Thursday, 29 September 2016

DESKTOP 1157 - GRASS FLOWER

The Poaceae or Gramineae are the large and nearly ubiquitous family of monocotyledonous flowering plants known as grasses. The Poaceae include the cereal grasses, bamboos and the grasses of natural grassland and cultivated lawns (turf) and pasture. Grasses have stems that are hollow except at the nodes and narrow alternate leaves borne in two ranks. The lower part of each leaf encloses the stem, forming a leaf-sheath. With ca 780 genera and around 12,000 species, Poaceae are the fifth-largest plant family, following the Asteraceae, Orchidaceae, Fabaceae and Rubiaceae.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme,
and also part of the Friday Greens meme.

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

DESKTOP 1156 - LOUTRAKI

Loutraki (Meaning "Little Baths" in Greek) is a seaside resort on the Gulf of Corinth, in Corinthia, Greece. It is located 65 km west of Athens and 6 km northeast of Corinth. Loutraki is the seat of the municipality Loutraki-Agioi Theodoroi. The town is well known for its vast natural springs and its therapeutic spas, as well as its beaches and resorts. In antiquity a town called Thermae ("Hot Springs") existed at the site.

In 1847, an announcement in Italy asserting the therapeutic benefits of bathing in the natural thermal spas found in Loutraki caused an influx of settlers in the surrounding areas, thereby creating modern Loutraki. In 1928 Loutraki was completely destroyed by an earthquake and was subsequently rebuilt. A large park was created by reclaiming sea area using the rubble of the fallen houses. Another strong earthquake hit the area in 1981 with less destructive effects.

A monastery named Osios Patapios is located about 10 km NW of Loutraki on Geraneia mountain, offering great view of the Isthmus area and the Gulf of Corinth.

This post is part of the Travel Tuesday meme,
and also 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, 27 September 2016

DESKTOP 1155 - PORTOFINO

Portofino is an Italian fishing village and vacation resort famous for its picturesque harbour and historical association with celebrity and artistic visitors. It is a comune located in the Metropolitan City of Genoa on the Italian Riviera. The town is clustered around its small harbour, and is known for the colourfully painted buildings that line the shore.

According to Pliny the Elder, Portofino was founded by the Romans and named Portus Delphini, or Port of the Dolphin, because of the large number of dolphins that inhabited the Tigullian Gulf. The village is mentioned in a diploma from 986 by Adelaide of Italy, which assigned it to the nearby Abbey of San Fruttoso di Capodimonte.

In 1171, together with the neighbouring Santa Margherita Ligure, it was included in Rapallo's commune jurisdiction. After 1229 it was part of the Republic of Genoa. The town's natural harbour supported a fleet of fishing boats, but was somewhat too cramped to provide more than a temporary safe haven for the growing merchant marine of the Republic of Genoa. In 1409 Portofino was sold to the Republic of Florence by Charles VI of France, but when the latter was ousted from Genoa the Florentines gave it back. In the 15th century it was a fief of families such as the Fieschi, Spinola, Adorno, and Doria.

In 1815 it became part of the Kingdom of Sardinia and, from 1861, of the unified Kingdom of Italy. In the late 19th century, first British, then other Northern European aristocratic tourists began to visit Portofino, which they reached by horse and cart from Santa Margherita Ligure. Aubrey Herbert and Elizabeth von Arnim were amongst the more famous English people to make the area fashionable. Eventually more expatriates built expensive vacation houses, and by 1950 tourism had supplanted fishing as the town's chief industry, and the waterfront was a continuous ring of restaurants and cafés.

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, 26 September 2016

Sunday, 25 September 2016

Saturday, 24 September 2016

DESKTOP 1152 - CITY

Three bridges in Melbourne City: Sandridge Bridge in the foreground left, arched pedestrian bridge in the middle, and Princes Bridge behind it. 

This post is part of the Skywatch Friday meme,
and also part of the Weekend Reflections meme,
and also part of the Scenic Weekends meme,
and also part of the  Photo Sunday meme.

