Monday, 25 September 2017

Saturday, 23 September 2017

DESKTOP 1516 - BUTTERCUPS

Ranunculus repens, the creeping buttercup, is a flowering plant in the buttercup family Ranunculaceae, native to Europe, Asia and northwestern Africa. It is also called creeping crowfoot and (along with restharrow) sitfast.

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

Thursday, 21 September 2017

DESKTOP 1514 - RED CAMELLIA

Camellia is a genus of flowering plants in the family Theaceae. They are found in eastern and southern Asia, from the Himalayas east to Japan and Indonesia. There are 100–250 described species, with some controversy over the exact number. The genus was named by Linnaeus after the Jesuit botanist Georg Joseph Kamel, who worked in the Philippines, though he never described a camellia.

This genus is famous throughout East Asia; camellias are known as cháhuā (茶花) in Chinese, "tea flower", an apt designation, as tsubaki (椿) in Japanese, as dongbaek-kkot (동백꽃) in Korean and as hoa trà or hoa chè in Vietnamese. Of economic importance in the Indian subcontinent and Asia, leaves of C. sinensis are processed to create the popular beverage, tea. The ornamental Camellia japonica, Camellia oleifera and Camellia sasanqua and their hybrids are represented in cultivation by a large number of cultivars.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

DESKTOP 1512 - ROME, ITALY

Rome ( Italian: Roma; Latin: Rōma) is a city and special comune (named "Roma Capitale") in Italy. Rome is the capital of Italy and also of the Province of Rome and of the region of Lazio. With 2.9 million residents in 1,285.3 km2, it is also the country's largest and most populated comune and fourth-most populous city in the European Union by population within city limits. The urban area of Rome extends beyond the administrative city limits with a population of around 3.8 million. Between 3.2 and 4.2 million people live in Rome metropolitan area.

The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, within Lazio (Latium), along the shores of Tiber river. Vatican City is an independent country within the city boundaries of Rome, the only existing example of a country within a city: for this reason Rome has been often defined as capital of two states.

Rome's history spans more than two and a half thousand years, since its legendary founding in 753 BC. Rome is one of the oldest continuously occupied cities in Europe. It is referred to as "The Eternal City" (Latin: Roma Aeterna), a central notion in ancient Roman culture. In the ancient world it was successively the capital city of the Roman Kingdom, the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire, and is regarded as one of the birthplaces of Western civilisation. Since the 1st century AD, Rome has been considered the seat of the Papacy and in the 8th century it became the capital of the Papal States, which lasted until 1870. In 1871 Rome became the capital of the Kingdom of Italy, and in 1946 that of the Italian Republic.

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, 17 September 2017

DESKTOP 1510 - SOUNION TEMPLE

Cape Sounion (Modern Greek: Aκρωτήριο Σούνιο, transliterated Akrotírio Soúnio) is a promontory located 69 kilometres south-southeast of Athens, at the southernmost tip of the Attica peninsula in Greece. Cape Sounion is noted as the site of ruins of an ancient Greek temple of Poseidon, the god of the sea in classical mythology.

The remains are perched on the headland, surrounded on three sides by the sea. The ruins bear the deeply engraved name of English Romantic poet Lord Byron (1788–1823). The site is a popular day-excursion for tourists from Athens, with the sunset over the Aegean Sea, as viewed from the ruins, a sought-after spectacle.

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.

Saturday, 16 September 2017

DESKTOP 1509 - BUTTERCUPS

Ranunculus is a large genus of about 600 species of plants in the Ranunculaceae family. Members of the genus include the buttercups, spearworts, and water crowfoots. The petals are often highly lustrous, especially in yellow species. Buttercups usually flower in the spring, but flowers may be found throughout the summer, especially where the plants are growing as opportunistic colonisers, as in the case of garden weeds.

