Friday, 26 May 2017

TREE DAHLIA

Dahlia imperialis or Bell tree dahlia is an 8-10 metre tall member of the Dahlia genus native to Mexico, Central America and Colombia. It is a plant of the uplands and mountains, occurring at elevations of 1,500–1,700 metres, and its leaves are used as a dietary supplement by the Q'eqchi' people of San Pedro Carchá in Alta Verapaz, Guatemala.

It is a tuberous, herbaceous perennial, rapidly growing from the base after a dormant winter period, developing brittle, cane-like, 4-angled stems with swollen nodes and large tripinnate leaves, those near the ground soon being shed. The pendant or nodding flowerheads are 75-150mm across with ray florets lavender or mauvish-pink in colour.

This species is fast-growing, the growth spurt being linked to shorter daylight hours, and usually comes into flower in autumn before the first frost. Propagation is by seed or by stem cuttings of some 30 cm long having at least two nodes, laid horizontally below the soil.

Some Dahlia species were brought from Mexico to Europe in the 16th century. D. imperialis was first described in 1863 by Benedikt Roezl (1823–1885), the great Czech orchid collector and traveller, who, ten years later in 1872–73, went on his odyssey through the Americas.

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

Thursday, 25 May 2017

WHITE & PINK PROTEA

Protea is both the botanical name and the English common name of a genus of South African flowering plants, sometimes also called sugarbushes (Afrikaans: suikerbos). In local tradition, the Protea flower represents change and hope.

The family Proteaceae to which proteas belong is an ancient one among angiosperms. Evidence from pollen fossils suggest Proteaceae ancestors grew in Gondwana, in the Upper Cretaceous, 75-80 million years ago. The Proteaceae are divided into two subfamilies: the Proteoideae, best represented in southern Africa, and the Grevilleoideae, concentrated in Australia and South America and the other smaller segments of Gondwana that are now part of eastern Asia. Africa shares only one genus with Madagascar, whereas South America and Australia share many common genera — this indicates they separated from Africa before they separated from each other.

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




Wednesday, 24 May 2017

THE TIGER

The Tiger

The tiger striped ’s a grand old sight
In the jungle, golden bright:
“Tiger, linger here a while
Let me see you grin and smile…”

“Foolish child, leave, don’t get me riled
Don’t you know a tiger’s savage, wild?”
And the animal withdrew
With adroitness it shot through.

“Tiger, dear, why are you in such haste,
Stay, for you cannot be replaced.”
And the child did so hard plead
That the beast returned to feed…

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.

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

TALLINN, ESTONIA

Tallinn is the capital and largest city of Estonia. It occupies an area of 159.2 km2 with a population of about 420,000 people. It is situated on the northern coast of the country, on the banks of the Gulf of Finland, 80 km south of Helsinki, east of Stockholm and west of Saint Petersburg.

Tallinn's Old Town is in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and has some amazingly preserved buildings that are centuries old. 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, Finland. The city was known as Reval from the 13th century until the 1920s.

Toompea – the Upper Town was once a separate town (Dom zu Reval), the residence of the Chivalry of Estonia, Roman Catholic bishops of Tallinn (until 1561) and Lutheran superintendents of Estonia, occupying an easily defensible site overlooking the surrounding districts. The major attractions are the walls and various bastions of Castrum Danorum, the Russian Orthodox Alexander Nevsky Cathedral (built during the period of Russian Empire, the church was built on a site that formerly housed a statue of Martin Luther) and the Lutheran Cathedral (Toomkirik) and the old Estonian Royal Palace now the Parliament building.

All-linn – the Lower Town is one of the best preserved old towns in Europe and the authorities are continuing its rehabilitation. Major sights include Raekoja plats (Town Hall square), the town walls and towers (notably "Fat Margaret" and "Kiek in de Kök") and St Olaf church tower (124 m). The modern city that surrounds the medieval Old City is undergoing a wave of renovations, demolitions and upgrades.

We visited Tallinn when we were staying in Helsinki in 2001 and an excellent ferry service connects the two cities, with many tourists (and shoppers!) from Finland visiting the Estonian capital. I daresay that prices would have gone up somewhat now in Estonia and the shopping trips may not be as attractive to the Finns.

