Tuesday, 27 June 2017


The Azure Window (Maltese: it-Tieqa Żerqa), also known as the Dwejra Window (Maltese: it-Tieqa tad-Dwejra), was a 28-metre-tall limestone natural arch on the island of Gozo in Malta. It was located in Dwejra Bay, within the limits of San Lawrenz, close to the Inland Sea and the Fungus Rock, and was one of Malta's major tourist attractions. The arch, together with other natural features in the area, has appeared in a number of international films and media productions. The formation was created by the collapse of a sea cave, probably during the 19th century. It consisted of a pillar of rock rising from the sea and joined to the cliff by a horizontal slab.

Following decades of natural erosion that caused parts of the arch to fall into the sea, the slab and pillar collapsed completely in stormy weather on 8 March 2017. The Azure Window made an appearance on the popular TV series "Game of Thrones" — it was the backdrop to Khal Drogo and Daenerys’ wedding in Season One.

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.
Azure Window before collapse

Azure Window after collapse (Picture: AP/Christian Mangion)

Sunday, 25 June 2017


In one of Melbourne's famous alleys in the CBD.

This post is part of the My Sunday Best meme,
and also part of the My Sunday Photo meme,
and also part of the Photo Sunday meme.

Thursday, 22 June 2017


Iris x germanica is the accepted name for a species of flowering plants in the family Iridaceae commonly known as the bearded iris or the German iris. It is one of a group of hybrid origin.

Iris x germanica grows up to 120 cm high and 30 cm wide. It is a European hybrid, rather than a true wild species. The roots can go up to 10 cm deep and it is a rhizomatous perennial that blooms mid to late spring. It is known to produce the isoflavone irilone. Hundreds of hybrids exist representing nearly every colour from jet black to sparkling whites, except bright scarlet. Varieties include I. g. var. florentina and I. g. var. germanica.

Lifting, dividing and replanting the rhizomes is best done once flowering has finished as this is when the plant grows the new shoots that will flower the following year. The rhizomes are placed on the surface of the soil facing towards the sun and with at least 45 cm of open ground in front of them - this allows two years growth and flowering. The plant is held in place by removing half the leaf mass to reduce wind rock and by using the old roots as anchors in the soil. The rhizome is placed on well dug ground and the roots placed either side into 10 cm deep grooves. The soil is then gently firmed around the roots, so holding the plant steady. New roots and leaves are created rapidly as the rhizome moves forwards.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017


The Xolmis

The xolmis is a pretty bird
In South America dwelling;
It’s white and black, and small, I see,
With story well worth telling.

It catches flies, and flies to eat
Its lunch so very tasty;
And yet with numbers small, I know,
Extinction’s coming, hasty.

Its habitat has shrunk so much
The pampas are all dwindling;
The poor bird has no home, no more
And much will not be lingering.

The xolmis softly coos and calls
Its sad fate it is mourning;
Another species lost to us,
We’re deaf to its woeful warning…

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

Tuesday, 20 June 2017


Seattle is a seaport city on the west coast of the United States and the seat of King County, Washington. With an estimated 704,352 residents as of 2016, Seattle is the largest city in both the state of Washington and the Pacific Northwest region of North America. In July 2013, it was the fastest-growing major city in the United States and remained in the Top 5 in May 2015 with an annual growth rate of 2.1%. In July 2016, Seattle was again the fastest-growing major U.S. city, with a 3.1% annual growth rate.

The city is situated on an isthmus between Puget Sound (an inlet of the Pacific Ocean) and Lake Washington, about 160 km south of the Canada–United States border. A major gateway for trade with Asia, Seattle is the fourth-largest port in North America in terms of container handling as of 2015. The Seattle area was previously inhabited by Native Americans for at least 4,000 years before the first permanent European settlers. Mount Rainier (Mount Tacoma, or Mount Tahoma) is the highest mountain of the Cascade Range of the Pacific Northwest, and the highest mountain in the USA state of Washington. It is a large active stratovolcano located 87 km south-southeast of Seattle, in the Mount Rainier National Park.

Arthur A. Denny and his group of travellers, subsequently known as the Denny Party, arrived from Illinois via Portland, Oregon, on the schooner Exact at Alki Point on November 13, 1851. The settlement was moved to the eastern shore of Elliott Bay and named "Seattle" in 1852, after Chief Si'ahl of the local Duwamish and Suquamish tribes. Logging was Seattle's first major industry, but by the late-19th century, the city had become a commercial and shipbuilding centre as a gateway to Alaska during the Klondike Gold Rush.

