Wednesday, 31 August 2016

NERANG POOL

Spring at Nerang Pool in Commonwealth Park, Canberra, Australia.

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

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

COPENHAGEN, DENMARK

The Little Mermaid (Danish: Den lille Havfrue) is a bronze statue by Edvard Eriksen, depicting a mermaid. The sculpture is displayed on a rock by the waterside at the Langelinie promenade in Copenhagen, Denmark. It is 1.25 metres tall and weighs 175 kilograms. Based on the fairy tale of the same name by Danish author Hans Christian Andersen, the small and unimposing statue is a Copenhagen icon and has been a major tourist attraction since 1913.

In recent decades it has become a popular target for defacement by vandals and political activists. The Little Mermaid is among iconic statues that symbolise cities; others include: Manneken Pis in Brussels, the Statue of Liberty in New York and Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro. In several cases, cities have commissioned statues for such a purpose, such as with Singapore's Merlion.

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.

Saturday, 27 August 2016

EVENING STAR

Venus, also known as the Evening Star or the Morning Star, depending on its position in the sky and its relationship to setting or rising sun. As one of the brightest objects in the sky, Venus has been a major fixture in human culture for as long as records have existed. It has been made sacred to gods of many cultures, and has been a prime inspiration for writers and poets. Venus was the first planet to have its motions plotted across the sky, as early as the second millennium BC, and was a prime target for early interplanetary exploration as the closest planet to Earth.

It was the first planet beyond Earth visited by a spacecraft (Mariner 2) in 1962, and the first to be successfully landed on (by Venera 7) in 1970. Venus's thick clouds render observation of its surface impossible in visible light, and the first detailed maps did not emerge until the arrival of the Magellan orbiter in 1991. Plans have been proposed for rovers or more complex missions, but they are hindered by Venus's hostile surface conditions.

This post is part of the Skywatch Friday meme.
and also part of the Saturday Silhouettes meme,
and also part of the Scenic Weekends meme.

Friday, 26 August 2016

FRIDAY GREENS #86 - COPROSMA LEAF

Welcome to this meme active every Friday. The theme is "Friday Greens" and you can post images, art, photos where the predominant colour is GREEN!
GREEN is the colour between blue and yellow in the spectrum; coloured like grass or emeralds.
Sun backlighting a leaf of Coprosma repens, which is a species of flowering shrub or small tree of the genus Coprosma, in the family Rubiaceae, native to New Zealand. Common names include taupata, mirror bush, looking-glass bush, New Zealand laurel and shiny leaf. In Australia it has become naturalised in coastal areas of Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia and Tasmania, to the extent that it is now classified as an environmental weed.
If you take part in this meme:
  • Please link back to this page from your blog, with the Friday Greens logo or link text;
  • In the spirit of community, please visit other participants to see their photos and leave a comment;
  • Say hello here in the comments box, which is always appreciated!

Thursday, 25 August 2016

PEPINO

Solanum muricatum is a species of evergreen shrub native to South America and grown for its sweet edible fruit. It is known as pepino dulce ("sweet cucumber" in English, in order to differentiate it from cucumber which is also called "pepino" in Spanish) or simply pepino; the latter is also used for similar species such as "S. mucronatum" (which actually seems to belong in the related genus Lycianthes).

The pepino dulce fruit resembles a melon (Cucumis melo) in colour, and its flavour recalls a mixture of honeydew and cucumber, and thus it is also sometimes called pepino melon or melon pear, but pepinos are only very distantly related to melons and pears. Another common name, "tree melon", is more often used for the Papaya (Carica papaya) though the pepino dulce plant generally does not look much like a tree; it looks more like a ground cover, trailing plant.

The present species is, however, a close relative of other nightshades cultivated for their fruit, including the tomato (S. lycopersicum) and the eggplant (S. melongena), which its own fruit closely resembles. Pepino fruit is common in markets in Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia, Peru and Chile, but less often overseas because it is quite sensitive to handling and does not travel well. Attempts to produce commercial cultivars and to export the fruit have been made in New Zealand, Turkey, Mauritius and Chile.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme,
and also part of the Friday Greens meme,
and also part of the Food Friday meme.




Tuesday, 23 August 2016

PLAZA DE CIBELES, MADRID

The Plaza de Cibeles is a square with a neo-classical complex of marble sculptures with fountains that has become an iconic symbol for the city of Madrid. It sits at the intersection of Calle de Alcalá (running from east to west), Paseo de Recoletos (to the North) and Paseo del Prado (to the south). Plaza de Cibeles was originally named Plaza de Madrid, but in 1900, the City Council named it Plaza de Castelar, which was eventually replaced by its current name.

