Monday, 24 February 2020

DOODLES

Just fooling around with some markers on a square grid.

This post is part of the Mosaic Monday meme,
and also part of the Blue Monday meme,
and also part of the Ruby Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Seasons meme.

Friday, 21 February 2020

SUNSET MILE HIGH

Snapped this on a flight from Sydney to Melbourne some time back. Sunset high up in the sky above the clouds is quite amazing! Worth getting a window seat if you can...

This post is part of the Skywatch Friday meme.

Thursday, 20 February 2020

FOTHERGILLA

Fothergilla ‘Mount Airy’ is a hybrid Fothergilla cultivar that was discovered by plantsman Michael A. Dirr at the Mt. Airy Arboretum in Cincinnati, Ohio. This is a vigorous deciduous shrub that grows 1.5 m tall and is noted for its profuse spring flowering, excellent summer foliage, excellent Autumn colour and consistently upright habit.

Terminal, bottlebrush-like spikes (2-5 cm long) of tiny, fragrant, apetulous, white flowers bloom in mid- to late Spring after the foliage emerges. Flower colour comes from the dense clusters of showy stamens (white filaments and yellowish anthers). Flowers have a honey-scented frangance. Leathery, ovate to obovate leaves (4-10 cm long) are dark green above and bluish gray beneath.

Foliage turns excellent shades of yellow, orange and red-purple in Autumn. Genus name honours Dr. John Fothergill, 18th century English physician and early collector of American plants. ‘Mount Airy’ may be a cross between two southeastern U. S. natives, F. gardenii and F. major. It is taller than the former but shorter than the latter.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.


Saturday, 15 February 2020

PONDERING...

This is one of the ponds at Latrobe University in Bundoora, Melbourne, Australia. At the weekends especially it is a great place for locals to meet and have fun - not to mention their dogs.

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




Friday, 14 February 2020

UBIRR SUNSET

Ubirr is within the East Alligator region of Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory of Australia, and is known for its rock art. It consists of a group of rock outcrops on the edge of the Nadab floodplain where there are several natural shelters that have a collection of Aboriginal rock paintings, some of which are many thousands of years old.

This post is part of the Skywatch Friday meme.

Thursday, 13 February 2020

BLACK CORAL PEA

Kennedia nigricans (Black Kennedia or Black Coral Pea) is a species of flowering plant in the family Fabaceae, endemic to the south-west of Western Australia. It is a vigorous climber which can spread up to 6 metres in diameter or 4 metres in height and has dark green leaflets that are about 15 cm long.

Distinctive black and yellow pea flowers are produced between July and November in its native range. The species was first formally described as Kennedya nigricans by John Lindley in 1835 in Edward's Botanical Register, where it was also labelled as Dingy Flowered Kennedya. A cultivar known as Kennedia nigricans 'Minstrel' was registered with the Australian Cultivar Registration Authority by Goldup Nursery of Mount Evelyn, Victoria in September 1985. This cultivar was selected from a batch of seedlings in 1983 and has a pale colouration instead of the yellow, which appears almost white.

This plant is noted for its vigour and can be used to cover embankments or unsightly structures. The species is adapted to a range of soils and prefers a sunny position. It is resistant to drought and has some frost tolerance. The species can be propagated by scarified seed or cuttings of semi-mature growth, while the cultivar requires propagation from cuttings to remain true to type.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Monday, 10 February 2020

FAÇADES

Many newly built apartment buildings and housing units are decorated in a casual,  industrial style. Good in accents here and there, but when it is overdone it is hideous.

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

Sunday, 9 February 2020

GILT STATUE

In January 1911, the Archbishop of Melbourne, Archbishop Carr appointed Fr Joseph King as founder and first parish priest of the new parish of Our Lady Help of Christians East Brunswick. Fr King celebrated the first Masses in the parish on 22 January 1911, on an altar made up of packing cases, in Excelsior Hall at 767 Nicholson Street. At a parish meeting 10 days later, on 1 February, a decision was taken to build a church-school on a block of land, bounded by Barkly, Dean and Holden Streets, which Archbishop Carr had given as a gift to the new parish. The Sisters of Mercy were appointed to teach at the school and the church-school building was blessed and opened on 5 November 1911.

The statue of Our Lady, on top of the church tower in East Brunswick was carved by a Sydney artist from Queensland beech wood, covered with copper and then gold leaf. The statue was blessed and installed in October 1918 when Mr W. (Tas) Lennox and assistants hoisted it to the top of the tower with a wooden crane. It was the first statue of its kind in honour of Our Lady Help of Christians to be erected in Australia.

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




Thursday, 6 February 2020

BOUGAINVILLEA

Bougainvillea in the Nyctaginaceae family is a genus of thorny ornamental vines, bushes, and trees with flower-like spring leaves near its flowers. Different authors accept between four and 18 species in the genus. They are native plants of South America from Brazil west to Perú and south to southern Argentina (Chubut Province). Bougainvillea are also known as Bugambilia (Mexico).

