Tuesday, 7 April 2020

DESKTOP 2441 - KIAMA, AUSTRALIA

Kiama is a township 120 kilometres south of Sydney in the Illawarra, New South Wales, Australia in the Municipality of Kiama. At the 2011 census, Kiama had a population of 12,817 people. One of the main tourist attractions is the Kiama Blowhole. The seaside town features several popular surfing beaches, caravan parks and numerous alfresco cafes and restaurants. Its proximity to the south of Sydney makes it an attractive destination for a large number of day trippers.

The Kiama area includes many attractions, being situated on the coast south of the Minnamurra River, and to the west lie the foothills of Saddleback Mountain and the smaller less discernible peak of Mount Brandon. Also to the west is the town of Jamberoo with pasture-land in between, which contains many historic buildings and dry stone walls. Also of note is Seven Mile Beach to the south, a protected reserve. Kiama has several well-known surfing beaches, including Surf Beach, 'Mystics' and Boyds' Beach, as well as other more protected swimming beaches situated in coves between headlands such as Black Beach, Easts Beach and Kendalls Beach. Kiama Harbour forms one of several coves between headlands.

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.

Monday, 6 April 2020

DESKTOP 2440 - DE-KLIMT!

Taking photos of an oil colour copy of the painting "The Kiss" by Klimt, I digitally reconstructed the photographic images to come up with this mosaic. I recently read an excellent book on this artist and I am appreciating his works more and more now.

This post is part of the Mosaic Monday meme,
and also part of the Seasons meme,
and also part of the Ruby Tuesday meme.

Wednesday, 1 April 2020

DESKTOP 2435 - APRIL FOOL

April is the middle month of Southern Hemisphere Autumn, equivalent to October of the Northern Autumn. Our weather has been very unstable and variable lately, so it's no surprise that nature played an April Fool's joke on us and the Callery pear tree decided to bloom instead of shedding its leaves!

This post is part of the Wordless Wednesday meme,
and also part of the My Corner of the World meme.

Tuesday, 31 March 2020

DESKTOP 2434 - PLAKA, ATHENS

Pláka (Greek: Πλάκα) is the old historical neighbourhood of Athens, clustered around the northern and eastern slopes of the Acropolis, and incorporating labyrinthine streets and neoclassical architecture. Pláka is built on top of the residential areas of the ancient town of Athens. It is known as the "Neighbourhood of the Gods" due to its proximity to the Acropolis and its many archaeological sites.

Pláka is visited by hundreds of thousands of tourists around the year, and is under strict zoning and conservation regulations, as the only neighbourhood in Athens where all utilities (water, power, cable television, telephone, internet, and sewage) lie underground in fully accessible, custom-made tunnelling. Excavations have proven that Adrianou Street is the oldest street in Athens still in continuous use with exactly the same layout since antiquity.

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, 30 March 2020

DESKTOP 2433 - CHILLIES

Our greengrocer has a formidable selection of chilli peppers and as usual the displays of the produce are very photogenic. Turns out these arranged themselves into a good mosaic!

This post is part of the Mosaic Monday meme,
and also part of the Ruby Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Seasons meme.

Sunday, 29 March 2020

DESKTOP 2432 - YARRA RIVER

The Yarra River in Alphington, Melbourne. A perfect place for a solitary walk early in the morning, adhering to social distancing rules!

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


Thursday, 26 March 2020

DESKTOP 2429 - JAPANESE ANEMONE

Anemone hupehensis, Anemone hupehensis var. japonica, and Anemone × hybrida (commonly known as the Chinese anemone or Japanese anemone, thimbleweed, or windflower) are species of flowering herbaceous perennials in the Ranunculaceae family. A. hupehensis is native to central China, though it has been naturalised in Japan for hundreds of years.

The species was first named and described in Flora Japonica (1784), by Carl Thunberg. Thunberg had collected dried specimens while working as a doctor for the Dutch East Indies Company. In 1844, Robert Fortune brought the plant to England from China, where he found it often planted about graves. Height is 1–1.5 m and the leaves have three leaflets. Flowers are 40–60 mm across, with 5-6 (or up to 20 in double forms) sculpted pink or white petals and prominent yellow stamens, blooming from midsummer to autumn.

