Thursday, 19 July 2018

GOLDEN WATTLE

Acacia pycnantha, Golden Wattle, is a shrub or small tree about 4 to 8 metres tall. The specific name pycnantha from the Greek 'pyknos', meaning 'dense', and 'anthos', meaning 'a flower', refers to the dense clusters of flowers. In late winter/early spring large fluffy golden-yellow flower-heads with up to eighty minute sweetly scented flowers provide a vivid contrast with the foliage.

Golden Wattle occurs in the understorey of open forest or woodland and in open scrub formations in South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory, in temperate regions with mean annual rainfall of 350 mm to 1000 mm. It regenerates freely after fires, which usually kill the parent plants but stimulate the germination of seeds stored in the soil if rain follows soon after.

The brilliant yellow, fragrant flowers of Golden Wattle make it a popular garden plant. It is moderately frost tolerant and grows well in a wide range of soils provided drainage is effective, but tends to be short-lived in cultivation. It is easily propagated from seed soaked in hot water to break the hard seed coat, and the seedlings can be transplanted to pots of soil mix for growing on before planting out in a lightly shaded or open position.

The adoption of the Golden Wattle as the Australian national flower tends to be confirmed by its introduction into the design of the Australian armorial bearings on the recommendation of the Rt Hon. Andrew Fisher, Prime Minister of Australia, when the Commonwealth Armorial Ensigns and Supporters were granted by Royal Warrant on 19 September 1912. Acacia pycnantha enjoyed popular acceptance as Australia's national flower for much of this century but it was not proclaimed as the national floral emblem until 1988, the year of Australia's bicentenary.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.



Wednesday, 18 July 2018

BARK

bark | bɑːk | noun [archaic or literary]
A ship or boat.

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

Tuesday, 17 July 2018

FREMANTLE, WESTERN AUSTRALIA

Fremantle is a city in Western Australia, located at the mouth of the Swan River. Fremantle Harbour serves as the port of Perth, the state capital. Fremantle was the first area settled by the Swan River colonists in 1829. It was declared a city in 1929, and has a population of approximately 25,000.The city is named after Captain Charles Howe Fremantle, the English naval officer who had pronounced possession of Western Australia and who established a camp at the site. The city contains well-preserved 19th-century buildings and other heritage features. The Western Australian vernacular diminutive for Fremantle is Freo.

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.








Monday, 16 July 2018

CHRISTMAS IN JULY

Christmas in July is a Christmas celebration held in the month of July, the nature of which differs by hemisphere.

In the Southern Hemisphere, seasons are in reverse to the Northern Hemisphere, with summer falling in December, January, and February, and with winter falling in June, July, and August. Therefore, in some southern hemisphere countries, such as Australia, Comoros, Madagascar, Bolivia, Angola, French Polynesia, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Samoa and South Africa, Christmas in July or Midwinter Christmas events are undertaken in order to have Christmas with a winter feel in common with the northern hemisphere. These countries still celebrate Christmas on December 25, in their summer, like the northern hemisphere.

Our local pub organises a Christmas in July event with traditional Christmas fare, Christmas decorations, carols, Santa and blazing fires in the fireplaces!

This post is part of the Mosaic Monday meme,
and also part of the Through my Lens meme,
and also part of the Seasons meme.

Saturday, 14 July 2018

COOL CAT

It's Winter, it was sitting out in the cold...

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

Friday, 13 July 2018

SUNSET

In one of Melbourne's parks near Werribee.

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

Thursday, 12 July 2018

ORIENTAL LILIES

Lilium (members of which are true lilies) is a genus of herbaceous flowering plants in the Liliaceae family growing from bulbs, all with large prominent flowers. Lilies are a group of flowering plants which are important in culture and literature in much of the world. Most species are native to the temperate northern hemisphere, though their range extends into the northern subtropics. Many other plants have "lily" in their common name but are not related to true lilies.

Oriental lilies seen here, are based on hybrids within Lilium section Archelirion, specifically Lilium auratum and Lilium speciosum, together with crossbreeds from several species native to Japan, including Lilium nobilissimum, Lilium rubellum, Lilium alexandrae, and Lilium japonicum. They are fragrant, and the flowers tend to be outward facing. Plants tend to be tall, and the flowers may be quite large. The whole group are sometimes referred to as "stargazers" because many of them appear to look upwards.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

AUSTRALIA

Australia (officially known as the Commonwealth of Australia), is an Oceanian country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area. Neighbouring countries include Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and East Timor to the north; the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu to the north-east; and New Zealand to the south-east.

For about 50,000 years before the first British settlement in the late 18th century, Australia was inhabited by indigenous Australians, who spoke languages grouped into roughly 250 language groups. After the European discovery of the continent by Dutch explorers in 1606, Australia's eastern half was claimed by Great Britain in 1770 and initially settled through penal transportation to the colony of New South Wales from 26 January 1788. The population grew steadily in subsequent decades; the continent was explored and an additional five self-governing crown colonies were established.

On 1 January 1901, the six colonies federated, forming the Commonwealth of Australia. Since federation, Australia has maintained a stable liberal democratic political system that functions as a federal parliamentary democracy and constitutional monarchy comprising six states and several territories. The population of 24 million is highly urbanised and heavily concentrated in the eastern states and on the coast. Australia is a developed country and one of the wealthiest in the world, with the world's 12th-largest economy. In 2014 Australia had the world's fifth-highest per capita income. Australia's military expenditure is the world's 13th-largest.