The vine species grow anywhere from 1 to 12 m tall, scrambling over other plants with their spiky thorns. The thorns are tipped with a black, waxy substance. They are evergreen where rainfall occurs all year, or deciduous if there is a dry season. The leaves are alternate, simple ovate-acuminate, 4–13 cm long and 2–6 cm broad. The actual flower of the plant is small and generally white, but each cluster of three flowers is surrounded by three or six bracts with the bright colours associated with the plant, including pink, magenta, purple, red, orange, white, or yellow.

Bougainvillea glabra is sometimes referred to as "paper flower" because the bracts are thin and papery. The species here illustrated is Bougainvillea spectabilis. The first European to describe these plants was Philibert Commerçon, a botanist accompanying French Navy admiral and explorer Louis Antoine de Bougainville (hence the generic name), during his voyage of circumnavigation, and first published for him by Antoine Laurent de Jussieu in 1789. It is possible that the first European to observe these plants was Jeanne Baré, Commerçon's lover and assistant whom he sneaked on board (despite regulations) disguised as a man (and who thus became the first woman to circumnavigate the globe).

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Tuesday, 4 February 2020

SORRENTO, ITALY

Sorrento (Neapolitan: Surriento) is a small town in Campania, southern Italy, with some 16,500 inhabitants. It is a popular tourist destination which can be reached easily from Naples and Pompeii, as it lies at the south-eastern end of the Circumvesuviana rail line. The town overlooks the Bay of Naples as the key place of the Sorrentine Peninsula, and many viewpoints allow sight of Naples itself, Vesuvius and the Isle of Capri.

The Amalfi Drive (connecting Sorrento and Amalfi) is a narrow road that threads along the high cliffs above the Tyrrhenian Sea (we drove along there and it is not a drive for the faint-hearted!). Ferry boats and hydrofoils provide services to Naples, Amalfi, Positano, Capri and Ischia. Sorrento's sea cliffs and luxury hotels have attracted notable people, including Enrico Caruso and Luciano Pavarotti. Sorrento is famous for the production of limoncello, a digestive liqueur made from lemon rinds, alcohol, water and sugar. Other agricultural production includes citrus fruit, wine, nuts and olives. Wood craftsmanship is also well-developed.

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.

Thursday, 23 January 2020

BLACKWOOD WATTLE

Acacia melanoxylon (Australian blackwood, black wattle, blackwood wattle, mudgerabah), is a tree up to 20 m high, with a bole of about 150 cm in diameter. The bark on older trunks is dark greyish-black in colour, deeply fissured and somewhat scaly. Younger branches are ribbed, angular, or flattened towards their tips and are greenish in colour. These branchlets are usually mostly hairless (glabrous or glabrescent), but the stems of younger plants are sometimes more obviously hairy (densely pubescent).

The pale yellow, cream or whitish coloured flowers are fluffy in appearance due to the presence of numerous stamens. They are densely arranged into small rounded clusters (5-10 mm across), each containing numerous (30-56) flowers. Each individual flower in this cluster is stalkless (sessile) and has five relatively inconspicuous petals and sepals. The flower clusters are borne on stalks (peduncles) 5-14 mm long and are alternately arranged on a short branch (6-40 mm long) emanating from a 'leaf' fork (phyllode axil). These compound flower clusters (axillary racemes) generally contain only 2-8 of the small globular flower clusters. Flowering can occur throughout the year.

Acacia melanoxylon is cultivated in forestry plantings as it is used for lumber, fuelwood and also in amenity plantings. The wood is used for light construction, tool handles, turnery and fence posts. It is used as a nurse tree in the rehabilitation of disturbed natural forests.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Sunday, 19 January 2020

CLIVIA FRUIT

As the days shorten, Summer is beginning to decline and fruit is setting in preparation for Autumn.

Clivia nobilis (green-tip forest lily), is a species of flowering plant in the genus Clivia, of the family Amaryllidaceae, native to South Africa. It grows to about 38 cm. It has evergreen strap-shaped leaves, and bears pendant umbels of multiple narrow, trumpet-shaped, red and yellow flowers, tipped with green. At a minimum temperature of 10 °C, in temperate regions it is normally cultivated as a houseplant.

Like its relative C. miniata It has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit (confirmed 2017). Charlotte Percy (née Clive), Duchess of Northumberland (1787–1866), governess of Queen Victoria, was the first to cultivate the plant in the United Kingdom and bring it to flower. The whole genus was subsequently named after the Duchess.

This post is part of the My Sunday Best meme.

Thursday, 16 January 2020

LEUCADENDRON

Leucadendron is a genus of about 80 species of flowering plants in the family Proteaceae, endemic to South Africa, where they are a prominent part of the fynbos ecoregion and vegetation type. Species in the genus Leucadendron are small trees or shrubs that are erect or creeping. Most species are shrubs that grow up to 1 m tall, some to 2 or 3 m. A few grow into moderate-sized trees up to 16 m tall. All are evergreen.

