This post is part of the Skywatch Friday meme.
Friday, 25 September 2020
Thursday, 24 September 2020
Syringa vulgaris (lilac or common lilac) is a species of flowering plant in the olive family Oleaceae, native to the Balkan Peninsula, where it grows on rocky hills. This species is widely cultivated as an ornamental and has been naturalised in other parts of Europe (including the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Italy), as well as much of North America. It is not regarded as an aggressive species, found in the wild in widely scattered sites, usually in the vicinity of past or present human habitations.
Most garden plants of S. vulgaris are cultivars, the majority of which do not exceed 4–5 m tall. Between 1876 and 1927, the nurseryman Victor Lemoine of Nancy introduced over 153 named cultivars, many of which are considered classics and still in commerce today. Lemoine's "French lilacs" extended the limited colour range to include deeper, more saturated hues, and they also introduced double-flowered "sports", with the stamens replaced by extra petals. Illustrated here is the hybrid 'Agincourt Beauty' that grows in our garden.
This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.
Wednesday, 23 September 2020
Darebin Creek in the Parklands. Spring is springing!
Tuesday, 22 September 2020
Queen's Park is a significant Municipal Park in Moonee Ponds in the City of Melbourne, Australia. It is located in central Moonee Ponds bound by the following roads; Mount Alexander Road, The Strand, Pascoe Vale Road, Kellaway Avenue. Early travellers heading for the goldfields met here because fresh water was available in the lagoon. Burke and Wills camped here on their fateful journey to cross Australia.
A picturesque cottage is the focal point of the park with its idyllic surrounds and lovely public art pieces, such as mosaics, statues and monuments. A gravel path surrounds the lake where seats and picnic tables are provided beneath old established exotic trees, with the lake a haven for a variety of birds, making for a magical milieu. A rose garden and a sunken garden are part of the many attractions of the park. Music concerts and other entertainments are common on weekends.
Monday, 21 September 2020
Yes, we are still in Lockdown and living through Stage 4 restrictions, which commenced at the beginning of August and have been going non-stop until now. Admittedly we have seen a dramatic decrease in cases and deaths, however, the cost has been great. Still, economies bounce back, people are more resilient than they think, and there is more to life than shopping and having fun.
Sunday, 20 September 2020
As the Spring Equinox approaches, the parks and gardens put on their finery and all is verdant and lush. Here at the Parklands, the elms have flowered and are setting seed already.
This post is part of the My Sunday Best meme.
Saturday, 19 September 2020
A fellow photographer (with far better equipment than mine!) taking some telephoto shots of corellas in the Parklands.
The long-billed corella (Cacatua tenuirostris), or slender-billed corella is a cockatoo native to Australia, which is similar in appearance to the little corella and sulphur-crested cockatoo. This species is mostly white, with a reddish-pink face and forehead, and has a long pale beak, which is used to dig for roots and seeds. It has reddish-pink feathers on the breast and belly.
The adult long-billed corella measures from 38 to 41 cm in length, has a wingspan of about 80–90 cm and averages 567 g in weigh] It has a long bone-coloured beak, and a rim of featherless bluish skin around the eyes. The plumage is predominantly white with reddish feathers around the eyes and lores. The underside of the wings and tail feathers are tinged with yellow.
This post is part of the Saturday Critters meme.
Friday, 18 September 2020
Thursday, 17 September 2020
Solanum is the type genus of the family Solanaceae, which contains such well-known economic plants as the potato, tomato, tobacco, egg plant (aubergine) and many more. In Australia there are 117 species, of which 87 are endemic. Solanum laciniatum or Kangaroo Apple, a common name shared with the closely related S. aviculare, occurs in temperate regions of New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania, New Zealand and associated islands on a range of soil types.
It forms a large shrub 4 m high by 5 m wide. Solanum laciniatum produces two types of foliage: Large lance-shaped or irregularly lobed juvenile leaves 300 mm long by 250 mm wide and smaller generally entire lance-shaped adult leaves 150 mm long by about 30-50 mm wide. Both types of leaf are a rich dark green on the upper surface, and a lighter green underneath, with conspicuous veins. They are held on dark green succulent stems, which turn black, then a rough light-brown, with age.
The five-petalled flowers are 30-50 mm across, bluish-purple, with bright yellow anthers. The flowers appear spasmodically in spring and summer in clusters of 3-5 in the leaf axils. The egg-shaped berries, 20-30 mm long, begin green and small when unripe and then become a bright orange-yellow with a warty appearance when ripe. The berries are poisonous while green, but edible once orange (then called the 'bush tomato'). The plant is also used as a rootstock for grafting eggplant.
Solanum laciniatum has been cultivated at the Australian National Botanic Gardens since 1969, with no frost damage or major pest or disease problems apparent. As a fast-growing species, hardy in most soil types and conditions, except salt spray, S. laciniatum is ideally suited as a screen plant, in the understorey of a wind break, or for bank and erosion stabilisation. It has also been used in soils with a high concentration of heavy metals when reclaiming mine wastes.
For the home gardener S. laciniatum is ideal as a quick growing screen plant, while slower shrubs are establishing. Since the mid 1960s S. laciniatum and S. aviculare have been cultivated and studied in the USSR, NZ, India, Egypt and other countries. The plants, and in particular the young foliage and green berries, contain a series of steroids (including the toxic alkaloid solasodine), which are of commercial value as raw material for the manufacture of contraceptives.
This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.
Wednesday, 16 September 2020
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 River 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 Alphington.