Thursday, 23 October 2014

FOTHERGILLA

Fothergilla ‘Mount Airy’ is a hybrid Fothergilla cultivar that was discovered by plantsman Michael A. Dirr at the Mt. Airy Arboretum in Cincinnati, Ohio. This is a vigorous deciduous shrub that grows 1.5 m tall and is noted for its profuse spring flowering, excellent summer foliage, excellent Autumn colour and consistently upright habit.

Terminal, bottlebrush-like spikes (2-5 cm long) of tiny, fragrant, apetulous, white flowers bloom in mid- to late Spring after the foliage emerges. Flower colour comes from the dense clusters of showy stamens (white filaments and yellowish anthers). Flowers have a honey-scented frangance. Leathery, ovate to obovate leaves (4-10 cm long) are dark green above and bluish gray beneath.

Foliage turns excellent shades of yellow, orange and red-purple in Autumn. Genus name honours Dr. John Fothergill, 18th century English physician and early collector of American plants. ‘Mount Airy’ may be a cross between two southeastern U. S. natives, F. gardenii and F. major. It is taller than the former but shorter than the latter.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.



Wednesday, 22 October 2014

OUTBACK AUSTRALIA

The Outback is the vast, remote, arid area of Australia. The term "the outback" is generally used to refer to locations that are comparatively more remote than those areas named "the bush" which, colloquially, can refer to any lands outside the main urban areas.

Because of the low and erratic rainfall over most of the outback, combined with soils which are usually not very fertile, inland Australia is relatively sparsely settled. More than 90 percent of Australians live in urban areas on the coast. The total population of the Outback in Australia declined from 700,000 in 1996 to 690,000 in 2006. Largest decline was noted in Outback NT, while Kimberley and Pilbara showed population increase during the same period. The sex ratio is 104 males for 100 females and 17% of the total population is indigenous.

Other than agriculture and tourism, the main economic activity in this vast and sparsely settled area is mining. Owing to the complete absence of mountain building and glaciation since the Permian (in many areas since the Cambrian) ages, the outback is extremely rich in iron, aluminium, manganese and uranium ores, and also contains major deposits of gold, nickel, iron, lead and zinc ores. Because of its size, the value of grazing and mining is considerable.

There is much beauty within the Outback, with vast, unspoilt tracts of land, desert and scrubland, hidden oases and watercourses, striking rock formations, unusual vegetation, striking soil and mineral colours, our native animals, and amazing vistas at sunrise and sunset. There is terror also, with droughts, bushfires, floods and other natural disasters...

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










Tuesday, 21 October 2014

IDYLL

Springtime and an afternoon rendezvous in the park makes the stuff that memories are made of...

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

Monday, 20 October 2014

TREES & SKY

The first image was taken on a sunny Winter's day. A few months later the image was processed with several Photoshop filters to give the following two versions. I usually work through effects using multiple layers, sometimes as many as 20-30, before I arrive at the result I like. The last image with the almost 3D effect was achieved using a blend of blurred and sharpened layers.

This post is part of the Monday Mellow Yellows meme,
and also part of the Mandarin Orange Monday meme,
and also part of the Nature Footsteps Inspiring Photography meme,
and also part of the Blue Monday meme.



Sunday, 19 October 2014

KAPNIKAREA CHURCH, ATHENS

The Church of Panagia Kapnikarea (Greek: Εκκλησία της Παναγίας Καπνικαρέας) or just Kapnikarea (Greek: Καπνικαρέα) is a Greek Orthodox church dedicated to the Virgin Mary, and is one of the oldest churches in Athens. The church is located in the centre of the modern city of Athens, right in the middle of the high-traffic shopping area of Ermou street, at the edge of the Plaka district.

It is estimated that the church was built some time in the 11th century, perhaps around 1050. As it was common with the early Christian churches, this was built over an ancient Greek pagan temple dedicated to the worship of a goddess, possibly Athena or Demeter.

It appears that the Kapnikarea church may have originally been the katholikon of a monastery. Presently, the building is formed by a complex of three different units attached together; these units were built in succession:
a) the largest south church dedicated to the Presentation of Mary to the Temple;

b) the chapel of St Barbara on the northern side, and;
c) the exonarthex with the propylon, which are today on the western end. The larger of the two churches, the south one, is a domed complex, cross-in-square, has been dated (on the basis of morphological criteria) to just after the middle of the 11th century.

This post is part of the Spiritual Sundays meme,
and also part of the inSPIREd Sunday meme.



Saturday, 18 October 2014

HIGH ST REFLECTIONS

High Street in Northcote, Melbourne, Australia is undergoing a renaissance. This traditional, 19th century shopping strip went into a decline in the 80s, but then slowly, it began to be revivified as a quirky, trendy place to be. Nowadays, High St boasts a most interesting and eclectic mix of retailers, bars, pubs, cafés and restaurants.

This post is part of the Weekend Reflections meme,
and also part of the Weekly TopShot meme.