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.

Thursday, 8 August 2019

CAPE DAISY

Osteospermum is a genus of flowering plants belonging to the Calenduleae, one of the smaller tribes of the sunflower/daisy family Asteraceae. The common name is African daisy or Cape daisy. Osteospermum used to belong to the genus Dimorphotheca, but only the annual species remain in that genus now; the perennials have been placed in the genus Osteospermum. Osteospermum is also closely related to the small genus Chrysanthemoides, and the resemblance is seen in species such as C. incana and C. monilifera.

Osteospermum ‘Flowerpower Double’ are quite unusual garden hybrids and are currently beginning to grace our garden. There is a wide variety of colours making for a very pretty display.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday, 7 August 2019

EVENING FALLS

Melbourne Docklands is a waterfront development in the heart of Melbourne, located on the spectacular Victoria Harbour with three kilometres of Yarra River frontage. With extensive waterfront promenades, urban art, interesting architecture, historic and contemporary buildings, state-of-the-art marinas, stylish waterfront restaurants, cosy bars and active waterways, Docklands has plenty to offer.

The views on the water include, as well as the numerous leisure craft, the Bolte Bridge, which is a large twin cantilever bridge. It spans the Yarra River and Victoria Harbour in the Docklands precinct to the west of the Melbourne CBD. It forms part of the CityLink system of toll roads that connects the Tullamarine Freeway from the northern suburbs with the West Gate Freeway and the Domain and Burnley tunnels to the Monash Freeway and the south eastern suburbs.

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

Tuesday, 6 August 2019

İZMIR, TURKEY

İzmir is a metropolitan city in the western extremity of Anatolia and the third most populous city in Turkey, after Istanbul and Ankara. It is the second most populous city on the Aegean Sea after Athens, Greece. In 2014, the city of İzmir had a population of 2,847,691, while İzmir Province had a total population of 4,113,072. İzmir’s metropolitan area extends along the outlying waters of the Gulf of İzmir and inland to the north across the Gediz River delta; to the east along an alluvial plain created by several small streams; and to a slightly more rugged terrain in the south.

In classical antiquity the city was known as Smyrna (Greek: Σμύρνη Smyrne), a name which remained in use in English and other foreign languages until the Turkish Postal Service Law (Posta Hizmet Kanunu) of 28 March 1930, which made İzmir the internationally recognised name. İzmir has almost 4,000 years of recorded urban history and even longer as an advanced human settlement. Lying on an advantageous location at the head of a gulf running down in a deep indentation, midway on the western Anatolian coast, it has been one of the principal mercantile cities of the Mediterranean Sea for much of its history.

İzmir hosted the Mediterranean Games in 1971 and the World University Games (Universiade) in 2005. The city of İzmir is composed of several metropolitan districts. Of these, Konak district corresponds to historical İzmir, this district’s area having constituted the “İzmir Municipality” (Turkish: İzmir Belediyesi) area until 1984. With the constitution of the “Greater İzmir Metropolitan Municipality” (Turkish: İzmir Büyükşehir Belediyesi), the city of İzmir grouped together initially nine, and more recently eleven, metropolitan districts, namely Balçova, Bayraklı, Bornova, Buca, Çiğli, Gaziemir, Güzelbahçe, Karabağlar, Karşıyaka, Konak and Narlıdere. In an ongoing process, the Mayor of İzmir was also vested with authority over additional districts reaching from Bergama in the north to Selçuk in the south, bringing the number of districts considered as being part of İzmir to twenty-one, two of these having been only partially administratively included in İzmir.

Izmir Clock Tower (Turkish: İzmir Saat Kulesi) is a historic clock tower located at the Konak Square in Konak district of İzmir, Turkey. The clock tower was designed by the Levantine French architect Raymond Charles Père and built in 1901 to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Abdülhamid II's accession to the throne (reigned 1876–1909). The clock itself was a gift from German Emperor Wilhelm II (reigned 1888–1918). It is decorated in an elaborate Ottoman architecture style.

The tower, which has an iron and lead skeleton, is 25 m high and features four fountains (şadırvan), which are placed around the base in a circular pattern. The columns are inspired by Moorish themes. The clock tower was depicted on the reverse of the Turkish 500 lira banknotes of 1983-1989. In the former Balkan provinces of the Ottoman Empire, particularly in present-day Serbian, Bosnian and Montenegrin towns such as Belgrade, Prijepolje, Sarajevo, Banja Luka, Gradačac and Stara Varoš, similar Ottoman era clock towers still exist and are called Sahat Kula (derived from the Turkish words Saat Kulesi, meaning Clock Tower.)

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

Sunday, 4 August 2019

MY SUNDAY BEST MEME #129 - FROST

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.
We've been experiencing some frosty weather lately, so it's always fun to walk briskly on a chilly, frosty morning and see the sun illuminating the leaves that sparkle with ice crystals.

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



Thursday, 1 August 2019

'TROILUS' ROSE

'Troilus' is a David Austin old-fashioned rose with beautiful, large, deeply cupped blooms of a wonderful shade of honey-buff colour on a strong growing bush with mid-green foliage. It is a fragrant rose that performs outstandingly well when grown in a warmer climate.

Troilus was released by David Austin in 1983. It was named after the Trojan War hero in Shakespeare’s tragedy, 'Troilus and Cressida'. The Troilus rose flowers continuously from spring to late autumn. It is a sturdy, upright shrub of medium height.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.