Saturday, 18 November 2017

RELIC

After we are long gone, green will prevail...

This post is part of the Weekend Green meme

Thursday, 16 November 2017

FEIJOA FLOWERS

Acca sellowiana, a species of flowering plant in the myrtle family, Myrtaceae, is native to the highlands of southern Brazil, eastern Paraguay, Uruguay, and northern Argentina, and Colombia. It is widely cultivated as a garden plant and fruiting tree in New Zealand, and can be found as a garden plant elsewhere such as in Australia, Azerbaijan, West part of Georgia, South part of Russia and South Africa. Common names include feijoa, pineapple guava and guavasteen.

It is an evergreen, perennial shrub or small tree, 1–7 metres in height, widely cultivated as a garden plant and fruiting tree. The German botanist Otto Karl Berg named feijoa after João da Silva Feijó, a Portuguese botanist born in the colony of Brazil. The flower petals are edible, with a flavour that is slightly sweet with hints of cinnamon. The most common use is as an addition to salads. They regularly are consumed by birds.

The fruit, maturing in autumn, is green, ellipsoid, and about the size of a chicken egg. It has a sweet, aromatic flavour. The flesh is juicy and is divided into a clear gelatinous seed pulp and a firmer, slightly granular, opaque flesh nearer the skin. The fruit falls to the ground when ripe and at its fullest flavour, but it may be picked from the tree prior to falling to prevent bruising.The fruit pulp resembles the closely related guava, having a gritty texture. The feijoa pulp is used in some natural cosmetic products as an exfoliant. Feijoa fruit has a distinctive, potent smell that resembles oil of wintergreen. The aroma is due to the ester methyl benzoate and related compounds that exist in the fruit.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.



Tuesday, 14 November 2017

SANTORINI SUNSET

Santorini (Greek: Σαντορίνη), classically Thera (Greek: Θήρα); is an island in the southern Aegean Sea, about 200 km southeast of Greece's mainland. It is the largest island of a small, circular archipelago which bears the same name and is the remnant of a volcanic caldera. It forms the southernmost member of the Cyclades group of islands, with an area of approximately 73 km2 and a 2011 census population of 15,550. The municipality of Santorini comprises the inhabited islands of Santorini and Therasia and the uninhabited islands of Nea Kameni, Palaia Kameni, Aspronisi, and Christiana. The total land area is 90.623 km2. Santorini is part of the Thira regional unit.

Santorini is essentially what remained after an enormous volcanic eruption that destroyed the earliest settlements on a formerly single island, and created the current geological caldera. A giant central, rectangular lagoon, which measures about 12 by 7 km, is surrounded by 300 m high, steep cliffs on three sides. The main island slopes downward to the Aegean Sea. On the fourth side, the lagoon is separated from the sea by another much smaller island called Therasia; the lagoon is connected to the sea in two places, in the northwest and southwest. The depth of the caldera, at 400m, makes it possible for all but the largest ships to anchor anywhere in the protected bay; there is also a newly built marina at Vlychada, on the southwestern coast. The island's principal port is Athinias.

The capital, Fira, clings to the top of the cliff looking down on the lagoon. The expansion of tourism has resulted in the growth of the economy and population. The major settlements include Fira (Phira), Oia, Emporio, Kamari, Perissa, Imerovigli, Pyrgos, and Therasia. Akrotiri is a major archaeological site, with ruins from the Minoan era. Santorini's primary industry is tourism, particularly in the summer months. Santorini was ranked world's top island for many other magazines and travel sites, including the Travel+Leisure Magazine, the BBC, as well as the US News.

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.
and also part of the ABC Wednesday meme.

Monday, 13 November 2017

SEAFARERS BRIDGE, MELBOURNE

South Wharf’s striking pedestrian "Seafarers' Bridge" is fittingly named to reflect Melbourne’s rich maritime history. Officially named in late-2009, the bridge is popular with walkers and bike riders accessing Melbourne’s world-class Convention Centre and travelling to and from Docklands.The name was selected following a call for submissions from the community. More than 500 submissions were received.