Growth after World War II was partially due to the local Boeing company, which established Seattle as a centre for aircraft manufacturing. The Seattle area developed as a technology centre beginning in the 1980s, with companies like Microsoft becoming established in the region. In 1994, Internet retailer Amazon was founded in Seattle. The stream of new software, biotechnology, and Internet companies led to an economic revival, which increased the city's population by almost 50,000 between 1990 and 2000.

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 June 2017


Flinders Street Station is a railway station on the corner of Flinders and Swanston Streets in Melbourne, Australia. It serves the entire metropolitan rail network. Backing onto the city reach of the Yarra River in the heart of the city, the complex covers two whole city blocks and extends from Swanston Street to Queen Street. Flinders Street is served by Metro's suburban services, and V/Line regional services to Gippsland. It is the busiest station on Melbourne's metropolitan network, with some 92.6 million passenger movements recorded in 2011/12.

It was the first railway station in an Australian city and the world's busiest passenger station in the late 1920s. The main station building, completed in 1909, is a cultural icon of Melbourne, with its prominent dome, arched entrance, tower and clocks one of the city's most recognisable landmarks. It is listed on the Victorian Heritage Register. The Melburnian idiom "I'll meet you under the clocks" refers to the row of clocks above the main entrance, which indicate the time-tabled time of departure for trains on each line; another idiom, "I'll meet you on the steps", refers to the wide staircase underneath these clocks. Flinders Street Station is responsible for two of Melbourne's busiest pedestrian crossings, both across Flinders Street, including one of Melbourne's few pedestrian scrambles.

The ladies in red are volunteer tourist helpers, willing to smile and lend a hand to "lost souls"! Volunteers play a vital role in the City of Melbourne’s tourism services. ​Volunteers provide information on Melbourne to around two million visitors each year. Their love and knowledge of the city and regional Victoria adds to Melbourne's reputation as a friendly, welcoming and culturally vibrant city.

This post is part of the My Sunday Best meme,
and also part of the My Sunday Photo meme,
and also part of the Photo Sunday meme.

Thursday, 15 June 2017


Argyranthemum (marguerite, marguerite daisy, dill daisy) is a genus of flowering plants belonging to the family Asteraceae. Members of this genus are sometimes also placed in the genus Chrysanthemum. The genus is endemic to Macaronesia, occurring only on the Canary Islands, the Savage Islands, and Madeira.

Shown here is the hybrid Argyranthemum, 'Reflection Pink'. It is a drought- and salt-tolerant shrubby tender perennial often grown as an annual bedding plant, Reflection Pink Marguerite daisy boasts frilly foliage and large pink and brown blossoms. If you love the look of gazania flowers, this hybrid's flowers will delight you.

A mounding but upright plant that bears lots of flowers, the blooms occur on stem tips. They first appear early in the spring and continue for a long flowering season. Each flower opens with a button-like brown eye surrounded by a single row of rose and pink petals. The base of each petal has a deeper band of rose, with a strip of white immediately at the attachment to the brown eye. This creates a multicoloured bullseye effect. The petals fade significantly with age.

This bushy mound-forming perennial has gray-green, deeply lobed leaves that are ferny and emit a strong fragrance when crushed. Its daisies are produced above the foliage and appear from late spring till frost or almost year round in frost free climates. Flowering subsides in very hot weather and deadheading will prolong vigorous bloom. This easy-to-grow plant grows beautifully in full sun and moderately fertile garden soil with good drainage.

Hot and humid weather makes this plant falter quickly. Regular light pruning will promote compact growth, increase flowering and provide cuttings for propagation. Plants are wind and salt tolerant. Grow 'Reflection Pink' in seaside gardens, containers, or sunny garden beds. The blooms draw butterflies and can also be cut for flower arrangements.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday, 14 June 2017


The Walrus

The walrus lolls on icy shores
Of Arctic oceans frigid;
He barks then naps, and dreams and snores
How calm he looks, so rigid!

The walrus turns and smiles and drools,
He seems oddly familiar;
Could it be John, or Dick or Jules,
No, no, he’s too peculiar…

The walrus wakes and yawns and bleats,
And stares directly at me;
He nibbles crabs, and clams he eats
But he refuses chutney…

The walrus waits and then he goes
And dives quite deeply seaward;
In icy waters that are froze
He likes to gambol leeward.

Enjoy the ice while there, my friend,
For quickly it is melting,
Your home’s cool ease will shortly end
As we give Earth a belting...

This post is part of the Outdoor Wednesday meme,
and also part of the Wordless Wednesday meme,
and also part of the ABC Wednesday meme,
and also part of the Poets United Midweek Motif.