With the second-highest human development index globally, Australia ranks highly in many international comparisons of national performance, such as quality of life, health, education, economic freedom, and the protection of civil liberties and political rights. Australia is a member of the United Nations, G20, Commonwealth of Nations, ANZUS, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), World Trade Organisation, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, and the Pacific Islands Forum. Here is my photographic tour of our country, through the major urban centres and a taste of the Outback.

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










Sunday, 8 July 2018

WINTRY MORNING

A sunny but very cold Winter morning will not deter dedicated dog walkers in our local park... People are cold but the dogs love it!

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.



Saturday, 7 July 2018

NOISY MINER

The noisy miner (Manorina melanocephala) is a bird in the honeyeater family, Meliphagidae, and is endemic to eastern and south-eastern Australia. This miner is a grey bird, with a black head, orange-yellow beak and feet, a distinctive yellow patch behind the eye and white tips on the tail feathers. Males, females and juveniles are similar in appearance, though young birds are a brownish-grey.

As the common name suggests, the noisy miner is a vocal species with a large range of songs, calls, scoldings and alarms, and almost constant vocalisations particularly from young birds. Noisy miners are gregarious and territorial; they forage, bathe, roost, breed and defend territory communally, forming colonies that can contain several hundred birds. Each bird has an 'activity space' and birds with overlapping activity spaces form associations called 'coteries', the most stable units within the colony. The birds also form temporary flocks called 'coalitions' for specific activities such as mobbing a predator.

Foraging in the canopy of trees and on trunks and branches and on the ground, the noisy miner mainly eats nectar, fruit and insects. Most time is spent gleaning the foliage of eucalypts, and it can meet most of its nutritional needs from manna, honeydew and lerp gathered from the foliage. This bird was feeding on a beautiful yellow grevillea, which is currently in full bloom in Melbourne.

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




Thursday, 5 July 2018

JONQUILS

Narcissus jonquilla (Jonquil, Rush daffodil) is a bulbous flowering plant, a species of Narcissus (daffodil) that is native to southwestern Europe and northern Africa, but has naturalised throughout Europe and the United States. It bears long, narrow, rush-like leaves (hence the name "jonquil", Spanish junquillo, from the Latin juncus = "rush"). It is in the Amaryllidaceae family of plants.

In Spring it bears heads of up to 5 scented yellow or white flowers. It is a parent of numerous varieties within Division 7 of the horticultural classification. Division 7 in the Royal Horticultural Society classification of Narcissus includes N. jonquilla and N. apodanthus hybrids and cultivars that show clear characteristics of those two species. N. jonquilla has been cultivated since the 18th century in France as the strongest of the Narcissus species used in Narcissus Oil, a component of many modern perfumes.

Like other members of their family, narcissi produce a number of different alkaloids, which provide some protection for the plant, but may be poisonous if accidentally ingested. This property has been exploited for medicinal use in traditional healing and has resulted in the production of galantamine for the treatment of Alzheimer's dementia.

We are seeing all sorts of narcissi blooming in Melbourne at the moment.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

ZINNIA

Zinnia is a genus of 20 species of annual and perennial plants of the family Asteraceae. They are native to scrub and dry grassland in an area stretching from the Southwestern United States to South America, with a centre of diversity in Mexico. Members of the genus are notable for their solitary long-stemmed flowers that come in a variety of bright colours. The name honours genus German botanist Johann Gottfried Zinn (1727–59).

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, 3 July 2018

WINTER IN WALHALLA

Walhalla is a small town in Victoria, about 180 kilometres east of the state capital Melbourne. It is located in the Great Dividing Range, in the steep Stringers Creek valley, approximately four kilometres upstream of the creek's junction with the Thomson River. The area around the town is designated as an historic area which then adjoins the Baw Baw National Park. It was founded as a gold-mining community in early 1863 and at its peak home to around 2,500 residents.

Today, the town has a population of fewer than 20 permanent residents, though it has a large proportion of houses owned as weekenders. It attracts large numbers of tourists and is a major focus of the regional tourism industry. The town's name is taken from an early gold mine in the area, named for the German hall of fame, the Walhalla temple (Valhalla from Norse legend). Gold mining was already becoming largely unprofitable in the early 20th century and the last of the major mines closed in 1914. With the disappearance of the main industry in town, the bulk of the population soon left. Until the growth of the tourist industry in the 1970s and 80s, Walhalla survived as a ghost town for most of the twentieth century. 

Several major public buildings including the Mechanics Institute and Star Hotel were destroyed in two fire events in 1944 and 1951 and a number of buildings were destroyed without being rebuilt. The school closed in 1965 and further fires, floods and neglect slowly chipped away at the remains of the town. Since around 1977, Walhalla has experienced something of a renaissance with a booming tourist industry and the restoration or reconstruction of numerous historical buildings in the town, including the Star Hotel, Mechanics Institute, Windsor House, Elliott's Bakery and reconstruction of the Thomson–Walhalla section of the former narrow-gauge railway.

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.










Monday, 2 July 2018

SNOWY

This is a composite image made up of four different photos separated by a great distance and a long time. The common theme is Winter snow...

This post is part of the Mosaic Monday meme,
and also part of the Through my Lens meme,
and also part of the Seasons meme.