The dachshund (English: badger dog; also known as the sausage dog or wiener dog) is a short-legged, long-bodied, hound-type dog breed. The standard size dachshund was developed to scent, chase, and flush out badgers and other burrow-dwelling animals, while the miniature dachshund was bred to hunt smaller prey such as rabbits. In the United States, they have also been used to track wounded deer and hunt prairie dogs. Dachshunds also participate in conformation shows, field trials and many other events organised through pure-bred dog organisations such as the American Kennel Club (AKC). According to the AKC, the dachshund is ranked in 13th place in popularity amongst dog breeds in the United States.

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

Friday, 29 March 2019

Thursday, 28 March 2019

CHRYSANTHEMUM

Chrysanthemums, often called mums or chrysanths, are of the genus Chrysanthemum, comprising approximately 30 species of perennial flowering plants in the family Asteraceae which is native to Asia and northeastern Europe. The name chrysanthemum was given to these plants by Linnaeus and is derived from the Greek words, chrysos (golden) and anthemon (flower), with many of the cultivated varieties having brilliant yellow-gold flowers. 

Chrysanthemums were first cultivated in China as a flowering herb as far back as the 15th century BC. The plant is renowned as one of the "Four Gentlemen" in Chinese and East Asian art. The plant is particularly significant during the Double Ninth Festival. It is believed that the flower may have been brought to Japan in the 8th century CE, and the Emperor adopted the flower as his official seal. There is a "Festival of Happiness" in Japan that celebrates the flower. The flower was brought to Europe in the 17th century.

Modern chrysanthemums are much more showy than their wild relatives. The flowers occur in various forms, and can be daisy-like, decorative, pompons or buttons. This genus contains many hybrids and thousands of cultivars developed for horticultural purposes. In addition to the traditional yellow, other colours are available, such as white, purple, and red. The most important hybrid is Chrysanthemum × morifolium (syn. C. × grandiflorum), derived primarily from C. indicum but also involving other species. The photo here is from a plant in our garden, which was given to us as a cutting by a neighbour. It currently has a profuse showing of rich, large blossoms that brighten the wet and gray autumn days.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday, 27 March 2019

LIGHTNING

Lightning | ˈlʌɪtnɪŋ | noun [mass noun]
The occurrence of a natural electrical discharge of very short duration and high voltage between a cloud and the ground or within a cloud, accompanied by a bright flash and typically also thunder: A tremendous flash of lightning lit up the night and illuminated the empty street.
• [count noun] Literary - a flash or discharge of lightning: The sky was a mass of black cloud out of which lightnings flashed.
ORIGIN
Middle English: Special use of lightening (verbal noun from lighten2).

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, 26 March 2019

SYDNEY SIGHTS

 Sydney is the state capital of New South Wales and the most populous city in Australia. It is on Australia’s south-east coast, on the Tasman Sea. In 2016 the greater metropolitan area had an approximate population of 5 million people. Inhabitants of Sydney are called Sydneysiders, comprising a cosmopolitan and international population.

The site of the first British colony in Australia, Sydney was established in 1788 at Sydney Cove by Arthur Phillip, commodore of the First Fleet, as a penal colony. The city is built on hills surrounding Port Jackson, which is commonly known as Sydney Harbour, where the iconic Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge feature prominently.

The hinterland of the metropolitan area is surrounded by national parks, and the coastal regions feature many bays, rivers, inlets and beaches including the famous Bondi Beach and Manly Beach. Within the city are many notable parks, including Hyde Park and the Royal Botanic Gardens.

Sydney is a high-ranking world city and has hosted multiple major international sporting events, including the 1938 British Empire Games (now known as the Commonwealth Games) and the 2000 Summer Olympics. The main airport serving Sydney is Sydney Airport and its main port is Port Botany.Sydney is the top tourist destination in Australia, most international tourists spending some time there if nowhere else in Australia. In the year ending 2012, Sydney received a total of 10.5 million international and domestic visitors, which injected $11.7 billion into the state of New South Wales’ economy. The most well-known attractions include the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Other attractions include Royal Botanical Gardens, Luna Park, Darling Harbour, some 40 beaches and Sydney Tower.

The New South Wales Government operates two programs relevant to Sydney as part of the NSW Tourism Strategy, they are: Brand Sydney ( to revitalise and strengthen the image and appeal of Sydney) and Visit Sydney (to increase promotion of Sydney as a tourist destination through a strengthened dedicated business unit within Destination NSW). Sydney also has several popular museums, such as the Australian Museum (natural history and anthropology), the Powerhouse Museum (science, technology and design), the Art Gallery of New South Wales, the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Australian National Maritime Museum.

