Thursday, 27 April 2017

CHINESE ASTERS

Chinese aster (Callistephus chinensis - Tall Paeony Duchess) comes in great mix of colours! There is yellow, scarlet, apricot, dark blue, pink, magenta, and more. Duchess Asters have huge, double blooms with incurved petals that grow on tall, upright plants with 5 to 8 floral stems. Aster Callistephus are an excellent cutting flower and have a long vase-life. Their flowers are similar to autumn chrysanthemums, but they bloom so much earlier in the season.

Asters grow quickly and bloom heavily. Start the Aster seeds in the spring 6 to 8 weeks before the end of frost season. The flower seeds are small, so press them into the soil gently and lightly cover them. Harden the Aster plants off for 10 to 14 days before transplanting outdoors in a sunny to part sun position.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

WILD MELBOURNE WEATHER

Over the past couple of days we have had a cold front sweeping through Victoria and bringing with it some wild weather: Cold, rain, winds, hail and thunderstorms with lightning. More than 40 millimetres of rain have fallen over the past two days, with Melbourne on track to record its wettest April since 2001.

Wednesday was the coldest day in Melbourne so far this year with a maximum of about 14˚C, and averaging 11˚C for most of the day. Hail hit Melbourne's south-east suburbs on Wednesday afternoon, particularly Toorak. There were also reports of hail in Brighton, Alphington, Fairfield (where the photos below were taken), and Pakenham throughout the day.

The Darebin Creek in the Parklands at Fairfield/Alphington flooded with a great deal of water coming through at a great speed. We are expecting more of these weather conditions over the next couple of days.

This post is part of the Wednesday Waters meme,
and also part of the Outdoor Wednesday meme,
and also part of the Wordless Wednesday meme.



















Tuesday, 25 April 2017

GALLIPOLI - ANZAC COVE

The Gallipoli peninsula (Greek: Χερσόνησσος της Καλλίπολης; Turkish: Gelibolu Yarımadası) is located in the southern part of East Thrace, the European part of Turkey, with the Aegean Sea to the west and the Dardanelles strait to the east. Gallipoli is the Italian form of the Greek name "Καλλίπολις" (Kallípolis), meaning "Beautiful City", the original name of the modern town of Gelibolu. In antiquity, the peninsula was known as the Thracian Chersonese (Greek: Θρακική Χερσόνησος, Thrakiké Chersónesos; Latin: Chersonesus Thracica).

The peninsula runs in a south-westerly direction into the Aegean Sea, between the Hellespont (now known as the Dardanelles) and the bay of Melas (today Saros bay). Near Agora it was protected by a wall running across its full breadth. The isthmus traversed by the wall was only 36 stadia in breadth (about 6.5 km), but the length of the peninsula from this wall to its southern extremity, Cape Mastusia, was 420 stadia (about 77.5 km).

During World War I, British and colonial forces attacked the peninsula in 1915, seeking to secure a route to relieve their eastern ally, Russia. The Ottomans set up defensive fortifications along the peninsula and the attackers were eventually repulsed. In early 1915, attempting to seize a strategic advantage in World War I by capturing Constantinople, the British authorised an attack on the peninsula.

The first Australian troops landed on early morning 25 April 1915 and after eight months of heavy fighting, the troops were withdrawn around the end of the year. The campaign was one of the greatest Ottoman victories during the war and is considered a major Allied failure. In Turkey, it is regarded as a defining moment in the nation's history: A final surge in the defence of the motherland as the Ottoman Empire crumbled. The struggle formed the basis for the Turkish War of Independence and the founding of the Republic of Turkey eight years later under Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, who first rose to prominence as a commander at Gallipoli.

The campaign was the first major military action of Australia and New Zealand as independent dominions, and is often considered to mark the birth of national consciousness in those nations. The date of the landing, 25 April, is known as "Anzac Day". It remains the most significant commemoration of military casualties and veterans in Australia and New Zealand. On the Allied side one of the key promoters of the expedition was Britain's First Lord of the Admiralty, Winston Churchill, whose reputation took years to recover.

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








Monday, 24 April 2017

RAINY WEATHER

Autumn has arrived in the Southern Hemisphere...

This post is part of the Mosaic Monday meme,
and also part of the Monday Mellow Yellows meme,
and also part of the Macro Monday meme,
and also part of the Through my Lens meme,
and also part of the Seasons meme.




Sunday, 23 April 2017

MY SUNDAY BEST MEME #11 - LEAF RUST

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!
This post is part of the My Sunday Photo meme,
and also part of the Photo Sunday meme,
and also part of the Skywatch Friday meme.
Please leave your link below using the Mr Linky tool:

Friday, 21 April 2017

JUPITER AND MOONS

The brightest 'star' on the top part of the first image is in fact the planet Jupiter. Even if you are not familiar with the night sky, Jupiter’s brightness means that it is very easy to find. Jupiter will be the brightest 'star' (-2.6 magnitude) you can see.

