Friday, 17 April 2015

BAMBOO

Bamboo is a tribe of flowering perennial evergreen plants in the grass family Poaceae, subfamily Bambusoideae, tribe Bambuseae; although, the forestry services and departments of many countries where bamboo is utilised as a building material consider bamboo to be a forestry product, and it is specifically harvested as a tree exclusively for the wood it produces, which in many ways is a wood superior in strength and resilience to other natural, fibrous building materials. In fact it is often referred to as a tree by cultures who harvest it as wood.

Giant bamboos are the largest members of the grass family. In bamboos, the internodal regions of the stem are hollow and the vascular bundles in the cross section are scattered throughout the stem instead of in a cylindrical arrangement. The dicotyledonous woody xylem is also absent. The absence of secondary growth wood causes the stems of monocots, even of palms and large bamboos, to be columnar rather than tapering.

Bamboos are some of the fastest-growing plants in the world, due to a unique rhizome-dependent system. Certain species of bamboo can grow 90 cm within a 24-hour period, at a rate of 0.00003 km/h (a growth of approximately 1 millimetre every 2 minutes. Bamboos are of notable economic and cultural significance in South Asia, Southeast Asia and East Asia, being used for building materials, as a food source, and as a versatile raw product. Bamboo has a higher compressive strength than wood, brick or concrete and a tensile strength that rivals steel. The word bamboo comes from the Kannada term bambu, which was introduced to English through Malay.

This post is part of the Friday Greens meme.



Thursday, 16 April 2015

ERYNGIUM

Eryngium is a genus of flowering plants in the family Apiaceae. There are about 250 species. The genus has a cosmopolitan distribution, with the centre of diversity in South America. Common names include eryngo and sea holly (though the genus is not related to the true hollies, Ilex). These are annual and perennial herbs with hairless and usually spiny leaves. The dome-shaped umbels of steely blue or white flowers have whorls of spiny basal bracts. Some species are native to rocky and coastal areas, but the majority are grassland plants.

Species are grown as ornamental plants in gardens. Numerous hybrids have been selected for garden use, of which E. × oliverianum and E. × tripartitum have gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit. Many species of Eryngium have been used as food and medicine. Eryngium campestre is used as a folk medicine in Turkey. Eryngium creticum is a herbal remedy for scorpion stings in Jordan. Eryngium elegans is used in Argentina and Eryngium foetidum in Latin America and South-East Asia. Native American peoples used many species for varied purposes. Cultures worldwide have used Eryngium extracts as anti-inflammatory agents.

Eryngium yields an essential oil and contains many kinds of terpenoids, saponins, flavonoids, coumarins, and steroids. The roots have been used as vegetables or sweetmeats. Young shoots and leaves are sometimes used as vegetables like asparagus. E. foetidum is used in parts of the Americas and Asia as a culinary herb. It is not unlike coriander, or cilantro, and is sometimes mistaken for it. It may be called spiny coriander or culantro.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.



Wednesday, 15 April 2015

NOCTURNAL NOTIONS

This is the Yarra River reflecting the lights of the City of Melbourne. I have edited the first photo using the programs Photoshop, Pixelmator and Affinity Photo.

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.





Tuesday, 14 April 2015

SINGAPORE VISIT

Singapore, officially the Republic of Singapore, is a southeast Asian city-state off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, 137 kilometres north of the equator. An island country made up of 63 islands, it is separated from Malaysia by the Straits of Johor to its north and from Indonesia's Riau Islands by the Singapore Strait to its south. The country is highly urbanised with very little primary rainforest remaining, although more land is being created for development through land reclamation.

In terms of purchasing power parity, Singapore has the third highest per capita income in the world. There are slightly over 5 million people in Singapore, of which 2.91 million were born locally. The population is highly diverse; the majority are Chinese, with Malays and Indians forming significant minorities. Reflecting this diversity, the country has four official languages: English, Chinese, Malay, and Tamil. One of the five founding members of the Association of South East Asian Nations, the country is also the host of the APEC Secretariat, and a member of the East Asia Summit, the Non-Aligned Movement, and the Commonwealth.

Buddhism is the most widely practised religion in Singapore, with 33% of the resident population declaring themselves adherents at the most recent census. The next most practised religion is Christianity, followed by Islam, Taoism and Hinduism. 17% of the population did not have a religious affiliation. The proportion of Christians, Taoists and non-religious people increased between 2000 and 2010 by about 3% each, whilst the proportion of Buddhists decreased. Other faiths remained largely stable in their share of the population.

This post is part of the Our World Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Ruby Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Trees & Bushes meme,
and also part of the Wordless Wednesday meme.