It is currently delimited by four prominent buildings: The Bank of Spain, the Palacio de Buenavista, the Palacio de Linares and the Cybele Palace. These constructions are located in four different neighbourhoods from three different adjacent districts: Centro, Retiro and Salamanca. In the years Cybele Palace and her fountain have become symbolic monuments of the city.

The Fountain of Cybele is found in the part of Madrid commonly called the Paseo de Recoletos. This fountain is named after Cybele, a Phrygian goddess who had a significant cult in Rome, and is seen as one of Madrid's most important symbols. The fountain depicts the goddess, sitting on a chariot pulled by two lions. The fountain was built in the reign of Charles III and designed by Ventura Rodríguez between 1777 and 1782.

The goddess and chariot are the work of Francisco Gutiérrez and the lions by Roberto Michel. The fountain originally stood next to the Buenavista Palace, and was moved to its present location in the middle of the square in the late 19th century. Up until the 19th century both the fountain of Neptune and Cybele looked directly at each other, until the city council decided to turn them round to face towards the centre of the city.

ths 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.




Saturday, 20 August 2016

VENUS SILHOUETTES

Twilight in Melbourne with the evening sky around 6:30 pm, looking towards the West. The trio of planets visible in the sky are Venus, brightest and closest to the horizon, Mercury on the left above and Jupiter on the right above. Took the shot without a tripod, so you can tell that I didn't have anything to drink as my hand was pretty steady!

This post is part of the Skywatch Friday meme,
and also part of the Saturday Silhouettes meme.

Friday, 19 August 2016

FRIDAY GREENS #85 - GRASS PARROT

Welcome to this meme active every Friday. The theme is "Friday Greens" and you can post images, art, photos where the predominant colour is GREEN!
GREEN is the colour between blue and yellow in the spectrum; coloured like grass or emeralds.
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. Red-rumped parrots are slim, elegant, 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.

Red-rumped parrots can be found in pairs or flocks in open country with access to water. They avoid the coast and the wetter, more heavily wooded areas. Clearing of large tracts of forest and the provision of water for stock has probably extended their range. They are often seen in suburban parks and gardens. Their green plumage provides such a good camouflage in ankle length grasses that they can hide quite effectively until the viewer is only 10–20 metres away. They spend a great deal of time feeding on the ground, and often call to one another with an attractive chee chillip chee chillip.

If you take part in this meme:
  • Please link back to this page from your blog, with the Friday Greens logo or link text;
  • In the spirit of community, please visit other participants to see their photos and leave a comment;
  • Say hello here in the comments box, which is always appreciated!

Thursday, 18 August 2016

YELLOW DAISIES

Argyranthemum are evergreen woody-based perennials or sub-shrubs, with simple or pinnately dissected leaves and white, yellow or pink, daisy-like flower-heads from late spring to autumn. Like other daisies they belong to the Asteraceae family.

'Sultan's Lemon' forms a neat, compact bush with finely divided grey-green leaves and pale lemon-yellow single flowers that have a prominent central yellow disc. This is a pretty plant that hides its dead flowers well and forms a beautiful focal point in a sunny spot in the garden.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

TALLINN, ESTONIA

Tallinn is the capital and largest city of Estonia. It is situated on the northern coast of the country, on the shore of the Gulf of Finland, 80 km south of Helsinki, east of Stockholm and west of Saint Petersburg. From the 13th century until 1918 (and briefly during the Nazi occupation of Estonia from 1941 to 1944), the city was known as Reval.

Tallinn occupies an area of 159.2 km2 and has a population of 440,950. Approximately 32% of Estonia's total population lives in Tallinn. Tallinn was founded in 1248, but the earliest human settlements are over five thousand years old, making it one of the oldest capital cities of Northern Europe. Due to its strategic location, the city became a major trade hub, especially from the 14th to the 16th century, when it grew in importance as part of the Hanseatic League.

Tallinn's Old Town is one of the best preserved medieval cities in Europe and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Tallinn is the major political, financial, cultural and educational centre of Estonia. Often dubbed as the Silicon Valley of Europe, it has the highest number of startups per person in Europe and is a birthplace of many international companies including Skype. Providing to the global cybersecurity it is the home to the NATO Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence.

It is ranked as a global city and has been listed among the top 10 digital cities in the world. The city was a European Capital of Culture for 2011, along with Turku in Finland.

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

Sunday, 14 August 2016

NUMBERS

A collage of numbers from our neighbourhood.

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

Saturday, 13 August 2016

YARRA RIVER SUNSET

On the Yarra River in Melbourne, Australia, looking towards the West.

