Wednesday, 22 November 2017

'T' IS FOR TEA

I like drinking teas of all kinds, hot in Autumn and Winter, iced in Spring and Summer. I generally prefer my tea black and unsweetened if hot, or with lemon and a soupçon of sugar. I like drinking hot tea out of a proper cup (with a saucer) if hot, and in a tall clear glass if iced.

A good China tea is my preference, typically an oolong tea. I also like green tea (especially with Chinese food), in which case I take it with a little salt dissolved in it. In addition, I like the Genmaicha, also called brown rice green tea with Asian food. Did I mention I also like herbal tisanes?

Are you a tea drinker? If yes, which tea(s) do you drink? How do you like your tea? Are you a milk or a lemon tea drinker?

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

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

CAPE COD, USA

Cape Cod is a geographic cape extending into the Atlantic Ocean from the southeastern corner of mainland Massachusetts, in the northeastern United States. Its historic, maritime character and ample beaches attract heavy tourism during the summer months. As defined by the Cape Cod Commission's enabling legislation, Cape Cod is conterminous with Barnstable County, Massachusetts. It extends from Provincetown in the northeast to Woods Hole in the southwest, and is bordered by Plymouth to the northwest.

Since 1914, Cape Cod has been separated from the mainland by the Cape Cod Canal. The canal cuts 28.2 km roughly across the base of the peninsula, though small portions of the Cape Cod towns of Bourne and Sandwich lie on the mainland side of the canal. Two highway bridges cross the Cape Cod Canal: The Sagamore Bridge and the Bourne Bridge. In addition, the Cape Cod Canal Railroad Bridge carries railway freight and limited passenger services onto the Cape. Cape territory is divided into 15 towns with many villages.

Provincetown is a New England town located at the extreme tip of Cape Cod in Barnstable County, Massachusetts, in the United States. A small coastal resort town with a year-round population of just under 3,000, Provincetown has a summer population of as high as 60,000. Often called "P-town" or "P'town", the town is known for its beaches, harbour, artists, tourist industry, and its status as a vacation destination for the LGBTQ community.

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, 20 November 2017

SPRING OR AUTUMN?

I got confused once I was transplanted onto Antipodean soil...

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

Sunday, 19 November 2017

MY SUNDAY BEST MEME #41 - GROWING UP

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!


Australian Eucalyptus trees ("gum trees") dominate the tree flora of Australia. There are more than 700 species of Eucalyptus, mostly native to Australia, and a very small number are found in adjacent areas of New Guinea and Indonesia. Many of the forest tree species grow to heights of more than 60 metres straight up towards the sky.

Eucalyptus oil is highly flammable (ignited trees have been known to explode); bushfires can travel easily through the oil-rich air of the tree crowns. Eucalypts obtain long-term fire survivability from their ability to regenerate from epicormic buds situated deep within their thick bark, or from lignotubers, or by producing serotinous fruits. The seeds of many eucalypts will only germinate after being subjected to intense heat.

This post is part of the My Sunday Photo meme,
and also part of the Photo Sunday meme.

Saturday, 18 November 2017

KEEP OUR PLANET GREEN!

You may have seen in my other blog the "tiny planet" construction from a panoramic photo. I used the same principle here to create a poster on a recycling theme that one of the voluntary groups I am in, needed. You may use it for your recycling purposes also, if you like.

This post is part of the Weekend Green meme.

Thursday, 16 November 2017

HEBE HYBRID

Hebe is a genus of plants in the Plantaginaceae family native to New Zealand, Rapa in French Polynesia, the Falkland Islands, and South America. It includes about 90 species and is the largest plant genus in New Zealand. Apart from H. rapensis (endemic to Rapa), all species occur in New Zealand. This includes the two species, H. salicifolia and H. elliptica, that have distributions extending to South America.

The genus is named after the Greek goddess of youth, Hebe. There are differing classifications for the genus and some botanists include Hebe, together with the related Australasian genera Chionohebe, Derwentia, Detzneria, Parahebe, Heliohebe and Leonohebe, in the larger genus Veronica (hence its common name 'Shrubby veronica').

