Thursday 28 November 2019


Thelymitra carnea, the pink sun orchid, is a perennial herb with fleshy egg-shaped tubers in the Orchidaceae family. It grows from 8 to 40 cm and has a slender reddish-brown stem. Plants are scattered. It has an erect single narrow to rounded channelled leaf 4-18cm x 1-2.5mm, green with reddish base, sheathing at base of stem; 2-3 sheathing stem bracts. 

Each plant has one to four pink flowers up to 15mm across. Sepals and petals are similar. Column pale pink, mid lobe with pink collar and yellow tip, short, narrow, not hooded; yellow column arms narrow, obliquely erect, margins scalloped; anther green. It flowers October to November. The plant grows in moist soils which dry out in summer on margins of swamps. It prefers full sun to semi shade. Flowers only open on hot humid days, self-pollinating in cooler weather.

It is found in Southeastern Australia and New Zealand. It is not threatened in the wild. The use of native orchids in gardens is not recommended, unless they already occur naturally, in which case they need to be protected. Removing orchids from the bush usually results in their death and further depletes remaining wild orchid populations. Take only photographs, not plants from the bush!

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Tuesday 26 November 2019


Capri is an island located in the Tyrrhenian Sea off the Sorrentine Peninsula, on the south side of the Gulf of Naples in the Campania region of Italy. The main town Capri that is located on the island shares the name. It has been a resort since the time of the Roman Republic. Some of the main features of the island include the following: The Marina Piccola (the little harbour), the Belvedere of Tragara (a high panoramic promenade lined with villas), the limestone crags called sea stacks that project above the sea (the Faraglioni –see picture above), the town of Anacapri, the Blue Grotto (Grotta Azzurra), and the ruins of the Imperial Roman villas.

Capri is part of the region of Campania, Metropolitan City of Naples. The town of Capri is a comune and the island's main population centre. The island has two harbours, Marina Piccola and Marina Grande (the main port of the island). The separate comune of Anacapri is located high on the hills to the west. The island combines wild beauty, scenic views, cultural and archaeological treasures, cosmopolitan lifestyle, wonderful food and drink and hospitable people.

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.

Sunday 24 November 2019

Saturday 23 November 2019


Reflections in the gardens of South Bank in Brisbane. A cool and restful spot int he middle of the busy city...

This post is part of the Weekend Reflections meme.

Thursday 21 November 2019


Leucospermum (Pincushion, Pincushion Protea or Leucospermum) is a genus of about 50 species of flowering plants in the family Proteaceae, native to Zimbabwe and South Africa, where they occupy a variety of habitats, including scrub, forest, and mountain slopes. They are evergreen shrubs (rarely small trees) growing to 0.5-5 m tall. The leaves are spirally arranged, tough and leathery, simple, linear to lanceolate, 2-12 cm long and 0.5-3 cm broad, with a serrated margin or serrated at the leaf apex only. The flowers are produced in dense inflorescences, which have large numbers of prominent styles, which inspires the name. 

The genus is closely related in evolution and appearance to the Australian genus Banksia. Shown here is a Leucospermum patersonii hybrid. An excellent ornamental hardy shrub for most well-drained soils and full sun positions. It is a relatively fast growing landscape shrub for coastal or inland gardens. The two-tone orange-red flowers make a great long stemmed cut flower, and is thus grown commercially for this purpose.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Tuesday 19 November 2019


New Delhi is the capital of India and one of Delhi city’s 11 districts. Although colloquially Delhi and New Delhi are used interchangeably to refer to the National Capital Territory of Delhi, these are two distinct entities, with New Delhi forming a small part of Delhi. The National Capital Region is a much larger entity comprising the entire National Capital Territory of Delhi along with adjoining districts.

It is surrounded by Haryana on three sides and Uttar Pradesh on the east. The foundation stone of the city was laid by George V, Emperor of India during the Delhi Durbar of 1911. It was designed by British architects, Sir Edwin Lutyens and Sir Herbert Baker. The new capital was inaugurated on 13 February 1931, by Viceroy and Governor-General of India Lord Irwin. New Delhi has been selected as one of the hundred Indian cities to be developed as a smart city under Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi’s flagship Smart Cities Mission.