This post is part of the Skywatch Friday meme,
and also part of the Saturday Silhouettes meme,
and also part of the Weekend Reflections meme,
and also part of the Scenic Weekends meme.

Friday, 12 August 2016

FRIDAY GREENS #84 - HARLEQUIN BUG

Welcome to this meme active every Friday. The theme is "Friday Greens" and you can post images, art, photos where the predominant colour is GREEN!
GREEN is the colour between blue and yellow in the spectrum; coloured like grass or emeralds.
Dindymus versicolor, commonly called the harlequin bug, is a species of cotton stainer bug (red bug), found in south-eastern Australia and Tasmania. In North Central districts of Victoria it is sometimes colloquially known as the "Sex Beetle". An attractive insect, up to 12 mm long with a black head and bands on the fore-wing, and orange/red elsewhere. When the wings are folded, two red triangles appear. Legs are relatively long.

These sucking insects have a reputation as a pest in the garden, damaging a wide range of plants. They are known to damage a variety of crops and ornamentals. The New South Wales Department of Primary Industries (Agriculture) report they attack cotton, pome fruits, stone fruits, fig, grape, kurrajong, strawberry, vegetables, wisteria, dahlia and violets. In winter they find shelter in dark shady places such as under compost, timber, hedges and fence palings.
If you take part in this meme:
  • Please link back to this page from your blog, with the Friday Greens logo or link text;
  • In the spirit of community, please visit other participants to see their photos and leave a comment;
  • Say hello here in the comments box, which is always appreciated!

Thursday, 11 August 2016

PANSIES

The garden pansy is a type of large-flowered hybrid plant cultivated as a garden flower. It is derived by hybridisation from several species in the section Melanium ("the pansies") of the genus Viola, particularly Viola tricolor, a wildflower of Europe and western Asia known as heartsease. Some of these hybrids are referred to as Viola × wittrockiana Gams ex Nauenb. & Buttler. For simplicity, the older name Viola tricolor var. hortensis is often used.

The garden pansy flower is 3-10 cm in diameter and has two slightly overlapping upper petals, two side petals, and a single bottom petal with a slight beard emanating from the flower's centre. These petals are usually white or yellow, purplish, or blue. The plant may grow to 20 cm in height, and prefers sun to varying degrees and well-draining soils. The name "pansy" is derived from the French word pensée, "thought", and was imported into Late Middle English as a name of Viola in the mid-15th century, as the flower was regarded as a symbol of remembrance.

The name "love in idleness" was meant to imply the image of a lover who has little or no other employment than to think of his beloved. The name "heart’s-ease" came from St. Euphrasia, whose name in Greek signifies cheerfulness of mind. The woman, who refused marriage and took the veil, was considered a pattern of humility, hence the name "humble violet".

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.



Tuesday, 9 August 2016

LEIDEN, NETHERLANDS

Leiden is a city and municipality in the Dutch province of South Holland. The municipality of Leiden has a population of 122,565, but the city forms one densely connected agglomeration with its suburbs Oegstgeest, Leiderdorp, Voorschoten and Zoeterwoude with around 190,000 inhabitants. Leiden is located on the Old Rhine, at a distance of some 20 kilometres from The Hague to its south and some 40 km from Amsterdam to its north. The recreational area of the Kaag Lakes (Kagerplassen) lies just to the northeast of Leiden.

A university city since 1575, Leiden houses Leiden University, the oldest university of the Netherlands, and Leiden University Medical Centre. It is twinned with Oxford, the location of the United Kingdom's oldest university. 

Over 1994/95 I spent several months in the Netherlands engaged in various academic/research activities. I lived in Leiden for five weeks, which was a wonderful time for me. I spent a great deal of my spare time cycling around the city and environs visiting the grand old buildings, notable museums, beauty spots and historical sites.

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




Sunday, 7 August 2016

FUN AT THE LAKE

Merri Creek flows about 60 km from the Great Dividing Range through Melbourne’s northern suburbs to the Yarra River. Merri Creek is an environmental, heritage and recreation corridor that draws its significance from its role as a continuous corridor as it does from the qualities of individual reaches. All areas of the Creek are important because they contribute to the linking of areas of environmental, heritage and recreational value along the Creek. At Coburg, one of Melbourne's northern suburbs, the creek has been dammed to form a lake.

This post is part of the Scenic Weekends meme,
and also part of the Our Beautiful World meme,
and also part of the My Sunday Photo meme.






Saturday, 6 August 2016

SUNSET PALMS

Dunk Island in Queensland, Australia, fulfils all of the criteria for a tropical paradise, including the magical sunsets under the palms...

