Friday 31 January 2014


This is in Fairfield, an inner Melbourne suburb. Just after sunset when the afterglow of the set sun has tinted the sky a rose colour.

This post is part of the Skywatch Friday meme.

Thursday 30 January 2014


The Kurrajong (Brachychiton populneus) is a small to medium sized tree found naturally in Australia in a diversity of habitats from wetter coastal districts to semi-arid interiors of Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland. The extended trunk is a water storage device for survival in a warm dry climate. The bell-shaped flowers are variable in colour (pale green to pink) while the leaves vary considerably in shape. The leaves are either simple and pointed, or may be 3 - 9 lobed. Saplings grow from a drought and fire resistant tap-rooted tuber.

Kurrajong has multiple uses. Seeds are eaten by Aboriginal people after roasting. The soft spongy wood was used for making shields, and the bark as a fibre. The leaves are also used as emergency fodder for drought-affected animal stock.

It has been introduced as an ornamental tree to south-western Australia, South Africa, Louisiana, California, Arizona and Mediterranean countries. In Western Australia it was observed to be invasive in disturbed areas.

Horticulturists have hybridised the Kurrajong with related Brachychiton species, including the Queensland bottle tree (B. rupestris) and Illawarra Flame Tree (B. acerifolius) to produce new garden ornamentals.

The specific name populneus pertains to a perceived similarity to genus Populus, the Poplars. Sometimes B. populneus is also known by the names "lacebark kurrajong" and "bottle tree" (USA). However, B.discolor is also referred to as the Lacebark Kurrajong, and Bottle Tree is a term commonly applied not only to other species of Brachychiton but to members of other genera around the world.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.


We have quite a problem in Melbourne with junk mail. Many houses, like the one pictured here in our suburb have very visible signs that attempt to prevent the delivery of such unsolicited advertising material.

The Distribution Standards Board (DSB) is the self-regulatory arm of the Australian Catalogue Association, which represents about 90 per cent of all unaddressed advertising catalogues. Their Code of Practice requires that ‘no junk mail’ stickers are respected.
People can report irresponsible distribution practices by calling the DSB Consumer Hotline on 1800 676 136. The Board can follow up the complaint with relevant members.

However, a lot of the unwanted junk mail we receive falls into that 10 per cent of materials coming from non-members, who are typically local pizza joints, estate agents and other local businesses. If this is a problem for you, you should contact the business directly and politely inform them that your sticker has been ignored. They will follow this up with their distributors accordingly. Most of the businesses that distribute advertising mail are happy to abide by people’s wishes to avoid junk mail. The last thing they want to do with potential customers is rub them up the wrong way.

For more information visit The DSB offers their own standard No Advertising Material sticker for free if you send a stamped self-addressed envelope to DSB Sticker, PO Box 7735 St Kilda Road Melbourne VIC 8004.

This post is part of the Signs, Signs meme.

Wednesday 29 January 2014


As Summer progresses, we are experiencing more of the hot weather that characterises Melbourne in late January and February. It is not unusual for temperatures to reach daily maxima in the low 40s, and more so in the last few years consecutive very hot days.

Seeking water - the beach, along the rivers and creeks and in swimming pools - is de rigueur during these heatwaves. Summer in Melbourne can be hot, but with views like this and with sea breezes from the Bay, one can find some comfort.

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

Tuesday 28 January 2014


One thing about Melbourne weather is that one is never bored. It may be 42˚C one day and the next, after a cool change comes in, there may be rain and the temperature hardly reaches 22˚C. Here is some Summer rain in the park beside the Yarra, close to the Fairfield Boathouse.

This post is part of the Our World Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Nature Footsteps Inspiring Photography meme.

Monday 27 January 2014


The Rubie Thomson Reserve in Separation Street Northcote is a pleasant little park well-endowed with trees, lawns and a children's playground. On its Western side it is bounded by tall wall, which had a very long, beautiful, colourful mural covering several tens of square metres. This has been there for at least a couple of decades. It depicted several intertwining vignettes of aboriginal themes and how aboriginal youth especially, fit into modern Australian society.

Unfortunately, the mural has not been well maintained and to add insult to injury it has been recently defaced by a host of ugly graffiti and mindless tagging. What was once beautiful is now a messy and hideous jumble of illegible scrawls...

This post is part of the Monday Murals meme.

Sunday 26 January 2014


The Victoria Police Academy is the main induction training establishment for the Victoria Police. It is located at 1 View Mount Road, in Glen Waverley, in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. The grounds encompass 16 hectares (40 acres).

The site was built from 1954 - 59 as the main campus of Corpus Christi College (seminary) of the Roman Catholic Church in Australia's Archdiocese of Melbourne, from 1959-1972. The main chapel was intended to have wings of offices and accommodation either side, however only the southern wing was built before the college was sold.The Victoria Police bought the site on 30 October 1972, and opened the Academy in 1973. Offices occupy the former seminarians rooms; the former kitchen and dining room now serve the current Academy. Additional buildings for instruction and student accommodation, sports facilities and a gymnasium and indoor swimming pool, were erected in the 1980s, and a mock village was added later for scenario training purposes.

