Tuesday, 31 May 2016


Healesville is a town in Victoria, Australia, 52 km north-east from Melbourne's central business district. Its local government area is the Shire of Yarra Ranges. At the 2011 Census, Healesville had a population of 6,839. Healesville is situated on the Watts River, a tributary of the Yarra River.

The creation of a railway to the more distant Gippsland and Yarra Valley goldfields in the 1860s resulted in a settlement forming on the Watts River and its survey as a town in 1864. It was named after Richard Heales, the Premier of Victoria from 1860–1861. The post office opened on 1 May 1865. The town became a setting off point for the Woods Point Goldfield with the construction of the Yarra Track in the 1870s.

Healesville is well known for the Healesville Sanctuary, a nature park with hundreds of native Australian animals displayed in a semi-open natural setting and an active platypus breeding program. The Yarra Valley Tourist Railway operates from Healesville Station on every Sunday, most public holidays and Wednesday to Sunday during school holidays. The town has several cafés, hotels, holiday accommodation options and restaurants.

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

Friday, 27 May 2016


Darebin Creek is a creek that runs through the northern suburbs of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. It is the main watercourse of the Darebin Valley and a major tributary of the Yarra River. For tens of thousands of years it was used as a food and tool source sustainably by the Wurundjeri people, Indigenous Australians of the Kulin nation alliance, who spoke variations of the Woiwurrung language group.

The creek rises on the northern urban fringe of Melbourne north of the suburb of Epping, following a general southerly route and meeting the Yarra at Alphington. The creek forms much of the municipal boundary between the City of Darebin and City of Banyule. Formerly an intermittent stream, increased stormwater runoff with urbanisation of the Darebin Creek catchment has resulted in permanent water flow.

The creek runs through Darebin Parklands, a large nature reserve one or two kilometres northwest of the junction at which the creek meets the Yarra. The Darebin Creek Trail runs along the banks in the lower reaches of the creek. This is the creek at the Darebin Parklands in Fairfield.

This post is part of the Friday Greens meme.

Thursday, 26 May 2016


With Winter fast upon us, the florist shops and nurseries have begun to sell many hothouse favourites that can be used to brighten up one's home. One of these perennial favourites are the potted Phalaenopsis orchids. A dazzling variety of colours and various growing habits ensure that one will be to your liking.

Phalaenopsis Blume (1825), known as moth orchids, abbreviated Phal in the horticultural trade, is an orchid genus of approximately 60 species. Phalaenopsis is one of the most popular orchids in the trade, through the development of many artificial hybrids. It is native to southern China, the Indian Subcontinent, Southeast Asia (Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, etc.), New Guinea, the Bismarck Archipelago, and Queensland.

The generic name from Greek means φαλαινα + οψις "Phalaen[a]-like" and is probably a reference to the genus Phalaena, the name given by Carl Linnaeus to a group of large moths; the flowers of some species supposedly resemble moths in flight. For this reason, the species are sometimes called moth orchids.

Little recent information about their habitat and their ecology in nature is available since little field research has been done in the last decades. Most are epiphytic shade plants; a few are lithophytes. In the wild, some species grow below the canopies of moist and humid lowland forests, protected against direct sunlight; others grow in seasonally dry or cool environments. The species have adapted individually to these three habitats.

Possessing neither pseudobulbs nor rhizome, Phalaenopsis shows a monopodial growth habit: Α single growing stem produces one or two alternate, thick, fleshy, elliptical leaves a year from the top while the older, basal leaves drop off at the same rate. If very healthy, a Phalaenopsis plant can have up to ten or more leaves. The inflorescence, either a raceme or panicle, appears from the stem between the leaves. They bloom in their full glory for several weeks. If kept in the home, the flowers may last two to three months after which a Phalaenopsis Orchid will need to conserve energy for further leaf, bud and root development. Some Phalaenopsis species in Malaysia are known to use subtle weather cues to coordinate mass flowering.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday, 25 May 2016


The latest El Niño cycle is over, which could lead to a wet winter, according to the Bureau of Meteorology in their bulletin today. El Niño events cause extensive warming of the Pacific Ocean This leads to lower-than-average rainfall and periods of higher temperatures across Australia. El Niño events occur every three to six years.

The bureau's modelling shows ocean surface temperatures across the tropical Pacific have cooled to neutral levels over the past fortnight. Waters beneath the surface have also cooled. Conditions are back to neutral and the bureau is now on La Niña watch. During La Niña events, rainfall in winter and spring is above average over northern, central and eastern Australia...

We had a rainy afternoon and evening today and more rain is predicted tomorrow with a maximum of 14˚C. I guess Winter is well on its way now.

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.

Tuesday, 24 May 2016


The Yarra Valley is less than hour’s drive to the northeast of the Melbourne CBD and is the place where Victorian wine-growing started in the mid-19th century. As one goes past the outer suburbs of Melbourne, one encounters rolling hills densely planted with vines, beautiful verdant valleys and distant blue mountain range backdrops. There are lush pastures, beautiful forests and rivers with villages surrounded by bushland like Marysville, Healesville, Yarra Glen and Warburton.

There are many vineyards to visit, ranging from the small family concerns that produce boutique wine ranges in small quantities, to the larger concerns that have many hectares of vines and produce wine by the megalitre each season. There are hundred-year-old vineyards and wineries as well as the new arrivals that have just planted out their vines. One may sample the wines, tour some of the winemaking facilities, and there is no dearth of places to linger over a meal as one discovers the regional fresh produce, well-prepared food that is matched to the local wines in the vineyard restaurants. One may also choose to stay a night or two in a chic boutique B&B, a self-contained cottage, a winery retreat or even a five-star luxury hotel/resort.

We recently visited the Domaine Chandon winery near Yarra Glen.

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