These plants thrive best in shady areas and under protection of larger plants. They are especially sensitive to drought or overwatering. They can be invasive or weedy in some areas, throwing out suckers from the fibrous rootstock, to rapidly colonise an area. Once established they can be extremely difficult to eradicate. On the other hand, they can take some time to become established.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday, 25 March 2020

DESKTOP 2428 - PARK

A solitary walk in the park by the Yarra River in Alphington, in suburban Melbourne, Australia affords some relaxation and serenity in these stressful days of the COVID-19 Pandemic...

This post is part of the Wordless Wednesday meme,
and also part of the My Corner of the World meme.

Tuesday, 24 March 2020

DESKTOP 2427 - SAN MARINO

San Marino (officially, the Republic of San Marino [Italian: Repubblica di San Marino]; also known as the Most Serene Republic of San Marino [Italian: Serenissima Repubblica di San Marino]), is an enclaved microstate surrounded by Italy, situated on the Italian Peninsula on the north-eastern side of the Apennine Mountains. Its size is just over 61 km2 and has an estimated population of about 32,000. Its capital is the City of San Marino and its largest city is Dogana. San Marino has the smallest population of all the members of the Council of Europe.

San Marino claims to be the oldest surviving sovereign state and constitutional republic in the world, as the continuation of the monastic community founded on 3 September 301, by stonecutter Marinus of Arba. Legend has it that Marinus left Rab, then the Roman colony of Arba, in 257 when the future emperor Diocletian issued a decree calling for the reconstruction of the city walls of Rimini, which had been destroyed by Liburnian pirates.

San Marino is governed by the Constitution of San Marino (Leges Statutae Republicae Sancti Marini), a series of six books written in Latin in the late 16th century, that dictate the country’s political system, among other matters. The country is considered to have the earliest written governing documents (constitution) still in effect. The country's economy mainly relies on finance, industry, services and tourism. Despite having an extremely small economy for a nation state, it is one of the wealthiest countries in the world in terms of GDP (per capita), with a figure comparable to the most developed European regions. San Marino is considered to have a highly stable economy, with one of the lowest unemployment rates in Europe, no national debt and a budget surplus. It is the only country with more vehicles than people!

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, 22 March 2020

DESKTOP 2425 - DRY

Earth scorched by drought welcomes the promise of Autumn rains.

This post is part of the My Sunday Best meme.

Saturday, 21 March 2020

DESKTOP 2424 - BULL ANT

Myrmecia is a genus of ants first established by Danish zoologist Johan Christian Fabricius in 1804. The genus is a member of the subfamily Myrmeciinae of the family Formicidae. Myrmecia is a large genus of ants, comprising at least 93 species that are found throughout Australia and its coastal islands, while a single species is only known from New Caledonia. One species has been introduced out of its natural distribution and was found in New Zealand in 1940, but the ant was last seen in 1981. These ants are commonly known as "bull ants", "bulldog ants" or "jack jumper" ants, and are also associated with many other common names. They are characterized by their extreme aggressiveness, ferocity, and painful stings. Some species are known for the jumping behavior they exhibit when agitated.

This post is part of the Saturday Critters meme

Friday, 20 March 2020

Thursday, 19 March 2020

DESKTOP 2422 - BERRIES

We are beginning to see signs of Autumn even if the last couple of days were rather warm. Red berries always cheer me up!

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Tuesday, 17 March 2020

DESKTOP 2420 - SKOPELOS, GREECE

Skopelos (Greek: Σκόπελος) is a Greek island in the western Aegean Sea. Skopelos is one of several islands which comprise the Northern Sporades island group, which lies east of the Pelion peninsula on the mainland and north of the island of Euboea. It is part of the Thessaly region. Skopelos is also the name of the main port and the municipal centre of the island. The other communities of the island are Glossa and Neo Klima (Elios).

The geography of Skopelos includes two mountains over 500 m; Delphi (681 m) in the centre of the island, and Palouki (546 m) in the southeast. With an area of 96 square kilometres, Skopelos is slightly larger than Mykonos (85 km2) and Santorini (73 km2). The nearest inhabited islands are Skiathos to the west and Alonissos to the east. According to legend, Skopelos was founded by Staphylos (Greek for grape), one of the sons of the god Dionysos and the princess Ariadne of Crete.