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,
and also part of the ABC Wednesday meme.















Sunday, 21 May 2017

MILLIPEDE

Millipedes are a group of arthropods that are characterised by having two pairs of jointed legs on most body segments; they are known scientifically as the class Diplopoda, the name being derived from this feature. Each double-legged segment is a result of two single segments fused together.

Most millipedes have very elongated cylindrical or flattened bodies with more than 20 segments, while pill millipedes are shorter and can roll into a ball. Although the name "millipede" derives from the Latin for "thousand feet", no known species has 1,000; the record of 750 legs belongs to Illacme plenipes.

There are approximately 12,000 named species classified into 16 orders and around 140 families, making Diplopoda the largest class of myriapods, an arthropod group which also includes centipedes and other multi-legged creatures.

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

Thursday, 18 May 2017

BLUE LITHODORA

Lithodora diffusa ‘Grace Ward’ (also called blue lithospermum, USDA Zone: 5-9) in the Boraginaceae family is a choice groundcover or rock garden plant, making an unforgettable display when grown well. Plants form a low, creeping mat of hairy dark-green leaves, studded with sapphire-blue star flowers from late spring through summer.

Plants must have a well-drained, acidic soil in order to thrive. Heavy clay soils are sure death. In colder regions this plant will benefit from a light covering of evergreen boughs as soon as the soil is frozen in late Autumn. Combines well with heaths and heathers, since plants have similar requirements. Evergreen where hardy, but not especially vigorous.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.


Wednesday, 17 May 2017

THE SNAKE

The Snake

The sinuous snake, it slithers, slides
It rises up and rears and will go: “Hissssss!”
With elegance and with such grace it glides,
Like dancer, or a prim young missssss

Yet many there are, who serpents detest,
And snakes will often get bad pressssss;
O slippery beast, you are no pest,
Snake, your poor image must you adressssss.

The snake serves well in nature’s wise design –
Without him who to blame for Eden’s lossssss?
What would Cleopatra do to meet her deadline?
How outer space would Little Prince crossssss?

A snake is friendly, a serpent’s kind,
One bite and one is dead without much fussssss
But if we let it play its other roles assigned,
It will do so merrily, and not bother ussssss.

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.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

THESSALONIKI, GREECE

Thessaloniki, (also known as Salonika or Saloniki) is Greece's second largest city with a population of ≈800,000 people. It has given Greece some of its greatest musicians, artists, poets and thinkers. It has some of the most beautiful beaches and has some of the finest hotels and best restaurants in northern Greece. It is home to the Thessaloniki Film Festival and the International Trade Fair and host to many cultural events, with theatres, museums and many historical sites.

The "White Tower" (Lefkós Pírgos) is the most famous landmark of Thessaloniki. The present tower replaced an old Byzantine fortification which was mentioned around the 12th century and reconstructed by the Ottomans to fortify the city's harbour, it became a notorious prison and scene of mass executions during the period of Ottoman rule. It was substantially remodelled and its exterior was whitewashed after Greece gained control of the city in 1912. It has been adopted as the symbol of the city.

The Ladadika (Oil warehouse) quarter is located at the west side of the port. In the past, this was a neighbourhood of ill-repute, but today it is considered as one of the best nightlife spots in Thessaloniki. It is an old quarter, with narrow paved streets and neoclassical buildings. Some abandoned houses can be found there, while some others have been restored and host cafeterias and restaurants

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, 14 May 2017

BOUQUET FOR MUM

Mother's Day is a celebration of all the mothers in the world, honouring the mother of the person, as well as motherhood, maternal bonds, and the influence of mothers in society. It is celebrated on various days in many parts of the world, most commonly in the months of March or May. It complements similar celebrations honouring family members, such as Father's Day, Siblings Day, and Grandparents Day. In Australia we celebrate Mother's Day on the second Sunday in May, May 14 in 2017.

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

Saturday, 13 May 2017

WABBIT

Walking down Smith St Fitzroy and window shopping...

