Saturday 30 November 2013


Abbotsford is a suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 2 km east of Melbourne's Central Business District. Its local government area is the City of Yarra. At the 2011 Census, Abbotsford had a population of 4,907. Abbotsford is bounded by Collingwood, Richmond and Clifton Hill and separated from Kew by the meandering Yarra River. Formerly part of the City of Collingwood, it is now part of the City of Yarra.

This post is part of the Weekend Reflections meme,
and also part of the Weekly TopShot meme,
and also part of the Scenic Weekends meme.

Friday 29 November 2013


A beautiful sunrise over the Yarra River in the City, looking towards the East.

This post is part of the Skywatch Friday meme.

Thursday 28 November 2013


Catalpa bignonioides is a species of Catalpa that is native to the southeastern United States in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, and Mississippi. Common names include southern catalpa, cigar tree, and Indian bean tree. The tree shown here was photographed yesterday in the System Garden of the University of Melbourne.

It is a medium-sized deciduous tree growing to 15–18 metres tall, with a trunk up to 1 metre diameter, with brown to gray bark, maturing into hard plates or ridges. The short thick trunk supports long and straggling branches which form a broad and irregular head. The roots are fibrous and branches are brittle. Its juices are watery and bitter.

The leaves are large and heart shaped, being 20–30 cm long and 15–20 cm broad. The bright green leaves appear late and as they are fully grown before the flower clusters open, add much to the beauty of the blossoming tree. They secrete nectar, a most unusual characteristic for leaves, by means of groups of tiny glands in the axils of the primary veins.

The flowers are 2.5–4 cm across, trumpet shaped, white with yellow spots inside; they grow in panicles of 20-40 and are slightly fragrant. In the northern states of the USA, it is a late bloomer, putting forth great panicles of white flowers in June or early in July when the flowers of other trees have mostly faded. These cover the tree so thickly as almost to conceal the full grown leaves. The general effect of the flower cluster is a pure white, but the individual corolla is spotted with purple and gold, and some of these spots are arranged in lines along a ridge, so as to lead directly to the honey sweets within. A single flower when fully expanded is 5 cm long and 4 cm wide. It is two-lipped and the lips are lobed, two lobes above and three below, as is not uncommon with such corollas.

The flower is perfect, possessing both stamens and pistils; nevertheless, the law of elimination is at work and of the five stamens that we should expect to find, three have aborted, ceased to bear anthers and have become filaments simply. Then, too, the flowers refuse to be self-fertilised. Each flower has its own stamens and its own stigma but the lobes of the stigma remain closed until after the anthers have opened and discharged their pollen; after they have withered and become effete then the stigma opens and invites the wandering bee. The entire Pink family behave in this way.

The fruit is a long, thin bean like pod 20–40 cm long and 8–10 mm diameter; it often stays attached to tree during winter. The pod contains numerous flat light brown seeds with two papery wings.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday 27 November 2013


Edgars Creek flows along a 17km course from its headwaters in Wollert through the highly urbanised suburbs of Epping, Thomastown and Reservoir, finally joining the Merri Creek in North Coburg. It is a seasonal creek, susceptible to drying out during the hot seasons and flooding during periods of high rainfall. Parts of the storm water management systems in the Cities of Whittlesea and Darebin drain directly into the creek.

In the vicinity of Craigieburn Road East in the City of Whittlesea the creek runs through the 9000 dwelling Aurora estate development in Epping North. Here the creek is characterised by shallow banks and is often dry.

Although sections of the creek around Coburg remind us of how the creek once was before urbanisation, much of the creek between the headwaters and Edwardes Lake Park in Reservoir is now artificially channelled. Only 55% of the creek remains in semi-natural form with approximately 11% of the creek no more than a concrete drain. Nevertheless, the water attracts many birds, including grey gulls, mallard ducks, brown ducks, purple swamp hens and moorhens, and crested pigeons.

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.

Tuesday 26 November 2013


Flinders Street Station is a central commuter railway station at the corner of Flinders and Swanston streets in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. It serves the entire metropolitan rail network. Backing onto the city reach of the Yarra River in the heart of the city, the complex covers two whole city blocks and extends from Swanston Street to Queen Street.