The Corpus Christi Chapel was built as a Basilica to model for seminarians the orders of Christian worship, and has 14 side altars in the cloister for rehearsal of sacraments. The architecture is a blend of the form of a Byzantine Basilica with a Renaissance ceiling and Romanesque arches and exterior flying buttresses.The Chapel is 48 m long, 14.5 m wide, and 20 m high. It can seat 500.The main altar is surmounted by a cupola bearing the words in Latin, "Christus Altare Nostrum" (Christ Our Altar). The cross on the cupola is 2.8 m by 1.8 m.

Within the main chapel are stained glass windows, designed by Stephen Moor of Sydney, those on the left in red tones (for the Crucifixion) with medallions representing the Old Testament, those on the right in blue tones (for Mary) with medallions representing the New Testament. To the right of the nave is the Chapel of Remembrance, with an eternal flame and memorial plaques for police officers who have died on duty. This chapel was dedicated during the Annual Church Service in 1988. To the left is the Chapel of St Michael, where the families of police can erect a plaque remembering a deceased police officer.

The Chapel was rededicated as an interfaith Chapel on 20 October 1974. The lectern is adorned with the Star of David.The Chapel is used for weddings, Baptisms, and funerals, by both police and the public.

This post is part of the inSPIREd Sunday meme.

Saturday 25 January 2014


Today was a beautiful day fro a walk by the Darebin Creek in the Darebin Parklands. Despite the recent hot weather the creek still had some water in it and the rocks could cast their reflections...

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 24 January 2014


The Port of Melbourne is Australia's busiest port for containerised and general cargo. It is located in Melbourne, Victoria, and covers an area at the mouth of the Yarra River, downstream of Bolte Bridge, which is at the head of Port Phillip, as well as several piers on the bay itself. Since 1 July 2003, the Port of Melbourne has been managed by the Port of Melbourne Corporation, a statutory corporation created by the State of Victoria.

Most of the port is in the suburb of West Melbourne and should not be confused with the Melbourne suburb of Port Melbourne although Webb Dock and Station Pier, parts of the Port of Melbourne, are in Port Melbourne.

This post is part of the Skywatch Friday meme.

Thursday 23 January 2014


Ceratopetalum gummiferum, the New South Wales Christmas Bush, is a tall shrub or small tree popular in cultivation due to its sepals that turn bright red-pink at around Christmas time. The petals are actually small and white - it is the sepals that enlarge to about 12mm after the flower sets fruit and starts to dry out. The specific name gummiferum alludes to the large amounts of gum that is discharged from cut bark.

Plants initially grow as rounded shrubs but mature to pyramidical trees. The leaves comprise three leaflets and are up to 8 cm long. The petioles are grooved on the upper side and are 10 to 20 mm long. Small, white five-petalled flowers appear in spays from October in the species native range. As these die the sepals enlarge and become pink to red in colour, the display peaking at Christmas time in Australia (i.e. during Summer).

Ceratopatalum gummiferum is one of nine species in the genus Ceratopetalum int eh family Cunoniaceaewhich occur in Australia and Papua New Guinea. The species was first formally described by English botanist James Edward Smith in 1793 in 'A Specimen of the Botany of New Holland'.

The species is endemic to New South Wales where it occurs to the east of the Great Dividing Range from Ulladulla in the south to Evans Head in the north. In cultivation, plants usually grow to no more than 6 metres in height. Plants may be propagated from seed or cuttings, the latter method being preferred to maintain good colour forms. Well-drained soil is required to avoid problems with dieback associated with root-rot fungus.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.


This house is in our neighbourhood and it obviously belongs to some very committed people as far as their attitude towards climate change and environmental pollution is concerned. The multiple signs carrying the message leave no doubt in the eye of the beholder, but I doubt if they are effective in converting the sceptics...

This post is part of the Signs, Signs meme.

Wednesday 22 January 2014


Port Melbourne is a suburb of Melbourne, Australia, 5 km south-west from Melbourne's Central Business District. It is split between the local government areas of Melbourne and Port Phillip. The area to the north of the West Gate Freeway is in the City of Melbourne. The area to the south is in the City of Port Phillip. At the 2011 Census, Port Melbourne had a population of 14,521.

The suburb is bordered by the shores of Hobsons Bay and the lower reaches of the Yarra River. Port Melbourne covers a large area, which includes the distinct localities of Fishermans Bend, Garden City and Beacon Cove. Historically it was known as Sandridge and developed as the City's second port, linked to the nearby Melbourne CBD.

The formerly industrial Port Melbourne has been subject to intense urban renewal over the past decade. As a result, Port Melbourne is a diverse and historic area, featuring industrial and port areas along the Yarra, to open parklands, bayside beaches, exclusive apartments and Bay Street's restaurants and cafes. The suburb also forms a major transport link from east to west, home to one end of the West Gate Bridge.

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