The Akshardham or Swaminarayan Akshardham complex (seen above) is a Hindu mandir, and a spiritual-cultural campus in New Delhi, India. Also referred to as Akshardham Temple or Swaminarayan Akshardham, the complex displays millennia of traditional Hindu and Indian culture, spirituality, and architecture. The temple, which attracts approximately 70 percent of all tourists who visit Delhi, was officially opened on 6 November 2005 by Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam. It sits near the banks of the Yamuna River adjacent to the 2010 Commonwealth Games village in eastern New Delhi. The temple, at the centre of the complex, was built according to the Vastu shastra and Pancharatra shastra.

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.

Monday 18 November 2019


Yellow Pyracantha berries, canola flowers and red haws are always great to take photos of. When you can't get them all in frame as they are too far apart, create a mosaic with fuzzy borders in Photoshop!

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

Sunday 17 November 2019


Melbourne gets lots of weather year-round, more so in Spring and Autumn, where we may see all four seasons in one day!

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

Friday 15 November 2019


For several weeks now the Northeastern coastal areas of Australia in Southern Queensland and Northern News South Wales have been battling with catastrophic bushfires fuelled by hot weather and dry conditions.

After a brief lull in the weather, the emergency services are once again worried as conditions in New South Wales and Queensland deteriorated today by more than what was expected. The New South Wales Regional Fire Service has reported that there is now a severe fire danger from “border to border”. Sydney could see highs of 35˚C, several degrees hotter than expected earlier in the week. That could be accompanied by winds, fanning any flames.

Brisbane could see 33˚C with Ipswich on a blistering 37˚C. The death toll now stands at four people In NSW, with 1600 firefighters battling some 60 bushfires, more than half of which were uncontained. Severe fire danger stretches from the Queensland border to southern NSW In Queensland, more than 70 fires are burning with 36 structures destroyed. A severe fire danger warning is currently in place for the Darling Downs.

This post is part of the Skywatch Friday meme.

Thursday 14 November 2019


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, the trunk reaching diameter 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. Native birds (like the Rainbow Lorikeet here) feed on the nectar.

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.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday 13 November 2019


John Singer Sargent (January 12, 1856 – April 14, 1925)[1] was an American expatriate artist, considered the "leading portrait painter of his generation" for his evocations of Edwardian-era luxury. He created roughly 900 oil paintings and more than 2,000 watercolors, as well as countless sketches and charcoal drawings. His oeuvre documents worldwide travel, from Venice to the Tyrol, Corfu, the Middle East, Montana, Maine, and Florida.

Here is his "El Jaleo (Spanish Dancer)", c. 1879–82, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, USA. His evocation of Spain through images of Spanish dancing and music is very effective. The painting was inspired by a five-month trip Sargent made through Spain and North Africa in 1879, which also yielded a smaller oil painting, "The Spanish Dance" (Hispanic Society of America).

After the initial exhibition of El Jaleo in 1882 at the French Salon, John Singer Sargent became, as one writer put it, "the most talked-about painter in Paris." Some critics in 1882 said that the painting caused Sargent to join the ranks of the French Impressionists. A critic for the Le Figaro called the painting "one of the most original and strongest works of the present Salon." Some writers hailed the painting as clever, while others dismissed it as a vagary of the artist. Today El Jaleo is considered to be one of John Singer Sargent's most memorable works.

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

Monday 11 November 2019


The Great Ocean Road is an Australian National Heritage listed 243-kilometre stretch of road along the south-eastern coast of Australia between the Victorian cities of Torquay and Warrnambool. The road was built by returned soldiers between 1919 and 1932, and is the world's largest war memorial; dedicated to casualties of World War I.

