Cordyline australis, commonly known as the "cabbage tree", is a widely branched monocot tree endemic to New Zealand. It grows up to 20 metres tall with a stout trunk and sword-like leaves, which are clustered at the tips of the branches and can be up to 1 metre long. With its tall, straight trunk and dense, rounded heads, C. australis is a characteristic feature of the New Zealand landscape. Its fruit is a favourite food source for the New Zealand pigeon and other native birds.
It grows in a broad range of habitats, including forest margins, river banks and open places, and is abundant near swamps. The largest known tree with a single trunk is growing at Pakawau, Golden Bay. It is estimated to be 400 or 500 years old, and stands 17 metres tall with a circumference of 9 metres at the base.
Known to Māori as tī kōuka, the tree was used as a source of food, particularly in the South Island, where it was cultivated in areas where other crops would not grow. It provided durable fibre for textiles, anchor ropes, fishing lines, baskets, waterproof rain capes and cloaks, and sandals.
Hardy and fast growing, C. australis is widely planted in New Zealand and Australian gardens, parks and streets, and numerous cultivars are available. It is also grown as an ornamental tree in Northern Hemisphere countries with mild maritime climates, including the warmer parts of the British Isles, where its common names include Torquay palm.
This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.
Darebin council’s art and culture department commissioned the artwork, "The Nest" which was made by artists David Bell and Gary Tippett from recycled materials. The artwork is located in the Darebin Parklands in inner suburban Melbourne and the egg shape of the sculpture hints at the many birds found in the wetlands and park.
There are crested pigeons (Ocyphaps lophotes, also commonly known as the Top Notch Pigeon); ducks galore; galahs (Eolophus roseicapilla, also known as the Rose-breasted Cockatoo); red-rumped parrots (Psephotus haematonotus) and sulphur-crested cockatoos (Cacatua galerita).
This post is part of the Waterworld Wednesday meme,
and also part of the Outdoor Wednesday meme,
and also part of the Wild Bird Wednesday meme.
A walk up Collins St and then a turn into Queens St in the City will acquaint one with many famous buildings of 'Marvellous Melbourne'.
This post is part of the Our World Tuesday meme.
Located in the heart of Melbourne’s retail precinct, Union Lane just off Bourke St mall, is something of an anomaly. There aren’t any of the usual bars, boutiques or cafes to entice visitors but they come nonetheless. What they flock to see is one of the city’s best known street art sites. Just about every square inch of wall is covered by a giant graffiti mural, totalling some 550 square metres. Born out of a mentoring program launched by the City of Melbourne, the work was created by 50 young artists in late 2007.
Since then, many layers of paint have been added to the walls and there is an ever-changing kaleidoscope of images and text appearing in Union Lane. Although street art remains controversial in many quarters, its immediacy, verve and accessibility are hard to deny.
This post is part of the Monday Murals meme.
The Royal Melbourne Zoological Gardens, commonly known as the Melbourne Zoo, contains more than 320 animal species from Australia and around the world. The zoo is 4 kilometres north of the centre of Melbourne. The Royal Melbourne Zoological Gardens is a full institutional member of the Zoo and Aquarium Association (ZAA) and the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA).
Melbourne Zoo is Australia's oldest zoo and was modelled on London Zoo. The zoo was opened on 6 October 1862 at the Royal Park site of 55-acre (22 ha) on land donated by the City of Melbourne. Before this, animals were housed at the botanical gardens in Melbourne.
Initially the zoo was important for the acclimatisation of domestic animals recovering from their long trip to Australia. It was only with the appointment of Albert Alexander Cochrane Le Souef in 1870 that more exotic animals were procured for public display, and the gardens and picnic areas were developed. Visitors can see historical cages including the heritage listed Elephant House a, which has been renovated and adapted for use for customers paying to sleep overnight in tents at the zoo in popular Roar and Snore evenings. These evenings allow the public to see some of the nocturnal animals at the zoo in evening guided tours by keepers. One of the most famous exhibits was Queenie the elephant.
The zoo is set among flower gardens and picnic areas. Many of the animals are now organised in bioclimatic zones: African rainforest featuring gorillas, mandrills, pygmy hippos and parrots; Asian Rainforest with tigers and otters; and the Australian Bush with koala, kangaroos, emu, echidnas and endangered hairy nose wombats. Popular exhibits also include the Butterfly house, the great flight aviary and the Trail of the Elephants.
This post is part of the Scenic Weekends meme,
and also part of the Camera Critters meme.
The Morell Bridge is a bridge over the Yarra River in South Yarra, Melbourne, Australia. Completed in 1899 by John Monash and J. T. N. Anderson, it is notable for being the first bridge in Victoria to be built using reinforced concrete.
It features decorations on the three arch spans, including large dragon motifs and ornamental Victorian lights. The gutters on the bridge are cobbled bluestone, with a single lane bitumen strip running down the middle. The Bridge is listed on the Victorian Heritage Register.
Originally known as the Anderson Street bridge, it was named the Morell Bridge in 1936 after Sir Stephen Morell who was a prominent Victorian businessman and Lord Mayor of Melbourne between 1926 and 1928.
On June 7, 1998 the bridge was closed to motor vehicles as part of the CityLink project. It is currently used by cyclist and pedestrian traffic, connecting the Royal Botanic Gardens to the Olympic Park precinct.
This post is part of the Weekend Reflections meme,
and also part of the Scenic Weekends meme,
and also part of the Sunday Bridges meme.
Early morning looking across Queen's Bridge to Southbank.
This post is part of the Skywatch Friday meme.
Built in classic Spanish Mission style, complete with adobe colour palette, the Fitzroy Gardens' lovely Conservatory building opened in March 1930. The Conservatory exhibits five floral displays each year. Hydrangeas and fuchsias bloom from November to February, begonias and gloxinias from February to April, tropical plants and poinsettias from April to July, cinerarias and cyclamens from July to September, and schizanthus and calceolaria from September to November.
This post is part of the Signs, Signs meme,
and also part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.