Sunday 30 December 2018


As the year draws to a close I am reminded of a sunset and the memory of a long, full day ceding its place to night. The hope of morning and a bright new tomorrow is implicit in the golden hues of the sunset clouds.

I hope your past year was full, and that your happiness far outweighed your sadness. I wish you a New Year full of health, many joyous moments and enough spare time to devote to yourself and to those you love. Be creative, be positive and praise good effort whenever you see it displayed. It's less stressful to be kind and gentle than it is to be nasty and belligerent.

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

Saturday 29 December 2018


Rainbow lorikeets (Trichoglossus haematodus) are species of Australasian parrot found in Australia, eastern Indonesia (Maluku and Western New Guinea), Papua New Guinea, New Caledonia, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu. It is widespread in the Melbourne area.

This post is part of the Saturday Critters meme.

Friday 28 December 2018


The colour of the sky in Summer is a very special shade of blue, rather like this seen here. Art Spectrum makes a series of colours well suited to painting Australian landscapes and their "Tasman Blue" is similar to this sky colour.

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

Thursday 27 December 2018


Rosa 'Double Delight' (syn. 'ANDeli') is a hybrid tea rose cultivar bred by Swim & Ellis in USA and introduced in 1977. Its parents were two hybrid tea cultivars – the red and yellow 'Granada' (Lindquist, 1963) and the ivory 'Garden Party' (Swim, 1959). The large, strongly fragrant red and white flowers have a high-centered bloom form and appear continuously throughout the season. They are double, have a diameter of more than 10 cm and up to 30 petals.

In the sun, their colour changes from white to carmine red, beginning at the edges. The change is therefore more pronounced in warmer, sunnier regions and is absent in greenhouses due to the UV filtering of glass. The plant has large, medium green foliage, grows about 90 to 150 cm high, and 60 centimetres wide. It is winter hardy down to −25 °C (USDA zone 5), but can be susceptible to mildew and black spot. The cultivar needs sunny, warm places, but can be grown in containers. 'Double Delight' is used as garden rose and as cut flower.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday 26 December 2018


A yacht is a watercraft used for pleasure or sports. The term originates from the Dutch word jacht "hunt", and was originally defined as a light fast sailing vessel used by the Dutch navy to pursue pirates and other transgressors around and into the shallow waters of the Low Countries. The jacht was popularised by Charles II of England as a pleasure or recreation vessel following his restoration in 1660.

Today's yachts differ from other vessels by their leisure purpose. A yacht is any sail or power vessel used for pleasure, cruising or racing. A yacht does not have to have luxury accommodations to be a yacht, in fact many racing yachts are stripped out vessels with the minimum of accommodations. The term 'sailboat' is sometimes used in America to differentiate sail from powerboat.

The Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race is an annual event hosted by the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, starting in Sydney, New South Wales on Boxing Day and finishing in Hobart, Tasmania. The race distance is approximately 630 nautical miles (1,170 km). The race is run in conjunction with the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania, and is widely considered to be one of the most difficult yacht races in the world.

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

Tuesday 25 December 2018


Royal Arcade in Melbourne is a premium Victorian shopping arcade that has been restored to its former glory. At Christmas it becomes extra special!

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

Monday 24 December 2018


I love the traditional Christmas fare, which is so well-suited to the Northern Hemisphere winter climate. We still sometimes have the type of food you see below, especially if the weatherman predicts a cooler Christmas. However, in Australia, Christmas is a Summer festival and the food is often nothing like what is below. If you are curious about what Australians put on the Christmas table, you may like to look at this link here.

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

Sunday 23 December 2018


Ceratopetalum gummiferum, the New South Wales Christmas Bush, is a tall shrub or small tree popular in cultivation due to its sepals that turn bright red-pink at around Christmas time. The petals are actually small and white - it is the sepals that enlarge to about 12mm after the flower sets fruit and starts to dry out. The specific name gummiferum alludes to the large amounts of gum that is discharged from cut bark.

Plants initially grow as rounded shrubs but mature to pyramidical trees. The leaves comprise three leaflets and are up to 8 cm long. The petioles are grooved on the upper side and are 10 to 20 mm long. Small, white five-petalled flowers appear in spays from October in the species native range. As these die the sepals enlarge and become pink to red in colour, the display peaking at Christmas time in Australia (i.e. during Summer).

Ceratopatalum gummiferum is one of nine species in the genus Ceratopetalum int eh family Cunoniaceae, which occur in Australia and Papua New Guinea. The species was first formally described by English botanist James Edward Smith in 1793 in 'A Specimen of the Botany of New Holland'.

The species is endemic to New South Wales where it occurs to the east of the Great Dividing Range from Ulladulla in the south to Evans Head in the north. In cultivation, plants usually grow to no more than 6 metres in height. Plants may be propagated from seed or cuttings, the latter method being preferred to maintain good colour forms. Well-drained soil is required to avoid problems with dieback associated with root-rot fungus.

