Thursday, 18 April 2019

DESKTOP 2086 - AUSTRALIAN BLUEBELL

Wahlenbergia stricta, or Australian Bluebell, Tall or Austral Bluebell, is an Australian wildflower from the Campanulaceae family. It is considered the most commonly encountered of the Wahlenbergias] It is found in all Australian states but not the Northern Territory. It is often seen growing by the side of the road, enjoying the extra runoff.

W. stricta is a perennial herb flowering mainly in spring or summer with pale blue bell-like flowers. The leaves are long and linear, 5–70 millimetres long. The five-petalled flowers are erect on long, slender stems and about 6–20 millimetres in diameter. It forms thin, carrot shaped tubers.

Australian bluebells are generally easily propagated by division or root cutting. The seed is a very fine, black powder. It germinates readily in a few weeks and is best directly sown into tubes or cells as the seed and plant are very small and hard to separate and prick out. There are a number of common cultivars, including various shades of blue from a saturated blue similar to #00f through to white. Various double forms are available.

To maintain a cultivar propagation must be by vegetative means (division or cuttings). Once established W. stricta is very hardy - the pot can be dried out completely and the plant reduced to a tuber, yet it will reshoot when the rain comes. It is hardy in a range of soils from sand to gravel, clay to humus.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday, 17 April 2019

DESKTOP 2085 - OPERA HOUSE

The Sydney Opera House is a multi-venue performing arts centre in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. It was conceived and largely built by Danish architect Jørn Utzon, opening in 1973 after a long gestation that had begun with his competition-winning design in 1957. Utzon received the Pritzker Prize, architecture's highest honour, in 2003. The Sydney Opera House was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site on 28 June 2007.

It is one of the 20th century's most distinctive buildings and one of the most famous performing arts centres in the world. The Sydney Opera House is on Bennelong Point in Sydney Harbour, close to the Sydney Harbour Bridge. It sits at the northeastern tip of the Sydney central business district (the CBD), surrounded on three sides by the harbour (Sydney Cove and Farm Cove) and inland by the Royal Botanic Gardens. Contrary to its name, the building houses multiple performance venues.

The Sydney Opera House is among the busiest performing arts centres in the world, hosting over 1,500 performances each year attended by some 1.2 million people. It provides a venue for many performing-arts companies, including the four key resident companies Opera Australia, The Australian Ballet, the Sydney Theatre Company and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, and presents a wide range of productions on its own account. It is also one of the most popular visitor attractions in Australia, with more than seven million people visiting the site each year, 300,000 of whom take a guided tour.

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

Tuesday, 16 April 2019

DESKTOP 2084 - THE PANTHÉON

The Panthéon (Latin: pantheon, from Greek πάνθειον (ἱερόν) '(temple) to all the gods') is a building in the Latin Quarter in Paris, France. It was originally built as a church dedicated to St. Genevieve and to house the reliquary châsse containing her relics but, after many changes, now functions as a secular mausoleum containing the remains of distinguished French citizens.

It is an early example of neo-classicism, with a façade modelled on the Pantheon in Rome, surmounted by a dome that owes some of its character to Bramante's Tempietto. Located in the 5th arrondissement on the Montagne Sainte-Geneviève, the Panthéon looks out over all of Paris. Designer Jacques-Germain Soufflot had the intention of combining the lightness and brightness of the Gothic cathedral with classical principles, but its role as a mausoleum required the great Gothic windows to be blocked.

We stand united with Parisians and all civilised people around the world, sharing their loss of one of the great cultural monuments of the world, the Nôtre Dame of Paris. The cathedral will arise anew from its ashes and continue to symbolise culture and civilisation, faith and enlightenment, sensitivity and broad-mindedness.

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

Monday, 15 April 2019

Sunday, 14 April 2019

DESKTOP 2082 - TROPICAL

North Queensland in Australia ticks all the boxes for a wonderful tropical experience...

This post is part of the My Sunday Best meme.

Thursday, 11 April 2019

DESKTOP 2079 - PONTEDERIA

Pontederia cordata, common name pickerelweed (USA) or pickerel weed (UK), is a monocotyledonous aquatic plant native to the American continent. It grows in a variety of wetlands, including pond and lake margins across an extremely large range from eastern Canada south to Argentina. A few examples include northern rivers, the Everglades and Louisiana. The species grows as an emergent plant, that is, in flooded conditions, so the plant is generally dependent upon aerenchyma in the stem to carry oxygen into the roots. Its metabolism, is, however, also tolerant of low soil oxygen.

It is often found in areas where water levels fluctuate naturally, with spring flooding and later summer emergence. Apart from flooding, the species is also influenced by soil fertility, tending to grow in the more fertile bays of large lakes, for example. Like many aquatic plants, it is negatively affected by salinity and grazing. It is also negatively affected by competition from other wetland plants. Like many wetland plants, it can survive unfavourable conditions as buried seeds in the soil.

The plant flowers in late summer. The purple flowers have yellow markings which may assist in attracting bees for pollination. One bee species known to pollinate the flowers is Dufourea (Halictoides) novaeangliae. Once the plant begins to produce seeds, the stem supporting the inflorescence bends to submerse the fruits and seeds. Seeds are dormant at the time of dispersal and will not germinate without stratification for 6-8 weeks.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday, 10 April 2019

DESKTOP 2078 - NATURE

"Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better." - Albert Einstein

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.