Historically, in the Late Bronze Age the island, then known as Peparethos or Peparethus (Ancient Greek: Πεπάρηθος), was colonised by Cretans, who introduced viticulture to the island. Perhaps because of the legend of its founding by the son of the god of wine, the island was known throughout the ancient Greek cities of the Mediterranean Sea for its wine. The play "Philoctetes" (first performed at the Festival of Dionysus in 409 BC) by Sophocles includes a wine merchant lost on his way to "Peparethos, rich in grapes and wine".

The economy of Skopelos is now fully dependent on the tourism industry which supports construction and other development-related industries. Though tourism is greatest during the summer months, Skopelos is also a year round retirement destination for Northern Europeans. The popularity of the island with tourists increased due to the filming of "Mamma Mia!" on the island in September 2007.

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, 15 March 2020

DESKTOP 2418 - CORONAVIRUS!

This is a mixed media drawing I have done. It was inspired by the Coronavirus pandemic that has now taken hold of the world!

This post is part of the My Sunday Best meme.

Thursday, 12 March 2020

DESKTOP 2415 - TORCH GLOW

Bougainvillea ‘Torch Glow,’ stands on its own amidst the many garden bougainvilleas due to its unique, upright, shrubby form. Bougainvilleas are technically lianas, tropical shrubs with reaching stems that grow into the treetops of their jungles of origin. Yet this selection was discovered in California among a group of seedlings imported from the Philippines. Ordinary plants have fast-growing stems with widely spaced leaves. The leaves of ‘Torch Glow’ are tightly packed together on their branches, which are shortened, resulting in a compact habit, a true a true shrub for the landscape, very different from the massive vines of many bougainvilleas.

At the tips of its short branches, ‘Torch Glow’ blooms in bright magenta bracts densely packed among yellow green leaves. Bracts are modified leaves evolved to lure pollinators to the nearly insignificant true flowers nestled among them. These small, white tubular blooms are pollinated by hummingbirds. Grow ‘Torch Glow’ in full sun on well-drained, even slightly dry soil. Too much fertiliser and water can reduce the show of colour. Plant with care because it is sensitive to root disturbance. It will not transplant once in the ground. This upright form makes a fine foundation plant or a specimen focal point in the dry garden. The range of uses is almost endless.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Tuesday, 10 March 2020

DESKTOP 2413 - BRISBANE

Brisbane is the capital and most populous city in the Australian state of Queensland, and the third most populous city in Australia. Brisbane's metropolitan area has a population of 2.24 million, and the South East Queensland conurbation, centred on Brisbane, encompasses a population of more than 3 million. The Brisbane central business district stands on the original European settlement and is situated inside a bend of the Brisbane River, approximately 15 kilometres from its mouth at Moreton Bay.

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, 8 March 2020

Saturday, 7 March 2020

DESKTOP 2410 - DUCK

The chestnut teal duck (Anas castanea) is a dabbling duck found in Australia. Males have a distinctive green head.

This post is part of the the "Saturday Critters meme"

Thursday, 5 March 2020

DESKTOP 2408 - PODRANEA

Podranea ricasoliana, the pink trumpet vine, has been out of fashion in Australian gardens for a long time, for no particular reason seeing it is a very attractive plant. As well as pink trumpet vine, this showy plant is also commonly known as Port St. John creeper, after its place of origin in South Africa. Its genus name Podranea is an anagram of Pandorea, the genus name for a group of closely related Australian native vines all in the Bignoniaceae family.

It is a vigorous, evergreen scrambler with glossy compound leaves. The beautiful trumpet shaped flowers are pale pink with carmine stripes and yellowish shading in the throat. Flowering time is summer and autumn. The fruit is a bean-like capsule containing winged seeds. Pink trumpet vine will grow best in the warmer parts of Australia, and is well worth a try in inland areas. It has low water needs once established. It looks good grown over fences or walls pruned into a shrub or weeping standard.

Pink trumpet vine grows best in a sunny position, but will tolerate light shade. It needs a well drained soil and a strong support if it is to be grown as a climber. Water well until the plant becomes established. Prune to shape and control growth immediately after flowering. It is high maintenance if pruned as a shrub or standard. The reward is a lovely plant with hardy attractive flowers, very free flowering, virtually pest and disease free and drought resistant.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday, 4 March 2020

DESKTOP 2407 - FALLEN

As Autumn rolls in, the weather changes and the days get shorter. Fruit ripens and sometimes falls before it is picked...