This post is part of the Weekend Reflections meme,
and also part of the Saturday Critters meme.

Friday, 12 May 2017

PERSIMMON TREE

The persimmon is the edible fruit of a number of species of trees in the genus Diospyros. Diospyros is in the family Ebenaceae, and other members of the genus are grown for ebony timber. The most widely cultivated species is the Oriental or Japanese persimmon, Diospyros kaki.

This post is part of the Orange you Glad It's Friday meme,
and also part of the Friday Photo Journal.

Thursday, 11 May 2017

RED HIBISCUS

Hibiscus is a genus of flowering plants in the mallow family, Malvaceae. It is quite large, containing several hundred species that are native to warm-temperate, subtropical and tropical regions throughout the world. Member species are often noted for their showy flowers and are commonly known simply as hibiscus, or less widely known as rose mallow. The genus includes both annual and perennial herbaceous plants, as well as woody shrubs and small trees.

The generic name is derived from the Greek word ἱβίσκος (hibískos), which was the name Pedanius Dioscorides (ca. 40–90) gave to Althaea officinalis. Hibiscus rosa-sinensis shown here, was probably native to Southern China and south-east Asia, then spread to the Pacific Islands long before Europeans reached that part of the world. Today it is very popular as an ornamental plant in most warm countries, and the original red flowered plant has undergone tremendous development. Hundreds of cultivars are now available, with double and semi-double flowers in all colours except true blues and purples.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.



Wednesday, 10 May 2017

RABBITS & RATS

Rabbits and Rats

Vermin is such an ugly word
Often inelegantly applied:
But rodents, rats and rabbits furred
Justly in such category reside.

Rabbits run riot, ruin the land of Oz,
Their presence here we hate, deplore;
Rats, mice and rodents in their little paws
Carry disease and germs galore.

Oh, rabbit, how you pullulate and throng,
With mien so meek and cute and mild…
And yet in Oz you don’t belong
Destroying our plants, ousting fauna wild.

Oh, rat, you wretched gnawing beast,
With beady eyes and long tail sleek,
On our provisions do you fete and feast
Then happily you scurry, hide and squeak.

And yet such vermin do we keep as pets,
Rats, mice and rabbits and such pests;
Everyone loves and fondles and forgets
That such cute animals are unwelcome guests…

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.

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

RAJGHAT OF GANDHI, DELHI

Raj Ghat ("King's River Bank") is a memorial to Mahatma Gandhi. It is a black marble platform that marks the spot of Mahatma Gandhi's cremation, Antyesti (Antim Sanskar) on 31 January 1948, a day after his assassination. It is left open to the sky while an eternal flame burns perpetually at one end. It is located on the banks of the river Yamuna in Delhi in India on Ring Road officially known as Mahatma Gandhi Road.

A stone footpath flanked by lawns leads to the walled enclosure that houses the memorial. The memorial has the epitaph Hē Ram, (literally 'O' Ram', but also translated to 'O God'), believed to be the last words uttered by Gandhi. The memorial was designed by Vanu G. Bhuta. It was originally designed to reflect the simplicity of Mahatma Gandhi's life. The design that won the government of India invitational competition had the black marble slab surrounded by red earth as none of Gandhiji's ashram residences had any "English lawn". 

The memorial has gone through a number of design changes since then, a few at the behest of Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of independent India.In recent years, it has become customary for foreign dignitaries visiting India to pay their respects to Gandhi at the Raj Ghat by laying flowers or wreaths on the platform. As a sign of respect, visitors are required to remove footwear before approaching the memorial. A commemorative ceremony is held every Friday. Prayer sessions are held at the Raj Ghat on Gandhi's birth and death anniversaries. It is a truly wonderful monument to a great man, and was one of the highlights of our 2004 trip to India.

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.






Sunday, 7 May 2017

PARLIAMENT BUILDING

The Victorian State Parliament Building in Melbourne.

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.


Friday, 5 May 2017

AUTUMN GREENS

As we have had quite a lot of rain lately and relatively mild temperatures, a walk in the Parklands will reveal a wealth of green, lush new growth as shown here in this merged image.

This post is part of the Weekend Green meme.