Wednesday, 29 July 2015

CORDOBA, SPAIN - ALCAZAR

The Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos (Spanish for "Alcázar of the Christian Monarchs"), also known as the Alcázar of Córdoba, is a medieval Alcázar located in the historic centre of Córdoba, Spain next to the Guadalquivir River and near the Grand Mosque. The Alcázar takes its name from the Arabic word القصر (Al-Qasr, meaning "the Palace"). The fortress served as one of the primary residences of Isabella I of Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragon.

In early medieval times, the site was occupied by a Visigoth fortress. When the Visigoths fell to the Umayyad conquest of Hispania, the emirs of the Umayyad Caliphate in Damascus rebuilt the structure. The Umayyads fell to the Abbasid Caliphate and the surviving member of the Umayyad Dynasty, Abd ar-Rahman I, fled to Córdoba. Abd ar-Rahman I's successors established the independent Caliphate of Córdoba and used the Alcázar as their palace. The city subsequently flourished as an important political and cultural center, and the Alcázar was expanded to a very large compound with baths, gardens, and the largest library in the West. Watermills on the nearby Guadalquivir powered water lifting to irrigate the extensive gardens.

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.












Tuesday, 28 July 2015

CYPRESSES IN MORNINGTON

Hesperocyparis macrocarpa, commonly known as Monterey cypress, is a species of cypress native to the Central Coast of California. It has been introduced as cultivated species in many other temperate climates such as in South Africa and Australia, shown here in Mornington, Victoria.

This is a medium-sized coniferous evergreen tree, which often becomes irregular and flat-topped as a result of the strong winds that are typical of its native area. It grows to heights of up to 40 m in perfect growing conditions, and its trunk diameter can reach 2.5 m. The foliage grows in dense sprays which are bright green in colour and release a characteristic aroma when crushed. The leaves are scale-like, 2–5 mm long, and produced on rounded (not flattened) shoots; seedlings up to a year old have needle-like leaves 4–8 mm long.

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

Saturday, 25 July 2015

SATURDAY SILHOUETTES #5

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.

This post is also part of the Skywatch Friday meme
and also part of the Saturday Critters meme.

Please join me by linking your photo in which a silhouette plays a prominent part in the composition of your image:

Thursday, 23 July 2015

JACOBINIA

A member of the Acanthaceae family, the Brazilian plume flower or jacobinia (Justicia carnea) is a shade-loving, soft-wooded shrub (ht 1.5m) with large, lush leaves. Thick plumes of white, pale pink or deep pink tubular flowers appear in regular flushes from early summer to late autumn. A form with dark purplish underleaves is known as 'Radiant' - perhaps more correctly should be called 'Huntington Form'.

Justicia carnea needs hard pruning in late winter, and regular dead-heading during summer will help to promote new blooms. It will also flourish in sunny spots but is useful for shaded sites, as are so many of the Acanthaceae family, which do so well in temperate climates. Whilst it will stand neglect, it responds well to feeding and watering. It is easily propagated from cuttings. It is a good companion to hydrangeas, Plectranthus species, ferns and camellias. The white form looks pretty with silver-leaved companions, such as Plectranthus argentatus and Pilea cadierei.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.


Monday, 20 July 2015

COLLINGWOOD MURAL

We often see this type of mural in Melbourne: An artwork reproduced on big sheets of paper (a photocopier may be involved), the pieces joined together to form the image, various amounts of trimming and then pasting on a wall much like a poster. Some paint may be used (as in this instance) to highlight aspects of the design. This one on an old building in Collingwood. It is signed "Lucy Lucy".

This post is part of the Monday Murals meme.