Historic Studley Park Boathouse, Kew, is only 10 minutes from the city centre and offers visitors the opportunity to dine in the restaurant, relax over a lighter meal in the indoor/outdoor café, or have a light snack from the kiosk while enjoying sweeping views of the Yarra River and natural bushland. You can also hire row boats, canoes and kayaks from the oldest operating boathouse in Australia. Open every day of the year except Christmas Day. Kids love the place as there are activities, animals and wide open spaces to play in.
The Dandenong Ranges (commonly just called "the Dandenongs") are a series of low mountain ranges, rising to 633 metres at Mount Dandenong, about 35 km east of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. The ranges consist mostly of rolling hills, steeply weathered valleys and gullies covered in thick temperate rainforest, predominantly consisting of tall Mountain Ash trees and dense ferny undergrowth.
The Dandenongs are home to 100,000 residents, but the area is very popular with visitors and tourists. many of which stay for the weekend at the various Bed & Breakfasts through the region. Much of the Dandenongs were protected by parklands as early as 1882 and by 1987 these parklands were amalgamated to form the Dandenong Ranges National Park, which was added to again in 1997. The popular Puffing Billy Railway, a heritage steam railway, runs through the southern parts of the Dandenongs.
There are many small towns and village-like settlements throughout , but there are also farms and orchards, flower gardens and nurseries. The relatively high altitude and cooler temperatures favour the growth of Spring bulbs and one of the larger bulb farms is the Tesselaar Tulip Farm, which is in existence from 1939. The annual Tulip Festival at this farm is well-attended event very popular with visitors and tourists.
We are lucky in Melbourne to have a rich architectural legacy from the Victorian times back int eh 19th century. These building range from the grand public buildings in the City and its environs, to the humble Victorian terrace cottages in the inner suburbs. Here are are a few architectural details from Brunswick, an inner Melbourne suburb.
A collage of two images: An ancient Greek bas relief from the
Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, “The girl and the doves” and one of the
pictures I took last time I was in Ioannina in Greece, proving that two points
in distant time across the centuries can be bridged quite spontaneously because
of the unchanging humanity of thought and experience. If you live in peace, be
grateful and appreciative of it, for there are many who are steeped in conflict
Strelitzia reginae is a monocotyledonous flowering plant indigenous to South Africa. Common names include Strelitzia, Crane Flower or Bird of Paradise, though these names are also collectively applied to other species in the genus Strelitzia. Its scientific name commemorates Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, queen consort of the United Kingdom, wife of H.M. King George III.
The species is native to South Africa but naturalised in Mexico, Belize, Bangladesh, Madeira Islands and Juan Fernández Islands off the coast of Chile. The plant grows to 2 m tall, with large, strong leaves 25–70 cm long and 10–30 cm broad, produced on petioles up to 1 m long. The leaves are evergreen and arranged in two ranks, making a fan-shaped crown. The flowers stand above the foliage at the tips of long stalks.
The hard, beak-like sheath from which the flower emerges is termed the spathe. This is placed perpendicular to the stem, which gives it the appearance of a bird's head and beak; it makes a durable perch for holding the sunbirds which pollinate the flowers. The flowers, which emerge one at a time from the spathe, consist of three brilliant orange sepals and three purplish-blue petals. Two of the blue petals are joined together to form an arrow-like nectary. When the sunbirds sit to drink the nectar, the petals open to cover their feet in pollen.
The seeds develop in quantity in each of the flowers and one may easily grow the plant from seed, at any time of year. Before sowing, remove the bright orange tuft of hairs attached to the seed (aril of each seed), the hard seeds can then be scarified (nicked or scratched) to decrease germination time. To scarify, soak the seeds in lukewarm water for several hours, and then nick them with a knife or small file. Scarified seeds will germinate in two to three months. Another way to decrease germination time is to put un-scarified seeds in a plastic bag and place them in a refrigerator at 4°C for two weeks. Then scarify and sow them.
The Jantar Mantar is a collection of architectural astronomical instruments, built by Sawai Jai Singh who was a Rajput king. The title of (King) and Sawai was bestowed on him by Emperor Mohammad Shah. Jai Singh II of Amber built his new capital of Jaipur between 1727 and 1734. It is also located in Ujjain and Mathura. It is modelled after the one that he had built at the Mughal capital of Delhi. He had constructed a total of five such facilities at different locations, including the ones at Delhi and Jaipur.
The Jaipur observatory is the largest and best preserved of these. It has been inscribed on the World Heritage List as "an expression of the astronomical skills and cosmological concepts of the court of a scholarly prince at the end of the Mughal period". Early restoration work was undertaken under the supervision of Major Arthur Garrett, a keen amateur astronomer, during his appointment as Assistant State Engineer for the Jaipur District. The Jantar Mantar was made by Sawai Jai Singh as he was particularly interested in learning about the sky above his head.
The name is derived from jantar ("instrument"), and mantar ("formula", or in this context "calculation"). Therefore jantar mantar means literally 'calculation instrument'. This observatory has religious significance, since ancient Indian astronomers were also Jyotisa (Indian astronomy and astrology) masters.
The observatory consists of fourteen major geometric devices for measuring time, predicting eclipses, tracking stars' location as the earth orbits around the sun, ascertaining the declinations of planets, and determining the celestial altitudes and related ephemerides. Each is a fixed and 'focused' tool. The Samrat Yantra, the largest instrument, is 90 feet (27 m) high, its shadow carefully plotted to tell the time of day. Its face is angled at 27 degrees, the latitude of Jaipur.
Thoroughly restored in 1901, the Jantar Mantar was declared a national monument in 1948. An excursion through Jai Singh's Jantar is a unique experience of walking through solid geometry and encountering a collective astronomical system designed to probe the heavens.