Saturday, 30 June 2018

FOX

Walking through the Darebin Parklands, I had a glimpse of a fox in the far distance (probably hard to see in the first photo). A little difficult to catch the scurrying animal standing still and the distance too grey, so the photos aren't that good...

European foxes can be found on most of the Australian continent where they represent a very successful invasive species. Foxes were introduced to Australia in the mid-1800s for sport hunting and in about 100 years spread to most of the continent. Recently, foxes have also been introduced into Tasmania but efforts are already underway to eliminate foxes from this island.

Foxes have had a major impact on the Australian fauna, predating on ground nesting birds, mammals and reptiles. Moreover foxes compete with Australian native animals for food and habitat and can act as a reservoir of disease for wildlife and domestic animals.

They are very common in Melbourne, but are seldom seen as they are shy, nocturnal and prefer areas with low human disturbance and buildings without domestic dogs. Foxes select areas infested with exotic weeds (fennel, blackberry and African thistle) as shelter during the daytime and these also have low human disturbance. The Darebin Parklands are an ideal site, but this is the first time I have seen a fox.

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




Friday, 29 June 2018

Thursday, 28 June 2018

CYCLAMEN

Cyclamen is a genus of 23 species of perennial flowering plants in the family Primulaceae. Cyclamen species are native to Europe and the Mediterranean Basin east to Iran, with one species in Somalia. They grow from tubers and are valued for their flowers with upswept petals and variably patterned leaves. It was traditionally classified in the family Primulaceae, was reclassified in the family Myrsinaceae in 2000, and finally, in 2009 with the introduction of the APG III system, was returned to the subfamily Myrsinoideae within the family Primulaceae.

The cyclamen commonly sold by florists is Cyclamen persicum, which is frost-tender. Selected cyclamen cultivars can have white, bright pink, red or purple flowers. While flowering, florists' cyclamens should be kept below 20 °C, with the night time temperatures preferably between 6.5–15 °C. Temperatures above 20 °C may induce the plant to go dormant.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday, 27 June 2018

YARROW

Achillea millefolium, commonly known as yarrow or common yarrow, is a flowering plant in the family Asteraceae. It is native to temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere in Asia, Europe, and North America. It has been introduced as a feed for live stock in places like New Zealand and Australia. However, it is a weed in those places and sometimes also in its native regions.

In New Mexico and southern Colorado, it is called plumajillo (Spanish for 'little feather') from its leaf shape and texture. In antiquity, yarrow was known as herba militaris, for its use in stanching the flow of blood from wounds. Other common names for this species include gordaldo, nosebleed plant, old man's pepper, devil's nettle, sanguinary, milfoil, soldier's woundwort, thousand-leaf, and thousand-seal.

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

Tuesday, 26 June 2018

BRISBANE POSTCARDS

Brisbane is the capital and most populous city in the Australian state of Queensland and the third most populous city in Australia. Brisbane's metropolitan area has a population of approximately 2.3 million, and the South East Queensland urban conurbation, centred around Brisbane, encompasses a population of more than 3 million. The Brisbane central business district stands on the original European settlement and is situated inside a bend of the Brisbane River, approximately 23 km from its mouth at Moreton Bay.

The metropolitan area extends in all directions along the floodplain of the Brisbane River valley between the bay and the Great Dividing Range. While the metropolitan area is governed by several municipalities, a large portion of central Brisbane is governed by the Brisbane City Council, which is by far Australia's largest Local Government Area by population. Brisbane is named after the river on which it sits, which, in turn, was named after Scotsman Sir Thomas Brisbane, the Governor of New South Wales from 1821 to 1825.

The first European settlement in Queensland was a penal colony at Redcliffe, 28 kilometres north of the Brisbane central business district, in 1824. That settlement was soon abandoned and moved to North Quay in 1825. Free settlers were permitted from 1842. Brisbane was chosen as the capital when Queensland was proclaimed a separate colony from New South Wales in 1859.

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, 25 June 2018

SHADOW BOX

A photo-collage mosaic created in layers in Photoshop.

