Monday, 14 October 2019

SEASONAL

Some flowers in our garden, which is now all abloom with springtime vigour:
Geranium 'Johnson's Blue'; Krantz Aloe; Pansies.

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

Saturday, 12 October 2019

DUCKLINGS

The chestnut teal duck (Anas castanea) is a dabbling duck found in Australia. Males have a distinctive green head. It's duckling season now and the proud father is looking after the children...

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



Thursday, 10 October 2019

ST JOHN'S WORT

Hypericum perforatum, also known as St John's wort, is a flowering plant species of the genus Hypericum and a medicinal herb that is sold over-the-counter as a treatment for depression. Other names for it include Tipton's weed, rosin rose, goatweed, chase-devil, or Klamath weed. With qualifiers, St John's wort is used to refer to any species of the genus Hypericum. Therefore, H. perforatum is sometimes called common St John's wort or perforate St John's wort to differentiate it.

Hypericum is classified in the family Hypericaceae, having previously been classified as Guttiferae or Clusiaceae. Approximately 370 species of the genus Hypericum exist worldwide with a native geographical distribution including temperate and subtropical regions of Europe, Turkey, Ukraine, Russia, Middle East, India, and China. St John's wort is a perennial plant with extensive, creeping rhizomes. Its stems are erect, branched in the upper section, and can grow to 1 m high.

It has opposing, stalkless, narrow, oblong leaves that are 12 mm long or slightly larger. The leaves are yellow-green in colour, with transparent dots throughout the tissue and occasionally with a few black dots on the lower surface. Leaves exhibit obvious translucent dots when held up to the light, giving them a ‘perforated’ appearance, hence the plant's Latin name.

Its flowers measure up to 2.5 cm across, have five petals, and are coloured bright yellow with conspicuous black dots. The flowers appear in broad cymes at the ends of the upper branches, between late spring and early to mid summer. The sepals are pointed, with glandular dots in the tissue. There are many stamens, which are united at the base into three bundles. The pollen grains are ellipsoidal. When flower buds (not the flowers themselves) or seed pods are crushed, a reddish/purple liquid is produced.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday, 9 October 2019

NATTIER & HIS BLUE

Jean-Marc Nattier (17 March 1685 – 7 November 1766), French painter, was born in Paris, the second son of Marc Nattier (1642–1705), a portrait painter, and of Marie Courtois (1655–1703), a miniaturist. He is noted for his portraits of the ladies of King Louis XV's court in classical mythological attire.

He received his first instruction from his father, and from his uncle, the history painter Jean Jouvenet (1644–1717). He enrolled in the Royal Academy in 1703 and applied himself to copying pictures in the Luxembourg Palace, making a series of drawings of the Marie de Médici painting cycle by Peter Paul Rubens. The publication (1710) of engravings based on these drawings made Nattier famous, but he declined to proceed to the French Academy in Rome, though he had taken the first prize at the Paris Academy at the age of fifteen.

In 1715 he went to Amsterdam, where Peter the Great was then staying, and painted portraits of the tsar and the empress Catherine, but declined an offer to go to Russia. Nattier aspired to be a history painter. Between 1715 and 1720 he devoted himself to compositions like the "Battle of Pultawa", which he painted for Peter the Great, and the "Petrification of Phineus and of his Companions", which led to his election to the Academy.

The financial collapse of 1720 caused by the schemes of Law all but ruined Nattier, who found himself forced to devote his whole energy to portraiture, which was more lucrative. He became the painter of the artificial ladies of Louis XV's court. He subsequently revived the genre of the allegorical portrait, in which a living person is depicted as a Greco-Roman goddess or other mythological figure.

Nattier's graceful and charming portraits of court ladies in this mode were very fashionable, partly because he could beautify a sitter while also retaining her likeness. The most notable examples of his straightforward portraiture are the "Marie Leczinska" at the Dijon Museum, and a group of the artist surrounded by his family,"The Artist Surrounded by His Family", dated 1730. He died in Paris in 1766.

Nattier blue (mass noun - dated): A soft shade of blue, especially in fine textiles. "She carefully chose the shade of delicate light blue of the curtains to match the fine Nattier blue of the silk upholstery of the armchairs in the morning room."
Origin: Early 20th century: After a colour much used by Jean-Marc Nattier (1685–1766),  the French painter.

This post is part of the Wordless Wednesday meme,
and also part of the ABC Wednesday meme.
L: Nattier - "The Comtesse de Tillières (1750)" Wallace Collection, London
R: Nattier - "Portrait of a gentleman in a blue coat"  The Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle.


Tuesday, 8 October 2019

AT THE MARKET

Preston Market is the second largest market in Melbourne selling fresh produce, clothing and homewares with a variety of restaurants and food stalls; it attracts over 80,000 visitors per week. Construction on the Preston Market began in October 1969 when Preston Mayor W. K. Larkins drove home the first stake in the site of the former Broadhurst Tannery. The original investment in the site was $2 million. The market opened in 1970 and by 1976 the market had grown to include 46 green grocers, 15 delicatessens, 4 fish shops, 4 poultry shops, 19 butchers and a variety of small goods shops including toys, clothes, carpets, plants, and sporting goods.