Friday, 23 September 2016

DESKTOP 1151 - WATERLILIES

Nymphaeaceae is a family of flowering plants. Members of this family are commonly called water lilies and live as rhizomatous aquatic herbs in temperate and tropical climates around the world. The family contains eight large-flowered genera with about 70 species. The genus Nymphaea contains about 35 species in the Northern Hemisphere. The genus Victoria contains two species of giant water lilies endemic to South America.

Water lilies are rooted in soil in bodies of water, with leaves and flowers floating on the surface. The leaves are round, with a radial notch in Nymphaea and Nuphar, but fully circular in Victoria. Water lilies are a well studied clade of plants because their large flowers with multiple unspecialised parts were initially considered to represent the floral pattern of the earliest flowering plants, and later genetic studies confirmed their evolutionary position as basal angiosperms. Analyses of floral morphology and molecular characteristics and comparisons with a sister taxon, the family Cabombaceae, indicate, however, that the flowers of extant water lilies with the most floral parts are more derived than the genera with fewer floral parts.

Horticulturally water lilies have been hybridised for temperate gardens since the nineteenth century, and the hybrids are divided into three groups: Hardy, night-blooming tropical, and day-blooming tropical water lilies. Hardy water lilies are hybrids from the subgenus Castalia; night-blooming tropical water lilies are developed from the subgenus Lotos (L.) Carl Ludwig Willdenow Willd.; and the day-blooming tropical plants arise from hybridisation of plants of the Brachyceras Casp. subgenus.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme,
and also part of the Friday Greens meme.

Thursday, 22 September 2016

DESKTOP 1150 - WISTERIA

Wisteria sinensis (Chinese wisteria) is a woody, deciduous, perennial climbing vine in the Fabaceae family, native to China in the provinces of Guangxi, Guizhou, Hebei, Henan, Hubei, Shaanxi, and Yunnan. While this plant is a climbing vine, it can be trained into a tree-like shape, usually with a wavy trunk and a flattened top.It can grow 20–30 m long over supporting trees by counterclockwise-twining stems.

The leaves are shiny, green, pinnately compound, 10–30 cm in length, with 9-13 oblong leaflets that are each 2–6 cm long. The flowers are white, violet, or blue, produced on 15–20 cm racemes in spring, usually reaching their peak in mid-May in the northern hemisphere. The flowers on each raceme open simultaneously before the foliage has expanded, and have a distinctive fragrance similar to that of grapes. Though it has shorter racemes than Wisteria floribunda (Japanese wisteria), it often has a higher quantity of racemes.

The fruit is a flattened, brown, velvety, bean-like pod 5–10 cm long with thick disk-like seeds around 1 cm in diameter spaced evenly inside; they mature in summer and crack and twist open to release the seeds; the empty pods often persist until winter. However seed production is often low, and most regenerative growth occurs through layering and suckering.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

DESKTOP 1149 - KAVÁLA

Kavala (Greek: Καβάλα) is a city in northern Greece, the principal seaport of eastern Macedonia and the capital of the Kavala regional unit. It is situated on the Bay of Kavala, across from the island of Thasos. Kavala is located on the Egnatia motorway and is a one and a half-hour drive to Thessaloniki (160 kilometres west) and forty minutes drive to Drama (37 km north) and Xanthi (56 km east). Its nickname is The cyan city (Η γαλάζια πόλη).

The most important sights in the old town are the Castle, the Acropolis, the Imaret and the old Lighthouse at the end of Theodorou Pavlidou St, beneath which the rocks of Panayia are situated. The landmark of the Old City is the Mohamed Ali square, dominated by its statue, situated between the “konaki” (his house built at the end of the 18th century) and the church of Panayia, built in 1965 on the ruins of an older post-Byzantine three-aisled basilica.

