Saturday 31 January 2015


A light industrial area in Fairfield, an inner Melbourne suburb, at the weekend. It is quite eerie walking down these deserted streets with only a few papers blown by the wind littering the streets.

This post is part of the Skywatch Friday meme,
and also part of the Weekend Reflections meme.

Friday 30 January 2015


Warrandyte is a suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 24 km north-east of Melbourne's Central Business District. Its local government area is the City of Manningham. At the 2011 census, Warrandyte had a population of 5,520. Warrandyte is bounded in the west by the Mullum Mullum Creek and Target Road, in the north by the Yarra River, in the east by Jumping Creek and Anzac Road, and in the south by an irregular line from Reynolds Road, north of Donvale, Park Orchards and Warrandyte South.

Warrandyte was founded as a Victorian town, located in the once gold-rich rolling hills east of Melbourne, and is now on the north-eastern boundary of suburban Melbourne. Gold was first discovered in the town in 1851 and together, with towns like Bendigo and Ballarat, led the way in gold discoveries during the Victorian gold rush. Today Warrandyte retains much of its past in its surviving buildings of the Colonial period and remains a twin community with North Warrandyte, which borders the Yarra River to its north.

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

Thursday 29 January 2015


I am stretching the definition of "tree" by inlcuding this "succulent shrub" under its umbrella, but one cannot but be impressed by the sheer size and majestic presentation of this giant cactus. Cereus is a genus of cacti (family Cactaceae) including around 33 species of large columnar cacti from South America. The name is derived from Greek (κηρός) and Latin words meaning "wax" or "torch". The genus Cereus was one of the first cactus genera to be described; the circumscription varies depending on the authority. The term "cereus" is also sometimes used for a ceroid cactus, any cactus with a very elongated body, including columnar growth cacti and epiphytic cacti.

Cereus are shrubby or treelike, often attaining great heights (C. hexagonus, C. lamprospermus, C. trigonodendron up to 15 m). Most stems are angled or distinctly ribbed, ribs 3–14, usually well developed and have large areoles, usually bearing spines. Cephalium is not present, Cereus mortensenii develops pseudocephalium. Flowers are large, funnelform, 9–30 cm long, usually white, sometimes pink, purple, rarely cream, yellow, greenish, and open at night. Fruits are globose to ovoid to oblong, 3–13 cm long, fleshy, naked, usually red but sometimes yellow, pulp white, pink or red. Seeds large, curved ovoid, glossy black.

The specimen illustrated here is Cereus paraguyanus, and all but the last photo are from Melbourne's Botanic Garden. The last photo is from my neighbourhood in inner suburban Melbourne, just to prove how well suited our climate is to the growth of this cactus in Melbourne. In out back garden we have two of these cacti growing in large pots, one about 1.6 m tall, but not yet flowering. I have seen another three large flowering specimens in our immediate vicinity.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday 28 January 2015


Guilfoyle’s Volcano was built in 1876 and was used to store water for Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne. After lying idle for 60 years, it is now restored as part of a significant landscape development project called Working Wetlands.

This spectacular and historic water reservoir has commanding views of the city, and its striking landscape design showcases low-water use plants such as succulents and cacti. Boardwalks and viewing platforms give visitors the opportunity to explore this long-hidden but remarkable feature of the Royal Botanic Gardens.

Guilfoyle’s Volcano is in the south-east corner of the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne, easily accessible via C Gate (enter via Anderson Street) and D Gate (enter via Birdwood Avenue).

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.

Tuesday 27 January 2015


We are fairly fortunate in Melbourne, in regards to road accidents and fatalities. For a city of such a large size, the rate of accidents and road deaths is relatively low. In the state of Victoria, in 2014 the annual road toll was 249.

Australia’s road toll fell to its lowest level in almost 70 years in 2014 and the national rate of road deaths per 100,000 people dipped to the lowest level since records began 90 years ago. The total number of road deaths last year was 1155 – down 3.1 per cent from 2013 – marking the lowest road toll since 1945.

The rate of road deaths per 100,000 people declined to 4.87, which was the lowest since at least 1925 when the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics’ (BITRE) figures begin.

A few weeks ago we were woken up up at about 1:30 am by an almighty bang. We went outside to investigate and directly across our house, an accident had taken place. Fortunately nobody was injured severely but a few cars had been damaged greatly. Apparently, a ute at high speed had ploughed into a couple of stationary parked cars, writing off completely a little red hatchback.

The emergency response was almost immediate, and it was suspected the ute driver was driving under the influence of alcohol... Within about an hour and a half, the damaged cars were removed, the road had been cleared and the next morning the only indication of the accident was the crushed kerb.

Moral of the story? Don't drink and drive!

This post is part of the Our World Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Ruby Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Wordless Wednesday meme.

Monday 26 January 2015


This mural is at Beasley's Nursery in Doncaster East. The tree fern depictions in the last couple of photos are rather interesting as the trunks are modelled in 3D.

This post is part of the Monday Murals meme.

Sunday 25 January 2015


"The bush" is a term used for rural, undeveloped land or country areas in Australia. The term is iconic in Australia. In reference to the landscape, "bush" refers to any sparsely inhabited region regardless of vegetation. The bush in this sense was something that was uniquely Australian and very different from the green European landscapes familiar to many new immigrants.

"The Bush" also refers to any populated region outside of the major metropolitan areas, including mining and agricultural areas. Consequently it is not unusual to have a mining town in the desert such as Port Hedland (Pop. 14,000) referred to as "The bush" within the media.

The bush was revered as a source of national ideals by the likes of poets Henry Lawson and Banjo Paterson, and contemporaneous painters in the Heidelberg School, namely Tom Roberts, Arthur Streeton and Frederick McCubbin. Romanticising the bush in this way was a big step forward for Australians in their steps towards self-identity. The legacy is a folklore rich in the spirit of the bush. The term bush is also affixed to any number of other entities or activities to describe their rural, country or folk nature, e.g. "Bush Cricket", "Bush Music", etc.

The last image is an iconic portrayal of the bush by 19th century Australian artist Frederick McCubbin (1855 – 1917). It is the triptych "The Pioneer" (1904). The painting is part of the National Gallery of Victoria's Australian art collection and exhibited in the Ian Potter Centre in Federation Square in Melbourne.


This post is part of the 
Scenic Weekends meme,
and also part of the Friday Greens meme.

Saturday 24 January 2015


We are very lucky in Melbourne in terms of the variety of fresh, seasonal fruits and vegetables that are available in greengrocers' shops day in day out, no matter what the season. Summer, however, is particularly plentiful and in this greengrocery ("Just Ripe" in Northland), where we often shop the variety is wonderful.

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