Monday, 22 July 2019

ANOTHER WEEK

How the year is flying past! Nearly the end of July, and then it's Christmas again...

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, 21 July 2019

IN THE GALLERY

In the National Gallery of Victoria, taking time to enjoy the art as this man is enjoying seeing "The Crossing of the Red Sea" (1632-4) by Nicolas Poussin (1594-1665).

This post is part of the My Sunday Best meme.


Saturday, 20 July 2019

SEAGULLS

Gulls or seagulls are seabirds of the family Laridae in the suborder Lari. They are most closely related to the terns (family Sternidae) and only distantly related to auks, skimmers, and more distantly to the waders. Until the 21st century, most gulls were placed in the genus Larus, but this arrangement is now known to be polyphyletic, leading to the resurrection of several genera. An older name for gulls is mew, cognate with German Möwe, Danish måge, Dutch meeuw, and French mouette; this term can still be found in certain regional dialects.

Gulls are typically medium to large birds, usually grey or white, often with black markings on the head or wings. They typically have harsh wailing or squawking calls, stout, longish bills, and webbed feet. Most gulls, particularly Larus species, are ground-nesting carnivores, which take live food or scavenge opportunistically. Live food often includes crabs and small fish. Gulls have unhinging jaws which allow them to consume large prey.

Apart from the kittiwakes, gulls are typically coastal or inland species, rarely venturing far out to sea. The large species take up to four years to attain full adult plumage, but two years is typical for small gulls. Large white-headed gulls are typically long-lived birds, with a maximum age of 49 years recorded for the herring gull. Gulls nest in large, densely packed noisy colonies. They lay two or three speckled eggs in nests composed of vegetation. The young are precocial, being born with dark mottled down, and mobile upon hatching.

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






Friday, 19 July 2019

SUNRISE FROM OUR WINDOW

Occasionally I get woken up by a striking colour that suddenly illuminates the room through a chink in the drawn drapes. Getting up quickly and grabbing the camera ensures that I catch the spectacle of the sun coming up...

This post is part of the Skywatch Friday meme,
and also part of the Friday Photo Journal meme.

Thursday, 18 July 2019

HELLEBORE

Commonly known as hellebores, members of the genus Helleborus comprise approximately 20 species of herbaceous or evergreen perennial flowering plants in the family Ranunculaceae, within which it gave its name to the tribe of Helleboreae. Many species are poisonous. W ehave seveeral hyb rids of this flower growing in our garden and they always put on a good show with flowers during the Winter months.

Despite names such as "Christmas rose" and "Lenten rose", hellebores are not closely related to the rose family (Rosaceae). The genus is native to much of Europe, from western Great Britain, Spain and Portugal, eastward across the Mediterranean region and central Europe into Romania and Ukraine, and along the north coast of Turkey into the Caucasus. The greatest concentration of species occurs in the Balkans. One atypical species (H. thibetanus) comes from western China; another atypical species (H. vesicarius) inhabits a small area on the border between Turkey and Syria.

The flowers have five "petals" (actually sepals) surrounding a ring of small, cup-like nectaries (petals modified to hold nectar). The sepals do not fall as petals would, but remain on the plant, sometimes for many months. Recent research in Spain suggests that the persistence of the sepals contributes to the development of the seeds.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday, 17 July 2019

BOOKSHOP

At the National Gallery of Victoria there is an excellent bookshop where one may find all sorts of books relating to art, design and topics that would interest any civilised, rational human being. I love spending time not only in the Gallery itself, but also in the store, where I invariably succumb to temptation, such as this book on Botticelli, who is one of my favourite Renaissance artists.

Alessandro di Mariano di Vanni Filipepi (c. 1445 – May 17, 1510), known as Sandro Botticelli, was an Italian painter of the Early Renaissance. He belonged to the Florentine School under the patronage of Lorenzo de' Medici, a movement that Giorgio Vasari would characterise less than a hundred years later in his Vita of Botticelli as a "golden age". Botticelli's posthumous reputation suffered until the late 19th century; since then, his work has been seen to represent the linear grace of Early Renaissance painting.

As well as the small number of mythological subjects which are his best known works today, he painted a wide range of religious subjects and also some portraits. He and his workshop were especially known for their Madonna and Childs, many in the round tondo shape. Botticelli's best-known works are The Birth of Venus and Primavera (see below), both in the Uffizi in Florence. He lived all his life in the same neighbourhood of Florence, with probably his only significant time elsewhere the months he spent painting in Pisa in 1474 and the Sistine Chapel in Rome in 1481–82.

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


Tuesday, 16 July 2019

AT THE MARKET

The Queen Victoria Market (also known as the Queen Vic Markets or the Queen Vic, and locally as '"Vic Market"') is a major landmark in Melbourne, Australia, and at around seven hectares is the largest open air market in the Southern Hemisphere. The Market is significant to Melbourne's culture and heritage and has been listed on the Victorian Heritage Register. The Market is named after Queen Victoria who ruled the British Empire, from 1837 to 1901.

The Queen Victoria Market is the only surviving 19th century market in the Melbourne central business district. There were once three major markets in the Melbourne CBD, but two of them, the Eastern Market and Western Market, both opened before the Queen Victoria, closed in the 1960s. It also forms part of an important collection of surviving Victorian markets which includes the inner suburban Prahran Market and South Melbourne Market.

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, 14 July 2019

MALDON GOLD MINE

Maldon is a town in Victoria, Australia, in the Shire of Mount Alexander local government area. It has been designated "Australia's first notable town" and is notable for its 19th-century appearance, maintained since gold-rush days. At the 2016 census, Maldon had a population of 1,513. The district where Maldon now stands was first visited by white European colonialists in 1836, during Major Thomas Mitchell's famous Victorian expedition. It was settled soon afterwards by pastoralists, and two sheep runs were established in the area, at the foot of nearby Mount Tarrengower.

In December 1853, gold was discovered at Cairn Curran (the name given to one of the sheep runs), and Maldon became a part of the Victorian Gold Rush. The goldfield which was named "Tarrangower Fields" after Mount Tarrangower (now usually referred to as Tarrengower), immediately attracted numbers of people eager to make their fortunes at the diggings. One month after gold was first discovered, the Chief Commissioner for Goldfields reported 3000 miners had arrived at the diggings. The same report noted that anotheer month later, the goldfield's population had already grown to 18,000, though only about 1000 had taken out mining licences.

The Maldon goldfields proved to be one of Victoria's richest quartz-mining centres, though with poorer alluvial results than others such as Castlemaine or Ballarat. Quartz mining extended southward through Sandy Creek to Newstead, along to Mia Mia and Muckleford, eastward to Fentimen’s and Smith’s Reefs, and even to the apex of Mount Tarrangower. In all, over seventy reefs were proven to contain gold deposits. Maldon was known as a poor man’s diggings, with many excellent yields from very small claims.

Today, the township displays overall historical and architectural importance, particularly in its gold town buildings. The significance lies in the variety of building styles, and the area of mining is of interest with one mine still open to the public. Maldon boasts that it is largely unchanged since the 1850s, and has attracted considerable interest from tourists for its 19th-century atmosphere.

This post is part of the My Sunday Best meme.








Saturday, 13 July 2019

DOG WALK

Walking the dog along the Merri Creek track. Midwinter in Melbourne is quite tolerable, as Australian Winter is relatively mild as far as temperate climates go.

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