Friday, 9 October 2015


The Jack Russell Terrier is a small terrier that has its origins in fox hunting; it is principally white-bodied and smooth, rough or broken-coated. The term "Jack Russell" is commonly misapplied to other small white terriers. The Jack Russell is an energetic breed that relies on a high level of exercise and stimulation and is relatively free from serious health complaints. Originating from dogs bred and used by Reverend John Russell in the early 19th century, it has similar origins to the modern Fox terrier. It has gone through several changes over the years corresponding to different use and breed standards set by kennel clubs. Jack Russells have appeared many times in film, television and print with several historical dogs of note.

This is a popular pet dog in Melbourne and one can encounter it on a walk in parks and parklands around town. Despite their small size, these dogs are not recommended for the condominium or apartment dweller unless the owner is ready to take on the daunting task of providing the dog with the necessary amount of exercise and stimulation. They have a tremendous amount of energy for their size, a fact which can sometimes lead to trouble involving larger animals. They may seem never to tire and will still be energetic after their owner has called it a day. While socialised members of the breed are friendly towards children, they will not tolerate abuse even if it is unintentional.

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

Thursday, 8 October 2015


Acacia pycnantha, commonly known as the golden wattle, is a tree of the family Fabaceae native to southeastern Australia. It grows to a height of 8 m and has phyllodes (flattened leaf stalks) instead of true leaves. Sickle-shaped, these are between 9 and 15 cm long, and 1–3.5 cm wide.

The profuse fragrant, golden flowers appear in late winter and spring, followed by long seed pods. Plants are cross-pollinated by several species of honeyeater and thornbill, which visit nectaries on the phyllodes and brush against flowers, transferring pollen between them. An understorey plant in eucalyptus forest, it is found from southern New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory, through Victoria and into southeastern South Australia.

Explorer Thomas Mitchell collected the type specimen, from which George Bentham wrote the species description in 1842. No subspecies are recognised. The bark of A. pycnantha produces more tannin than any other wattle species, resulting in its commercial cultivation for production of this compound. It has been widely grown as an ornamental garden plant and for cut flower production, but has become a weed in South Africa, Tanzania, Italy, Portugal, Sardinia, India, Indonesia, New Zealand, as well as Western Australia, Tasmania and New South Wales. Acacia pycnantha was made the official floral emblem of Australia in 1988, and has been featured on the country's postal stamps.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday, 7 October 2015


Melbourne's parks offer a wonderful range of opportunities to make the most of your leisure time. With a network of nearly 480 hectares of internationally acclaimed parks and gardens, there is something to suit everyone's lifestyle. Ranging from gardens with classic 19th century heritage features and majestic tree avenues, to the 170-hectare Royal Park with its unique bushland landscape and wetlands habitat, Melbourne offers a variety of open spaces and recreation opportunities.

Here at the Darebin Parklands in Fairfield is one of the water features with much to enjoy amongst the trees, walkways, cycle paths and picnic areas.

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.

Tuesday, 6 October 2015


"The Loft In The Mill" is a magnificent bluestone replica of an old flour mill with adjacent stone carriage house. It is located at 1602 Mt Dandenong Tourist Rd in Olinda, located in the middle of Olinda Village: Walking distance to boutique shops; lovely gardens, galleries and tearooms; and quality restaurants. A short distance away is the local golf course, and William Ricketts Sanctuary. 15 minutes away is Puffing Billy Railway or the Yarra Valley's numerous wineries.

The hotel has 4.5 star accommodation, and offers a range of suites to suit all styles and budgets. Each suite has a private entrance, its own facilities, and individual decor. There are large spas, log fires, four poster beds, private courtyards, in-house massage, even a self contained cottage. All rooms have en suites and kitchenettes. Quite the place for a weekend away...

This post is part of the Our World Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Trees & Bushes meme.

Monday, 5 October 2015


Right next to Federation Square, in the City, on the Yarra River embankment. Walking Eastwards, towards the Birrarung Marr park, one may find plenty to look at. Sometimes there are fairs, amusements, Ferris wheels and merry-go-rounds that are sure to attract the crowds.

This post is part of the Monday Mellow Yellows meme,
and also part of the Blue Monday meme.

Sunday, 4 October 2015


The Darebin Parklands straddle Alphington and Ivanhoe, approximately 10 kilometres northeast of the City of Melbourne, and they are a district park covering an area of 33 hectares. Darebin Creek flows through the Parklands, to join the Yarra River, at Alphington. The Darebin Parklands are highly regarded for its social, recreation, education, conservation, water quality management, cultural and heritage values.

The Parklands have a rich history as the homeland of the Wurundjeri Willam people and for cattle and sheep grazing, orchard and market garden use post European settlement. The southern section of the Darebin Parklands was developed as a bluestone quarry in 1890 and following the closure of the quarry in 1965, the land was leased to the Northcote Council as a municipal garbage tip which reached its capacity by 1975.