The name draws on the rich maritime history of the area and is a fitting connection to the nearby "Mission to Seafarers" centre located at the bridge’s northern landing.The Mission to Seafarers is an international organisation which cares for the practical and spiritual welfare of seafarers of all nationalities and faiths.The Melbourne Mission, created in 1905, is a volunteer-managed facility providing a home away from home for approximately 12,000 seafarers visiting the Port of Melbourne annually.This bridge forms a vital connection between the city’s waterfront and the river-front.

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

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Saturday, 11 November 2017

CRESTED PIGEONS

The crested pigeon (Ocyphaps lophotes) is a bird found widely throughout mainland Australia except for the far northern tropical areas. It is the only member of the genus Ocyphaps. Only two Australian pigeon species possess an erect crest, the crested pigeon and the spinifex pigeon. The crested pigeon is the larger of the two species. The crested pigeon is sometimes incorrectly referred to as a topknot pigeon, but the topknot pigeon, Lopholaimus antarcticus has a red-brown crest that does not stand erect.

The length of the crested pigeon varies from 30 to 34 cm. Colouration is grey with tinges of brown and green. It has a feathered but slender, black spike on top of the head. It runs with the crest erect. The periorbital skin is bright orange. Wings have black stripes and are bronzed, while the primary feathers have colourful areas of brown, purple, blue, and green. Immature birds have duller colours with no bronzing on the wings. If startled, the crested pigeon takes to the air with a distinctive whistling 'call', the source of the noise can be attributed to the way the air rushes over a modified primary feather found on the wings

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




Friday, 10 November 2017

SOUTHERN CROSS

Crux is a constellation located in the southern sky in a bright portion of the Milky Way. It is among the most easily distinguished constellations, as all of its four main stars have an apparent visual magnitude above +2.8, even though it is the smallest of all 88 modern constellations.

Its name is Latin for 'cross', and it is dominated by a cross-shaped or kite-like asterism that is sometimes known as the Southern Cross. Predominating is the first-magnitude blue-white star of Alpha Crucis or Acrux, being the constellation's brightest and most southerly member. Crux is followed by four dominate stars, descending in clockwise order by magnitude: Beta, Gamma (one of the closest red giants to Earth), Delta and Epsilon Crucis.

Many of these brighter stars are members of the Scorpius–Centaurus Association, a large but loose group of hot blue-white stars that appear to share common origins and motion across the southern Milky Way. The constellation contains four Cepheid variables that are each visible to the naked eye under optimum conditions. Crux also contains the bright and colourful open cluster known as the Jewel Box (NGC 4755) and, to the southwest, partly includes the extensive dark nebula, known as the Coalsack Nebula.

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



Thursday, 9 November 2017

PERSIAN LILAC TREE

Meliaceae, the mahogany family of flowering plants, of the order Sapindales, comprises 51 genera and about 575 species of trees and (rarely) shrubs, native to tropical and subtropical regions. Most members of the family have large compound leaves, with the leaflets arranged in the form of a feather, and branched flower clusters. The fruit is fleshy and coloured or a leathery capsule.

The China tree (Melia azedarach), also called chinaberry, bead tree, and Persian lilac, is an ornamental deciduous Asian tree with round yellow fruits, often cultivated in many tropical and warm temperate areas. The adult tree has a rounded crown, and commonly measures attains a height of 7-12 metres, however in exceptional circumstances M. azedarach can attain a height of 45 metres.

The flowers are small and highly fragrant, with five pale purple or lilac petals, growing in clusters. The fruit is a drupe, marble-sized, light yellow at maturity, hanging on the tree all winter, and gradually becoming wrinkled and almost white. The leaves are up to 50 cm long, alternate, long-petioled, 2 or 3 times compound (odd-pinnate); the leaflets are dark green above and lighter green below, with serrate margins.

It is a common ornamental street tree in Melbourne, but it must noted that fruits are poisonous to humans if eaten in quantity. However, like those of the Yew tree, these toxins are not harmful to birds, who gorge themselves on the fruit, eventually reaching a "drunken" state. Leaves have been used as a natural insecticide to keep with stored food, but must not be eaten as they are highly poisonous to humans. Today it is considered an invasive species as its seeds sprout easily and are transported by birds far and wide.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.