The modern town Kavala boasts a unique character reflecting its recent past: Neoclassical mansions and big tobacco warehouses evoke the memory of a distant past when a wealthy bourgeoisie was dominating the city. In the “Mecca of tobacco” as Kavala was named in the past, thousands of tobacco workers, male and female, earned their living. Palm trees line the esplanade of the port,where modern buildings and fish tavernas are side by side, while fish boats cast their reflection on azure waters.

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.

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

DESKTOP 1148 - THE METÉORA

The Metéora (Greek: Μετέωρα], literally "middle of the sky", "suspended in the air" or "in the heavens above" — etymologically related to meteorology),  is a formation of immense monolithic pillars and hills like huge rounded boulders which dominate the local area.

It is also associated with one of the largest and most precipitously built complexes of Eastern Orthodox monasteries in Greece, second in importance only to Mount Athos. The six monasteries are built on natural sandstone rock pillars, at the northwestern edge of the Plain of Thessaly near the Pineios river and Pindus Mountains, in central Greece. Metéora is included on the UNESCO World Heritage List under criteria I, II, IV, V and VII. The nearest town is Kalambaka.

More photos of the Metéora can be found here.

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.

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

DESKTOP 1142 - LIGHTHOUSE

A Greek island with many aliases, Kea (Greek: Κέα), also known as Gia or Jia or Tzia (Greek: Τζια), Zea, and, in antiquity, Keos (Greek: Κέως, Latin: Ceos), is a Greek island in the Cyclades archipelago in the Aegean Sea. Kea is part of the Kea-Kythnos regional unit.

It is the island of the Cyclades complex that is closest to Attica (about 1 hour by ferry from Lavrio) and is also 20 km from Cape Sounio as well as 60 km SE of Athens. Its climate is arid, and its terrain is hilly. Kea is 19 km long from north to south and 9 km wide from west to east. The area is 129 km2 with the highest point being 560 m above sea level.

Its capital, Ioulis, is inland at a high altitude (like most ancient Cycladic settlements, for fear of pirates) and is considered quite picturesque. Other major villages of Kea are the port of Korissia and the fishing village of Vourkari. After suffering depopulation for many decades, Kea has been recently rediscovered by Athens as a convenient destination for weekends and yachting trips. The population in 2011 was 2,455. The municipality Kea also includes the island of Makronisos to the northwest. The lighthouse shown here is one of the landmarks of this island.

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, 13 September 2016

DESKTOP 1141 - SERIFOS, GREECE

Serifos (Greek: Σέριφος, Latin: Seriphus, also Seriphos; formerly Serpho or Serphanto) is a Greek island municipality in the Aegean Sea, located in the western Cyclades, south of Kythnos and northwest of Sifnos. It is part of the Milos regional unit. The area is 75.207 square kilometres and the population was 1,420 at the 2011 census. It is located about 170 kilometres ESE of Piraeus.

In Greek mythology, Serifos is where Danaë and her infant son Perseus washed ashore after her father Acrisius, in response to an oracle that his own grandson would kill him, set them adrift at sea in a wooden chest. When Perseus returned to Serifos with the head of the Gorgon Medusa, he turned Polydektes, the king of Serifos, and his retainers into stone as punishment for the king's attempt to marry his mother by force.

In antiquity the island was proverbial for the alleged muteness of its frogs. During the Roman imperial period, Serifos was a place of exile. After 1204 it became a minor dependency of the Venetian dukes of the Archipelago. In the late 19th century Serifos experienced a modest economic boom from exploitation of the island's extensive iron ore deposits. The mines closed in the 1960s, and Serifos now depends on tourism and small-scale agriculture.

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, 12 September 2016

DESKTOP 1140 - AUTUMN SKY

For all the Northern Hemisphere followers of this blog who are now contemplating Autumn skies!

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

Sunday, 11 September 2016

DESKTOP 1139 - BLOSSOM

Our peach tree in the back yard has flowered...