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

Thursday 20 December 2018


Zantedeschia is a genus of 8 species of herbaceous, perennial, flowering plants in the family Araceae, native to southern Africa from South Africa north to Malawi. The genus has been introduced on all continents except Antarctica. Common names include arum lily for Z. aethiopica and calla and calla lily for Z. elliottiana and Z. rehmannii, although members of the genus are neither true lilies of Liliaceae, true Arums, or true Callas (related genera in Araceae). They are also often confused with Anthurium. The colourful flowers and leaves of both species and cultivars are greatly valued and commonly grown as ornamental plants.

Zantedeschia elliottiana, golden arum or calla lily, is a herbaceous ornamental plant growing from a bulb. It is said to occur in the province of Mpumalanga in South Africa, although other sources say that it is not found in the wild but appears to be a hybrid of garden origin.

Z elliottiana is a herbaceous plant up to 60 cm, with large deep green leaves spotted with white. It is summer-flowering plant with a yellow spathe marked with purple at the base The spathe surrounds a yellow spadix which occasionally produces a spike of bright yellow berries that are attractive to birds.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday 19 December 2018


Xylography or Woodcut printing is a relief printing technique in printmaking. An artist carves an image into the surface of a block of wood—typically with gouges—leaving the printing parts level with the surface while removing the non-printing parts. Areas that the artist cuts away carry no ink, while characters or images at surface level carry the ink to produce the print.

The block is cut along the wood grain (unlike wood engraving, where the block is cut in the end-grain). The surface is covered with ink by rolling over the surface with an ink-covered roller (brayer), leaving ink upon the flat surface but not in the non-printing areas. Multiple colours can be printed by keying the paper to a frame around the woodblocks (using a different block for each colour).

The art of carving the woodcut can be called "xylography", but this is rarely used in English for images alone, although that and "xylographic" are used in connection with block books, which are small books containing text and images in the same block. They became popular in Europe during the latter half of the 15th century. A single-leaf woodcut is a woodcut presented as a single image or print, as opposed to a book illustration.

The finished print ("xylogram") in the fifth picture is Ernst Barlach's 'Die Wandlungen Gottes' [The Transformations of God], printed by Chr. Raifer Verlag, Munchen, Germany 1954. The final image is a colour xylogram by Mike Lyon called "Dog Dream".

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

Tuesday 18 December 2018


The Newcastle metropolitan area is the second most populated area in the Australian state of New South Wales and includes most of the Newcastle and Lake Macquarie local government areas. It is the hub of the Greater Newcastle area which includes most parts of the local government areas of City of Newcastle, City of Lake Macquarie, City of Cessnock, City of Maitland and Port Stephens Council.

162 kilometres NNE of Sydney, at the mouth of the Hunter River, Newcastle is the predominant city within the Hunter Region. Famous for its coal, Newcastle is the largest coal exporting harbour in the world, exporting over 97 megatons of coal in 2009–10 with expansion of annual capacity to 180 megatons in 2013. Newcastle exported 160 megatonnes of coal in 2017. Beyond the city, the Hunter Region possesses large coal deposits. Geologically, the area is located in the central-eastern part of the Sydney basin. Newcastle is on the southern bank of the Hunter River mouth.

The northern side is dominated by sand dunes, swamps and multiple river channels. A 'green belt' protecting plant and wildlife flanks the city from the west (Watagan mountains) around to the north where it meets the coast just north of Stockton. Urban development is mainly restricted to the hilly southern bank.

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.

Sunday 16 December 2018


Docklands (also known as Melbourne Docklands to differentiate it from London Docklands) is a suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 2 km west of Melbourne's Central Business District. Its local government area is the City of Melbourne. At the 2011 Census, Docklands had a population of 5,791.

Docklands occupies an area adjacent to the Melbourne CBD. It is bounded by Spencer Street, Wurundjeri Way and the Charles Grimes Bridge to the east, CityLink to the west and Lorimer Street across the Yarra to the south and is a primarily waterfront area centred on the banks of the Yarra River.

Contemporary Docklands is the product of an ongoing urban renewal project to extend the area of the Melbourne CBD (excluding Southbank and St Kilda Road) by over a third when completed around 2015. It is now home to several of Melbourne's modern landmarks, including Etihad Stadium, Southern Cross Station and the Melbourne Star Ferris wheel.

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

Saturday 15 December 2018


Saw this little dog at our local shopping strip - she was very curious about the camera!

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

Friday 14 December 2018


A perfect warm and sunny Summer's day on Tuesday this week in Melbourne. It was a pleasure to visit the rockpool in the Parklands in suburban Fairfield. Thursday and Friday this week a complete change in weather with a deluge of rain, flooding and a drop in temperature... See here for the rain photos!

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

Thursday 13 December 2018


Grevillea robusta, commonly known as the southern silky oak or silky oak, or Australian silver oak, is the largest species in the genus Grevillea of the family Proteaceae. It is not closely related to the true oaks, Quercus. It is a native of eastern coastal Australia, in riverine, subtropical and dry rainforest environments receiving more than 1,000 mm per year of average rainfall.