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, 24 March 2019

MY SUNDAY BEST MEME #111 - CHALLENGE: LOZENGE

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: ROCK
Lozenge | ˈlɒzɪn(d)ʒ | noun
A rhombus or diamond shape: [as modifier]: Lozenge patterns are common in heraldry.
• A small medicinal tablet, originally in the shape of a lozenge, taken for sore throats and dissolved in the mouth: Throat lozenges relieve the symptoms of infection.
• Heraldry - A charge in the shape of a solid diamond, in particular one on which the arms of an unmarried or widowed woman are displayed.
ORIGIN
Middle English: From Old French losenge, probably derived from the base of Spanish losa, Portuguese lousa ‘slab’, late Latin lausiae (lapides) ‘stone slabs’.


Last week the theme was "OLD" and Taken for Granted in the USA posted a nice shot of some lovely old things. The photo below was my favourite this week! Please visit his blog to see other great photos!

Saturday, 23 March 2019

Thursday, 21 March 2019

BLUE GERANIUM

Geranium 'Johnson's Blue' was the first of the brilliant blue geraniums to catch gardeners' eyes. The Royal Horticultural Society gave it the Award of Garden Merit (AGM). The blue of its flowers is hard to photograph and is always more startling when you actually see the plant. The flower stalks can grow quite tall and will droop under the weight of the blossoms. Most gardeners don't bother to stake them, since it is still an attractive plant, even with its floppy habit.

The flowers should be cut back after the first bloom, to get sporadic repeat blooms. Often the whole plant can begin to look scraggly and a good shearing is needed to totally rejuvenate it. 'Johnson's Blue' geranium is drought tolerant. It blooms best in full sun, but appreciates some afternoon shade in hot, dry areas. It's very disease resistant and a magnet for bees and butterflies.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Tuesday, 19 March 2019

WARSAW, POLAND

Warsaw (Polish: Warszawa), is the capital and largest city of Poland. It is located on the Vistula River, roughly 260 kilometres from the Baltic Sea and 300 kilometres from the Carpathian Mountains. Its population is estimated at 1.711 million residents within a greater metropolitan area of 2.666 million residents, which makes Warsaw the 9th most populous capital city in the European Union. The area of the city covers 516.9 square kilometres, while the city's agglomeration covers 6,100.43 square kilometres.

Warsaw is an Alpha–global city, a major international tourist destination and an important economic hub in East-Central Europe. It is also known as the “phoenix city” because it has survived so many wars throughout its history. Most notably, the city had to be painstakingly rebuilt after the extensive damage it suffered in World War II, during which 85% of its buildings were destroyed. On 9 November 1940 the city was awarded Poland’s highest military decoration for heroism, the Virtuti Militari, during the Siege of Warsaw (1939).

We visited Warsaw in July 2003 and enjoyed the trip immensely. The people were wonderful, there was an enormous number of things to see, a city of great beauty, art, culture and courage. The Mermaid of Warsaw (Polish: Syrenka Warszawska) is a symbol of Warsaw, represented on the city’s coat of arms and well as in a number of statues and other imagery.The sculpture in Warsaw’s Old Town Square seen here was designed by Varsovian sculptor Konstanty Hegel. Originally (1855-1928) and now (since 2000) it stands in the marketplace. At other times, it was moved to different places in Warsaw.

In 2008, the original sculpture made of bronzed zinc was taken from the market for maintenance work. The sculpture was in a very poor condition due to mechanical damage and numerous acts of vandalism. The repaired original was transferred to the Museum of Warsaw, and replaced with a copy of made by the Jacka Guzery foundry in Dąbrowie near Kielce.

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, 17 March 2019

MY SUNDAY BEST MEME #110 - CHALLENGE: OLD

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: LOZENGE
Old age makes us slow and unsure on our feet, so please take extra care when you drive down High Street!

Last week the theme was "THORNY" and Laila in Sweden posted a couple of bristly, prickly, thorny photos of cacti This photo was my favourite! Please visit her blog to see other great photos!




Saturday, 16 March 2019

Thursday, 14 March 2019

BEE & CRASSULA

Crassula ovata, commonly known as jade plant, lucky plant, money plant or money tree, is a succulent plant with small pink or white flowers. It is native to South Africa and Mozambique, and is common as a houseplant worldwide. Much of its popularity stems from the low levels of care needed; the jade plant requires little water and can survive in most indoor conditions. It is sometimes referred to as the money tree; however, Pachira aquatica also has this nickname.

Honey bees are a subset of bees in the genus Apis, primarily distinguished by the production and storage of honey and the construction of perennial, colonial nests out of wax. Honey bees are the only extant members of the tribe Apini, all in the genus Apis. Currently, there are only seven recognised species of honey bee with a total of 44 subspecies, though historically, anywhere from six to eleven species have been recognised. 