This post is part of the Skywatch Friday meme,
and also part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme,
and also part of the Our Beautiful World meme,
and also part of the My Sunday Photo meme,
and also part of the Photo Sunday meme.

Thursday, 8 September 2016

DESKTOP 1136 - CINERARIA

Pericallis × hybrida, known as cineraria, florist's cineraria or common ragwort is a flowering plant in the family Asteraceae. It originated as a hybrid between Pericallis cruenta and P. lanata, both natives of the Canary Islands. The hybrid was first developed in the British royal gardens in 1777. It was originally known as Cineraria × hybrida, but the genus Cineraria is now restricted to a group of South African species, with the Canary Island species being transferred to the genus Pericallis; some botanists also treat it in a broad view of the large and widespread genus Senecio. Some varieties are sold under the trade name Senetti.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

DESKTOP 1135 - VENICE, ITALY

Venice (Italian: Venezia) is a city in northeastern Italy and the capital of the Veneto region. It is situated across a group of 117 small islands that are separated by canals and linked by bridges. These are located in the marshy Venetian Lagoon which stretches along the shoreline, between the mouths of the Po and the Piave Rivers. Parts of Venice are renowned for the beauty of their settings, their architecture, and artwork. The lagoon and a part of the city are listed as a World Heritage Site.

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


Tuesday, 6 September 2016

DESKTOP 1134 - UDAIPUR, INDIA

Udaipur, also known as the City of Lakes, is a city, a Municipal Council and the administrative headquarters of the Udaipur district in the state of Rajasthan in western India. It is located 403 kilometres southwest of the state capital, Jaipur, 248 km west of Kota, and 250 km northeast from Ahmedabad.

Udaipur is the historic capital of the kingdom of Mewar in the former Rajputana Agency. The Guhils (Sisodia) clan ruled the Mewar and its capital was shifted from Chittorgarh to Udaipur after founding city of Udaipur by Maharana Uday Singh. The Mewar province became part of Rajasthan after India became independent.

Apart from its history, culture, and scenic locations, it is also known for its Rajput-era palaces. The Lake Palace, for instance, covers an entire island in the Pichola Lake. Many of the palaces have been converted into luxury hotels. It is often called the "Venice of the East", and is also nicknamed the "Lake City". Lake Pichola, Fateh Sagar Lake, Udai Sagar and Swaroop Sagar in this city are considered some of the most beautiful lakes in the state.

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.

Friday, 2 September 2016

DESKTOP 1130 - KRYPTONITE!

Kryptonite is a material from the Superman fictional universe, specifically the ore form of a radioactive element from Superman's home planet of Krypton. First mentioned in The Adventures of Superman radio show in June 1943, the material has been featured in a variety of forms and colours (each with its own effect) in DC Comics publications and other media, including feature films, television series, and novelty items such as toys and trading card sets. The classic form of kryptonite comes in glowing GREEN!

The established premise is that Superman and other Kryptonian characters are susceptible to its radiation, which created usage of the term in popular culture as a reference to an individual's perceived weakness, irrespective of its nature, similar to the term "Achilles' heel."

Seriously now, my "kryptonite" here is just broken green glass...

This post is part of the Friday Greens meme.

Thursday, 1 September 2016

DESKTOP 1129 - DUTCH IRIS

Iris × hollandica, commonly known as the Dutch iris, is a hybrid iris developed from species native to Spain and North Africa (Iris tingitana × Iris xiphium). Two varieties of Iris xiphium (var. praecox) from Spain and (var. lusitanica) from France, were crossed with Iris tingitana (from North Africa). This was carried out by a Dutch bulb firm 'Van Tubergen' (based in Haarlem) in the 19th century.

Because the bulb could be forced in a greenhouse to flower early, it was popular with florists. Since the 1900s it has been crossed with other species to create various cultivars. After the Second World War, stocks of bulbs were imported to America. They then increased the colour range mainly the yellows. Illustrated here is the cultivar "Blue Magic".

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme,
and also part of the Friday Greens meme.