Thursday, 17 June 2021

PANSY ORCHID

Miltonia, abbreviated Milt. in the horticultural trade, is an orchid genus formed by nine epiphyte species and eight natural hybrids inhabitants of the Brazilian Atlantic Forest, one species reaching the northeast of Argentina and east of Paraguay. This genus was established by John Lindley in 1837, when he described its type species, Miltonia spectabilis. Many species were attributed to Miltonia in the past, however, today, the species from Central America and from cooler areas on northwest of South America have been moved to other genera.

Miltonia species have large and long lasting flowers, often in multifloral inflorescences. This fact, allied to being species that are easy to grow and to identify, make them a favourite of orchid collectors all over the world. Species of this genus are extensively used to produce artificial hybrids. Despite the fact that Miltonia is now a well established genus, most of its species were originally classified under other genera as Cyrtochilum, Oncidium, Odontoglossum, and Brassia. All were discovered between 1834 and 1850 with the exception of M. kayasimae, discovered only in 1976. 

These epiphytic orchids occur from Central to Southern Brazil down to Argentina. They are named after Charles Wentworth-Fitzwilliam, 5th Earl Fitzwilliam, formerly Viscount Milton, an English orchid enthusiast. These orchids have two leaves, arising from a pseudobulbs, covered with a foliaceous sheath. The inflorescence consists of waxy, nonspurred flowers. The lip is large and flat and lacks a callus at its base. They possess a footless column with two hard pollinia. The flowers have a delicate, exotic scent, some compare to that of roses. The species in this genus are sometimes referred to as the "pansy orchids", but it is the Miltoniopsis orchids that have flowers that closely resemble the pansy. Almost everyone except for the most serious orchid hobbyists use the name pansy orchids interchangeably, which may cause confusion.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.


Wednesday, 16 June 2021

ROSE HIPS

Winter is with us and most roses have finished flowering. Rose hips are a welcome dash of colour.

This post is part of the Wordless Wednesday meme,
and also part of the My Corner of the World meme,
and also part of the Nature Notes meme.


Thursday, 10 June 2021

BUDDLEJA

Buddleja commonly known as the butterfly bush is a genus comprising over 100 species of flowering plants endemic to Asia, Africa, and the Americas, within the Buddlejaceae family. The generic name bestowed by Linnaeus posthumously honoured the Reverend Adam Buddle (1662–1715), a botanist and rector in Essex, England, at the suggestion of Dr. William Houstoun. Houstoun sent the first plants to become known to science as Buddleja (B. americana) to England from the Caribbean about 15 years after Buddle's death.

As garden shrubs Buddleja is essentially a 20th-century plant, with the exception of B. globosa which was introduced to Britain from southern Chile in 1774 and disseminated from the nursery of Lee and Kennedy, Hammersmith. Several species are popular garden plants, the species are commonly known as 'butterfly bushes' owing to their attractiveness to butterflies, and have become staples of the modern butterfly garden; they are also attractive to bees and moths. The most popular cultivated species is Buddleja davidii from central China, named for the French Basque missionary and naturalist Père Armand David.

This bush is flowering prematurely, misled perhaps by the fine, warm days we enjoyed before the cold, wet, stormy, wintry front that hit us two days ago.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme


Thursday, 3 June 2021

FIRST DAISY

Our weather has been very topsy-turvy these last few weeks, with much variation in temperature and precipitation. Our poor plants are a little confused: On the one hand, roses are blooming late, lingering until Winter's beginning, while lawn daisies have started to appear. Chrysanthemums ,are blooming at the same time as Spring bulbs and while plane trees are shedding yellow leaves, ash trees are blossoming!

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme




Friday, 28 May 2021

LUNAR ECLIPSE

A total lunar eclipse occurred in Melbourne on May 26th 2021. A total lunar eclipse happens when the Earth comes between the Sun and the Full Moon and blocks all of Sun's direct rays from lighting up the Moon. This can occur only when the Sun, Earth, and Moon are exactly or very closely aligned (in syzygy) with Earth between the other two, and only on the night of a full moon.

The type and length of a lunar eclipse depend on the Moon's proximity to either node of its orbit. A totally eclipsed Moon is sometimes called a blood moon for its reddish colour, which is caused by Earth completely blocking direct sunlight from reaching the Moon. The only light reflected from the lunar surface has been refracted by Earth's atmosphere. This light appears reddish for the same reason that a sunset or sunrise does: the Rayleigh scattering of bluer light.

Unlike a solar eclipse, which can only be viewed from a relatively small area of the world, a lunar eclipse may be viewed from anywhere on the night side of Earth. A total lunar eclipse can last up to nearly 2 hours, while a total solar eclipse lasts only up to a few minutes at any given place, because the Moon's shadow is smaller. Also unlike solar eclipses, lunar eclipses are safe to view without any eye protection or special precautions, as they are dimmer than the full Moon.

This post is part of thSkywatch Friday meme



Monday, 24 May 2021

URBAN ANIMALS

We live in a big metropolis of over five million people, and yet we are lucky to have many parks, parklands and nature reserves right in the midst of the urban area. Within walking distance of our house is the Darebin Parklands, which straddle Alphington and Ivanhoe, approximately 10 kilometres northeast of the City of Melbourne. Darebin Creek flows through the Parklands, to join the Yarra River, at Alphington.

Darebin Parklands comprises an area of approximately 40 hectares of urban bushland, containing much native flora and fauna. The park is highly accessible being both on a bus route and adjacent to the Hurstbridge railway line. The digital mosaic below shows some of the fauna inhabiting the park.

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


Monday, 17 May 2021

VICTORIAN TERRACES

Terraced houses in Australia refers almost exclusively to Victorian and Edwardian era terraced houses or replicas, almost always found in the older, inner city areas of the major cities, mainly Sydney and Melbourne. Terraced housing was introduced to Australia in the 19th century. Their architectural work was based on those in London and Paris, which had the style a century earlier.

Large numbers of terraced houses were built in the inner suburbs of large Australian cities, particularly Sydney and Melbourne, mainly between the 1850s and the 1890s. The beginning of this period coincided with a population boom caused by the Victorian and New South Wales Gold Rushes of the 1850s and finished with an economic depression in the early 1890s. Detached housing became the popular style of housing in Australia following Federation in 1901.

The generic Melbourne style of terrace is distinguishable from other regional variations, often reflecting the popularity of Italianate villa architecture in the city.  Many Victorian era Melbourne terraces are built on foundations of bluestone, a solid and porous local rock quarried from the volcanic plains to the north and west of the city, although it is rare to find terraces completely constructed of the material due to the difficulty to mould it.

The majority of designers of Victorian terraces in Melbourne made an effort to deliberately hide roof elements with the use of a decorative parapet, often combined with the use balustrades above a subtle but clearly defined eave cornice and a frieze which was either plain or decorated with a row of brackets (and sometimes additional patterned bas-relief. Chimneys were often tall, visible above the parapet and elaborately Italianate in style.

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


Friday, 14 May 2021

ANTARCTIC BLAST

We are in late Autumn, so colder weather and short days are to be expected. This week, we've had an Antarctic blast that caused leaden skies, wet weather and cold temperatures.

This post is part of the Skywatch Friday meme.


Sunday, 9 May 2021

OUTDOOR CAFÉ

Treating Mum to a lovely lunch on a sunny, mild Autumn day!

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!

This post is part of the My Sunday Best meme.