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

Sunday, 24 June 2018

ULURU, AUSTRALIA

Uluru, also known as Ayers Rock, is a large sandstone rock formation in the southern part of the Northern Territory, central Australia. It lies 335 km south west of the nearest large town, Alice Springs, 450 km by road. Kata Tjuta and Uluru are the two major features of the Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa National Park. The sandstone formation stands 348 m high, rising 863 m above sea level with most of its bulk lying underground, and has a total circumference of 9.4 km.

Uluru has immense cultural significance and is sacred to the Anangu, the Aboriginal people of the area. The area around the formation is home to a plethora of springs, waterholes, rock caves and ancient paintings. Uluru is listed as a World Heritage Site.

Uluru is an inselberg, literally "island mountain". An inselberg is a prominent isolated residual knob or hill that rises abruptly from and is surrounded by extensive and relatively flat erosion lowlands in a hot, dry region. Uluru is also often referred to as a monolith, although this is a somewhat ambiguous term that is generally avoided by geologists. The remarkable feature of Uluru is its homogeneity and lack of jointing and parting at bedding surfaces, leading to the lack of development of scree slopes and soil. These characteristics led to its survival, while the surrounding rocks were eroded.

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, 23 June 2018

GRASS PARROTS

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.

The red-rumped parrot was described by John Gould in 1838[a] as Platycercus haematonotus from a specimen collected in New South Wales. He felt it was intermediate between the genera Platycercus and Nanodes, placing it in the former. He gave it its species name on account of its red rump. It is the type species for the genus Psephotus. It was long presumed to be closely related to the mulga parrot, however analysis of multiple genetic material shows it to be an early offshoot of a group containing the genera Platycercus and Barnardius. Hence all other species in the genus have been moved to the new genus Psephotellus, leaving the red-rumped parrot as the sole member in the now monotypic genus. The IOC has designated red-rumped parrot as its official common name. It is also known as red-backed parrot and grass parrot.

Red-rumped parrots are slim, 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.

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




Friday, 22 June 2018

CLOUDY SOLSTICE

Suitably cloudy skies and wintry weather on the Southern Winter Solstice. The view from my window this afternoon.

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

Thursday, 21 June 2018

CRASSULA

Crassula ovata, commonly known as jade plant, friendship tree, lucky plant, money plant or money tree, is a succulent plant with small pink or white flowers. It is native to South Africa and Mozambique, and is common as a houseplant worldwide. Much of its popularity stems from the low levels of care needed; the jade plant requires little water and can survive in most indoor conditions. It is sometimes referred to as the money tree; however, Pachira aquatica also has this nickname.

The jade plant is an evergreen with thick branches. It has thick, shiny, smooth leaves that grow in opposing pairs along the branches. Leaves are a rich jade green, although some may appear to be more of a yellow-green. Some varieties may develop a red tinge on the edges of leaves when exposed to high levels of sunlight. New stem growth is the same colour and texture as the leaves. Although becoming brown and appearing woody with age, stems never become true lignified tissue, remaining succulent and fleshy throughout the plant's life. Under the right conditions, they may produce small white or pink, star-like shaped flowers in the Autumn/early Winter. Numerous varieties and cultivars have been selected, of which C. ovata 'Hummel's Sunset' has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.

In Melbourne this is a common garden plant, which becomes a substantial bush and it will invariably bloom spectacularly in early Winter. The plant below is in our garden.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

XERANTHEMUM

Xeranthemum annuum is a flowering plant species also known as annual everlasting or immortelle. It is native to eastern Europe and western Asia, is cultivated as a garden flower, and has become naturalised in other parts of Europe.

If you enjoy cutting and preserving flowers, Xeranthemum is a must for your garden. The flowers are attractive, easily grown, and they are one of the most popular everlasting flowers available. Xeranthemum flowers are papery-textured, double daisy flowers in white, pink and violet and measure 4 cm across. They are excellent for drying.