Jupiter is so large (approximately 1,200 Earths by volume) that even a reasonable pair of binoculars will resolve Jupiter as a disc plus show four of its largest ('Galilean') moons. The Galilean moons are the four moons of Jupiter discovered by Galileo Galilei around January 1610. They are by far the largest of the moons of Jupiter. They are Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto and derive their names from the lovers of Zeus. However, in total there are 67 confirmed moons of Jupiter!

I took these photos from my bedroom window. The first photo shows Jupiter in the upper centre of the image. For the close up of Jupiter I used a 30X optical zoom as well as an additional 30X digital zoom. Three of the four Galilean moons are visible.

This post is part of the Skywatch Friday meme,
and also part of the Friday Photo Journal.




Thursday, 20 April 2017

CANOLA FLOWERS

Brassica rapa L. is a plant consisting of various widely cultivated subspecies including the turnip (a root vegetable); napa cabbage, bomdong, bok choy, and cime di rapa (leaf vegetables) and (Brassica rapa subsp. oleifera, an oilseed which has many common names, including field mustard, bird rape, keblock, and colza).

Brassica rapa is also known as Wisconsin Fast Plants. The oil made from the seed is sometimes also called canola, which is one reason why it is sometimes confused with rapeseed oil, but this comes from a different Brassica species (Brassica napus). The oilseeds known as canola are sometimes particular varieties of Brassica rapa (termed Polish Canola) but usually the related species Brassica napus (rapeseed) and Brassica juncea (mustard greens and mizuna)

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.


Wednesday, 19 April 2017

OXEÍA ISLAND, GREECE

Oxeia (Greek: Οξεία) is a Greek island in the Ionian Sea. As of 2011, it had no resident population. It is the chief island in the southern group (the Ouniades) of the Echinades, part of the Ionian Islands. Oxeia possesses the highest point in the Echinades, 421 metres. It is situated near the mouth of the river Acheloos, off the coast of Aetolia-Acarnania. The island is around 5 kilometres in length and its width is approximately 2 km. The Battle of Lepanto took place near the island in 1571. In April 2012, it was bought by Qatar Holdings.

This post is part of the Wednesday Waters 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, 18 April 2017

NOTRE-DAME DE PARIS

Paris is the capital and most populous city of France. It has an area of 105 square kilometres and a population of 2,229,621 in 2013 within its administrative limits The city is both a commune and department and forms the centre and headquarters of the Île-de-France, or Paris Region, which has an area of 12,012 square kilometres and a population in 2016 of 12,142,802, comprising roughly 18 percent of the population of France. By the 17th century, Paris was one of Europe's major centres of finance, commerce, fashion, science, and the arts, and it retains that position still today. The Paris Region had a GDP of €624 billion (US $687 billion) in 2012, accounting for 30.0 percent of the GDP of France and ranking it as one of the wealthiest regions in Europe.

Notre-Dame de Paris ("Our Lady of Paris"), also known as Notre-Dame Cathedral or simply Notre-Dame, is a medieval Catholic cathedral on the Île de la Cité in the fourth arrondissement of Paris, France. The cathedral is widely considered to be one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture, and it is among the largest and most well-known church buildings in the world. The naturalism of its sculptures and stained glass are in contrast with earlier Romanesque architecture. As the cathedral of the Archdiocese of Paris, Notre-Dame contains the cathedra of the Archbishop of Paris, currently Cardinal André Vingt-Trois.

The cathedral treasury contains a reliquary, which houses some of Catholicism's most important relics, including the purported Crown of Thorns, a fragment of the True Cross, and one of the Holy Nails. In the 1790s, Notre-Dame suffered desecration in the radical phase of the French Revolution when much of its religious imagery was damaged or destroyed. An extensive restoration supervised by Eugène Viollet-le-Duc began in 1845. A project of further restoration and maintenance began in 1991.

This post is part of the Our World Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Ruby Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Travel Tuesday meme.

Sunday, 16 April 2017

MY SUNDAY BEST MEME #10 - ESCALATOR

Welcome to this new 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!
This post is part of the My Sunday Photo meme,
and also part of the Photo Sunday meme.