The water crowfoots (Ranunculus subgenus Batrachium), which grow in still or running water, are sometimes treated in a separate genus Batrachium (from Greek βάτραχος batrachos, "frog"). They have two different leaf types, thread-like leaves underwater and broader floating leaves. In some species, such as R. aquatilis, a third, intermediate leaf type occurs. Ranunculus species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including Hebrew Character and small angle shades.

Some species are popular ornamental flowers in horticulture, with many cultivars selected for large and brightly coloured flowers. Ranunculus repens, the creeping buttercup shown here, is a flowering plant in the buttercup family Ranunculaceae, native to Europe, Asia and northwestern Africa, The flowers are bright golden yellow, 2–3 cm diameter, usually with five petals, and the flower stem is finely grooved.

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

Thursday, 14 September 2017

DESKTOP 1507 - LOROPETALUM

Loropetalum is a genus of three species of shrubs or small trees in the witch-hazel family, Hamamelidaceae, native to China, Japan, and south-eastern Asia. The name Loropetalum refers to the shape of the flowers and comes from the Greek loron meaning strap and petalon meaning petal. Flowers are produced in clusters during spring and are similar to those of the closely related witch-hazel. Each flower consists of four to six (depending on species) slender strap shaped petals 1-2 cm long. Illustrated here is Loropetalum chinense var. rubrum.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

DESKTOP 1505 - AEGEAN SUNSET

The Aegean Sea (/ɪˈdʒiːən/; Greek: Αιγαίο Πέλαγος [eˈʝeo ˈpelaɣos] (About this sound listen); Turkish: Ege Denizi Turkish pronunciation: [eɟe denizi]) is an elongated embayment of the Mediterranean Sea located between the Greek and Anatolian peninsulas, i.e., between the mainlands of Greece and Turkey. In the north, it is connected to the Marmara Sea and Black Sea by the Dardanelles and Bosphorus.

The Aegean Islands are within the sea and some bound it on its southern periphery, including Crete and Rhodes. The sea was traditionally known as the Archipelago (in Greek, Αρχιπέλαγος, meaning "chief sea"), but in English the meaning of Archipelago has changed to refer to the Aegean Islands and, generally, to any island group.

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, 6 September 2017

DESKTOP 1499 - INVERLOCH, AUSTRALIA

Inverloch is a seaside town located in Victoria, Australia. It is located 143 kilometres south east of Melbourne via the South Gippsland Highway on the Bass Highway at the mouth of Anderson Inlet, in the Bass Coast Shire of Gippsland, Victoria, Australia. Known originally for the calm waters of Anderson Inlet, it is now also known for the discovery of Australia's first dinosaur bone.

At the 2011 census it had a population of 4,960. Inverloch is a popular tourist destination, particularly for swimming, kitesurfing and windsurfing at the calm waters of Anderson Inlet. Fishing and surfing are also popular. The town was first named Andersons Inlet after Samuel Anderson, the first European to settle here. It was later renamed Inverloch after Loch Inver (Lake Entrance) in Scotland. The town is also home to a tennis club which is home to the some of Australia's greatest players.

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

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

DESKTOP 1498 - KAVALA, GREECE

Kavala (Greek: Καβάλα) is a city in northern Greece, the principal seaport of eastern Macedonia and the capital of 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 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, 30 August 2017

DESKTOP 1493 - IRISES

Spring day today in Melbourne...

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

DESKTOP 1492 - HONEYCOMB

Hundreds of honeybees hover over the hexagonal holes of honeycomb, hoarding huge hauls of honey...

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

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

DESKTOP 1491 - XANTHI, GREECE

Xanthi (Greek: Ξάνθη); is a city in Thrace, northeastern Greece. It is the capital of the Xanthi regional unit of the region of East Macedonia and Thrace. Amphitheatrically built on the foot of Rhodope mountain chain, the city is divided by the Kosynthos River, into the west part, where the old and the modern town are located, and the east part that boasts a rich natural environment.