For the earliest blooms, start Xeranthemum seeds indoors in the late winter using small peat pots. For areas with a long growing season, Immortelle seeds can be sown directly outside in a prepared seedbed. Cover the Immortelle flower seed lightly with soil and keep moist. Once established, the plants are fairly drought tolerant. For drying, cut the flowers in the morning when the bloom is just beginning to open. Hang in bunches upside down in a well-ventilated room.

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, 19 June 2018

YALTA, CRIMEA

Yalta (Russian: Я́лта) is a resort city on the south coast of the Crimean Peninsula surrounded by the Black Sea. It serves as the administrative centre of Yalta Municipality, one of the regions within Crimea. Population: 76,746 (2014 Census). The city is located on the site of an ancient Greek colony, said to have been founded by the Greek conquerors who were looking for a safe shore (γιαλός – yalos in Greek) on which to land. It is situated on a deep bay facing south towards the Black Sea, surrounded by the mountain range Ai-Petri. It has a warm humid subtropical climate and surrounded by numerous vineyards and orchards. The term "Greater Yalta" is used to designate a part of the Crimean southern coast spanning from Foros in the west to Gurzuf in the east and including the city of Yalta and multiple adjacent urban settlements.

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, 17 June 2018

LAKE CARIBBEAN

Caribbean Gardens and Market have been operating in Melbourne since the 1970's when a market there started with only a handful of traders selling wares from their car boots. Today the market on the shores of Lake Caribbean has grown into one of the largest markets in Victoria with more than 1500 stalls. The market offers a huge variety of goods ranging from clothing, fresh produce, lollies, plants, art and crafts, household goods, tools, prints, shoes, toys, giftware and bric-a-brac plus a Computer Swap Meet Market operating every Sunday.

The Gardens cover an area of approximately 100 acres surrounding the beautiful Lake Caribbean. Throughout the picnic grounds are BBQs and plenty of picnic tables under the share of beautiful elms, gums and pine trees. Rides include the Chair Lift (over the lake), Jungle Cruises and Train that operate every Sunday, plus Wednesday during school holidays. The train ride takes a five kilometre journey around the lake with spectacular views of the entire Caribbean Gardens.

This post is part of the Weekend Reflections meme,
and also 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, 16 June 2018

EASTERN ROSELLA

The Eastern Rosella (Platycercus eximius) is a rosella native to southeast of the Australian continent and to Tasmania. It has been introduced to New Zealand where feral populations are found in the North Island (notably in the northern half of the island and in the Hutt Valley) and in the hills around Dunedin in the South Island.

Three subspecies of eastern rosella are recognised: P. e. eximius, Victoria and southern New South Wales. Black feathers on the back have green margins. Rump is pale green; P. e. elecica, northeast New South Wales and southeast Queensland. In the male the black feathers on the back have golden-yellow margins, and greenish-yellow in the female. The rump is bluish-green. This subspecies is also called the golden-mantled rosella, often abbreviated to GMR. P. e. diemenensis, eastern Tasmania. White cheek patches are larger and the red on the head is darker.

The eastern rosella is 30 cm long. It has a red head and white cheeks. The beak is white and the irises are brown. The upper breast is red and the lower breast is yellow fading to pale green over the abdomen. The feathers of the back and shoulders are black, and have yellowish or greenish margins giving rise to a scalloped appearance that varies slightly between the subspecies and the sexes. The wings and lateral tail feathers are bluish while the tail is dark green. The legs are grey. The female is similar to the male though duller in colouration and has an underwing stripe, which is not present in the adult male. Juveniles are duller than females and have an underwing stripe.

The diet of eastern rosellas mainly consists of fruit, seeds, flowers and insects. Eastern rosellas usually breed in spring but if needed summer as well. They can have 2-9 eggs. In the wild their breeding hollow is 1m deep and 30m high up a tree. The sign the eastern rosella mostly shows that they would be breeding is that they give food to each other.

This post is part of the Saturday Critters meme,
and also part of the Camera Critters meme,
and also part of the I'd Rather Be Birdin' meme.