Monday, 13 April 2015

SUBIACO LIBRARY MURAL

Subiaco Library (Evelyn H. Parker Library) is located on the corner of Bagot and Rokeby Rd, Subiaco, Perth. It is a beautiful library and has a great selection of books. A striking mural can be seen high up on the wall above the service area. It is by artist, author, film director and designer, Shaun Tan.

Shaun Tan grew up in the northern suburbs of Perth, Western Australia. In school he became known as the 'good drawer' which partly compensated for always being the shortest kid in every class. He graduated from the University of WA in 1995 with joint honours in Fine Arts and English Literature, and currently works as an artist and author in Melbourne. The artist says this about his 2004 mural, "The Hundred Year Picnic", in the library:

"...I visited the nearby local museum, which houses a vast collection of old photographs, mostly drawn from private family albums donated to the museum. I thumbed through some two thousand images of streets, houses and people before finding a small photograph that seemed to capture the mood I was looking for; a family having a picnic somewhere, probably around 1920 or 1930, when Subiaco was a relatively undeveloped suburb.

...Rather than simply scale up and reproduce this image I wanted to abstract it in some way, particularly using colour to evoke a certain meditative mood. I imagined that each character was showing a different reaction to their environment, as if they were each living in different personal universes that happened to intersect - some are green, some pink, some white, and seem to be fading in and out of the background like fragments of memory."

This post is part of the Monday Mellow Yellows meme,
and also part of the Monday Murals meme.






Sunday, 12 April 2015

ST JOHN'S, SOUTHGATE

St John's Church at Southgate is a modern church that was designed by David Cole, an architect from Buchan, Laird and Bawden. The original St John's church was built in 1927 and located off City Road not far from the present church. The site was chosen because of its central location and access to public transport. In 1989 the church building was demolished to make way for the Southgate development.

The design of the present church links architecturally with the Southgate complex. St John's is first and foremost a place of worship. However, St Johns was designed also to serve a range of purposes, and it is an ideal venue for concerts and a centre for meetings and functions. For its many visitors the church provides a place for friendship and support.

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




Friday, 10 April 2015

ICE PLANT

Aptenia cordifolia is a species of succulent plant in the ice plant family known by the common names heartleaf, ice plant and baby sun rose. Perhaps the most common plant seen under this name is actually Aptenia 'Red Apple', a hybrid with red flowers and bright green leaves, whose parents are A. cordifolia and A. (Platythyra) haeckeliana. The true species of A. cordifolia has magenta purple flowers and more heart-shaped, mid-green, textured leaves.

Native to southern Africa, this species has become widely known as an ornamental plant. It is a mat-forming perennial herb growing in flat clumps on the ground from a woody base. Stems reach up to about 60 centimetres long. The bright green leaves are generally heart-shaped and up to 3 centimetres long. They are covered in very fine bumps. Bright pink to purplish flowers appear in the leaf axils and are open during the day. The fruit is a capsule just over a centimetre long.

The hybrid, Aptenia 'Red Apple', has, in some areas, escaped cultivation and now grows as an introduced species. Its far more vigorous growth and ability to root from small bits of stem makes it a poor choice for planting adjacent to wild lands as it can overwhelm native plants.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme,
and also part of the Friday Greens meme.


Thursday, 9 April 2015

CHIVES IN FLOWER

Chives is the common name of Allium schoenoprasum, the smallest species of the edible onion genus. A perennial plant, it is native to Europe, Asia and North America. A. schoenoprasum is the only species of Allium native to both the New and the Old Worlds. The name of the species derives from the Greek skhoínos (sedge) and práson (leek). Its English name, chives, derives from the French word cive, from cepa, the Latin word for onion.

Chives are a commonly used herb and can be found in grocery stores or grown in home gardens. In culinary use, the scapes and the unopened, immature flower buds are diced and used as an ingredient for fish, potatoes, soups, and other dishes. Chives have insect-repelling properties that can be used in gardens to control pests.

Chives are a bulb-forming herbaceous perennial plant, growing to 30–50 cm tall. The bulbs are slender, conical, 2–3 cm long and 1 cm broad, and grow in dense clusters from the roots. The scapes (or stems) are hollow and tubular, up to 50 cm long and 2–3 mm across, with a soft texture, although, prior to the emergence of a flower, they may appear stiffer than usual. The leaves, which are shorter than the scapes, are also hollow and tubular, or terete, (round in cross-section) which distinguishes it at a glance from Garlic Chives.

The flowers are pale purple, and star-shaped with six petals, 1–2 cm wide, and produced in a dense inflorescence of 10-30 together; before opening, the inflorescence is surrounded by a papery bract. The seeds are produced in a small three-valved capsule, maturing in summer. The herb flowers from April to May in the southern parts of its habitat zones and in June in the northern parts (November to February in the Southern Hemisphere).

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.