Thursday 28 February 2019


Sprekelia is a genus of at least three bulbous plants in the family Amaryllidaceae, subfamily Amaryllidoideae. They are native to Central America. Like Hippeastrum, these plants were known as Amaryllis. Sprekelia plants are sometimes called "Aztec lilies", although they are not true lilies. This genus is named after Johann Heinrich von Spreckelsen (1691–1764), who supplied the plants to Lorenz Heister.

Sprekelia formosissima shown here is the only species grown in Australia. It is a bulbous perennial that has clumps of strap-shaped, mid-green leaves. Each stem, about 30 cm tall, bears a solitary scarlet to deep crimson flower in late spring or early summer; established clumps may bloom again later in the summer. It grows best in partial sun and abundant moisture. Because the bulbs are tender and bloom best when crowded, container culture is probably best. Repot every 2 to 3 years. Roots resent disturbance.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday 27 February 2019


A fine old Edwardian house in Fairfield, an inner Melbourne suburb. Melbourne is full of many such houses, which unfortunately are becoming prizes for the shrewd property developers. Sitting on a sizeable block of land, enough for a decent front and back garden, this type of house is under threat of demolition and redevelopment of the land... Many such houses have been lost and in their place anything between 4-6 units have been built, overcrowding the neighbourhoods, increasing noise levels, traffic congestion, pollution and placing increasing demands on already heavily utilised infrastructure.

Let's stop and smell the roses while we still can, because not only are we losing the lovely old houses, we are also losing the gardens and green pockets of nature in the suburbs... These beautiful roses are the Hybrid Tea, Rosa 'Pink Peace'. Very fragrant and perfect for cut flowers, as well as being a vigorous and heat resistant garden favourite. Hybridised by Meilland in 1959, an oldie but a goody!

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 26 February 2019


Paphos (Greek: Πάφος [Pafos]; Turkish: Baf) is a coastal city in the southwest of Cyprus and the capital of Paphos District. In antiquity, two locations were called Paphos: Old Paphos, today at Kouklia, and New Paphos. The current city of Paphos lies on the Mediterranean coast, about 50 km west of Limassol (the biggest port on the island), which has an A6 highway connection. Paphos International Airport is the country’s second-largest airport. The city has a subtropical-Mediterranean climate, with the mildest temperatures on the island.

Paphos Castle (seen above) is located on the edge of Paphos harbour. It was originally built as a Byzantine fort to protect the harbour. It was then rebuilt by the Lusignans in the thirteenth century after being destroyed in the earthquake of 1222. In 1570 it was dismantled by the Venetians. After capturing the island, the Ottomans restored and strengthened it.

Throughout the ages it has seen many uses. It has served as a fortress, a prison and even a warehouse for salt during the British occupation of the island. More recently the castle serves as a backdrop to the annual open air Paphos cultural festival, which takes place in September. It was declared a listed building in 1935 and represents one of the most distinctive landmarks of the city of Paphos. Several archaeological excavations have taken place to investigate its past.

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 24 February 2019


Burswood Park is a large park close to the Perth CBD adjacent to the magnificent Swan River. Citizen of the Year Lake is the tranquil centrepiece of the Park and is named in honour of Western Australia's prestigious Citizen of the Year awards, with names of recipients displayed on plaques fixed to the cobbled limestone edge of the adjoining dais. 

The Swan Fountain is a salute to the Swan River and a major landmark of the city of Perth. The stunning sculpture of Western Australian black swans majestically rising from their nest, captures the spirit and life of the State's treasured Swan River. The Swan Shell is designed to reflect the movement of a swan in flight, and its graceful structure soars above the surrounding parklands. It is a landmark for visitors and a popular venue for weddings, concerts and outdoor events, available free for public use.

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

Thursday 21 February 2019


Romneya is a genus of flowering plants belonging to the poppy family (Papaveraceae). There are two species in genus Romneya (R. coulteri and R. trichocalyx), which was named for Irish astronomer John Thomas Romney Robinson. They are known commonly as Matilija poppies or tree poppies and are native to southern California and northern Mexico.