Hebe has four perpendicular rows of leaves in opposite decussate pairs. The flowers are perfect, the corolla usually has four slightly unequal lobes, the flower has two stamens and a long style. Flowers are arranged in a spiked inflorescence. Identification of Hebe species is difficult, especially if they are not in flower.

The plants range in size from dwarf shrubs to small trees up to 7 metres, and are distributed from coastal to alpine ecosystems. Large-leaved species are normally found on the coast, in lowland scrub and along forest margins. At higher altitudes smaller-leaved species grow, and in alpine areas there are whipcord species with leaves reduced to thick scales.

Hebes are grown in many gardens and public areas; they attract butterflies. Hebes cope with most soil types, and can be propagated easily from both seed and cuttings. Wild Hebe hybrids are uncommon; however, there are many cultivated hybrids, such as the one shown here.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.



Wednesday, 15 November 2017

'S' IS FOR SNAIL

Snips and snails, and puppy dogs' tails,
That's what little boys are made of...

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

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

MAINE, USA

Maine is the northernmost state in the New England region of the northeastern United States. Maine is the 39th most extensive and the 9th least populous of the U.S. states and territories. It is bordered by New Hampshire to the west, the Atlantic Ocean to the southeast, and the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick and Quebec to the northeast and northwest respectively.

Maine is the easternmost state in the contiguous United States, and the northernmost east of the Great Lakes. It is known for its jagged, rocky coastline; low, rolling mountains; heavily forested interior, and picturesque waterways; and also its seafood cuisine, especially clams and lobster. There is a humid continental climate throughout the state, even in coastal areas such as its most populous city of Portland. The capital is Augusta.

Portland Head Light, informally known as the Cape Elizabeth Lighthouse, is a historic lighthouse in Cape Elizabeth, Maine. The light station sits on ahead of land at the entrance of the primary shipping channel into Portland Harbor, which is within Casco Bay in the Gulf of Maine. Completed in 1791, it is the oldest lighthouse in the state of Maine. The light station is automated, and the tower, beacon, and foghorn are maintained by the United States Coast Guard, while the former lighthouse keepers' house is a maritime museum within Fort Williams Park.

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, 13 November 2017

POND LIFE

We live close to the Darebin Parklands in suburban Melbourne and it's wonderful to be able to enjoy the bush only a 10-minute walk away. Spring means warm weather, new growth, baby animals and lots of chicks for the wild birds of the reserve...

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


Sunday, 12 November 2017

MY SUNDAY BEST MEME #40 - AFTER DARK

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!
Melbourne after dark - a ramp leading to one of the main throughways that go from Southbank to the City.

This post is also part of the My Sunday Photo meme,
and also part of the Photo Sunday meme.

Saturday, 11 November 2017

BY THE CREEK

On the banks of the Darebin Creek in suburban Melbourne, the seaside daisy (Erigeron karvinskianus) blooms.

This post is part of the Weekend Reflections meme,
and also part of the Weekend Green meme,
and also part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Thursday, 9 November 2017

MELBOURNE SPRING RACING CARNIVAL ROSES

The Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival is the name of an Australian Thoroughbred horse racing series held annually in Melbourne during October and November each year. Although racing in Australia is held every day except Christmas Day, the Group One races in Melbourne are held almost exclusively throughout the carnival, which is traditionally placed between the football and cricket seasons. During the winter (where football is dominant), and summer (where cricket is dominant), racing takes a 'back seat' position in relation to the cricket or football in terms of media coverage and attendances. However, in spring and autumn, the mass media turns its attention to the racing. There is also a Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival, a time where Group One races are also held.

The Victoria Racing Club's meetings attract the most attention from the media and the wider community.
The Victoria Derby is held on the Saturday before the Melbourne Cup. It is a set-weights race for three-year-old horses. There are also other major races held on this day as well, making it the biggest day in racing.
The Melbourne Cup handicap race is held on the first Tuesday in November, and is a public holiday in Victoria, but the Cup is witnessed by those all around Australia as well as internationally.
The VRC Oaks race is held on the Thursday following the Cup. It is a three-year-old fillies race, and traditionally it has been known as 'ladies' day'.
The VRC Stakes day is held on the Saturday following the Oaks, and traditionally it has been known as 'family day'.