Wednesday, 8 November 2017

RAVENNA, ITALY

Ravenna is the capital city of the Province of Ravenna, in the Emilia-Romagna region of Northern Italy. It was the capital city of the Western Roman Empire from 402 until that empire collapsed in 476. It then served as the capital of the Ostrogothic Kingdom until it was re-conquered in 540 by the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire. Afterwards, the city formed the centre of the Byzantine Exarchate of Ravenna until the invasion of the Lombards in 751, after which it became the seat of the Kingdom of the Lombards. Although an inland city, Ravenna is connected to the Adriatic Sea by the Candiano Canal. It is known for its well-preserved late Roman and Byzantine architecture, and has eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

The Basilica of San Vitale is a church in Ravenna, Italy, and one of the most important examples of early Christian Byzantine art and architecture in Europe. The Roman Catholic Church has designated the building a "basilica", the honorific title bestowed on church buildings of exceptional historic and ecclesiastical importance, although of course it is not of architectural basilica form. It is one of eight Ravenna structures inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Its exquisite mosaics, including the portrait groups of Emperor Justinian and Empress Theodora with their retinues are world-renowned.

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








Tuesday, 7 November 2017

COPENHAGEN, DENMARK

Copenhagen (Danish: København; Latin: Hafnia) is the capital and most populous city of Denmark. The city has a population of 763,908 (as of December 2016), of whom 601,448 live in the Municipality of Copenhagen. The larger urban area has a population of approximately 1.3 million (as of 1 January 2016), while the Copenhagen metropolitan area has just over 2 million inhabitants.

Copenhagen is situated on the eastern coast of the island of Zealand; another small portion of the city is located on Amager, and is separated from Malmö, Sweden, by the strait of Øresund. The Øresund Bridge connects the two cities by rail and road. Originally a Viking fishing village founded in the 10th century, Copenhagen became the capital of Denmark in the early 15th century. Beginning in the 17th century it consolidated its position as a regional centre of power with its institutions, defences and armed forces.

After suffering from the effects of plague and fire in the 18th century, the city underwent a period of redevelopment. This included construction of the prestigious district of Frederiksstaden and founding of such cultural institutions as the Royal Theatre and the Royal Academy of Fine Arts. After further disasters in the early 19th century when Nelson attacked the Dano-Norwegian fleet and bombarded the city, rebuilding during the Danish Golden Age brought a Neoclassical look to Copenhagen's architecture.

Later, following the Second World War, the Finger Plan fostered the development of housing and businesses along the five urban railway routes stretching out from the city centre. Since the turn of the 21st century, Copenhagen has seen strong urban and cultural development, facilitated by investment in its institutions and infrastructure. The city is the cultural, economic and governmental centre of Denmark; it is one of the major financial centres of Northern Europe with the Copenhagen Stock Exchange. Copenhagen's economy has seen rapid developments in the service sector, especially through initiatives in information technology, pharmaceuticals and clean technology.

Since the completion of the Øresund Bridge, Copenhagen has become increasingly integrated with the Swedish province of Scania and its largest city, Malmö, forming the Øresund Region. With a number of bridges connecting the various districts, the cityscape is characterised by parks, promenades and waterfronts. Copenhagen's landmarks such as Tivoli Gardens, The Little Mermaid statue, the Amalienborg and Christiansborg palaces, Rosenborg Castle Gardens, Frederik's Church, and many museums, restaurants and nightclubs are significant tourist attractions.

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, 6 November 2017

Sunday, 5 November 2017

RED, RED ROSE

A Red, Red Rose

My love is like a red, red rose
   That’s newly sprung in June :
My love is like the melody
   That’s sweetly played in tune.
 
As fair art thou, my bonnie lass,
   So deep in love am I :
And I will love thee still, my dear,
   Till a’ the seas gang dry.
 
Till a’ the seas gang dry, my dear,
   And the rocks melt wi’ the sun :
And I will love thee still, my dear,
   While the sands o’ life shall run.
 
And fare thee well, my only love,
   And fare thee well a while !
And I will come again, my love,
   Thou’ it were ten thousand mile.