It is a fast-growing evergreen tree, between 18–35 m tall, with dark green delicately dented bipinnatifid leaves reminiscent of a fern frond. It is the largest plant in the Grevillea genus, reaching diameters in excess of 1 m. The leaves are generally 15–30 cm long with greyish white or rusty undersides.Its flowers are golden-orange bottlebrush-like blooms, between 8–15 cm long, in the spring, on a 2–3 cm long stem and are used for honey production. Like others of its genus, the flowers have no petals, instead they have a long calyx that splits into 4 lobes. The seeds mature in late winter to early spring, fruiting on dark brown leathery dehiscent follicles, about 2 cm long, with one or two flat, winged seeds.

Before the advent of aluminium, the timber from this tree was widely used for external window joinery as it is resistant to rotting. It was also popular for making furniture. There are severe restrictions on the harvesting of this tree now as the number of trees became depleted. Silky Oak is a valuable timber and was one of Australia’s best known cabinet timbers.It is the best tree which can be used for fencing and it is one of the fastest growing trees.

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.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Tuesday 11 December 2018


The Church of Saint Demetrios, or Hagios Demetrios (Greek: Άγιος Δημήτριος), is the main sanctuary dedicated to Saint Demetrios, the patron saint of Thessaloniki (in Central Macedonia, Greece), dating from a time when it was the second largest city of the Byzantine Empire. It is part of the site Palaeochristian and Byzantine Monuments of Thessaloniki on the list of World Heritage Sites by UNESCO since 1988.

The first church on the spot was constructed in the early 4th century AD, replacing a Roman bath. A century later, a prefect named Leontios replaced the small oratory with a larger, three-aisled basilica. Repeatedly gutted by fires, the church eventually was reconstructed as a five-aisled basilica in 629–634 AD. This was the surviving form of the church much as it is today. The most important shrine in the city, it was probably larger than the local cathedral. The historic location of the latter is now unknown.

Following the Great Fire of 1917, it took decades to restore the church. A Ciborium, a small shrine inside the church, contains the remnants of St. Demetrius. Archeological excavations conducted in the 1930s and 1940s revealed interesting artefacts that may be seen in a museum situated inside the church's crypt. The excavations also uncovered the ruins of a Roman bath, where St. Demetrius was said to have been held prisoner and executed. A Roman well was also discovered. Scholars believe this is where soldiers dropped the body of St. Demetrius after his execution.

After restoration, the church was reconsecrated in 1949. As the level of the ground gradually rose over the centuries, this area of the Saint's martyrdom acquired the form of a crypt. According both to tradition and to archaeological findings, it was an old bathhouse, in which Demetrios was imprisoned and eventually martyred in ad 303.

In the 5th century, when the first Church of St Demetrios was built, the site of his martyrdom was incorporated into the church and the fountain was converted into a source of holy water. In the years that followed, the fountain acquired basins, from which the faithful could collect myron, the sweet-smelling oil produced by the saint’s relics. The crypt filled up with earth during the period of Ottoman rule and was not rediscovered until after the fire of 1917. It has been restored by the Archaeological Service and was converted into an exhibition space in 1988.

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 9 December 2018


Melbourne is well and truly on top when it comes to coffee. Melbourne baristas take pride in their coffee and it is appreciated by locals and tourists. Café culture is a part of our lives and is a very unique thing to Melbourne. There are many great specialty roasters in Melbourne that consistently strive for excellence.

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 8 December 2018


The nankeen night heron (Nycticorax caledonicus) also commonly referred to as the rufous night heron, and in Melanesia as Melabaob, is a medium-sized heron. It is found in Indonesia, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Melanesia, and throughout much of Australia except the arid inland. A small colony has also established near Wanganui, New Zealand.

The nankeen night heron stands about 60 cm tall with a stooped appearance. It is a stocky heron with rich cinnamon upperparts, white-buff underparts, a black crown, and yellow legs and feet. The head is large, the neck short (giving a stooped appearance), and the legs relatively short. During breeding the back of the head bears three white nuptial plumes. The bill is dark olive-green, and the eyes are yellow. Young birds are heavily spotted and streaked white, brown and orange-brown. As they mature, the black cap of the adult develops first, with the body plumage remaining streaked for some time.

It is not strictly nocturnal. It often feeds during the day, especially during wet weather. The bird is dependent on a diet of small fish, reptiles, insects and sometimes eggs. It can be seen around freshwater rivers, lakes, bulrushes, estuaries, harbours and in residential fishponds for goldfish. The species breeds in the period from September to April, building a nest platform out of sticks. It nests communally, near water. Two to five light green eggs are laid, with a 22-day incubation followed by a 42- to 49-day fledging period. Widespread throughout its large range, the nankeen night heron is evaluated as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

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,
and also part of the Weekend Reflections meme.