This post is part of the Wordless Wednesday meme,
and also part of the My Corner of the World meme.

Tuesday, 3 March 2020

DESKTOP 2406 - PARGA, GREECE

Parga (Greek: Πάργα [ˈpaɾɣa]) is a town and municipality located in the northwestern part of the regional unit of Preveza in Epirus, northwestern Greece. The seat of the municipality is the village Kanallaki. Parga lies on the Ionian coast between the cities of Preveza and Igoumenitsa. It is a resort town known for its scenic beauty. In antiquity the area was inhabited by the Greek tribe of the Thesprotians. The ancient town of Toryne was probably located here.

The village of Parga stands from the early 13th century. It was originally built on top of the mountain "Pezovolo". In 1360 the Pargians, in order to avoid the attacks of the Magrebins, transferred the village to its present location. During that period, with the help of the Normans, who held the island of Corfu, the fortress of Parga was built. In 1401 a treaty was signed with the Venetians, and the rule of Ionian Islands passed to them. The Venetians respected the lifestyle of the Pargians who provided, in turn, invaluable assistance to the fleet of the Venetians. At the same time the Pargians fought by the side of their compatriots to throw off the Ottoman rule. As Parga was the only free Christian village of Epirus, it was a perfect refuge for persecuted fighters and their families.

In 1797 the area, along with the Ionian Islands and Parga, fell into the hands of the French, and in 1800, proclaimed free city status with broad authority under the protection of the Sublime Porte. In 1815, with the fortunes of the French failing, the citizens of Parga revolted against French rule and sought the protection of the British. In 1817, following a treaty between Britain and the Ottoman Empire, the British granted Parga to the Ottomans. This resulted in the Good Friday of 1819 where 4,000 Pargians, having with them the ashes of the bones of their ancestors, their sacred images, flags and a handful of soil from their homeland, exiled themselves in the British protectorate of Corfu where they settled.

The former citizens of Parga never ceased to dream of returning to a free country and to participate actively in the struggle for liberation. But they had to wait almost 100 years for this. Parga and the rest of Epirus was liberated from the Ottoman rule on 1913 following the victory of Greece in the Balkan Wars.

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, 2 March 2020

DESKTOP 2405 - AUTUMN'S WEB

We have had some very mild days with low temperatures and some rain. It is weather that is unseasonable for Melbourne as usually February and well into March wee usually experience our hottest time of the year. Nevertheless, such autumnal weather has primed us for the mellowness of the season ahead...

This post is part of the Mosaic Monday meme,
and also part of the Seasons meme.

Sunday, 1 March 2020

DESKTOP 2404 - GPO

This loggia on the Western side of the old Melbourne General Post Office (GPO) is now used by the many cafés that are housed just within, as an area for setting up tables and chairs for the customers to enjoy their coffee or light meal in the shade. Every evening they take the tables inside and every morning they set them up again. Here is an early morning shot, just before the clutter. The yellow light suits the old stonework well.

This post is part of the My Sunday Best meme.

Thursday, 27 February 2020

DESKTOP 2401 - GAZANIA

Gazania is a genus of flowering plants in the family Asteraceae, native to Southern Africa. They produce large, daisy-like composite flowers in brilliant shades of yellow and orange, over a long period in summer. They are often planted as drought-tolerant ground-cover.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme

Wednesday, 26 February 2020

DESKTOP 2400 - YARRA BEND PARK

Yarra Bend Park has been one of Melbourne’s largest expanses of inner suburban parkland for nearly 150 years. Yarra Bend Park and neighbouring Studley Park were reserved in 1877. Both park areas and several reserves were combined in 1929 to create one large park. The combined area became known as Yarra Bend National Park despite never being raised to formal national park status.

During the 1930’s additions included picnic and sporting grounds, toilet facilities and a public golf course. The Park provides a great open space for walking, bike riding, riverside cafes, golf, boating, BBQs, picnicking and a host of other leisure activities. Numerous winding paths provide plenty of opportunity for leisurely promenades in the natural serene surrounds of the park.