Robert Burns

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, 4 November 2017

KOOKABURRAS

Kookaburras are terrestrial tree kingfishers of the genus Dacelo native to Australia and New Guinea, which grow to between 28–42 cm in length. The name is a loanword from Wiradjuri guuguubarra, onomatopoeic of its call. The loud distinctive call of the Laughing Kookaburra is widely used as a stock sound effect in situations that involve a jungle setting. They are found in habitats ranging from humid forest to arid savanna, as well as in suburban areas with tall trees or near running water.

Even though they belong to the larger group known as "kingfishers", kookaburras are not closely associated with water. This laughing kookaburra (Dacelo novaeguineae) is a large robust bird occupying dry eucalypt forest, woodland, city parks and gardens.

This post is part of the and also 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.




Thursday, 2 November 2017

OSTEOSPERMUM 'WHIRLIGIG"

Osteospermum is a genus of flowering plants belonging to the Calenduleae, one of the smaller tribes of the sunflower/daisy family Asteraceae. The common name is African daisy or Cape daisy. Osteospermum used to belong to the genus Dimorphotheca, but only the annual species remain in that genus now; the perennials have been placed in the genus Osteospermum.

An amazing variety of cultivars have been developed, in a stunning variety of colours. The "Whirligig" hybrids shown above have added more diversity in this versatile and prolific garden bloomer.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

HAMPTON COURT PALACE

Hampton Court Palace is a royal palace in the borough of Richmond upon Thames, London, England, 11.7 miles (18.8 kilometres) south west and upstream of central London on the River Thames. Building of the palace began in 1515 for Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, a favourite of King Henry VIII. In 1529, as Wolsey fell from favour, the King seized the palace for himself and later enlarged it. Along with St James's Palace, it is one of only two surviving palaces out of the many owned by King Henry VIII.

In the following century, King William III's massive rebuilding and expansion project, which destroyed much of the Tudor palace, was intended to rival Versailles. Work ceased in 1694, leaving the palace in two distinct contrasting architectural styles, domestic Tudor and Baroque. While the palace's styles are an accident of fate, a unity exists due to the use of pink bricks and a symmetrical, if vague, balancing of successive low wings. King George II was the last monarch to reside in the palace.

Today, the palace is open to the public and is a major tourist attraction, easily reached by train from Waterloo station in central London and served by Hampton Court railway station in East Molesey, in Transport for London's Zone 6. In addition, London Buses routes 111, 216, 411 and R68 stop outside the palace gates. The structure and grounds are cared for by an independent charity, Historic Royal Palaces, which receives no funding from the Government or the Crown.

In addition the palace continues to display a large number of works of art from the Royal Collection. Apart from the Palace itself and its gardens, other points of interest for visitors include the celebrated maze, the historic real tennis court (see below), and the huge grape vine, the largest in the world as of 2005. The palace's Home Park is the site of the annual Hampton Court Palace Festival and Hampton Court Palace Flower Show.

It’s said that when Catherine Howard (c. 1523 – 13 February 1542 and Queen of England from 1540 until 1541, as the fifth wife of Henry VIII) was arrested at Hampton Court Palace, she broke free from the guards and ran to the doors of the Chapel Royal, where she believed Henry was at prayer. She screamed to the King for mercy, to no avail. Today the story goes that her famous ghost can still be seen running along what is now known as the 'Haunted Gallery' at the palace. Some visitors have reported feeling a chill, or 'strange sensations' when passing along the corridor!

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.


Friday, 27 October 2017

DUSK

Evening falls in Melbourne and there is a slight chill in the air, Spring is still holding its ground and Summer a good month away...

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

Thursday, 26 October 2017

ROSES

Long a symbol of love and passion, the ancient Greeks and Romans associated roses with Aphrodite and Venus, goddesses of love. Used for hundreds of years to convey messages without words, they also represent confidentiality. In fact, the Latin expression "sub rosa"(literally, "under the rose") means something told in secret, and in ancient Rome, a wild rose was placed on the door to a room where confidential matters were being discussed. The ceiling rose in rooms symbolises the same.

Each colour offers a distinct meaning: Red, the lover's rose, signifies enduring passion; white, humility and innocence; yellow, expressing friendship and joy; pink, gratitude, appreciation and admiration; orange, enthusiasm and desire; lilac and purple roses represent enchantment and love at first sight.