Honey bees represent only a small fraction of the approximately 20,000 known species of bees. Some other types of related bees produce and store honey, but only members of the genus Apis are true honey bees. Most species have historically been cultured or at least exploited for honey and beeswax by humans indigenous to their native ranges. Only two of these species have been truly domesticated, one (Apis mellifera) at least since the time of the building of the Egyptian pyramids, and only that species has been moved extensively beyond its native range.

Species of Apis are generalist floral visitors, and will pollinate a large variety of plants, but by no means all plants. Of all the honey bee species, only Apis mellifera has been used extensively for commercial pollination of crops and other plants. The value of these pollination services is commonly measured in the billions of dollars.

There has been a worldwide decline in bee numbers in the last decades. The main reasons for global bee-decline are industrial agriculture, parasites/pathogens and climate change. The loss of biodiversity, destruction of habitat and lack of forage due to monocultures and bee-killing pesticides are particular threats for honeybees and wild pollinators. It is becoming increasingly evident that some insecticides, at concentrations applied routinely in the current chemical-intensive agriculture system, exert clear, negative effects on the health of pollinators – both individually and at the colony level. The observed, sub-lethal, low-dose effects of insecticides on bees are various and diverse. The extinction of bees could have dire effects on the environment and would impact adversely on humans.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme,
and also part of the Nature Notes meme.

Wednesday, 13 March 2019

JET

Jet Aircraft - noun (plural same)
An aircraft powered by one or more jet engines: During an air show, the audience is always fascinated by the speed of jet aircraft | The world's largest commercial jet aircraft.

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


Tuesday, 12 March 2019

HAARLEM, HOLLAND

Haarlem (predecessor of Harlem in the English language) is a city and municipality in the Netherlands. It is the capital of the province of North Holland and is situated at the northern edge of the Randstad, one of the most populated metropolitan areas in Europe. Haarlem had a population of 155,758 in 2014. It is a 15-minute train ride from Amsterdam, and many residents commute to the country’s capital for work.

Haarlem was granted city status or stadsrechten in 1245, although the first city walls were not built until 1270. The modern city encompasses the former municipality of Schoten as well as parts that previously belonged to Bloemendaal and Heemstede. Apart from the city, the municipality of Haarlem also includes the western part of the village of Spaarndam. Newer sections of Spaarndam lie within the neighbouring municipality of Haarlemmerliede en Spaarnwoude.

There are several museums in Haarlem. The Teylers Museum lies on the Spaarne River and is the oldest museum of the Netherlands. Its main subjects are art, science and natural history, and it owns a number of works by Michelangelo and Rembrandt. Another museum is the Frans Hals Museum of fine arts, with its main location housing Dutch master paintings, and its exhibition halls on the Grote Markt housing a gallery for modern art called De Hallen. Also on the Grote Markt, in the cellar of the Vleeshal is the Archeologisch Museum Haarlem, while across the square on Saturdays, the Hoofdwacht building is open with exhibitions on Haarlem history. Other museums are Het Dolhuys (a museum of psychiatry), the Ten Boom Museum (a hiding place for Jews in World War II) and the Historisch Museum Haarlem, across from the Frans Hals Museum.

Every year in April the bloemencorso (flower parade) takes place. Floats decorated with flowers drive from Noordwijk to Haarlem, where they are exhibited for one day. In the same month there is also a funfair organised on the Grote Markt and the Zaanenlaan in Haarlem-Noord. Other festivals are held on the Grote Markt as well, in particular the annual Haarlem Jazz & More (formerly known as Haarlem Jazzstad), a music festival, and Haarlem Culinair, a culinary event, as well as the biannual Haarlemse Stripdagen (Haarlem comic days). Bevrijdingspop is a music festival to celebrate the Dutch liberation from the Nazis after World War II. It is held every year on 5 May, the day that the Netherlands were liberated in 1945, at the Haarlemmerhout. At the same location, the Haarlemmerhoutfestival is also held every year, which is a music and theatre festival.

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, 10 March 2019

MY SUNDAY BEST MEME #109 - CHALLENGE: THORNY

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!
Morning in the Parklands with the sun shining through a thorny bush.

Last week the theme was "WALK" and Klara in Poland posted a lovely photo of a walker in Winter. This photo was my favourite! Please visit her blog to see other great photos!

Thursday, 7 March 2019

IRIS

Iris is a genus of about 300 species of flowering plants with showy flowers. It takes its name from the ancient Greek goddess of the rainbow, Iris, referring to the wide variety of flower colours found among the many species. As well as being the scientific name, iris is also very widely used as a common name for all Iris species, though some plants called thus belong to other closely related genera. A common name for some species is 'flags', while the plants of the subgenus Scorpiris are widely known as 'junos', particularly in horticulture. 