They are perennial subshrubs with woody stems. They may grow to a height of 2.5 meters and a width of 1 m, with the flowers up to 13 cm across. The silvery green leaves are deeply cut, with a small fringe of hairs at the margins. They are notable for their large white flowers with intense yellow centres, blooming in summer. Romneya produce the largest flowers of any members of the poppy family.

These plants prefer a warm, sunny spot and fertile soil with good water drainage. They are not easily grown but once established are difficult to remove. In the wild, they are known as "fire followers" as they can be frequently, but not exclusively, found in burned areas. Also known as "fried egg flower".

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Tuesday 19 February 2019


Τhe old, one-arched stone bridge of Palaeokarya was built around 1525, and has a length of 26 metres, an arc opening of 19 metres and a height from the river bed 10 metres. Behind it is a 12 metre high waterfall, with the river continuing after the bridge to a lesser waterfall 2 metres high. The river that passes through the spot is Palaeokaritis and if we continue the journey downstream we reach the gorge of Palaeokarya where there is still a functioning watermill where one can watch flour being milled.

The bridge of Palaiokarya joined Thessaly to Epirus and was a busy route at that time. Now it is in a deserted spot and is surrounded by great natural beauty. The bridge frames steep, high rocks with much low-lying vegetation and trees. A large variety of herbs and rare wildflowers grows in the area in Spring and Summer. There is also a great number of animals and birds in the forest around the old bridge.

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 17 February 2019


The City of New York, often called New York City or simply New York, is the most populous city in the United States. Located at the southern tip of the State of New York, the city is the centre of the New York metropolitan area, one of the most populous urban agglomerations in the world. A global power city, New York City exerts a significant impact upon commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and entertainment, its fast pace defining the term New York minute.

Home to the headquarters of the United Nations, New York is an important centre for international diplomacy and has been described as the cultural and financial capital of the world. Situated on one of the world's largest natural harbours, New York City consists of five boroughs, each of which is a separate county of New York State. The five boroughs – Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, The Bronx, and Staten Island – were consolidated into a single city in 1898. The world capital of skyscrapers, New York City never fails to impress the visitor with the sheer number and grandeur of its tall buildings.

With a census-estimated 2015 population of 8,550,405 distributed over a land area of just 790 km2, New York is the most densely populated major city in the United States. The city and its metropolitan area constitute the premier gateway for legal immigration to the United States, and as many as 800 languages are spoken in New York, making it the most linguistically diverse city in the world. We have visited New York City several times and each time we have enjoyed it, with always something new to see and always meeting interesting people and feeling very welcome.

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

Saturday 16 February 2019


Dolomedes is a genus of large spiders of the family Pisauridae. They are also known as fishing spiders, raft spiders, dock spiders or wharf spiders. Almost all Dolomedes species are semiaquatic, with the exception of the tree-dwelling D. albineus of the Southeastern United States. Many species have a striking pale stripe down each side of the body.

They hunt by waiting at the edge of a pool or stream, then when they detect the ripples from prey, they run across the surface to subdue it using their foremost legs, which are tipped with small claws; like other spiders they then inject venom with their hollow jaws to kill and digest the prey. They mainly eat insects, but some larger species are able to catch small fish. They can also climb beneath the water, when they become encased in a silvery film of air.

"Dolomedes" is derived from the Greek word "dolomed" which means wily, deceitful. There are over a hundred species of Dolomedes throughout the world; examples include Dolomedes aquaticus, a forest-stream species of New Zealand, the raft spider (D. fimbriatus), which lives in bogs in Europe, and the great raft spider (D. plantarius), which lives in fens, also in Europe. Many species are large, some with females up to 26 mm long with a leg span of 80 mm.

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

Thursday 14 February 2019


Celosia is a small genus of edible and ornamental plants in the amaranth family, Amaranthaceae. The generic name is derived from the Greek word κηλος (kelos), meaning "burned," and refers to the flame-like flower heads. Species are commonly known as woolflowers, or, if the flower heads are crested by fasciation, cockscombs. The plants are well known in East Africa’s highlands and are used under their Swahili name, mfungu

Celosia 'Intenz' (Celosia caracus) seen here, has a vibrant magenta colour on spiky blooms and sought-after texture to add to mixed containers. 'Intenz' is also versatile, able to be planted in patio pots, landscapes or used as a pot plant indoors. It performs well in full-sun with a long flowering time for home gardeners. It is a low-maintenance plant with high appeal.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday 13 February 2019


The Jabiru, also known as the Black-necked Stork (Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus) is the only stork found in Australia. With black and white body plumage, glossy dark green and purple neck and massive black bill, it is easily identified from all other Australian birds. The legs are long and coral-red in colour. The female is distinguished by its yellow eye. Immature birds resemble adults, but the black plumage is replaced by brown and the white plumage is duskier.