The carnival, and particularly the Melbourne Cup attracts the interest of many people otherwise uninterested in horse racing, and special forms of very low-stake gambling are often used for this event. One common form for groups such as office staff is the "sweep", where each participant adds a small fee to a "pot" and draws the name of a horse like a raffle. Prize money is distributed to the person who draws the winning horse (occasionally smaller prizes are awarded to placegetters and the last-placing horse). A more complex and high-stakes form of the sweep is the "Calcutta", often held as a fundraising event for community organisations, which begins as in the sweep (though usually with a much higher initial stake), but which allows ticket holders to trade their tickets through an auction system.

Each major race day over the Melbourne Cup Carnival has a dedicated flower. Men will often wear designated flower in their buttonhole, and coordinate the respective colour with their shirt or tie. Women may also choose to incorporate the flower into their outfit, whether it be inspiration from the colour, wearing as a corsage or a hair accessory. For example, the Pink Rose is the dedicated flower for Crown Oaks Day. Many believe that wearing the right flower can bring good luck...

Here at the Crown Casino, the floral display of the foyer mirrors the Crown Oaks Day dedicated flower, the pink rose. In various other parts of the Casino and hotel similar floral displays feature this special flower.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.










Wednesday, 8 November 2017

'R' IS FOR ROSE

The rose as symbol of love is well-known. It was sacred to Aphrodite, the ancient Greek goddess of love and beauty, and carried the message of "I love you" from sender to receiver, something every Valentine knows.

However, it is also used as a sign of silence and secrecy. The words sub rosa "under the rose" refer to the demand for discretion whenever a rose was hung from the ceiling at a meeting - hence the ceiling roses of Victorian homes. In the Mysteries roses were sacred to Isis. It is also the flower of her son Harpocrates or younger Horus, the god of silence.

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

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

PAINTED LADIES, USA

In American architecture, painted ladies are Victorian and Edwardian houses and buildings painted in three or more colours that embellish or enhance their architectural details. The term was first used for San Francisco Victorian houses by writers Elizabeth Pomada and Michael Larsen in their 1978 book "Painted Ladies - San Francisco's Resplendent Victorians".

Since then the term has also been used to describe groups of colourful Victorian houses in other American cities, such as the Charles Village neighbourhood in Baltimore, Lafayette Square in St. Louis, the greater San Francisco and New Orleans areas, Columbia-Tusculum in Cincinnati, the Old West End in Toledo, Ohio, the neighbourhoods of McKnight and Forest Park in Springfield, Massachusetts and the city of Cape May, New Jersey

About 48,000 houses in the Victorian and Edwardian styles were built in San Francisco between 1849 and 1915 (with the change from Victorian to Edwardian occurring on the death of Queen Victoria in 1901), and many were painted in bright colours. As one newspaper critic noted in 1885, "...red, yellow, chocolate, orange, everything that is loud is in fashion...if the upper stories are not of red or blue... they are painted up into uncouth panels of yellow and brown..."

While many of the mansions of Nob Hill were destroyed by the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, thousands of the mass-produced, more modest houses survived in the western and southern neighbourhoods of the city. During World War I and World War II, many of these houses were painted battleship gray with war-surplus Navy paint. Another sixteen thousand were demolished, and many others had the Victorian decor stripped off or covered with tarpaper, brick, stucco, or aluminium siding.

In 1963, San Francisco artist Butch Kardum began combining intense blues and greens on the exterior of his Italianate-style Victorian house. His house was criticised by some, but other neighbours began to copy the bright colours on their own houses. Kardum became a colour designer, and he and other artists / colourists such as Tony Canaletich, Bob Buckter, and Jazon Wonders began to transform dozens of grey houses into Painted Ladies. By the 1970s, the colourist movement, as it was called, had changed entire streets and neighbourhoods. This process continues to this day.