This post is part of the Skywatch Friday meme,
and also part of the Orange you Glad It's Friday meme,
and also part of the Saturday Silhouettes meme.

Friday, 5 August 2016

FRIDAY GREENS #83 - BILLIARDS

Welcome to this meme active every Friday. The theme is "Friday Greens" and you can post images, art, photos where the predominant colour is GREEN!
GREEN is the colour between blue and yellow in the spectrum; coloured like grass or emeralds.
English billiards, called simply billiards in Great Britain, where it originated, and in many former British colonies, is a cue sport for two players or teams. Two cue balls (originally both white and one marked e.g. with a black dot, but more recently one white, one yellow) and a red object ball are used. Each player or team uses a different cue ball. It is played on a billiards table with the same dimensions as a snooker table and points are scored for cannons and pocketing the balls. English billiards has also, but less frequently, been referred to as "the English game", "the all-in game" and (formerly) "the common game".
If you take part in this meme:
  • Please link back to this page from your blog, with the Friday Greens logo or link text;
  • In the spirit of community, please visit other participants to see their photos and leave a comment;
  • Say hello here in the comments box, which is always appreciated!

Thursday, 4 August 2016

MAGNOLIA IN FLOWER

Magnolia × soulangeana (saucer magnolia) is a hybrid plant in the genus Magnolia and family Magnoliaceae. It is a deciduous tree with large, early-blooming flowers in various shades of white, pink, and purple. It is one of the most commonly used magnolias in horticulture, being widely planted in the British Isles, especially in the south of England; in the United States, especially the east and west coasts, in the Southern parts of Australia and in New Zealand.

Magnolia × soulangeana was initially bred by French plantsman Étienne Soulange-Bodin (1774–1846), a retired cavalry officer in Napoleon's army, at his château de Fromont near Paris. He crossed Magnolia denudata with M. liliiflora in 1820, and was impressed with the resulting progeny's first precocious flowering in 1826. From France, the hybrid quickly entered cultivation in England and other parts of Europe, and also North America. Since then, plant breeders in many countries have continued to develop this magnolia, and over a hundred named horticultural varieties (cultivars) are now known.

Growing as a multistemmed large shrub or small tree, Magnolia × soulangeana has alternate, simple, shiny, dark green oval-shaped leaves on stout stems. Its flowers emerge dramatically on a bare tree in early spring, with the deciduous leaves expanding shortly thereafter, lasting through summer until autumn. Magnolia × soulangeana flowers are large, commonly 10–20 cm across, and coloured various shades of white, pink, and maroon.

An American variety, 'Grace McDade' from Alabama, is reported to bear the largest flowers, with a 35 cm, white tinged with pinkish-purple. Another variety, Magnolia × soulangeana 'Jurmag1', is supposed to have the darkest and tightest flowers. The exact timing and length of flowering varies between named varieties, as does the shape of the flower. Some are globular, others a cup-and-saucer shape.

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



Tuesday, 2 August 2016

SKOPELOS, GREECE

Skopelos (Greek: Σκόπελος) is a Greek island in the western Aegean Sea. Skopelos is one of several islands which comprise the Northern Sporades island group, which lies east of the Pelion peninsula on the mainland and north of the island of Euboea. It is part of the Thessaly region. Skopelos is also the name of the main port and the municipal centre of the island. The other communities of the island are Glossa and Neo Klima (Elios).

The geography of Skopelos includes two mountains over 500 m; Delphi (681 m) in the centre of the island, and Palouki (546 m) in the southeast. With an area of 96 square kilometres, Skopelos is slightly larger than Mykonos (85 km2) and Santorini (73 km2). The nearest inhabited islands are Skiathos to the west and Alonissos to the east.

According to legend, Skopelos was founded by Staphylos (Greek for grape), one of the sons of the god Dionysos and the princess Ariadne of Crete. Historically, in the Late Bronze Age the island, then known as Peparethos or Peparethus (Ancient Greek: Πεπάρηθος), was colonised by Cretans, who introduced viticulture to the island. Perhaps because of the legend of its founding by the son of the god of wine, the island was known throughout the ancient Greek cities of the Mediterranean Sea for its wine. The play "Philoctetes" (first performed at the Festival of Dionysus in 409 BC) by Sophocles includes a wine merchant lost on his way to "Peparethos, rich in grapes and wine".

The economy of Skopelos is now fully dependent on the tourism industry which supports construction and other development-related industries. Though tourism is greatest during the summer months, Skopelos is also a year round retirement destination for Northern Europeans. The popularity of the island with tourists increased due to the filming of "Mamma Mia!" on the island in September 2007.

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