Friday, 15 June 2018

LOOKING OUT...

...Of my window and deciding it's a good day to stay in by the heater as there is a storm is brewing...

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

Thursday, 14 June 2018

KUMQUAT

Kumquats (Citrus japonica) are a group of small fruit-bearing trees in the flowering plant family Rutaceae. They were previously classified as forming the now historical genus Fortunella, or placed within Citrus sensu latoThe edible fruit closely resembles the orange (Citrus sinensis), but it is much smaller, being approximately the size and shape of a large olive. Kumquat is a fairly cold-hardy citrus.

They are slow-growing evergreen shrubs or short trees, from 2.5 to 4.5 meters tall, with dense branches, sometimes bearing small thorns. The leaves are dark glossy green, and the flowers are white, similar to other citrus flowers, borne singly or clustered in the leaf-axils. Depending on size, the kumquat tree can produce hundreds or even thousands of fruits each year.

The round kumquat also called Marumi kumquat or Morgani kumquat, is an evergreen tree, producing edible golden-yellow fruit. The round Hawaiian varietal, the "Meiwa kumquat", is eaten raw. The fruit is small and usually round but can be oval shaped. The peel has a sweet flavor but the fruit has a sour centre. The fruit can be eaten cooked but is mainly used to make marmalades and jellies. It is grown as an ornamental plant and can be used in bonsai. The plant symbolises good luck in China and other Asian countries, where it is kept as a houseplant and given as a gift during the Lunar New Year. Round kumquats are more commonly cultivated than other species due to their cold tolerance.

This post is part of the Floral Friday meme.

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

WALLFLOWER

Erysimum cheiri syn. Cheiranthus cheiri (common name "wallflower") is a species of flowering plant in the family Brassicaceae (Cruciferae), native to Europe but widespread as an introduced species elsewhere. It is also widely cultivated as a garden plant. This is a herbaceous perennial, often grown as a biennial, with one or more highly branching stems reaching heights of 15–80 cm.

The leaves are generally narrow and pointed and may be up to 20 cm long. The top of the stem is occupied by a club-shaped inflorescence of strongly scented flowers. Each flower has purplish-green sepals and rounded petals which are two to three cm long and in shades of bright yellows to reds and purples. The flowers fall away to leave long fruits which are narrow, hairy siliques several cm in length.

This is a popular ornamental plant, widely cultivated for its abundant, fragrant flowers in spring. Many cultivars have been developed, in shades of yellow, orange, red, maroon, purple, brown, white and cream. It associates well in bedding schemes with other spring flowers such as tulips and forget-me-nots. It is usually grown as a biennial, sown one year to flower the next, and then discarded. This is partly because of its tendency to grow spindly and leggy during its second year, but more importantly its susceptibility to infections such as clubroot.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme,
and also part of the Wordless Wednesday meme,
and also part of the ABC Wednesday meme,
and also part of the Nature Notes meme.

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

CÁDIZ, SPAIN

Cádiz is a city and port in southwestern Spain. It is the capital of the Province of Cádiz, one of eight which make up the autonomous community of Andalusia. Cádiz, regarded by many as the oldest continuously inhabited city in Western Europe, with archaeological remains dating to 3100 years, was founded by the Phoenicians. It has been a principal home port of the Spanish Navy since the accession of the Spanish Bourbons in the 18th century. The city is a member of the Most Ancient European Towns Network. It is also the site of the University of Cádiz.

Situated on a narrow slice of land surrounded by the sea‚ Cádiz is, in most respects, a typically Andalusian city with a wealth of attractive vistas and well-preserved historical landmarks. The older part of Cádiz within the remnants of the city walls is commonly referred to as the Old Town (Spanish: Casco Antiguo). It is characterized by the antiquity of its various quarters (barrios), among them El Pópulo, La Viña, and Santa María, which present a marked contrast to the newer areas of town.