The leaves are largely elliptical, sometimes needle-like, spirally arranged, simple, entire, and usually green, often covered with a waxy bloom, and in the case of the Silvertree, with a distinct silvery tone produced by dense, straight, silky hairs. This inspired the generic name Leucadendron, which literally means "white tree". The flowers are produced in dense inflorescences at the branch tips; plants are dioecious, with separate male and female plants. The seed heads, or infructescences, of Leucadendron are woody cone-like structures. This gave rise to their generic common name cone-bush. The cones contain numerous seeds. The seed morphology is varied and reflects subgeneric groupings within the genus.

Shown here is Leucadendron salignum 'Fireglow'. It has red-tipped, green foliage, with masses of red flower bracts from early autumn to early spring. It prefers a well drained, acidic soil and will tolerate light frosts, as well as coastal conditions. Prune after flowering and fertilise with an acidic fertiliser sparingly. This plant has a moderate water requirement once established. These flowers bracts make excellent cut flowers. The plants compact nature makes it ideal for small hedges, general landscaping, and looks fantastic in decorative pots.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Thursday, 9 January 2020

ROSA 'JUST JOEY'

Rosa 'Just Joey' was bred by Cants of Colchester, United Kingdom, in 1972. It was named for the wife of the Managing Director of Cants of Colchester, Joey Pawsey. This Hybrid Tea rose performs well throughout Australia and there are many fine specimens in Melbourne gardens, beginning with ours, where we have no less than four bushes of this variety!

The plant is vigorous and grows well, achieving a height of 1.5 m and width of 1.2 m. Flowers are borne one per stem and can be of an impressive size (up to 20cm in Spring and Autumn, slightly smaller during Summer). The bush is disease and heat resistant and tends to survive well with a little care.

The flower is an eye-catching ripe apricot colour with a loose, informal display of pretty frilled petals. Probably its most seductive feature is its intense, spicy fragrance which will quickly fill a room, when a bunch is placed in a vase. This perfume is inherited from its parents (Fragrant Cloud x Dr. A.J. Verhage) also renowned for their strong scent. It has been awarded the Royal Horticultural Society Award of Merit 1993 and World’s Favourite Rose 1994.When introduced, its colour and size of flowers were considered breakthroughs. This lovely rose is readily available and will reward and delight any rose lover!

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Friday, 3 January 2020

SUNRISE

“What breaks in daybreak? Is it the night? Is it the sun, cracked in two by the horizon like an egg, spilling out light?” ― Margaret Atwood

This post is part of the Skywatch Friday meme.

Thursday, 2 January 2020

WARATAH

Telopea speciosissima or the “waratah” is a native Australian plant with spectacular flowers. Robert Brown (1773-1858) named the genus Telopea in 1810 from specimens collected in the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney. Sir James Smith (1759-1828), a noted botanist and founder of the Linnaean Society in England, wrote in 1793: 'The most magnificent plant which the prolific soil of New Holland affords is, by common consent, both of Europeans and Natives, the Waratah. It is moreover a favourite with the latter, upon account of a rich honeyed juice which they sip from its flowers'.

The generic name Telopea is derived from the Greek 'telopos', meaning 'seen from afar', and refers to the great distance from which the crimson flowers are discernible. The specific name speciosissima is the superlative of the Latin adjective 'speciosus', meaning 'beautiful' or 'handsome'. 'Waratah', the Aboriginal name for the species, was adopted by early settlers at Port Jackson.

Telopea is an eastern Australian genus of four species. Two are confined to New South Wales, one to Tasmania and one extends from eastern Victoria into New South Wales. Telopea belongs to the family, Proteaceae, which is predominantly Australian and southern African. The Waratah is a stout, erect shrub which may grow to 4 metres. The dark green leathery leaves, 13-25 cm in length, are arranged alternately and tend to be coarsely toothed. The flowers are grouped in rounded heads 7 to 10 cm in diameter surrounded by crimson bracts, about 5 to 7 cm long. It flowers from September to November and nectar-seeking birds act as pollinators. Large winged seeds are released when the brown leathery pods split along one side.

The species is fairly widespread on the central coast and adjoining mountains of New South Wales, occurring from the Gibraltar Range, north of Sydney, to Conjola in the south. It grows mainly in the shrub understorey in open forest developed on sandstone and adjoining volcanic formations, from sea level to above 1000 metres in the Blue Mountains. Soils within its range tend to be sandy and low in plant nutrients. Rainfall is moderately high. Waratah plants resist destruction by bushfires, a natural element of their habitat, by regenerating from the rootstock. Flowering recommences two years after a moderate fire.

The Waratah is a spectacular garden subject in suitable soil and climate; it flowers prolifically and tends to be long-lived. The Waratah occurs naturally in at least ten national parks in the geological formation, know as the Sydney Basin. Brisbane Water, Dharug and Macquarie Pass National Parks are among the areas where this species is conserved. Waratahs are cultivated north of Sydney and in the Dandenong Ranges, Victoria. They are grown in Israel, New Zealand and Hawaii for the cut flower trade. It was introduced to England in 1789 but cannot survive English winters out of doors except in the south-west coastal regions, and it rarely flowers in glasshouses. It is also cultivated in California.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.