It is a popular garden flower and its blossoms provide wonderful splashes of colour in the Spring garden. The genus is widely distributed throughout the north temperate zone. Their habitats are varied, ranging from cold and montane regions to the grassy slopes, meadowlands and riverbanks of Europe, the Middle East and northern Africa, Asia and across North America. Irises are perennial herbs, growing from creeping rhizomes (rhizomatous irises) or, in drier climates, from bulbs (bulbous irises). They have long, erect flowering stems which may be simple or branched, solid or hollow, and flattened or have a circular cross-section. The rhizomatous species usually have 3–10 basal sword-shaped leaves growing in dense clumps. The bulbous species have cylindrical, basal leaves.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday, 6 March 2019

IODINE

Iodine is a chemical element with symbol I and atomic number 53. The heaviest of the stable halogens, it exists as a lustrous, purple-black non-metallic solid at standard conditions that sublimes readily to form a violet gas. The elemental form was discovered by the French chemist Bernard Courtois in 1811. It was named two years later by Joseph Louis Gay-Lussac from this property, after the Greek ἰώδης "violet-coloured".

Iodine occurs in many oxidation states, including iodide (I−), iodate (IO− 3), and the various periodate anions. It is the least abundant of the stable halogens, being the sixty-first most abundant element. It is the heaviest essential mineral nutrient. Iodine is essential in the synthesis of thyroid hormones. Iodine deficiency affects about two billion people and is the leading preventable cause of intellectual disabilities. The dominant producers of iodine today are Chile and Japan. Iodine and its compounds are primarily used in nutrition.

Due to its high atomic number and ease of attachment to organic compounds, it has also found favour as a non-toxic radiocontrast material. Because of the specificity of its uptake by the human body, radioactive isotopes of iodine can also be used to treat thyroid cancer. Iodine is also used as a catalyst in the industrial production of acetic acid and some polymers.

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


Tuesday, 5 March 2019

GUERNSEY

Guernsey is an island in the English Channel off the coast of Normandy. With several smaller nearby islands, it forms a jurisdiction within the Bailiwick of Guernsey, a Crown dependency. The jurisdiction is made up of ten parishes on the island of Guernsey, three other inhabited islands (Herm, Jethou and Lihou), and many small islets and rocks. The jurisdiction is not part of the United Kingdom, although defence and most foreign relations are handled by the British Government.

The entire jurisdiction lies within the Common Travel Area of the British Isles and is not a member of the European Union, but has a special relationship with it, being treated as part of the European Community with access to the single market for the purposes of free trade in goods. Taken together with the separate jurisdictions of Alderney and Sark it forms the Bailiwick of Guernsey. The two Bailiwicks of Guernsey and Jersey together form the geographical grouping known as the Channel Islands.

The island of Guernsey has a population of around 63,000 in 62 km2 and forms the legal and administrative centre of the jurisdiction of Guernsey and the shopping and service centre for all three jurisdictions. The parliament of the whole jurisdiction of Guernsey, including the nearby inhabited islands of Herm, Jethou and Lihou, plus the neighbouring jurisdiction of Alderney is the States of Guernsey.

Guernsey, with its sandy beaches, cliff walks, seascapes and offshore islands has been a tourist destination since at least the Victorian days. The military history of the island has left a number of fortifications, including Castle Cornet, Fort Grey. Guernsey loophole towers and a large collection of German fortifications with a number of museums. The use of the roadstead in front of St Peter Port by over 100 cruise ships a year is bringing over 100,000 day trip passengers to the island each year.

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, 4 March 2019

CAGES

The rate at which Melbourne is transforming into a city of stacked boxes and cages is quite alarming. I pity the younger generation that have missed out seeing Melbourne as it was: A large metropolis, but with soul and heart - a city of villages that merged with one another as it were...

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, 3 March 2019

MY SUNDAY BEST MEME #108 - CHALLENGE: WALK

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!
A walk in the Parklands in Alphington in suburban Melbourne is a great way to recharge both mental and physical batteries...

Last week the theme was "SMALL" and Taken for Granted in the USA posted a great photo of a frosty window pane. The photo below was my favourite this week! Please visit his blog to see the other great photos!

Saturday, 2 March 2019

WALK THE DOG

I've used a new Photoshop filter in this photo, supposedly mimicking an oil painting effect. I'm not sure about the similarity to oil paintings, however, I do like the effect in this pic. What do you think?

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

Friday, 1 March 2019

SUMMER CLOUDS

Morning clouds that soon dispelled to give way to a clear sky and a very hot day with a maximum of 38˚C.

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