Please leave your link below using the Mr Linky tool:

Saturday, 15 April 2017

ORB WEAVER SPIDER

The Australian garden orb weaver spider (Eriophora transmarina) is a very common species of spider with many variants in size, shape, and colour across the coastal regions of the eastern states of Australia. It has a very large abdomen when well-fed and exhibits a tremendous colour-range from off-white through tan, brown to almost black. It has a roughly leaf-shaped pattern on the top of their abdomen with a complex outline that is darker than the surrounding area. There may also be several whitish spots or one or more stripes. The spiders' cephalothoraxes (heads) and proximal (closer to the body) leg segments are usually darker, mostly reddish or reddish brown. They are able to change their colour with each moult to better match the background upon which they rest during the day.

The spiders are notable for the often large and intricate webs which they weave at night. They are usually nocturnal feeders, resting head down in their webs waiting to catch flying insects. They make their sticky rounded orb webs near lights and between trees where insects are likely to fly. During the day the spider will often rest somewhere near the web, usually under a leaf or twig, or in a crevice in bark or rock. They are commonly found around human habitation so may be found resting under eaves and in similar places. When disturbed they will retreat towards this rest area, although under imminent danger the spider will drop to the ground and "play dead".

Occasionally individual spiders will remain on the web during the day, possibly when prey has not been caught for a while, but this makes them more vulnerable to predation by birds. Their bite is not dangerous to humans but may induce mild, local pain, redness, and occasionally swelling for a period of 30 minutes up to three to four hours. The female is larger than the male, having a body length of 20 - 25 mm compared with 15 - 17 mm for the males. Females may also be distinguished by a needle-like epigynum protruding in the direction of the spinnerets.

This post is part of the Saturday Critters meme,
and also part of the Camera Critters meme.

Friday, 14 April 2017

Thursday, 13 April 2017

COSMOS SULPHUREUS

Cosmos sulphureus is also known as sulfur cosmos and yellow cosmos. It is native to Mexico, Central America, and northern South America, and naturalised in other parts of North and South America as well as in Europe, Asia, and Australia. It is within the Asteraceae family.

This species of Cosmos is considered a half-hardy annual, although plants may re-appear via self-sowing for several years. Its foliage is opposite and pinnately divided. The plant height varies from 30–210 cm. The original and its cultivars appear in shades of yellow, orange, and red. It is especially popular in Korea and Japan, where it is often seen in mass plantings along roadsides, following an initiative pursued by the Korean-Japanese botanist Woo Jang-choon. This plant was declared invasive by the United States Southeast Exotic Pest Plant Council in 1996.

Growth characteristics of this plant include: Germination takes between 7 and 21 days at the optimal temperature of 24˚C; flowering begins between 50 and 60 days after germination. It prefers a soil pH between 6.0 and 8.5, reflecting its native habitat in the alkaline regions of Central America Flowering is best in full sun, although partial shade is tolerated The plant is tolerant to drought after germination, and is seldom subject to insect or disease damage; this vigour is attested by its status as a pest in some areas of the United States. The flowers of all Cosmos attract birds and butterflies, including the monarch butterfly.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

NAPLES, ITALY

Naples (Italian: Napoli; Latin: Neapolis; Ancient Greek: Νεάπολις, meaning "new city") is the capital of the Italian region Campania and the third-largest municipality in Italy, after Rome and Milan. In 2015, around 975,260 people lived within the city's administrative limits. Naples is the 9th-most populous urban area in the European Union with a population of between 3 million and 3.7 million. About 4.4 million people live in the Naples metropolitan area, one of the largest metropolises on the Mediterranean Sea.

Naples is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. Bronze Age Greek settlements were established in the Naples area in the second millennium BC. A larger colony – initially known as Parthenope, Παρθενόπη – developed on the Island of Megaride around the ninth century BC, at the end of the Greek Dark Ages. The city was refounded as Neápolis in the sixth century BC and became a lynchpin of Magna Graecia, playing a key role in the merging of Greek culture into Roman society and eventually becoming a cultural centre of the Roman Republic. Naples remained influential after the fall of the Western Roman Empire, serving as the capital city of the Kingdom of Naples between 1282 and 1816. Thereafter, in union with Sicily, it became the capital of the Two Sicilies until the unification of Italy in 1861.

Naples was the most-bombed Italian city during World War II. Much of the city's 20th-century periphery was constructed under Benito Mussolini's fascist government, and during reconstruction efforts after World War II. In recent decades, Naples has constructed a large business district, the Centro Direzionale, and has developed an advanced transport infrastructure, including an Alta Velocità high-speed rail link to Rome and Salerno, and an expanded subway network, which is planned to eventually cover half of the region. The city has experienced significant economic growth in recent decades, and unemployment levels in the city and surrounding Campania have decreased since 1999. However, Naples still suffers from political and economic corruption, and unemployment levels remain high.

