Sunday, 14 February 2016

LIQUID SUNSHINE

Late Summer days, relaxing at the weekend by the waters of Darebin Creek, near where I live. The sun was warm, a light breeze rustled the leaves and the creek waters bubbled by incessantly. A most pleasant way to spend a day of leisure...

This post is part of the Scenic Weekends meme,
and also part of the Saturday Show Off meme.


Saturday, 13 February 2016

SATURDAY SILHOUETTES #34

Welcome to the Saturday Silhouettes meme! This is a weekly meme that looks at SILHOUETTES in photography.

SILHOUETTE |ˌsɪlʊˈɛt| noun: The dark shape and outline of someone or something visible in restricted light against a brighter background.

ORIGIN - late 18th century: Named (although the reason remains uncertain) after Étienne de Silhouette (1709–67), French author and politician.
Sunset silhouettes in the suburbs.

This post is also part of the Skywatch Friday meme.

Please add your silhouette shot below, using the Linky tool:

Friday, 12 February 2016

JAPANESE MAPLE SEEDS

Acer palmatum, called Japanese maple or smooth Japanese-maple (Japanese: irohamomiji, イロハモミジ, or momiji, 紅葉) is a species of woody plant native to Japan, North Korea, South Korea, eastern Mongolia, and southeast Russia. Many different cultivars of this maple have been selected and they are grown worldwide for their large variety of attractive forms, leaf shapes, and spectacular leaf colours, especially during autumn.

Acer palmatum is a deciduous shrub or small tree reaching heights of 6 to 10 m, rarely 16 metres, often growing as an understory plant in shady woodlands. It may have multiple trunks joining close to the ground. In habit, it is often shaped like a hemisphere (especially when younger) or takes on a dome-like form, especially when mature.

The leaves are 4–12 cm long and wide, palmately lobed with five, seven, or nine acutely pointed lobes. The flowers are produced in small cymes, the individual flowers with five red or purple sepals and five whitish petals. The fruit is a pair of winged samaras, each samara 2–3 cm long with a 6–8 mm seed. The seeds of Japanese maple and similar species require stratification in order to germinate.

This post is part of the Friday Greens meme.

Thursday, 11 February 2016

FAIRY FAN FLOWER

Scaevola aemula (Fairy Fan-flower or Common Fan-flower) is a small shrub in the family Goodeniaceae, native to southern Australia. It grows to 50 cm in height and produces white or blue flowers in spikes up to 24 cm long from August to March in its native range. These are followed by rounded, wrinkled berries to 4.5 mm in length. The species occurs in Western Australia, South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales.

This species is thought to be the most commonly cultivated of the genus Scaevola, and a large number of cultivars have been developed. Most of these are mat-forming to a height of 12 cm and spreading up to 1 metre in width. It prefers a sunny or partially shaded, well-drained position and tolerates salt spray and periods of drought. Pruning and pinching of tip growth may be carried out to shape the plant. Propagation is from cuttings or by layering.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

ETERNITY

The word "Eternity" was a graffito tag recorded over an approximate 35-year period from 1932 to 1967, written numerous times in chalk in the streets of Sydney, Australia. The word had been written by Arthur Stace, an illiterate former soldier, petty criminal and alcoholic who became a devout Christian in the late 1940s.

For years after his conversion up until his death in the 1960s, Stace walked the streets of Sydney at night writing the single word "Eternity" on walls and footpaths in his unmistakable copperplate handwriting. Stace's identity remained unknown until it was finally revealed in a newspaper article in 1956. It is estimated Stace wrote the word over half a million times.

After Stace's death, the Eternity signature lived on. Australian contemporary artist, illustrator and filmmaker Martin Sharp noticed it and celebrated Stace's one-man campaign in many of his works. More recently, some Australian Christian groups, including those at universities, have run evangelistic campaigns whose promotion involved chalking "Eternity", after Stace's fashion, on footpaths.

As part of the fireworks on Sydney Harbour to mark New Year's Day of the year 2000, the graffito "Eternity" was illuminated on the Sydney Harbour Bridge. This moment was symbolically recreated later that year as part of the Sydney 2000 Olympics Opening Ceremony, beamed to billions of television viewers worldwide. In 2001 the Council of the City of Sydney was granted a trademark (817532) on the script in order to protect it from indiscriminate commercial use.