It is an important tourist attraction in the region, which winds through varying terrain alongside the coast, and provides access to several prominent landmarks; including the nationally significant Twelve Apostles rock formations. The Twelve Apostles is a collection of miocene limestone rock stacks jutting from the water in Port Campbell National Park, between Princetown and Peterborough on the Great Ocean Road.

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 10 November 2019


Australia has nearly 200 known species of snake, only 25 of which are considered potentially deadly. Common snakes in the Melbourne area and surrounding suburbs include the Tiger Snake, Eastern Brown Snake, Copperhead Snake, White-Lipped Snake, Small-Eyed Snake and Red-Bellied Black Snake. There are over 27 types of snake in Victoria and a number of these are venomous, including the tiger snake, the copperhead, the brown snake and the red-bellied black snake.

Darebin Parklands is a nature reserve in the midst of inner suburban Melbourne. It has a host of animal species, many of them native that live happily in its confines. These creatures of course include snakes. Numerous signs relating to snakes are found throughout the Parklands, reminding people to take care during the Summer between the months of October to April. I have seen snakes a number of times, in the Parklands and elsewhere, but fortunately these encounters have been innocent enough.

While seeing a snake may be an intimidating experience, they are typically shy creatures and most will try to avoid confrontation with humans and quickly slither away (how quickly they can move is indeed a sobering experience). The latest encounter was with a 1.2 m tiger snake that was crawling along the path, rushing to get to an area well-covered with grass and bushes. The day was very hot and the snake moved extremely quickly, rushing away from me towards cover. It was fortunate I had the camera in my hands and was able to take a few photos.

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

Saturday 9 November 2019


The Pacific black duck (Anas superciliosa), commonly known as the PBD, is a dabbling duck found in much of Indonesia, New Guinea, Australia, New Zealand, and many islands in the southwestern Pacific, reaching to the Caroline Islands in the north and French Polynesia in the east. It is usually called the grey duck in New Zealand, where it is also known by its Maori name, pārera.

This post is part of the Saturday Critters meme.

Thursday 7 November 2019


Cardiocrinum giganteum, the giant Himalayan lily, is the largest species of any of the lily plants, family Liliaceae, growing up to 3.5 metres high. It is found in the Himalayas, China and Myanmar (Burma). Two varieties are recognised: C. giganteum var. giganteum - up to 3 metres tall, the outer part of the flower greenish and the inside streaked with purple - Tibet, Bhutan, Assam, Myanmar, Nepal, Sikkim C. giganteum var. yunnanense - 1–2 metres tall, the outer part of the flower white and the inside streaked with purplish red - Myanmar, Gansu, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Shaanxi, Sichuan, Yunnan. 

The plant was first described scientifically in 1824 by Nathaniel Wallich. The species was introduced into commercial production (as Lilium giganteum) in Britain in the 1850s. A bulb grown from seed collected by Major Madden flowered in Edinburgh in July 1852, while those collected by Thomas Lobb were first exhibited in flower in May 1853.

Cardiocrinum giganteum is a standout in any garden. With its flower stakes topping out at 3 metres and its ability to produce 20 heavily perfumed trumpet-shaped flowers, it is bound to be a focal point. Be prepared to be patient for these results; most bulbs take 3 to 4 years to settle in and bloom. During that time, while the bulb grows and expands, the plant earns its keep with attractive heart shaped leaves that are reminiscent of full size hostas. The bulb also develops offsets, or baby bulbs along the side of the mother, ensuring future blooms.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday 6 November 2019


Raku ware (楽焼 raku-yaki) is a type of Japanese pottery traditionally used in Japanese tea ceremonies, most often in the form of chawan tea bowls. It is traditionally characterised by being hand-shaped rather than thrown, fairly porous vessels, which result from low firing temperatures, lead glazes and the removal of pieces from the kiln while still glowing hot. In the traditional Japanese process, the fired raku piece is removed from the hot kiln and is allowed to cool in the open air. The familiar technique of placing the ware in a container filled with combustible material is not a traditional Raku practice.

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