Thursday, 1 December 2016

DESKTOP 1220 - KANGAROO PAW

Anigozanthos is a small genus of Australian plants in the Bloodwort family Haemodoraceae. The 11 species and several subspecies are commonly known as kangaroo paw and catspaw depending on the shape of their flowers. A further species, previously identified as Anigozanthos fuliginosus and commonly known as the black kangaroo paw, has been transferred to its own monotypic genus and is now known as Macropidia fuliginosa.

The genus was first named by Jacques Labillardière in his work, Relation du Voyage à la Recherche de la Pérouse, issued in 1800. The French botanist collected and described the type species, Anigozanthus rufus, during the d'Entrecasteaux expedition's visit to Southwest Australia in 1792. In recent years a number of numerous hybrids and cultivars have been developed. Kangaroo paws are much in demand as house plants and as cut flowers.

These perennials are endemic to dry sandy, siliceous areas of southwest Australia, but they occur as well in a variety of other environments and soil types. They are grown commercially in Australia, the United States, Japan and Israel. The plant grows from short, underground, horizontal rhizomes. The length and the character of these may vary between the species: some are fleshy, others are fragile. The sap in the root system allows the plants to survive extreme dry spells. In summer, a number of species die back to the rhizome, growing back in autumn.

The tuberous flower buds are covered with coloured hairs, giving them a velvety aspect. These long furry hairs also determine the colour of the flower, which may range from almost black to yellow, orange and red. Some species are even dichromatic (as Anigozanthos manglesii). The tubular form of the flower bud resembles a kangaroo paw, hence its name. The flower tip spreads fanlike into six petals. Full-grown plants can have up to ten flowers at the end of each stalk.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

DESKTOP 1219 - UTOPIA

This is an image I created in a computer program called 'Mojoworld', which is a graphics program where one may create graphic constructions of planets according to parameters that are inputted, and then zoom in on views of the surface, visible in a 3D rendering. The planet here I've called Utopia. There is water ice on its surface and also lakes of liquid ethane and propane... The large moon is called Erewhon.

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, 29 November 2016

DESKTOP 1218 - GREEK TEMPLE, SICILY

The Temple of Concordia (Italian: Tempio della Concordia) is an ancient Greek temple located in the Valle dei Templi (Valley of the Temples) in Agrigento (Greek: Akragas) on the southern coast of Sicily, Italy. It is the largest and best-preserved Doric temple in Sicily and one of the best-preserved Greek temples in general, especially of the Doric order.

The temple was built c. 440–430 BC. The well-preserved peristasis of six by thirteen columns stands on top of a crepidoma of four steps (measuring 39.42 m × 16.92 m), and 8.93 m high). The cella measures 28.36 m × 9.4 m. The columns are 6 m high and carved with twenty flutes and harmonious entasis (tapering at the tops of the columns and swelling around the middles). It is constructed, like the nearby Temple of Juno, on a solid base designed to overcome the unevenness of the rocky terrain.

It has been conventionally named after Concordia, the Roman goddess of harmony, for the Roman-era Latin inscription found nearby, which is unconnected with it. The temple was converted into a Christian basilica in the 6th century dedicated to the apostles Peter and Paul by San Gregorio delle Rape, bishop of Agrigento and thus survived the destruction of pagan places of worship. The spaces between the columns were filled with walling, altering its Classical Greek form. The division between the cella, the main room where the cult statue would have stood in antiquity, and the opisthodomos, an adjoining room, was destroyed, and the walls of the cella were cut into a series of arches along the nave.

The Christian refurbishments were removed during the restoration of 1785. According to another source, the Prince of Torremuzza transferred the altar elsewhere and began restoration of the classic building in 1788. According to authors of a 2007 article, it is "apart from the Parthenon, the best preserved Doric temple in the world.

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

Monday, 28 November 2016

DESKTOP 1217 - CYANINE

This is an image I created in a program called 'Mojoworld', where one may create graphic representations of planets according to parameters that are inputted, and then zoom in on views of the surface. The planet here I've called Cyanine and it is interesting in that it has a large moon close to the surface of the planet. The clouds are circular and thin and the "snow" is made of Hydrogen Cyanide, a fatal poison that is blue in colour. Pretty world but deadly!

This post is part of the Blue Monday meme,
and also part of the Seasons meme.

