Saturday, 23 June 2018

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[a] 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.




Friday, 22 June 2018

CLOUDY SOLSTICE

Suitably cloudy skies and wintry weather on the Southern Winter Solstice. The view from my window this afternoon.

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

Thursday, 21 June 2018

CRASSULA

Crassula ovata, commonly known as jade plant, friendship tree, 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.

The jade plant is an evergreen with thick branches. It has thick, shiny, smooth leaves that grow in opposing pairs along the branches. Leaves are a rich jade green, although some may appear to be more of a yellow-green. Some varieties may develop a red tinge on the edges of leaves when exposed to high levels of sunlight. New stem growth is the same colour and texture as the leaves. Although becoming brown and appearing woody with age, stems never become true lignified tissue, remaining succulent and fleshy throughout the plant's life. Under the right conditions, they may produce small white or pink, star-like shaped flowers in the Autumn/early Winter. Numerous varieties and cultivars have been selected, of which C. ovata 'Hummel's Sunset' has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.

In Melbourne this is a common garden plant, which becomes a substantial bush and it will invariably bloom spectacularly in early Winter. The plant below is in our garden.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

XERANTHEMUM

Xeranthemum annuum is a flowering plant species also known as annual everlasting or immortelle. It is native to eastern Europe and western Asia, is cultivated as a garden flower, and has become naturalised in other parts of Europe.

If you enjoy cutting and preserving flowers, Xeranthemum is a must for your garden. The flowers are attractive, easily grown, and they are one of the most popular everlasting flowers available. Xeranthemum flowers are papery-textured, double daisy flowers in white, pink and violet and measure 4 cm across. They are excellent for drying.

For the earliest blooms, start Xeranthemum seeds indoors in the late winter using small peat pots. For areas with a long growing season, Immortelle seeds can be sown directly outside in a prepared seedbed. Cover the Immortelle flower seed lightly with soil and keep moist. Once established, the plants are fairly drought tolerant. For drying, cut the flowers in the morning when the bloom is just beginning to open. Hang in bunches upside down in a well-ventilated room.

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, 19 June 2018

YALTA, CRIMEA

Yalta (Russian: Я́лта) is a resort city on the south coast of the Crimean Peninsula surrounded by the Black Sea. It serves as the administrative centre of Yalta Municipality, one of the regions within Crimea. Population: 76,746 (2014 Census). The city is located on the site of an ancient Greek colony, said to have been founded by the Greek conquerors who were looking for a safe shore (γιαλός – yalos in Greek) on which to land. It is situated on a deep bay facing south towards the Black Sea, surrounded by the mountain range Ai-Petri. It has a warm humid subtropical climate and surrounded by numerous vineyards and orchards. The term "Greater Yalta" is used to designate a part of the Crimean southern coast spanning from Foros in the west to Gurzuf in the east and including the city of Yalta and multiple adjacent urban settlements.

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 June 2018

LAKE CARIBBEAN

Caribbean Gardens and Market have been operating in Melbourne since the 1970's when a market there started with only a handful of traders selling wares from their car boots. Today the market on the shores of Lake Caribbean has grown into one of the largest markets in Victoria with more than 1500 stalls. The market offers a huge variety of goods ranging from clothing, fresh produce, lollies, plants, art and crafts, household goods, tools, prints, shoes, toys, giftware and bric-a-brac plus a Computer Swap Meet Market operating every Sunday.

The Gardens cover an area of approximately 100 acres surrounding the beautiful Lake Caribbean. Throughout the picnic grounds are BBQs and plenty of picnic tables under the share of beautiful elms, gums and pine trees. Rides include the Chair Lift (over the lake), Jungle Cruises and Train that operate every Sunday, plus Wednesday during school holidays. The train ride takes a five kilometre journey around the lake with spectacular views of the entire Caribbean Gardens.

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





Saturday, 16 June 2018

EASTERN ROSELLA

The Eastern Rosella (Platycercus eximius) is a rosella native to southeast of the Australian continent and to Tasmania. It has been introduced to New Zealand where feral populations are found in the North Island (notably in the northern half of the island and in the Hutt Valley) and in the hills around Dunedin in the South Island.

Three subspecies of eastern rosella are recognised: P. e. eximius, Victoria and southern New South Wales. Black feathers on the back have green margins. Rump is pale green; P. e. elecica, northeast New South Wales and southeast Queensland. In the male the black feathers on the back have golden-yellow margins, and greenish-yellow in the female. The rump is bluish-green. This subspecies is also called the golden-mantled rosella, often abbreviated to GMR. P. e. diemenensis, eastern Tasmania. White cheek patches are larger and the red on the head is darker.

The eastern rosella is 30 cm long. It has a red head and white cheeks. The beak is white and the irises are brown. The upper breast is red and the lower breast is yellow fading to pale green over the abdomen. The feathers of the back and shoulders are black, and have yellowish or greenish margins giving rise to a scalloped appearance that varies slightly between the subspecies and the sexes. The wings and lateral tail feathers are bluish while the tail is dark green. The legs are grey. The female is similar to the male though duller in colouration and has an underwing stripe, which is not present in the adult male. Juveniles are duller than females and have an underwing stripe.

The diet of eastern rosellas mainly consists of fruit, seeds, flowers and insects. Eastern rosellas usually breed in spring but if needed summer as well. They can have 2-9 eggs. In the wild their breeding hollow is 1m deep and 30m high up a tree. The sign the eastern rosella mostly shows that they would be breeding is that they give food to each other.

This post is part of the Saturday Critters meme,
and also part of the Camera Critters meme,
and also part of the I'd Rather Be Birdin' meme.



Friday, 15 June 2018

LOOKING OUT...

...Of my window and deciding it's a good day to stay in by the heater as there is a storm is brewing...

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

Thursday, 14 June 2018

KUMQUAT

Kumquats (Citrus japonica) are a group of small fruit-bearing trees in the flowering plant family Rutaceae. They were previously classified as forming the now historical genus Fortunella, or placed within Citrus sensu latoThe edible fruit closely resembles the orange (Citrus sinensis), but it is much smaller, being approximately the size and shape of a large olive. Kumquat is a fairly cold-hardy citrus.

They are slow-growing evergreen shrubs or short trees, from 2.5 to 4.5 meters tall, with dense branches, sometimes bearing small thorns. The leaves are dark glossy green, and the flowers are white, similar to other citrus flowers, borne singly or clustered in the leaf-axils. Depending on size, the kumquat tree can produce hundreds or even thousands of fruits each year.

The round kumquat also called Marumi kumquat or Morgani kumquat, is an evergreen tree, producing edible golden-yellow fruit. The round Hawaiian varietal, the "Meiwa kumquat", is eaten raw. The fruit is small and usually round but can be oval shaped. The peel has a sweet flavor but the fruit has a sour centre. The fruit can be eaten cooked but is mainly used to make marmalades and jellies. It is grown as an ornamental plant and can be used in bonsai. The plant symbolises good luck in China and other Asian countries, where it is kept as a houseplant and given as a gift during the Lunar New Year. Round kumquats are more commonly cultivated than other species due to their cold tolerance.

This post is part of the Floral Friday meme.