The number of stems in a rose bouquet can also express specific sentiments:
One rose: Is meant for early in a relationship, and means love at first sight;
Three roses: Represents a shared love, and should be a one-month anniversary gift;
Six roses: Symbolises passion and infatuation;
Ten roses: Says you believe your love is perfect;
Twelve roses: Is perfect for Valentine's Day, and means "be mine.";
Thirteen roses: Means you just want to be friends;
Fifteen roses: Means you're "sorry";
Twenty-four roses: Is like shouting "I'm yours";
Forty roses: Means your love is truly genuine.

The rose is the June birth month flower and the 15th wedding anniversary flower. The rose is the national flower of the United States, United Kingdom and the Maldives. It is the state flower of Georgia, Iowa, New York, North Dakota and the District of Columbia. And, not surprisingly, June – the month so often associated with weddings – is National Rose Month.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

PARIS, PICTURE PERFECT!

The Eiffel Tower (French: tour Eiffel) is a wrought iron lattice tower on the Champ de Mars in Paris, France. It is named after the engineer Gustave Eiffel, whose company designed and built the tower. Constructed in 1889 as the entrance to the 1889 World’s Fair, it was initially criticised by some of France's leading artists and intellectuals for its design, but has become a global cultural icon of France and one of the most recognisable structures in the world.

The tower is the tallest structure in Paris and the most-visited paid monument in the world: 6.98 million people ascended it in 2011. The tower received its 250 millionth visitor in 2010. The tower is 324 metres tall, about the same height as an 81-storey building. Its base is square, 125 metres on a side. During its construction, the Eiffel Tower surpassed the Washington Monument to become the tallest man-made structure in the world, a title it held for 41 years until the Chrysler Building in New York City was built in 1930.

Due to the addition of the aerial at the top of the tower in 1957, it is now taller than the Chrysler Building by 5.2 metres. Not including broadcast aerials, it is the second-tallest structure in France, after the Millau Viaduct. The tower has three levels for visitors, with restaurants on the first and second. The top level’s upper platform is 276 m above the ground, the highest accessible to the public in the European Union. Tickets can be purchased to ascend by stairs or lift to the first and second levels. The climb from ground level to the first level is over 300 steps, as is the climb from the first level to the second. Although there is a staircase to the top level, it is usually only accessible by lift.

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

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

PAROS, GREECE

Paros (Greek: Πάρος) is a Greek island in the central Aegean Sea. One of the Cyclades island group, it lies to the west of Naxos, from which it is separated by a channel about 8 kilometres wide. It lies approximately 150 km south-east of Piraeus. The Municipality of Paros includes numerous uninhabited offshore islets totalling 196.308 square kilometres of land. Its nearest neighbour is the municipality of Antiparos, which lies to its southwest. 

Historically, Paros was known for its fine white marble, which gave rise to the term "Parian" to describe marble or china of similar qualities. Today, abandoned marble quarries and mines can be found on the island, but Paros is primarily known as a popular tourist spot. Paros has numerous beaches including Chrissí Aktí (Golden Beach, Greece) near Drios on the east coast, at Pounda, Logaras, Piso Livadi, Naousa Bay, Parikia and Agia Irini. The constant strong wind in the strait between Paros and Naxos makes it a favoured windsurfing location.

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, 23 October 2017

HALLOWEEN FAVOUR BOX

With Halloween around the corner, here is a favour box you can make. Print on card at whatever size your printer can cope with (I have made the file 200 ppi, so the resolution should be OK). The original file should print OK on an A4 sheet. I have also enlarged it to A3 size and it prints fine. I did make a trial box first!

Cut around the outside border carefully and make a slit between the bottom (gravestone) panel and the side flap (marbled) until the white dot. Score carefully the inside edges so that the box folds easily. Glue the sides (to "A") and fold the side flaps (marbled) into the box to make it more robust and to decorate the inside (you can put a dab of glue on the under side  of the flaps if you like - that keeps them down and out of the way). Glue tongues "B" on bottom. Top tongue tucks into box to secure lid.

Fill with lollies (candies). Happy Halloween!

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.