Each weekday, over 110,000 commuters and 1,500 trains pass through the station. It is the most used metropolitan railway station in Melbourne, in 2009 there was an average of 85,100 passenger boardings per day. Flinders Street is serviced by Metro's suburban services, and V/Line regional services to Gippsland.

It was the first railway station in an Australian city, the terminus for the first use of steam rail in Australia and the world's busiest passenger station in the late 1920s. This view is from Flinders St, looking towards the East.

This post is part of the Our World Tuesday meme.

Monday 25 November 2013


We are lucky enough to live in a suburb where within a short walking distance we have access to a good old fashioned shopping strip, Fairfield Village. On Station Street and surrounding Wingrove, Gillies and Duncan Streets, the Village offers a diverse range of restaurants, caf├ęs, fresh produce, clothing stores and business services.

A favourite has always been Cardamone's Gourmet Supermarket. Lately there has been a change in this Station St icon. Fifty-two years after Orlando Cardamone set up a little grocery business in Fairfield, the now-thriving Cardamone Gourmet Supermarket has changed hands. The founder's daughter, Marisa Pannunzio, recalls being left to guard the family cart at Footscray Market as a small child while her father bought fruit and vegetables.

Marisa's own children have grown up in the business. Daughter Belinda, 36, says the family has had a few sad moments since selling on September 1. ''I was saying to my sister, 'Do you realise our children will have no memory of this store and it's been such a huge part of our life?''' The family's catering business, Marisa's Kitchen, will continue to supply its popular sauces, dips and pasta dishes to Cardamone and 37 other stores around the state. New owner Hui Li says the supermarket will remain a family-run business.

The mural in the supermarket's fresh fruit and vegetable area was a welcoming sight. It is unfortunate with the change of hands some refrigerators have been installed right in front of it, almost completely obliterating it (see last photo). We really can't stand in the way of progress, but at least I am glad I was able to photograph the mural before it was hidden away...

This post is part of the Monday Mellow Yellows meme,
and also part of the Mandarin Orange Monday meme,
and also part of the Monday Murals meme.

Sunday 24 November 2013


The Spencer Street Bridge is a road and tram bridge over the Yarra River in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. It connects Spencer Street on the north bank with Clarendon Street on the south.

During construction engineers knew deep foundations would be required to find bedrock, but at 20 metres below sea level they struck a red gum stump that took three weeks work to remove. It was dated at about 8,000 years old and appears to have lived for well over 400 years. The cantilever girder type, with steel girder suspended span bridge was completed in 1930, with an adjacent glass and steel covered footbridge built alongside in 1998, as part of the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.

The first photo looks to the South, towards the Convention and Exhibition Centre. The other two photos are taken from the fifth floor inside the centre (taken through plate glass!). The second photo looks towards the North and one can see the Spencer St Bridge in the centre. The last photo looks towards the West, with three more bridges in view: The Seafarers' Pedestrian Bridge, the Charles Grimes Bridge and the Bolte Bridge in the distance.

This post is part of the Sunday Bridges meme.

Saturday 23 November 2013

Friday 22 November 2013


This rail flyover is located in Flinders St, City, as the train approaches Flinders St Station. The tall skyscraper visible is the Rialto Towers.

This post is part of the Skywatch Friday meme.

Thursday 21 November 2013


This young Magnolia grandiflora tree in the Fairfield shopping strip has already been decorated for Christmas. In addition to its sparse white flowers, it sports red pom-poms and red Christmas stocking ornaments with their greeting signs!

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme,
and also part of the Signs, Signs meme.

Wednesday 20 November 2013


These views to Southwest/West across Port Phillip Bay are taken from Southbank.

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

Tuesday 19 November 2013

Monday 18 November 2013


Although Fairfield is a predominantly residential inner city suburb, it does have a small north-eastern pocket, which remains a light industrial area. This is a vestige of the suburb's initial blue-collar roots, now having become thoroughly gentrified on the main.

These photos are from this light industrial area, where I discovered the graffiti shown."Wild Child Artist" commemorating a 20-year anniversary (1988-2008) is particularly prominent. Also illustrated in the mural is A Melbourne public transport train on the Hurstbridge line, which goes through Fairfield.

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