Tuesday, 22 August 2017

DESKTOP 1484 - KINDERDIJK, HOLLAND

Kinderdijk is a village in the Netherlands, belonging to the municipality of Molenwaard, in the province South Holland, about 15 km east of Rotterdam. Kinderdijk is situated in a polder in the Alblasserwaard at the confluence of the Lek and Noord rivers. To drain the polder, a system of 19 windmills was built around 1740. This group of mills is the largest concentration of old windmills in the Netherlands. The windmills of Kinderdijk are one of the best-known Dutch tourist sites. They have been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997.

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, 21 August 2017

DESKTOP 1483 - YARRA RIVER

Hints of Spring as the wattles bloom, on the banks of the Yarra River at Fairfield, a Malbourne inner suburb.

This post is part of the Through my Lens meme,
and also part of the Seasons meme.

Sunday, 20 August 2017

DESKTOP 1482 - LADYBUGS

Harmonia conformis (the large spotted ladybug) is a species of ladybug (the family Coccinellidae). It has a light reddish appearance and its colouration includes 20 large black spots, 18 of which are found on the elytra (wing covers). They are quite large for ladybirds, being about 6-7 mm long.

It is a predator of other insects, eating aphids as both a larva and imago (adult). It is found in Australia, and has been introduced to New Zealand, where it is common in northern regions. Another member of the same genus, Harmonia antipoda, also occurs in New Zealand. This species, however, is a native and is much smaller and harder to find.

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


Thursday, 17 August 2017

DESKTOP 1479 - CALLA LILY

Zantedeschia is a genus of herbaceous flowering plants in the family Araceae, native to southern Africa from South Africa north to Malawi. The name of the genus was given as a tribute to Italian botanist Giovanni Zantedeschi (1773–1846) by the German botanist Kurt Sprengel (1766–1833). Common names include arum lily for Z. aethiopica, calla, and calla lily for Z. elliottiana and Z. rehmannii although it is neither a true lily (Liliaceae), nor Arum or Calla (related genera in Araceae). It is also often erroneously spelled as "cala lily". It has often been used in many paintings, and is visible in many of Diego Rivera's works of art (see 'The Flower Vendor', amongst others).

The Zantedeschias are rhizomatous herbaceous perennial plants growing to 1-2.5 m tall with leaves 15–45 cm long. The inflorescence is a showy white, yellow or pink spathe shaped like a funnel with a yellow, central, finger-like spadix. The Zantedeschia species are poisonous due to the presence of calcium oxalate. All parts of the plant are toxic, and produce irritation and swelling of the mouth and throat, acute vomiting and diarrhoea. However, in some countries the leaves are sometimes cooked and eaten after suitable preparation.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

DESKTOP 1477 - CORFU, GREECE

Corfu or Kerkyra (Greek: Κέρκυρα, Kérkyra; Ancient Greek: Κόρκυρα, Kórkyra; Latin: Corcyra; Italian: Corfù) is a Greek island in the Ionian Sea. It is the second largest of the Ionian Islands, and, including its small satellite islands, forms the northwesternmost part of Greece. The island is part of the Corfu regional unit, and is administered as a single municipality, which also includes the smaller islands of Ereikoussa, Mathraki and Othonoi. The municipality has an area of 610,9 km2, the island proper 592,8 km2.

The principal city of the island and seat of the municipality (pop. 32,095) is also named Corfu. Corfu is home to the Ionian University. The island is bound up with the history of Greece from the beginnings of Greek mythology. Its history is full of battles and conquests. Castles punctuating strategic locations across the island are a legacy of these struggles. Two of these castles enclose its capital, which is the only city in Greece to be surrounded in such a way. As a result, Corfu's capital has been officially declared a Kastropolis ("castle city") by the Greek government.

From medieval times and into the 17th century, the island, having successfully repulsed the Ottomans during several sieges, was recognised as a bulwark of the European States against the Ottoman Empire and became one of the most fortified places in Europe. The fortifications of the island were used by the Venetians to defend against Ottoman intrusion into the Adriatic. Corfu eventually fell under British rule following the Napoleonic Wars. Corfu was eventually ceded by the British Empire along with the remaining islands of the United States of the Ionian Islands, and unification with modern Greece was concluded in 1864 under the Treaty of London. In 2007, the city's old quarter was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List, following a recommendation by ICOMOS.

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.

Sunday, 13 August 2017

DESKTOP 1475 - MANEKI-NEKO

The maneki-neko (Japanese: 招き猫, literally "beckoning cat") is a common Japanese figurine (lucky charm, talisman) which is often believed to bring good luck to the owner. In modern times, they are usually made of ceramic or plastic. The figurine depicts a cat (traditionally a calico Japanese Bobtail) beckoning with an upright paw, and is usually displayed in—often at the entrance of—shops, restaurants, pachinko parlours, and other businesses. Some of the sculptures are electric or battery-powered and have a slow-moving paw beckoning.

Maneki-neko comes in different colours, styles and degrees of ornateness. Common colours are white, black, gold and sometimes red. In addition to ceramic figurines, maneki-neko can be found as keychains, piggy banks, air fresheners, house-plant pots, and miscellaneous ornaments, as well as large statues. It is also sometimes called the "Chinese lucky cat" due to its popularity among Chinese merchants.

To some Westerners (Italians and Spaniards are notable exceptions) it may seem as if the maneki-neko is waving rather than beckoning. This is due to the difference in gestures and body language recognised by some Westerners and the Japanese. The Japanese beckoning gesture is made by holding up the hand, palm down, and repeatedly folding the fingers down and back, thus the cat's appearance. Some maneki-neko made specifically for some Western markets will have the cat's paw facing upwards, in a beckoning gesture that is more familiar to most Westerners.

Maneki-neko can be found with either the right or left paw raised (and sometimes both). The significance of the right and left raised paw differs with time and place. Some say that a left paw raised is best for drinking establishments, the right paw for other stores; another interpretation is that right is for home and left for business.

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