The newspaper "Eternity" was named after the tag. Founded in 2009, it has a broad circulation amongst Christian groups in Australia. One of the works by English street artist Banksy during his October 2013 "residency" in New York City depicts a worker washing away the Eternity tag (see below).

This post is part of the Wednesday Waters meme,
and also 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,
and also part of the Nature Footstep Digital Art Meme.
Sydney Harbour Bridge
Arthur Stace at work
Arthur Stace
Banksy's graffito
Eternity


Monday, 8 February 2016

APARTMENTS

More and more high-rise apartment buildings are being built in Melbourne presently, with no regard to overcrowding, increased noise, increased traffic, congestion, risk of fires and other disasters, increased demand on failing infrastructure. And of course, it just looks awful especially if you live anywhere near one of the agglomerates (or in one of them!).

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




Saturday, 6 February 2016

SATURDAY SILHOUETTES #33

Welcome to the Saturday Silhouettes meme! This is a weekly meme that looks at SILHOUETTES in photography.

SILHOUETTE |ˌsɪlʊˈɛt| noun: The dark shape and outline of someone or something visible in restricted light against a brighter background.
ORIGIN - late 18th century: Named (although the reason remains uncertain) after Étienne de Silhouette (1709–67), French author and politician.
At the Brisbane Botanic Gardens, early one morning

Please add your silhouette shot below, using the Linky tool:

Friday, 5 February 2016

GREEN TREE PYTHON

Morelia viridis, commonly known as the green tree python, or as it is known in the herpetoculture hobby, 'chondro' (due to its former classification in the genus Chondropython) is a species of python found in New Guinea, islands in Indonesia, and Cape York Peninsula in Australia.

The species usually reaches a total length of 150–180 cm, but large females may reach 200 cm. The size also varies depending on the region of origin. The weight is highly dependent upon the nutritional status of the animal. Males can weigh about 1100-1400 g, females up to 1,600 g, although wild specimens are typically much lighter than this. Especially large specimens up to 2,200 g are invariably females, which like most snakes are slightly larger and heavier than males.

Its main habitat is typically in or near rainforest, and is primarily arboreal, residing in trees, shrubs and bushes. Occasionally it is seen on the ground. This species is not currently thought to be threatened in its natural habitat, although it remains very popular in the pet trade. Some hunting for food is known to occur in New Guinea.

The diet of these pythons consists mostly of small mammals, such as rodents, and sometimes reptiles. Prey is captured by holding onto a branch using the prehensile tail and striking out from an s-shaped position and constricting the prey. Wild specimens have also been observed and photographed wrapped around the base of small tree trunks, facing down in an ambush position, presumably waiting for ground mammals to prey upon.

Morelia viridis is oviparous, laying 1-25 viable eggs per clutch. Breeding has never been reported from the wild, however in captivity eggs are incubated and protected by the female. Hatchlings are lemon-yellow with broken stripes and spots of purple and brown, or golden or orange-red. These snakes are often bred and kept in captivity, although they are usually considered an advanced species due to their specific care requirements; once these are met, they usually thrive in captivity. I photographed the specimen below at the San Diego zoo.

This post is part of the Friday Greens meme.

Thursday, 4 February 2016

'HOT COCOA' ROSE

'Hot Cocoa' rose was bred by Tom Carruth, USA, in 2001. Don't plant this beautiful rose planted at the back of your rose garden because you will miss the most unusual array of colours as the blooms start to flourish. Early in the season, the buds can be quite orange on the outer petals, however, the surprise is when the bud opens, the petals are distinctly brown and then as they age, they turn are dusky, muddy mauve. It is quite stunning at all stages and when the bush is in full bloom, the colour range is amazing.

'Hot Cocoa' is outstandingly disease-resistant with glossy, green foliage which adds to its unique beauty. The bush habit is rather upright and if pushed against a wall and wasn’t pruned, this bush would create quite a spectacular pillar rose. There’s no great perfume but Hot Cocoa is a highly recommended rose to plant for its unusual range of colours.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.