Thursday, 28 February 2019

DESKTOP 2037 - CORAL VINE

Kennedia coccinea (Coral Vine) is a species of flowering plant in the family Fabaceae, endemic to the south-west of Western Australia. It is a low growing trailing shrub or climber which has twining rust-coloured branchlets with rounded leaflets that are about 1.5 cm long and occur in threes. Orange red or scarlet pea flowers are produced in clusters between August and November in its native range. The species was first formally described by E.P. Ventenat in 1804 in Jardin de la Malmaison.

Two varieties were described in Paxton's Magazine of Botany in 1835, namely var. elegans and var. coccinea. Three further varieties were transferred from the genus Zichya in 1923 by Domin, namely var. molly , var.  sericea and var. villosa. Currently, the Western Australian Herbarium recognises only two informal subspecies known tentatively as subsp. Coastal and subsp. Inland. The species is naturally adapted to sandy or lighter soils and prefers some shade. It is resistant to drought and has some frost tolerance. Plants can be propagated by scarified seed or cuttings of semi-mature growth.

 This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday, 27 February 2019

DESKTOP 2036 - HIEROGLYPHICS

hieroglyphic | hʌɪrəˈɡlɪfɪk | noun (hieroglyphics)
Writing consisting of hieroglyphs: Stylized pictures of an object representing a word, syllable, or sound, as found in ancient Egyptian and certain other writing systems. Without the Rosetta Stone, it is likely that Egyptian hieroglyphics would still be a mystery.
• enigmatic or incomprehensible symbols or writing: notebooks filled with illegible hieroglyphics.
adjective
of or written in hieroglyphs: Hieroglyphic script | a hieroglyphic sign.
• of the nature of a hieroglyph; symbolic or enigmatic.
DERIVATIVES
hieroglyphical | ˌhʌɪərəˈɡlɪfɪk(ə)l | adjective
hieroglyphically adverb
ORIGIN
late 16th century: from French hiéroglyphique, from Greek hierogluphikos, from hieros ‘sacred’ + gluphē ‘carving’.

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

Tuesday, 26 February 2019

DESKTOP 2035 - KAKADU

Kakadu National Park is in the Northern Territory of Australia, 171 km southeast of Darwin. Kakadu National Park is located within the Alligator Rivers Region and covers an area of 19,804 square km (7,646 square miles), extending nearly 200 kilometres from north to south and over 100 kilometres from east to west. It is the size of Slovenia, about one-third the size of Tasmania, or nearly half the size of Switzerland.

The Ranger Uranium Mine, one of the most productive Uranium mines in the world, is contained within the park. The name Kakadu comes from the mispronunciation of Gaagudju, which is the name of an Aboriginal language formerly spoken in the northern part of the Park. Kakadu is ecologically and biologically diverse. The main natural features protected within the National Park include: Four major rivers, six diverse geographical landforms and a huge variety of native flora and fauna.

Aboriginal people have occupied the Kakadu area continuously for at least 40,000 years. Kakadu National Park is renowned for the richness of its Aboriginal cultural sites. There are more than 5000 recorded art sites illustrating Aboriginal culture over thousands of years. The archaeological sites demonstrate Aboriginal occupation for at least 20 000 and possibly up to 40 000 years. The cultural and natural values of Kakadu National Park were recognised internationally when the Park was placed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. This is an international register of properties that are recognised as having outstanding cultural or natural values of international significance.

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

Sunday, 24 February 2019

DESKTOP 2033 - STELLARIA

Stellaria media, chickweed, in the family Caryophyllaceae, is a cool-season annual plant native to Europe, which is often eaten by chickens. It is sometimes called common chickweed to distinguish it from other plants called chickweed. Other common names include chickenwort, craches, maruns, winterweed. The plant germinates in autumn or late winter, then forms large mats of foliage. Flowers are very tiny and white, followed quickly by the seed pods. This plant flowers and sets seed at the same time.

Stellaria media is edible, delicious and nutritious, and is used as a leaf vegetable, often raw in salads. It is one of the ingredients of the symbolic dish consumed in the Japanese spring-time festival, Nanakusa-no-sekku. The plant has medicinal uses and is a common ingredient in folk medicine. It has been used as a remedy to treat itchy skin conditions and pulmonary diseases. 17th century herbalist John Gerard recommended it as a remedy for mange. Modern herbalists mainly prescribe it for skin diseases, and also for bronchitis, rheumatic pains, arthritis and period pain. A poultice of chickweed can be applied to cuts, burns and bruises. Not all of these uses are supported by scientific evidence.

This post is part of the My Sunday Best meme.


