Thursday, 20 June 2019

DESKTOP 2149 - CELOSIA

Celosia cristata is a member of the Amaranthaceae family, and is commonly known as cockscomb, since the flower looks like the head on a rooster (cock). It is called Chi Kuan in China. The plants are hardy and resistant to most diseases, and grow equally well indoors or out, though the perfect place is one with no shade and a well drained soil, as the plant is susceptible to fungal diseases. The plant is used frequently as an ornamental plant indoors. Their leaves and flowers can be used as vegetables. They are often grown as foods in India, Western Africa, and South America.
 
They are annual plants of tropical origin and are herbaceous meaning they lack a woody stem. They grow well in both humid and arid conditions, and their flowers can last for up to 8 weeks. A high number of seeds can be produced by each flower, up to 1,500 per gram. The plant often grows up to 30 cm in height, though many are smaller. The leaves are either green or bronze/maroon, depending upon the cultivar. The flower can be broken into three parts: their spikes, plumes and crests vary from one another but have standard commonalities—they are usually brightly coloured, usually red, yellow, pink, or orange, though other colours can be present. In some instances, a variety of colours are present in hybrids.

The plants are hardy and can be grown easily from the seeds. Since the plants are of tropic origin, they thrive in areas with tropical climate. However, they can also be grown in summer months in the colder climate. The plants being annual plants, grow for only about one fourth of a year. A soil temperature of about 16 °C is ideal for growth. The plants are relatively easy to grow and care for, having few insects that feed on them. Mites, though, are known to feed on the plants. The plants are also susceptible to leaf spotting, root rot and root strangulation. However the former two can be prevented by avoiding a damp soil and the latter by frequent weeding. Also wetting the leaf and flowers should be avoided as they can lead to fungal diseases.
 
This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday, 19 June 2019

DESKTOP 2148 - XOANON

Xoanon | ˈzəʊənɒn | noun (plural xoana | ˈzəʊənə | )
(in ancient Greece) a primitive wooden image of a deity.
ORIGINEarly 18th century: from Greek; related to xein ‘carve’.


Totem poles of painted, carved wood in Vancouver, Canada, created by Indigenous peoples of the Northwest Coast of North America. They variously portray family legends and lineage, spirituality, sacred or mythological beings, and culturally important animals, people or events.

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

Tuesday, 18 June 2019

DESKTOP 2147 - PAPHOS, CYPRUS

Paphos (Greek: Πάφος [Pafos]; Turkish: Baf) is a coastal city in the southwest of Cyprus and the capital of Paphos District. In antiquity, two locations were called Paphos: Old Paphos, today at Kouklia, and New Paphos. The current city of Paphos lies on the Mediterranean coast, about 50 km west of Limassol (the biggest port on the island), which has an A6 highway connection. Paphos International Airport is the country’s second-largest airport. The city has a subtropical-Mediterranean climate, with the mildest temperatures on the island.

Paphos Castle (seen below) is located on the edge of Paphos harbour. It was originally built as a Byzantine fort to protect the harbour. It was then rebuilt by the Lusignans in the thirteenth century after being destroyed in the earthquake of 1222. In 1570 it was dismantled by the Venetians. After capturing the island, the Ottomans restored and strengthened it.

Throughout the ages it has seen many uses. It has served as a fortress, a prison and even a warehouse for salt during the British occupation of the island. More recently the castle serves as a backdrop to the annual open air Paphos cultural festival, which takes place in September. It was declared a listed building in 1935 and represents one of the most distinctive landmarks of the city of Paphos. Several archaeological excavations have taken place to investigate its past.

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.

Thursday, 13 June 2019

DESKTOP 2142 - SOUTHERN BOUQUET

The flora of South Africa and Australia is very distinctive with quite a few rich botanical families that provide a diverse and amazing bouquet of flowers. The Proteaceae (banksias, grevilleas, waratahs) and Myrtaceae (eucalypts, bottlebrushes, titrees, lillipillis) especially are well represented.

Australia and New Zealand once formed part of a huge southern land mass now referred to as Gondwanaland, whereas northern hemisphere continents were once aggregated into Laurasia. Gondwanaland and Laurasia began to disaggregate about 160 million years ago. Prior to this time, the southern hemisphere land masses and India were connected into Gondwanaland, while North America, Europe and much of Asia formed Laurasia.

South Africa, Madagascar, India, South America, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Australia and various other fragments broke away and drifted northwards, leaving Antarctica behind. Australia and South America were the last major land masses to separate from Antarctica, Australia beginning slowly about 90 to 100 million years ago and establishing a deep ocean passage some 30 to 40 million years ago.

Here is a bouquet of the Gondwanaland flowers, readily available in florists throughout the world because of extensive flower exports from both South Africa and Australia.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday, 12 June 2019

DESKTOP 2141 - WATER

Water is a compound of oxygen and hydrogen (chemical formula: H2O) with highly distinctive physical and chemical properties: it is able to dissolve many other substances; its solid form (ice) is less dense than the liquid form; its boiling point, viscosity, and surface tension are unusually high for its molecular weight, and it is partially dissociated into hydrogen and hydroxyl ions.

Water is a colourless, transparent, odourless, liquid which forms the seas, lakes, rivers, and rain and is the basis of the fluids of living organisms. It is ironic that our planet is called "Earth" as on its surface, water makes up 71% of the surface area... Without water life on earth as we know it could not exist.

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

Monday, 10 June 2019

DESKTOP 2140 - POROS, GREECE

Poros (Greek: Πόρος) is a small Greek island-pair in the southern part of the Saronic Gulf, about 58 km (31 nautical miles) south from Piraeus and separated from the Peloponnese by a 200 m wide sea channel, with the town of Galatas on the mainland across the strait. Its surface area is about 31 square kilometres and it has 3,780 inhabitants. The ancient name of Poros was Pogon.

Like other ports in the Saronic, it is a popular weekend destination for Athenian travellers. Poros consists of two islands: Sphairia (Greek: Σφαιρία), the southern part, which is of volcanic origin, where today's city is located, and Kalaureia (Greek: Καλαυρία), also Kalavria or Calauria (meaning 'gentle breeze'), the northern and largest part. A bridge connects the two islands over a narrow strait.

Poros is an island with rich vegetation. Much of the northern and far eastern/western sides of the island are bushy, whereas large areas of old pine forest are found in the south and center of the island. It has a good road network and adequate tourist infrastructure, which makes it a popular resort for short holidays.

The town of Poros, with its neoclassical edifices, is built amphitheatrically on the slopes of a hill. Its most famous landmark is a clock tower, built in 1927. The Archaeological Museum of Poros, at Korizis Square, houses findings from the Sanctuary of Poseidon, from ancient Troizen, and from other archaeological sites nearby. In the northern part of the island are the remains of the Sanctuary of Poseidon, the centre of the Kalaureian amphictyony. The exact date it was built is not known, although researchers estimate it to have been around 520 BC. The dimensions of the temple, which is of the Doric order, are 27.4×14.4 m. There are six columns on each short side and twelve on each long side. It was here that Demosthenes, the famous orator, poisoned himself with hemlock in 322 BC fleeing from the Macedonian Governor Antipatros.

Poros was the site of the first naval base in modern Greece, established in 1827 during the Greek War of Independence. Most of the activities of Poros naval base were moved to Salamis Naval Base in 1881. The site is still used today by the Hellenic Navy as a training centre for naval personnel. Though possessing no airport, Poros is easily accessible from Athens via ferry or hydrofoil. One can reach the island by car or bus from the adjacent mainland at Galatas. There is local bus service on the island from Poros harbour to the nearby towns of Neorio and Monastiri.

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.