Echium candicans (syn. Echium fastuosum J.Jacq.), commonly known as pride of Madeira, is a species of flowering plant in the family Boraginaceae, native to the island of Madeira. It is a large herbaceous perennial subshrub, growing to 1.5–2.5 m. In the first year after germination the plant produces a broad rosette of leaves. In the second and subsequent years more or less woody flowering stalks are produced clothed in rough leaves. The flower head is large and covered with white or blue flowers having red stamens. The Latin specific epithet candicans means “shining white”, referring to one colour form of this species. It is much visited by bees and butterflies for its nectar. Echium candicans is cultivated in the horticulture trade and widely available throughout the world as an ornamental plant for traditional and drought tolerant water conserving gardens. It is particularly suitable for coastal planting, and is a popular ornamental in coastal California. With a minimum temperature requirement of 5–7 °C, in frost-prone areas it needs some winter protection. It has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit. In California, it is also an invasive species. It is removed from native plant communities as part of habitat restoration efforts in coastal parks such as the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. In New Zealand it is a common garden escape onto road-side verges and shingle banks throughout the drier parts of the two principal islands. In the state of Victoria, Australia, it is considered to be a high weed risk and an alert has been posted by the Department of Primary Industries. This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.
Mild summers with some rain allows vegetation to remain green and provide a cool shady spot for Melburnians to relax in... This post is part of the Wordless Wednesday meme, and also part of the ABC Wednesday meme.
Valencia on the east coast of Spain, is the capital of the autonomous community of Valencia and the third-largest city in Spain after Madrid and Barcelona, with around 800,000 inhabitants in the administrative centre. Its urban area extends beyond the administrative city limits with a population of around 1.5–1.6 million people. Valencia is Spain's third largest metropolitan area, with a population ranging from 1.7 to 2.5 million depending on how the metropolitan area is defined.
The Port of Valencia is the 5th busiest container port in Europe and the busiest container port on the Mediterranean Sea. The city is ranked at Gamma+ in the Globalization and World Cities Research Network. Valencia is integrated into an industrial area on the Costa del Azahar (Orange Blossom Coast).
Valencia was founded as a Roman colony by the consul Decimus Junius Brutus Callaicus in 138 BC, and called Valentia Edetanorum. In 714 Moroccan and Arab Moors occupied the city, introducing their language, religion and customs; they implemented improved irrigation systems and the cultivation of new crops as well, being capital of the Taifa of Valencia. In 1238 the Christian king James I of Aragon reconquered the city and divided the land among the nobles who helped him conquer it, as witnessed in the Llibre del Repartiment. He also created a new law for the city, the Furs of Valencia, which were extended to the rest of the Kingdom of Valencia.
In the 18th century Philip V of Spain abolished the privileges as punishment to the kingdom of Valencia for aligning with the Habsburg side in the War of the Spanish Succession. Valencia was the capital of Spain when Joseph Bonaparte moved the Court there in the summer of 1812. It also served as capital between 1936 and 1937, during the Second Spanish Republic. The city is situated on the banks of the Turia, on the east coast of the Iberian Peninsula, fronting the Gulf of Valencia on the Mediterranean Sea.
Its historic centre is one of the largest in Spain, with approximately 169 ha (420 acres); this heritage of ancient monuments, views and cultural attractions makes Valencia one of the country's most popular tourist destinations. Due to its long history, this is a city with numerous popular celebrations and traditions, such as the Fallas (when you can taste the traditional Spanish dish paella), which were declared as Fiestas of National Tourist Interest of Spain in 1965 and Intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO in November 2016. In 2015, Joan Ribó, from Coalició Compromís, became mayor.
objet trouvé | ˈtruːveɪ | noun (plural objets trouvés pronounced same) an object found by an artist and displayed with no, or minimal, alteration as a work of art. ORIGIN French, literally ‘found object’. On a walk a couple of days ago I took some photos of various objects discarded on the sidewalk, the street, on roadside verges. Here is a mosaic of some of them. This post is part of the Mosaic Monday meme, and also part of the Macro Monday meme, and also part of theThrough my Lens meme, and also part of theSeasons meme.