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, 6 November 2017

PURPLE

Purple figures prominently in the garden this Spring with several flowers blooming in this rich colour. There is hebe (Hebe speciosa), tree mallow (Lavatera arborea), Sturt's desert rose (Gossypium sturtianum), and Chinaberry tree (Melia azedarach).

I've created this mosaic in Photoshop using layers with different transparencies.

This post is part of the Mosaic Monday 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, 5 November 2017

MY SUNDAY BEST MEME #39 - AT THE MARKET

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.

Saturday, 4 November 2017

PACIFIC DUCKLINGS

The Pacific black duck (Anas superciliosa) is a dabbling duck found in much of Indonesia, New Guinea, Australia, New Zealand, and many islands in the southwestern Pacific, reaching to the Caroline Islands in the north and French Polynesia in the east. It is usually called the grey duck in New Zealand, where it is also known by its Maori name, pārera.

This sociable duck is found in a variety of wetland habitats, and its nesting habits are much like those of the mallard, which is encroaching on its range in New Zealand. It feeds by upending, like other Anas ducks. It has a dark body, and a paler head with a dark crown and facial stripes. In flight, it shows a green speculum and pale underwing. All plumages are similar.

The size range is 54–61 cm; males tend to be larger than females, and some island forms are smaller and darker than the main populations. It is not resident on the Marianas islands, but sometimes occurs there during migration. The now extinct Mariana mallard was probably originally derived from hybrids between this species and the mallard, which came to the islands during migration and settled down there.

This post is part of the Weekend Reflections meme,
and also part of the Saturday Critters meme,
and also part of the Camera Critters meme,
and also part of the I'd Rather Be Birdin' meme.

Thursday, 2 November 2017

EVERGREEN AZALEA

Rhododendron is a genus of 500 to 900 species in the Ericaceae family and includes both of what we commonly call rhododendrons and azaleas. Most are evergreen but some are deciduous. Genus name comes from the Greek words rhodon meaning rose and dendron meaning tree. Transferred from the Greek name for Nerium oleander.They originate mostly from the Northern Hemisphere with high concentrations in western China, the Himalayas and Myanmar (Burma). They are grown for their showy spring flowers and in the case of evergreen types for their attractive winter foliage. True rhododendrons have 10 stamens in a flower and azaleas have only 5. Much hybridisation has resulted in a great number of hybrid cultivars.

Of note to gardeners in cool temperate areas are the large and small leaved evergreen rhododendrons and the evergreen and deciduous azaleas. Evergreen azaleas develop as multi-stemmed plants from the ground and usually grow 3-5 feet tall. They retain their leaves throughout the year and are not as winter hardy as the deciduous azaleas. In cold winters flower buds may be frozen resulting in reduced or no flowering and foliage may winter burn (turn brown and be killed). Colour range is mostly from white to pink, red, lavender and purple.

 'Conlec', commonly sold under the trade name of AUTUMN ROYALTY, is an evergreen azalea (Encore Series) that features large single purplish-pink flowers. It typically matures over time in an upright, dense, rounded form to 1.5 m tall and to 1.2 m wide. Large, open funnel-shaped flowers (to 10 cm diameter) bloom singly in early midseason (late April-May). A lesser repeat bloom may occur in late summer to fall. Matte green leaves (to 16 cm long) are evergreen. Parents are R. 'Georgia Giant' x R. oldhamii 'Fourth of July.' U. S. Plant Patent PP10,580 was issued on September 1, 1998.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.


Wednesday, 1 November 2017

'Q' IS FOR QUOITS

quoit |kɔɪt, kwɔɪt| noun
1 A ring of iron, rope, or rubber thrown in a game to encircle or land as near as possible to an upright peg.
• (quoits) [treated as singular] a game consisting of aiming and throwing quoits.
2 The flat covering stone of a dolmen.
• [often in place names] the dolmen itself: New Stone Age burial remains at Zennor Quoit.
3 Australian informal a person's buttocks.

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