In the 1970’s the site was marked as a potential freeway or an area for industrial or residential development. Following this classification, local residents moved to protect the area and in 1973, formed the Rockbeare Park Conservation Group. The group pushed for the acquisition of land on the Alphington side and in 1975 the Whitlam Government funded the purchase of land for the park. A management committee was formed which included both adjoining Councils and community representatives. In 2001, the Darebin Parklands Committee of Management joined the Darebin Creek Co- ordinating Committee to form the Darebin Creek Management Committee. The Darebin Parkland’s rich history has contributed greatly to it being such a special and highly valued place today.

This post is part of the Weekend Reflections meme,
and also part of the Scenic Weekends meme,
and also part of the Shadow Shot Sunday meme.

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Friday, 2 October 2015


We've had a lovely Spring day here in Melbourne today, and it was made all the more pleasant by it being a public holiday on account of the AFL Football Final. Many people chose to ignore all things football-related, including the crowded parade in the City, and instead enjoyed the sunshine in parks, gardens and the glorious countryside.

We had a wonderful walk in our local stretch of green, the Darebin Parklands. Lots of other people had the same idea and the park was full of families, couples, kids, dogs, more dogs and their owners... But always a little quiet nook to enjoy with those nearest and dearest.

This post is part of the Friday Greens meme,
and also part of the Scenic Weekends meme.


Hakea bucculenta is a large shrub up to 4 metres high with linear leaves up to 150 mm long x 3 mm wide. The species is similar to H. francisiana and H. multilineata and all have fairly fairly similar cultivation requirements. They all belong to the Proteaceae family.

The flowers of H.bucculenta occur in large racemes about 150 mm long which are seen in the leaf axils in winter and spring. The flower colour is orange-red. Although the flowers occur within the foliage, the open habit of the plant means that they are well displayed, never failing to attract attention. Flowers are followed by woody seed pods about 20mm long containing two winged seeds, the usual number for all Hakea species. The pods do not shed the seed until stimulated to do so by environmental conditions (eg after a bushfire).

This species has been in cultivation for many years but is mainly suited to areas of low summer humidity. In humid areas it can grow successfully for some years but may collapse overnight. Grafting (see below) is recommended for these areas. The species is tolerant of at least moderate frosts and the flowers are attractive to honeyeating birds. The species grows and flowers best in an open, very well drained, sunny position but it will tolerate some shade.

Hakea bucculenta is easily grown from seed. Cuttings may succeed but these may not be particularly easy to strike and often do not produce a strong root system. Grafting of the species onto the eastern species H. salicifolia has proved to be very successful and has enabled the plant to be grown in previously unsuitable areas. Grafted plants are now appearing in specialist Australian plant nurseries in eastern Australia. This tree is becoming a very popular and attractive street tree in Melbourne.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday, 30 September 2015


OK this is an Australasian Darter, rather than a cormorant (thank you Stewart).

Anhinga novaehollandiae (Anhingidae) - Because of its long and slender neck, the Australasian Darter is sometimes called the snakebird. Usually inhabiting freshwater wetlands, darters swim with their bodies submerged beneath the water’s surface, with only the sinuous neck protruding above the water, enhancing its serpentine qualities. Darters forage by diving to depths of about 60 centimetres, and impaling fish with its sharp, spear-like beak. Small fish are swallowed underwater, but larger ones are brought to the surface, where they are flicked off the bill (sometimes into the air) and then swallowed head-first.

[The great cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo), known as the great black cormorant across the Northern Hemisphere, the black cormorant in Australia, the large cormorant in India and the black shag further south in New Zealand, is a widespread member of the cormorant family of seabirds. It breeds in much of the Old World and the Atlantic coast of North America.

The great cormorant is a large black bird, but there is a wide variation in size in the species wide range. Weight is reported to vary from 1.5 kg to 5.3 kg. Males are typically larger and heavier than females, with the nominate race (P. c. carbo) averaging about 10% larger in linear measurements than the smallest race in Europe (P. c. sinensis).  Length can vary from 70 to 102 cm and wingspan from 121 to 160 cm. They are tied as the second largest extant species of cormorant after the flightless cormorant, with the Japanese cormorant averaging at a similar size. Great cormorants are mostly silent, but they make various guttural noises at their breeding colonies.]

The Werribee River is a perennial river of the Port Phillip catchment that is located on the plain West of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. The headwaters of a tributary, the Lerderderg River, are north of Ballan near Daylesford and it flows across the basalt plain, through the suburb of Werribee to enter Port Phillip. A linear park follows the Werribee River along much of its course. In total the Werribee River completes a journey of approximately 110 kilometres.

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 Wild Bird Wednesday meme.