Friday, 25 November 2016

DESKTOP 1214 - CYPRESS

Cupressus sempervirens, the Mediterranean cypress (also known as Italian cypress, Tuscan cypress, graveyard cypress, or pencil pine), is a species of cypress native to the eastern Mediterranean region, in northeast Libya, southern Albania, southern coastal Croatia (Dalmatia), southern Greece, southern Turkey, Cyprus, northern Egypt, western Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Malta, Italy, western Jordan, and also a disjunct population in Iran.

C. sempervirens is a medium-sized coniferous evergreen tree to 35 m tall, with a conic crown with level branches and variably loosely hanging branchlets. It is very long-lived, with some trees reported to be over 1,000 years old. The foliage grows in dense sprays, dark green in colour. The leaves are scale-like, 2–5 mm long, and produced on rounded (not flattened) shoots. The seed cones are ovoid or oblong, 25–40 mm long, with 10-14 scales, green at first, maturing brown about 20–24 months after pollination. The male cones are 3–5 mm long, and release pollen in late winter. It is moderately susceptible to cypress canker, caused by the fungus Seiridium cardinale, and can suffer extensive dieback where this disease is common. The species name sempervirens comes from the Latin for 'evergreen'.

Mediterranean Cypress has been widely cultivated as an ornamental tree for millennia away from its native range, mainly throughout the whole Mediterranean region, and in other areas with similar hot, dry summers and mild, rainy winters, including California, southwest South Africa and southern Australia. It can also be grown successfully in areas with cooler, moister summers, such as the British Isles, New Zealand and the Pacific Northwest (coastal Oregon, Washington and British Columbia). It is also planted in Florida and parts of the coastal southern United States as an ornamental tree. In some areas, particularly the United States, it is known as "Italian" or "Tuscan cypress".

In classical antiquity, the cypress was a symbol of mourning and in the modern era it remains the principal cemetery tree in both the Muslim world and Europe. In the classical tradition, the cypress was associated with death and the underworld because it failed to regenerate when cut back too severely. Athenian households in mourning were garlanded with boughs of cypress. Cypress was used to fumigate the air during cremations. It was among the plants that were suitable for making wreaths to adorn statues of Pluto, the classical ruler of the underworld.

This post is part of the Friday Greens meme.

Thursday, 24 November 2016

DESKTOP 1213 - SPIRAEA

Spiraea japonica, the Japanese meadowsweet or Japanese spiraea, is a plant in the family Rosaceae. Synonyms for the species name are Spiraea bumalda Burv. and Spiraea japonica var. alpina Maxim. Spiraea japonica is a deciduous, perennial shrub native to Japan, China, and Korea. Southwest China is the center for biodiversity of the species. It is naturalised throughout much of the Northeast, Southeast, and Midwest areas of the United States, and parts of Canada

Spiraea japonica is one of several Spiraea shrubs with alternate, simple leaves, on wiry, freely branching, erect stems. Stems are brown to reddish-brown, round in cross-section and sometimes hairy. The shrub reaches 1.2 m to almost 2 m in height and about the same in width. The deciduous leaves are generally an ovate shape about 2.5 cm to 7.5 cm long, have toothed margins, and alternate along the stem. Clusters of rosy-pink flowers are found at the tips of the branches. The seeds measure about 2.5 mm in length and are found in small lustrous capsules. It is naturally variable in form and there are many varieties of it in the horticulture trade. So far, nine varieties have been described within the species.

A common habitat for S. japonica in general seems to be in riparian areas, bogs, or other wetland habitats. It is found growing along streams, rivers, forest edges, roadsides, successional fields, and power line right-of-ways. It prefers full sun, but can tolerate partial shade. It prefers lots of water during the growing season; however, it cannot tolerate saturated soils for extended periods of time. It prefers a rich, moist loam, but it can grow in a wide variety of soils, including those on the alkaline side

Numerous cultivars have been selected for garden use. The tall forms may be grown as hedges, low screens, or foundation shrubs. The low-growing forms can be used as groundcover or in borders. In cultivation in the UK, several cultivars have gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

DESKTOP 1212 - TRIPLET FALLS

Triplet Falls is one of the iconic visitor sites in the Great Otway National Park. Nestled amongst the ancient forests of Mountain Ash and Myrtle Beech, there are three distinct and impressive cascades flowing through shady rainforests and glades of mossy tree ferns. This beautiful area is set in the ancient forest and provides views into the lower cascades and the majestic main falls. A small picnic area is also available for visitors to relax and enjoy the beautiful surrounds.

Triplet Falls is 200km from Melbourne via Colac and Gellibrand, or 70km from Apollo Bay. Follow the signs from the Beech Forest - Lavers Hill Road, the falls are 3km past the Otway Fly.

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.