Tuesday, 26 January 2021

UZBEKISTAN

Uzbekistan, officially the Republic of Uzbekistan (Uzbek: Oʻzbekiston Respublikasi, Ўзбекистон Республикаси), is a doubly landlocked country in Central Asia. It is a unitary, constitutional, presidential republic, comprising twelve provinces, one autonomous republic and a capital city. Uzbekistan is bordered by five countries, Kazakhstan to the north; Tajikistan to the southeast; Kyrgyzstan to the northeast; Afghanistan to the south; and Turkmenistan to the southwest.

Once part of the Turkic Khaganate and later Timurid Empires, the region that today includes the Republic of Uzbekistan was conquered in the early 16th century by Eastern Turkic-speaking nomads. The area was gradually incorporated into the Russian Empire during the 19th century, and in 1924 what is now Uzbekistan became a bordered constituent republic of the Soviet Union, known as the Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic (Uzbek SSR). Following the breakup of the Soviet Union, it declared independence as the Republic of Uzbekistan on 31 August 1991 (officially celebrated the following day).

Uzbekistan is officially a democratic, secular, unitary, constitutional republic with a diverse cultural heritage. The country's official language is Uzbek, a Turkic language written in the Latin alphabet and spoken natively by approximately 85% of the population; however, Russian remains in widespread use. Uzbeks constitute 81% of the population, followed by Russians (5.4%), Tajiks (4.0%), Kazakhs (3.0%), and others (6.5%). A majority of Uzbeks are non-denominational Muslims. Uzbekistan's economy relies mainly on commodity production, including cotton, gold, uranium, and natural gas. Despite the declared objective of transition to a market economy, its government continues to maintain economic controls which imports in favour of domestic "import substitution".

Illustrated is Bukhara, which is a city-museum, with about 140 architectural monuments. The nation's fifth-largest city, it had a population as of 31 August 2016 of approximately 247,644. Humans have inhabited the region around Bukhara for at least five millennia, and the city has existed for half that time. Located on the Silk Road, the city has long served as a centre of trade, scholarship, culture, and religion. UNESCO has listed the historic centre of Bukhara (which contains numerous mosques and madrassas) as a World Heritage Site.

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 January 2021

Saturday, 23 January 2021

EARWIG

Earwigs make up the insect order Dermaptera. With about 2,000 species in 12 families, they are one of the smaller insect orders. Earwigs have characteristic cerci, a pair of forceps-like pincers on their abdomen, and membranous wings folded underneath short, rarely used forewings, hence the scientific order name, "skin wings." Some groups are tiny parasites on mammals and lack the typical pincers. Earwigs are found on all continents except Antarctica.

Earwigs are mostly nocturnal and often hide in small, moist crevices during the day, and are active at night, feeding on a wide variety of insects and plants. Damage to foliage, flowers, and various crops is commonly blamed on earwigs, especially the common earwig Forficula auricularia (seen here). Earwigs have five moults in the year before they become adults. Many earwig species display maternal care, which is uncommon among insects. Female earwigs may care for their eggs, and even after they have hatched as nymphs will continue to watch over offspring until their second moult.

As the nymphs moult, sexual dimorphism such as differences in pincer shapes begins to show. Some earwig specimen fossils are in the extinct suborders Archidermaptera or Eodermaptera, the former dating to the Late Triassic and the latter to the Middle Jurassic. Many orders of insect have been theorised to be closely related to earwigs, though the icebugs of Notoptera are most likely.

This post is part of the Saturday Critters meme.


Tuesday, 19 January 2021

CITY MORNING

COVID-19 is still at large and wreaking havoc with our lives, not least our travel plans. Local travel and tourism is fortunately an option here in Melbourne, with many places in Victoria still offering a wealth of options for local tourists both in the metropolitan area, as well as further afield, daytripping!

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.


Thursday, 14 January 2021

TWEEDIA

Oxypetalum coeruleum is a species of flowering plant, native to South America from southern Brazil to Uruguay, in the Apocynaceae family. The synonymous name Tweedia caerulea is also used. Growing to 100 cm, it is a straggling evergreen perennial with heart shaped, gray-green, downy leaves. It is grown for its clear pale blue, star-shaped flowers, which are long lasting and cut well.

The summer flowers age to purple and are followed by 30 cm long, boat-shaped seed pods. The seeds have downy parachute-like tufts (cypsela). The cultivar 'Alba' has white flowers, while 'Rosea' has pink flowers. Oxypetalum coeruleum requires full sun in a well-drained soil that is dry. Propagation is via seed. With a minimum temperature range of 3–5 °C,  it can be grown outdoors in a frost-free, sheltered environment. Alternatively it can be grown as an annual. This plant has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.


Tuesday, 5 January 2021

TAJ MAHAL, INDIA

The Taj Mahal is a white marble mausoleum located in Agra, India. It was built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal. The Taj Mahal is widely recognised as the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world's heritage. The Taj Mahal is the finest example of Mughal architecture, a style that combines elements from Persian, Turkish and Indian architectural styles.

In 1983, the Taj Mahal became a UNESCO World Heritage Site. While the white domed marble mausoleum is the most familiar component of the Taj Mahal, it is actually an integrated complex of structures. The construction began around 1632 and was completed around 1653, employing thousands of artisans and craftsmen. The construction of the Taj Mahal was entrusted to a board of architects under imperial supervision, including Abd ul-Karim Ma'mur Khan, Makramat Khan, and Ustad Ahmad Lahauri. Lahaur is generally considered to be the principal designer.

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.


Tuesday, 15 December 2020

SUMMERY QUEENSLAND

Northern Queensland in Australia has a tropical climate and on the eastern coast, one may expect to see paradisiacal settings such as this below. A special hello to all Northern Hemisphere friends who are battling with cold, wet or snowy weather, and of course the consequences of the Pandemic and the lockdowns... Remember, however bad things may seem now, this trial will also pass!

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