The Jabiru is restricted mainly to coastal and near-coastal areas of northern and eastern Australia. Throughout the monsoonal areas of northern Australia, it is still widespread, but fewer numbers appear southwards to eastern Australia.This distinctive black-and-white waterbird stands an impressive 1.3m tall and has a wingspan of around 2m. The species Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus comprises two subspecies, E. a. asiaticus in India and south-east Asia, and E. a. australis in Australia and New Guinea.

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.

Monday 11 February 2019


Andros (Greek: Άνδρος, pronounced [ˈanðros]) is the northernmost island of the Greek Cyclades archipelago, about 10 km southeast of Euboea, and about 3 km north of Tinos. It is nearly 40 km long, and its greatest breadth is 16 km. It is for the most part mountainous, with many fruitful and well-watered valleys. The municipality, which includes the island Andros and several small, uninhabited islands, has an area of 380 km2. The largest towns are Andros (town), Gavrio, Batsi, and Ormos Korthiou. The island is famous for its Sariza spring at Apoikia, where the water flows from a sculpted stone lion's head. Palaeopolis, the ancient capital, was built into a steep hillside, and the breakwater of its harbour can still be seen underwater. Andros also offers great hiking options.

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


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 February 2019

Saturday 9 February 2019

Friday 8 February 2019


Last Wednesday Melbourne experienced one of its famous weather "changes" where the temperature dropped precipitously and a fine, very hot day ended with a drenching where the skies opened up and it rained cats and dogs... There was quite a bit of flash flooding, some damage to properties and some people stranded by flood waters. It was a good time to be home and watch it all unfolding through a window.

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

Thursday 7 February 2019


Epiphyllum crenatum is a species of cactus and one of the most important parents in creating the Epiphyllum-hybrids commonly cultivated throughout the world. It is cultivated for its beautiful diurnal flowers. It is found naturally from Mexico (Oaxaca & Chiapas) to Honduras. It is epiphytic (grows upon another plant) or lithophytic (grows on rocks) in moist or wet forests, sometimes in oak forests (1,750 m alt. or less).

It is an easily cultivated, fast-growing epiphyte. Needs compost containing plenty of humus and sufficient moisture in summer. Should not be kept under 12°C in winter. Can be grown in semi-shade or full sun. Extra light in the early spring will stimulate budding. Flowers in late spring or early summer.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Tuesday 5 February 2019


Edgars Creek flows along a 17km course from its headwaters in Wollert through the highly urbanised suburbs of Epping, Thomastown and Reservoir, finally joining the Merri Creek in North Coburg. It is a seasonal creek, susceptible to drying out during the hot seasons and flooding during periods of high rainfall. Parts of the storm water management systems in the Cities of Whittlesea and Darebin drain directly into the creek.

In the vicinity of Craigieburn Road East in the City of Whittlesea the creek runs through the 9000 dwelling Aurora estate development in Epping North. Here the creek is characterised by shallow banks and is often dry. Although sections of the creek around Coburg remind us of how the creek once was before urbanisation, much of the creek between the headwaters and Edwardes Lake Park in Reservoir is now artificially channelled.

Only 55% of the creek remains in semi-natural form with approximately 11% of the creek no more than a concrete drain. Nevertheless, the water attracts many birds, including grey gulls, ducks, brown ducks, purple swamp hens, moorhens, coots, and crested pigeons.

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.


Sydney is the state capital of New South Wales and the most populous city in Australia and Oceania. Located on Australia's east coast, the metropolis surrounds the world's largest natural harbour, and sprawls towards the Blue Mountains to the west. Residents of Sydney are known as "Sydneysiders". Sydney is the second official seat, and second official residence, of the Governor-General of Australia, the Prime Minister of Australia and the Cabinet of Australia.

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.