This post is part of the Wordless Wednesday meme,
and also part of the My Corner of the World meme.

Tuesday, 25 February 2020

DESKTOP 2399 - COROMANDEL

The Coromandel Peninsula on the North Island of New Zealand extends 85 kilometres north from the western end of the Bay of Plenty, forming a natural barrier to protect the Hauraki Gulf and the Firth of Thames in the west from the Pacific Ocean to the east. At its broadest point, it is 40 kilometres wide.

Almost the entire population lies on the narrow strips along the Hauraki Gulf and Bay of Plenty coasts. In fine weather the peninsula is clearly visible from Auckland, the country's biggest city, which lies on the far shore of the Hauraki Gulf, 55 kilometres to the west. The peninsula is part of the local government areas of Thames-Coromandel District and the Waikato Region.

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, 23 February 2020

DESKTOP 2397 - GROWTH

With water and air, and a smidgeon of micronutrients, up they sprout!

This post is part of the Weekend in Black and White,
and also part of the My Sunday Best meme.

Saturday, 22 February 2020

DESKTOP 2396 - BUTTERFLY

A cabbage small white butterfly (Pieris rapae) feeding on Chinese plumbago flowers (Ceratostigma willmottianum).

This post is part of the Saturday Critters meme.

Friday, 21 February 2020

DESKTOP 2395 - FREMANTLE

Fremantle is a city in Western Australia, located at the mouth of the Swan River. Fremantle Harbour serves as the port of Perth, the state capital. Fremantle was the first area settled by the Swan River colonists in 1829. It was declared a city in 1929, and has a population of approximately 25,000. The city is named after Captain Charles Howe Fremantle, the English naval officer who had pronounced possession of Western Australia and who established a camp at the site. The city contains well-preserved 19th-century buildings and other heritage features. The Western Australian vernacular diminutive for Fremantle is Freo.

This post is part of the Skywatch Friday meme.

Thursday, 20 February 2020

DESKTOP 2394 - CANDY STRIPE PHLOX

Phlox subulata 'Candy Stripe' (=Moss Phlox USDA Zone: 2-9) is a popular garden cultivar of phlox. There are many selections of Moss Phlox, all of them forming a low mound or cushion of dark green needle-like leaves, smothered by tiny flowers in late spring. This variety produces a showy display of rose-pink flowers, each petal striped with white. Clip plants lightly immediately after blooming to encourage a dense habit. Wonderful in the sunny rock garden, for edging, or in mixed containers. Clumps may be ripped apart and divided in early Autumn, after 3 to 4 years. Requires good drainage. Drought tolerant, once established.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Tuesday, 18 February 2020

DESKTOP 2392 - ABU SIMBEL

The Abu Simbel temples are two massive rock temples at Abu Simbel (أبو سمبل in Arabic), a village in Nubia, southern Egypt, near the border with Sudan. They are situated on the western bank of Lake Nasser, about 230 km southwest of Aswan (about 300 km by road). 

The complex is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site known as the "Nubian Monuments," which run from Abu Simbel downriver to Philae (near Aswan). The twin temples were originally carved out of the mountainside during the reign of Pharaoh Ramesses II in the 13th century BC, as a lasting monument to himself and his queen Nefertari, to commemorate his victory at the Battle of Kadesh.

Their huge external rock relief figures have become iconic. The complex was relocated in its entirety in 1968, on an artificial hill made from a domed structure, high above the Aswan High Dam reservoir. The relocation of the temples was necessary to prevent their being submerged during the creation of Lake Nasser, the massive artificial water reservoir formed after the building of the Aswan High Dam on the Nile River.

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, 16 February 2020

DESKTOP 2390 - WOOD

The Mullum Mullum Creek winds lazily through northeastern Melbourne, flowing from South to North and emptying into the Yarra River near Eltham South. Along its path there are many nature reserves where there are picnic facilities and also of course havens for the native flora and fauna.

Residents of the outer suburbs of Melbourne have ready access to many such waterways and reserves, which makes living in the big metropolis very attractive - all of the comforts and diversions of a big urban centre, but also the joys of country life all within a radius of a few tens of kilometres. This photo is taken in Deep Creek Reserve close to Warrandyte Rd.

This post is part of the My Sunday Best meme.