Naples' historic city centre is the largest in Europe, covering 1,700 hectares (4,200 acres) and enclosing 27 centuries of history, and is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Naples has long been a major cultural centre with a global sphere of influence, particularly during the Renaissance and Enlightenment eras. In the immediate vicinity of Naples are numerous culturally and historically significant sites, including the Palace of Caserta and the Roman ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Culinarily, Naples is synonymous with pizza, which originated in the city.

Neapolitan music has also been highly influential, credited with the invention of the romantic guitar and the mandolin, as well as notable contributions to opera and folk standards. Popular characters and historical figures who have come to symbolise the city include Januarius, the patron saint of Naples, the comic figure Pulcinella, and the Sirens from the Greek epic poem the Odyssey. According to CNN, the metro stop "Toledo" is the most beautiful in Europe and it won also the LEAF Award '2013 as "Public building of the year". Naples is the Italian city with the highest number of accredited stars from the Michelin Guide.

This post is part of the Our World Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Ruby Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Travel Tuesday meme.

Sunday, 9 April 2017

MY SUNDAY BEST MEME #9 - RIPENING

Welcome to this new 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!
This post is part of the My Sunday Photo meme.
Please leave your link below using the Mr Linky tool:

Saturday, 8 April 2017

AT THE PARKLANDS

At the Darebin Parklands in suburban Melbourne, Australia.

This post is part of the Weekend Reflections meme,
and also part of the Scenic Weekends meme,
and also part of the Saturday Critters meme,
and also part of the Camera Critters meme.





Friday, 7 April 2017

Thursday, 6 April 2017

WILD CLEMATIS

Clematis vitalba (also known as Old man's beard and Traveller's Joy) is a shrub of the Ranunculaceae family. Clematis vitalba is a climbing shrub with branched, grooved stems, deciduous leaves, and scented greenish-white flowers with fluffy underlying sepals. The many fruits formed in each inflorescence have long silky appendages which, seen together, give the characteristic appearance of Old Man's beard. The grooves along the stems of C. vitalba can easily be felt when handling the plant. This species is eaten by the larvae of a wide range of moths. This includes many species which are reliant on it as their sole foodplant; including Small Emerald, Small Waved Umber and Haworth's Pug.

Due to its disseminatory reproductive system, vitality, and climbing behaviour, Clematis vitalba is an invasive plant in most places, including many in which it is native. Some new tree plantations can be suffocated by a thick layer of Clematis vitalba, if not checked. In New Zealand it is declared an "unwanted organism" and is listed in the National Pest Plant Accord. It cannot be sold, propagated or distributed. It is a potential threat to native plants since it grows vigorously and forms a canopy which smothers all other plants and has no natural controlling organisms in New Zealand. New Zealand native species of Clematis have smooth stems and can easily be differentiated from C. vitalba by touch.

Clematis vitalba was used to make rope during the Stone Age in Switzerland. In Slovenia, the stems of the plant were used for weaving baskets for onions and also for binding crops. It was particularly useful for binding sheaves of grain because mice do not gnaw on it. It is also widely considered in the medical community to be an effective cure for stress and nerves.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

MONTREAL, CANADA

Montreal (officially Montréal), is the most populous municipality in the Canadian province of Quebec and the 2nd-most populous in Canada as a whole. Originally called Ville-Marie, or "City of Mary," it is believed to be named after Mount Royal, though there is some debate about this. The city has a distinct four-season continental climate, with warm-to-hot summers and cold, snowy winters.

In 2016, Montreal had a population of 1,704,694. Montreal's metropolitan area had a population of 4,098,927 and a population of 1,958,257 in the urban agglomeration, with all of the municipalities on the Island of Montreal included. Legally a French-speaking city, 60.5% of Montrealers speak French at home, 21.2% speak English and 19.8% speak neither. Montreal is one of the most bilingual cities in Quebec and Canada, with 56% of the population able to speak both official languages. Montreal is the second-largest primarily French-speaking city in the world after Paris.

Historically the commercial capital of Canada, it was surpassed in population and economic strength by Toronto in the 1970s. It remains an important centre of commerce, aerospace, finance, pharmaceuticals, technology, design, education, culture, tourism, gaming, film and world affairs. Being the location of the headquarters of the International Civil Aviation Organization, Montreal is one of three North American cities home to organizations of the United Nations (along with New York and Washington) and also has the 2nd-highest number of consulates in the continent.

Montreal was also named a UNESCO City of Design. In 2009, Montreal was named North America's leading host city for international association events, according to the 2009 preliminary rankings of the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA). According to the 2015 Global Liveability Ranking by the Economist Intelligence Unit, Montreal ranked 14th out of 140 cities.

This post is part of the Wednesday Waters 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 Travel Tuesday meme.