While the Old City's street plan consists of narrow winding alleys connecting large plazas, newer areas of Cádiz typically have wide avenues and more modern buildings. In addition, the city is dotted with numerous parks where exotic plants flourish, including giant trees supposedly brought to Spain by Columbus from the New World.

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, 11 June 2018

WINDOW

One window three different views, widely separated...

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,
and also part of the Blue Monday meme.

Sunday, 10 June 2018

COOL CAT

Trying to keep warm in the Winter cold...

This post is part of the Saturday Critters meme,
and also part of the Camera Critters meme,
and also 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, 9 June 2018

Thursday, 7 June 2018

WINTER JASMINE

Winter jasmine (Jasminum nudiflorum) is a slender, deciduous shrub native to China. It grows to 3 m tall and wide, with arching green shoots and opposite, pinnate, dark green leaves. Each leaf is divided into three oval-oblong leaflets which are about 3 cm long.As its name suggests, in the Northern Hemisphere winter jasmine flowers from November to March. The solitary flowers, often appearing on the bare stems (hence the Latin nudiflorum, literally "naked flower") have six petals and are bright yellow, or white, about 1 cm across, appearing in the leaf axils.

It likes full sun or partial shade and is hardy. J. nudiflorum is valued by gardeners as one of the few plants that are in flower during the winter months. It is frequently trained against a wall to provide extra warmth and shelter, but also lends itself to ground cover. It tolerates hard pruning and should be pruned in spring immediately after flowering; regular pruning will help to prevent bare patches. It can also be grown as a bonsai and is very tolerant of the wiring methods. It can be propagated using the layering technique. This plant has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Tuesday, 5 June 2018

VIOLET

Viola is a genus of flowering plants in the violet family Violaceae. It is the largest genus in the family, containing between 525 and 600 species. Most species are found in the temperate Northern Hemisphere, however some are also found in widely divergent areas such as Hawaii, Australasia, and the Andes. Some Viola species are perennial plants, some are annual plants, and a few are small shrubs. A large number of species, varieties and cultivars are grown in gardens for their ornamental flowers.

In horticulture the term "pansy" is normally used for those multi-coloured, large-flowered cultivars which are raised annually or biennially from seed and used extensively in bedding. The terms "viola" and "violet" are normally reserved for small-flowered annuals or perennials, including the type species.

Viola odorata, shown here, is a species of the genus Viola native to Europe and Asia, but has also been introduced to North America and Australia. It is commonly known as wood violet, sweet violet, English violet, common violet, florist's violet, or garden violet. The sweet scent of this flower has proved popular throughout the generations particularly in the late Victorian period, and has consequently been used in the production of many cosmetic fragrances and perfumes.

The scent of violet flowers is distinctive with only a few other flowers having a remotely similar odour. References to violets and the desirable nature of the fragrance go back to classical sources such as Pliny and Horace when the name ‘Ion’ was in use to describe this flower from which the name of the distinctive chemical constituents of the flower, the ionones – is derived. The leaves are edible and contain mucilage.

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.

YARRA VALLEY

The Yarra Valley is the name given to the region surrounding the Yarra River in Victoria, Australia. The river originates approximately 90 kilometres east of the City of Melbourne and flows towards it and out into Port Phillip Bay. The name Yarra Valley is usually used in reference to the upper regions surrounding the Yarra River and generally does not encompass the lower regions including the city and suburban areas, where the topography flattens out, or the upper reaches which are in inaccessible bushland.

Included in the Yarra Valley is the sub-region of Upper Yarra (or the Upper Yarra Valley) which encompasses the towns of the former Shire of Upper Yarra in the catchment area upstream of and including Woori Yallock. The Yarra Valley a popular day-trip and tourist area, featuring a range of natural features and agricultural produce, as well as the Lilydale to Warburton Rail Trail.The Yarra Valley is host to a thriving wine growing industry. The area's relatively cool climate makes it particularly suited to the production of high-quality chardonnay, pinot noir and sparkling wine.

Vine-grazing is a popular activity for Melburnians and there is a large selection of excellent vineyards making world-class wines in the Yarra Valley.

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.