Thursday, 21 February 2019

DESKTOP 2030 - SWAN RIVER DAISY

Brachyscome iberidifolia (Swan River Daisy) is a delightful, easy to grow small shrub 15cm to 45cm and is native to Western and central Australia. Masses of purple, blue or white flowers from Spring to Autumn. Ideal for mass planting along borders, rockeries, as ground cover, in tubs or hanging baskets.

Brachyscome is a genus of around 70 species of mostly annual and perennial herbs and a few subshrubs in the daisy family Asteraceae. 65 of these are endemic to Australia, the remainder being found in New Zealand and New Guinea. They have typical "daisy" flower heads with showy ray florets in shades of white, pink, mauve, violet or blue, surrounding a usually narrow group of yellow disk florets. The leaves are often dissected to varying degrees but may be linear or spathulate. In growth habit they vary between plants with a rosette of basal leaves and more-or-less leafless flower scape, and those with mostly cauline leaves and often prostrate stems.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday, 20 February 2019

DESKTOP 2029 - GO GREEN!

"The future will either be green or not at all." - Bob Brown

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.

Tuesday, 19 February 2019

DESKTOP 2028 - MT FUJI

Mount Fuji (富士山 Fujisan), located on Honshū, is the highest mountain in Japan at 3,776.24 m, 2nd-highest peak of an island (volcanic) in Asia, and 7th-highest peak of an island in the world. It is a dormant stratovolcano that last erupted in 1707–1708. Mount Fuji lies about 100 kilometres south-west of Tokyo, and can be seen from there on a clear day. Mount Fuji's exceptionally symmetrical cone, which is snow-capped for about 5 months a year, is a well-known symbol of Japan and it is frequently depicted in art and photographs, as well as visited by sightseers and climbers.

Mount Fuji is one of Japan's "Three Holy Mountains" (三霊山 Sanreizan) along with Mount Tate and Mount Haku. It is also a Special Place of Scenic Beauty and one of Japan's Historic Sites. It was added to the World Heritage List as a Cultural Site on June 22, 2013. According to UNESCO, Mount Fuji has "inspired artists and poets and been the object of pilgrimage for centuries". UNESCO recognizes 25 sites of cultural interest within the Mount Fuji locality. These 25 locations include the mountain and the Shinto shrine, Fujisan Hongū Sengen Taisha, as well as the Buddhist Taisekiji Head Temple founded in 1290, later immortalized by Japanese ukiyo-e artist Katsushika Hokusai.

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.

Sunday, 17 February 2019

DESKTOP 2026 - PARK BENCH

At the Yarra Bend Parklands, a simple bench is an inviting place for some rest and quiet contemplation.

This post is part of the My Sunday Best meme.

Saturday, 16 February 2019

Thursday, 14 February 2019

DESKTOP 2023 - STAR ANISE

Illicium anisatum, commonly known as the Japanese star anise, is a tree similar to Chinese star anise. It is highly toxic, therefore it is not edible; instead, it has been burned as incense in Japan, where it is known as shikimi. Cases of illness, including serious neurological effects such as seizures, reported after using star anise tea may be a result of using this species.

I. anisatum is native to Japan. It is similar to I. verum, but its fruit is smaller and with weaker odour, which is said to be more similar to cardamom than to anise. While it is poisonous and therefore unsuitable for using internally, it is used for treatment of some skin problems in traditional Chinese medicine.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday, 13 February 2019

DESKTOP 2022 - FISHING

Fishing at Mornington, near Melbourne, in Victoria, Australia.

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

Tuesday, 12 February 2019

DESKTOP 2021 - CHANTILLY, FRANCE

The Château de Chantilly is a historic château located in the town of Chantilly, France, about 50 kilometers north of Paris. The site comprises two attached buildings: The Petit Château built around 1560 for Anne de Montmorency, and the Grand Château, which was destroyed during the French Revolution and rebuilt in the 1870s. Owned by the Institut de France, to which it was bequeathed in the will of Henri d'Orléans, Duke of Aumale, the château houses the Musée Condé. It is one of the finest art galleries in France and is open to the public.

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, 11 February 2019

Sunday, 10 February 2019

DESKTOP 2019 - REFLECTED

Moorhens — sometimes called marsh hens — are medium-sized water birds that are members of the rail family (Rallidae). Most species are placed in the genus Gallinula, Latin for "little hen". They are close relatives of coots, and because of their apparently nervous behaviour (frequently twitching tail, neck and grinding their backs) are sometimes called "Nervous Fred". They are often referred to as (black) gallinules.

This post is part of the Weekend Reflections meme,
and also part of the My Sunday Best meme.