The Old Town of Xanthi is known throughout Greece for its distinctive architecture, combining many Byzantine Greek churches with neoclassical mansions of Greek merchants from the 18th and 19th centuries and Ottoman-era mosques. Other landmarks in Xanthi include the Archaeological Museum of Abdera and the Greek Folk Art Museum.

Xanthi is famous throughout Greece (especially Northern Greece) for its annual spring carnival (Greek: καρναβάλι) which has a significant role in the city's economy. Over 40 cultural associations from around Greece participate in the carnival program. The festivities which take place during the period include concerts, theatre plays, music and dance nights, exhibitions, a cycling event, games on the streets, and re-enactments of old customs.

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, 27 August 2017

Saturday, 26 August 2017

Thursday, 24 August 2017

DESKTOP 1486 - LILAC HIBISCUS

Alyogyne huegelii is a flowering plant in the Malvaceae family, found in the Southwest botanical province of Western Australia, extending along its entire coastline. A large flowered shrub, the species favours the sands of coastal shrublands and heath. The large flower, highly variable in colour, is similar to that of Hibiscus. It was previously placed in that genus, and is commonly named "Lilac Hibiscus".

It is widely cultivated as a flowering plant for the garden, but the varieties and cultivars previously published are no longer formally recognised. Alyogyne is a shrub to four metres with many alternate branches, although lower ones may be sparse. Bright green leaves are divided in three to five in outline; margins are irregular, lobate to toothed; pubescent and strongly veined lobes are coarse in shape. The flowerstalk at the leaf axil is long, tilting at the single flower.

The flowers have five luminous petals up to 70 mm long, these are overlapping and have slight ridges. The colour is cream or mauve, or the lilac of the name by which it is traded. The staminal tube structure contains numerous whorled anthers, these are yellow. The five styles of this are fused until the tip, which is composed of swollen and apparently divided stigma. This is supported on a five-lobed calyx, within an arrangement of up to 10 partly fused bracts.

As with all the Malvales, the flowers last around a day – becoming deeply coloured and papery when spent. They are numerous in the long flowering period in Australia being between June and January.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

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.

Thursday, 10 August 2017

DESKTOP 1472 - ALMOND BLOSSOM

The almond (Prunus dulcis, syn. Prunus amygdalus) is a species of tree native to the Middle East, the Indian subcontinent and North Africa, classified in the Rosaceae family. The almond is a deciduous tree, growing 4–10 m in height, with a trunk of up to 30 cm in diameter. The young twigs are green at first, becoming purplish where exposed to sunlight, then grey in their second year.

The leaves are 7-12 cm long, with a serrated margin and a 2.5 cm petiole. The flowers are white to pale pink, 3–5 cm diameter with five petals, produced singly or in pairs and appearing before the leaves in early spring. Almond grows best in Mediterranean climates with warm, dry summers and mild, wet winters.

The optimal temperature for their growth is between 15 and 30 °C and the tree buds have a chilling requirement of 300 to 600 hours below 7.2 °C to break dormancy. Almonds begin bearing an economic crop in the third year after planting. Trees reach full bearing five to six years after planting. The fruit matures in the autumn, 7–8 months after flowering.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

DEKTOP 1471 - EUBOEA

Euboea or Evia (Greek: Εύβοια, Evvoia, pronounced [ˈevia]; Ancient Greek: Εὔβοια, Eúboia]) is the second-largest Greek island in area and population, after Crete. The narrow Euripus Strait separates it from Boeotia in mainland Greece. In general outline it is a long and narrow island; it is about 180 kilometres long, and varies in breadth from 50 kilometres to 6 kilometres.

Its geographic orientation is from northwest to southeast, and it is traversed throughout its length by a mountain range, which forms part of the chain that bounds Thessaly on the east, and is continued south of Euboea in the lofty islands of Andros, Tinos and Mykonos. It forms most of the regional unit of Euboea, which also includes Skyros and a small area of the Greek mainland.

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