Welcome to the meme, "My Sunday Best", which is a photographic and creative meme that allows you to showcase your talents in imaging. Every Sunday, you can post here showing an image you have created using your camera, (and/or) image processing software, and/or painting and drawing in the conventional way and have scanned in. The rules are simple: 1) Create your image and post it up on your blog; 2) Put the "My Sunday Best" logo image link somewhere on your post so people can click and come by here; 3) Leave a comment here once you have posted; 4) Visit other posters' blogs and be amazed with their creativity! Please do not use this meme to advertise your goods or services. This is a creative meme and any inappropriate links or comments shall be removed immediately!
The Australian pied cormorant, Phalacrocorax varius, also known as the pied cormorant, pied shag, or great pied cormorant, is a medium-sized member of the cormorant family. It is found around the coasts of Australasia. In New Zealand it is usually known either as the pied shag or by its Māori name of Kāruhiruhi. Older sources may refer to it as the "yellow-faced cormorant". In New Zealand its range on the east coast extends as far south as Christchurch, though this is a recent extension—older books report it no further south than Kaikoura. In Australia it is only moderately common in the eastern states, but abundant in the west. Although typically found in marine habitat—sometimes solitary, sometimes in pairs, sometimes in vast flocks of hundreds or thousands—it is also attracted to inland waters, including lakes, deep and open swamps, and rivers. The pied cormorant appears to feed largely on benthic fish. It will dive both in shallow, still water and in rapidly moving currents. Typical dive times are around 40 seconds, with a recovery period of 10–15 seconds between dives. This post is part of the Weekend Reflections meme, and also part of the Saturday Critters meme and also part of theCamera Critters meme, and also part of theI'd Rather Be Birdin' meme.
A lazy Summer afternoon, walking leisurely in the shade of the trees, enjoying the warmth. The sky blue and clear reflected in the still pond waters. How fortunate to be able to enjoy such serenity! This post is part of the Skywatch Friday meme, and also part of the Friday Photo Journal meme
Michelia is a genus of flowering plants belonging to the Magnolia family (Magnoliaceae). The genus includes about 50 species of evergreen trees and shrubs, native to tropical and subtropical south and southeast Asia (Indomalaya), including southern China. The Magnoliaceae are an ancient family; fossil plants identifiably belonging to the Magnoliaceae back date back 95 million years. A primitive aspect of the Magnolia family is that their large, cup-shaped flowers lack distinct petals or sepals. The large non-specialised flower parts, resembling petals, are called tepals. The leaves, flowers, and form of Michelia resemble Magnolia, but the blossoms of Michelia generally form clusters among the leaves, rather than singly at the branch ends as Magnolia does. Several of the larger species are locally important sources of timber. Some species, including the Champak (Michelia champaca) and M. doltsopa are grown for their flowers, both on the tree and as cut flowers. Champak flowers are also used to produce an essential oil for perfume. A few species have been introduced to gardens or as street trees outside of the Indomalaya region, including Michelia figo, M. doltsopa, and M. champaca. The genus is named after the Florentine botanist Pietro Antonio Micheli (1679–1737). The form shown here is Michelia x alba, a hybridised form not found in the wild and very popular as a garden ornamental. It is rather fashionable in Melbourne at the moment to plant these trees in one's garden! This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.
Florence (Italian: Firenze) is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with 383,083 inhabitants in 2013, and over 1,520,000 in its metropolitan area. Florence was a centre of medieval European trade and finance and one of the wealthiest cities of that era. It is considered the birthplace of the Renaissance, and has been called "the Athens of the Middle Ages". A turbulent political history includes periods of rule by the powerful Medici family and numerous religious and republican revolutions. From 1865 to 1871 the city was the capital of the recently established Kingdom of Italy. The Florentine dialect forms the base of Standard Italian and it became the language of culture throughout Italy due to the prestige of the masterpieces by Dante Alighieri, Petrarch, Giovanni Boccaccio, Niccolò Machiavelli and Francesco Guicciardini. The city attracts millions of tourists each year, and the Historic Centre of Florence was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1982. The city is noted for its culture, Renaissance art and architecture and monuments. The city also contains numerous museums and art galleries, such as the Uffizi Gallery and the Palazzo Pitti, and still exerts an influence in the fields of art, culture and politics. Due to Florence's artistic and architectural heritage, it has been ranked by Forbes as one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Florence is an important city in Italian fashion, being ranked in the top 15 fashion capitals of the world; furthermore, it is a major national economic centre, as well as a tourist and industrial hub. In 2008, the city had the 17th highest average income in Italy. This post is part of the Travel Tuesday meme and also part of the Wordless Wednesday meme, and also part of the ABC Wednesday meme.