Saturday, 9 February 2019

DESKTOP 2018 - AT THE PENINSULA

The Mornington Peninsula is a peninsula located south-east of Melbourne, Australia. It is surrounded by Port Phillip to the west, Western Port to the east and Bass Strait to the south, and is connected to the mainland in the north. Geographically, the peninsula begins its protrusion from the mainland in the area between Pearcedale and Frankston. The area was originally home to the Mayone-bulluk and Boonwurrung-Balluk clans and formed part of the Boonwurrung nation's territory prior to European settlement.

Much of the peninsula has been cleared for agriculture and settlements. However, small areas of the native ecology remain in the peninsula's south and west, some of which is protected by the Mornington Peninsula National Park. In 2002, around 180,000 people lived on the peninsula and in nearby areas, most in the small towns on its western shorelines which are sometimes regarded as outlying suburbs of greater Melbourne; there is a seasonal population of around 270,000. One may find quite a few small farms scattered amongst the small towns and nature reserves.

This post is part of the Saturday Critters meme,
and also part of the Camera Critters meme.

Thursday, 7 February 2019

DESKTOP 2016 - DAISIES

The daisy is a cheerful-looking flower that's been a mainstay in gardens and fields for hundreds of years. The origin of the word "daisy" lies in the Anglo-Saxon "daes eage", meaning "day's eye," because the daisy blossom opens to greet each new day at the rising of the sun. The daisy petals are arranged with central disk florets surrounded by ray florets in an inflorescence known as a capitulum. Ten percent of all flowering plants on earth are types of daisy. All daisies belong to the Asteraceae family of flowering plants.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Tuesday, 5 February 2019

DESKTOP 2015 - EVENING

Evening falls on the return trip home...

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.

DESKTOP 2014 - AEGINA, GREECE

Aegina is one of the Saronic Islands of Greece in the Saronic Gulf, 27 km from Athens. Tradition derives the name from Aegina, the mother of Aeacus, who was born on and ruled the island. During ancient times, Aegina was a rival to Athens, the great sea power of the era. The capital is the town of Aegina (population ≈8,000), situated at the northwestern end of the island. Due to its proximity to Athens, it is a popular quick getaway during the summer months, with quite a few Athenians owning holiday houses on the island.

An extinct volcano constitutes two thirds of the roughly triangular island of Aegina. The northern and western side consist of stony but fertile plains, which are well cultivated and produce luxuriant crops of grain, with some cotton, vines, almonds, olives and figs, but the most characteristic crop of Aegina today is the pistachio nut. Economically, the sponge fisheries are of notable importance. The southern volcanic part of the island is rugged and mountainous, and largely barren. The beaches are also a popular tourist attraction. 

Hydrofoil ferries from Piraeus take only forty minutes to reach Aegina; the regular ferry takes about an hour, with ticket prices for adults within the 4-15 euro range. There are regular bus services from Aegina town to destinations throughout the island such as Agia Marina. Portes is a fishing village on the east coast.

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.

Saturday, 2 February 2019

DESKTOP 2011 - MAGPIE

The Australian magpie (Cracticus tibicen) is a medium-sized black and white passerine bird native to Australia and southern New Guinea. Although once considered to be three separate species, it is now considered to be one, with nine recognised subspecies. A member of the Artamidae, the Australian magpie is classified in the butcherbird genus Cracticus and is most closely related to the black butcherbird (C. quoyi). It is not, however, related to the European magpie, which is a corvid.

The adult Australian magpie is a fairly robust bird ranging from 37 to 43 cm in length, with distinctive black and white plumage, gold brown eyes and a solid wedge-shaped bluish-white and black bill. The male and female are similar in appearance, and can be distinguished by differences in back markings.The male has pure white feathers on the back of the head and the female has white blending to grey feathers on the back of the head. With its long legs, the Australian magpie walks rather than waddles or hops and spends much time on the ground.

Described as one of Australia's most accomplished songbirds, the Australian magpie has an array of complex vocalisations. It is omnivorous, with the bulk of its varied diet made up of invertebrates. It is generally sedentary and territorial throughout its range. Common and widespread, it has adapted well to human habitation and is a familiar bird of parks, gardens and farmland in Australia and New Guinea. This species is commonly fed by households around the country, but in spring a small minority of breeding magpies (almost always males) become aggressive and swoop and attack those who approach their nests.

Magpies were introduced into New Zealand in the 1860s but have subsequently been accused of displacing native birds and are now treated as a pest species. Introductions also occurred in the Solomon Islands and Fiji, where the birds are not considered an invasive species. The Australian magpie is the mascot of several Australian sporting teams, most notably the Collingwood Magpies and Port Adelaide Magpies.

There are several names given to a group of magpies, but perhaps the most descriptive is “a parliament.” The birds have earned this title as a result of their often appearing in large groups in the Spring, looking stately and cawing at each other - rather like politicians really...

This post is part of the Saturday Critters meme,
and also part of the Camera Critters meme.