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, 7 October 2019

SPRING

We went for a walk today and it was quite evident that Spring has definitely sprung! The flowers are blooming the days have lengthened, a host of fragrances are in the air and the birds are singing on every greening branch.
The flowers below are from (L to R): Wattle; Cineraria; Onion weed.

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

Sunday, 6 October 2019

AT BRUNSWICK ST

Brunswick Street is a street in inner northern Melbourne, known for cafés, live music venues, quirky shops, street entertainment and alternative fashion boutiques. Brunswick Street runs north-south through the inner northern Melbourne suburbs of Fitzroy and Fitzroy North, from Victoria Parade at its southernmost end, crossing Alexandra Parade, and continuing until it reaches St Georges Road in Fitzroy North, near the Edinburgh Gardens; there, its former northward course is continued by a much smaller residential street named Brunswick Street North. Tram route 112 runs along the entire length of Brunswick Street for part of its journey.

This post is part of the My Sunday Best meme.








Saturday, 5 October 2019

GREEN BOTTLE FLY

The common green bottle fly (Phaenicia sericata or Lucilia sericata) is a blow fly found in most areas of the world, and the most well-known of the numerous green bottle fly species. It is 10–14 mm long, slightly larger than a house fly, and has brilliant, metallic, blue-green or golden coloration with black markings. It has short, sparse black bristles (setae) and three cross-grooves on the thorax. The wings are clear with light brown veins, and the legs and antennae are black. The maggots (larvae) of the fly are used for maggot therapy of infected wounds.

Lucilia sericata is common all over the temperate and tropical regions of the planet, mainly the southern hemisphere, Africa and Australia. It prefers warm and moist climates and accordingly is especially common in coastal regions, but it also is present in arid areas. The female lays her eggs in meat, fish, animal corpses, infected wounds of humans or animals, and excrement. The larvae feed on decomposing tissue. The insect favours species of the genus Ovis, domestic sheep in particular. This can lead to "blow fly strike", causing problems for sheep farmers, though Lucilia sericata is not a major cause of blow fly strike in most regions.

The flower is Felicia amelloides (blue daisy, blue marguerite), which is a species of flowering plant of the family Asteraceae, native to South Africa. F. amelloides is synonymous with, and formerly known as, F. aethiopica, Aster amelloides, Aster capensis, and Aster coelestis.

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

Thursday, 3 October 2019

FORGET-ME-NOT

Myosotis (from the Greek: "mouse's ear", after the leaf) is a genus of flowering plants in the family Boraginaceae. In the northern hemisphere they are commonly called forget-me-nots or scorpion grasses. The common name "forget-me-not" was calqued from German, Vergissmeinnicht and first used in English in AD 1398 through King Henry IV. Similar names and variations are found in many languages.

Myosotis alpestris is the state flower of Alaska. Plants of this genus are commonly confused with Chatham Islands forget-me-nots which belong to a related genus, Myosotidium. Myosotis have pentamerous actinomorphic flowers with 5 sepals and petals. Flowers are typically 1 cm diameter (or less), flat, and blue, pink, white or yellow with yellow centres, growing on scorpioid cymes. They may be annual or perennial with alternate leaves. They typically flower in spring or soon after snow-melt in alpine eco-systems. Their root systems are generally diffuse.

Their seeds are found in small, tulip-shaped pods along the stem to the flower. The pods attach to clothing when brushed against and eventually fall off, leaving the small seed within the pod to germinate elsewhere. Seeds can be collected by putting a piece of paper under the stems and shaking the seed pods and some seeds will fall out. Myosotis scorpioides is also known as scorpion grass due to the spiralling curve of its inflorescence.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday, 2 October 2019

MAGRITTE AT THE MUSEUM

René François Ghislain Magritte (21 November 1898 – 15 August 1967) was a Belgian Surrealist artist. He became well known for creating a number of witty and thought-provoking images. Often depicting ordinary objects in an unusual context, his work is known for challenging observers' preconditioned perceptions of reality. His imagery has influenced pop art, minimalist art and conceptual art.

The Musée Magritte Museum, located in the heart of Brussels, brings together the world's largest collection of art by René Magritte: 230 works and archives are displayed. The multidisciplinary space houses paintings, gouaches, drawings, sculptures and painted objects, as well as advertising posters, musical scores, photographs and films. The Museum also has the most important collection from the artist’s "vache" period.

The first image is "La saveur des larmes" (1948), which is exhibited in the Magritte Museum in Brussels. The artist's tongue-in-cheek photo mimics several of his canvases where men in bowler hats appear.

In the second image there are two works housed in the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne. "L'Éloge de la dialectique" (1937) and "Rose and pear" (colour etching and aquatint, printed 1968).

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


Tuesday, 1 October 2019

BY NIGHT

Colourful reflections of city lights on the Yarra River, by night.

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.