Saturday, 29 April 2017


Chilly, still, Autumn nights seem to make for good reflections of the City skyline in the Yarra River waters...

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

Friday, 28 April 2017


Our weather improved somewhat today and it was good to be able to walk in the Parklands without an umbrella!

This post is part of the Weekend Green meme,
and also part of the Skywatch Friday meme,
and also part of the Friday Photo Journal.

Thursday, 27 April 2017


One of my favourite places at my alma mater, the University of Melbourne, is the System Garden. The System Garden was designed by the University’s first Professor of Natural History, Frederick McCoy in concert with architect Edward Latrobe Bateman in 1856. The garden is unusual because unlike a botanical or ornamental garden, the plants were selected and planted according to an evolutionary system of classification – hence its name, System Garden.

In the original design, visitors could walk from the middle of the garden to the outer edges and trace the natural history of the evolution of the plant kingdom. You rarely see such gardens today, because it’s a scientific garden, and though it is ornamentally attractive, that’s not its key function. The garden originally covered a quarter of the University’s grounds and featured an octagonal glasshouse at its centre that housed several plant habitats. The gazebo, which still stands in the garden today, was the glasshouse’s central structure and marks the exact centre of the original garden.

It was originally bounded by an acacia hedge, and though this was removed to make way for the Botany and Zoology Buildings which now occupy much of the original garden, some of Professor McCoy’s original plantings are still flourishing, including three towering palm trees, the Osage orange tree (Maclura pomifera), and some of the larger conifers.

Twenty years ago the garden was updated to reflect a more current system of classification – the Cronquist classification system – with the beds laid out according to plant subclasses. Although the garden is designed to highlight the science of Botany and the evolution of plants, it is also a beautiful space often used by students and staff as a quiet place to reflect, read or eat lunch. Property and Campus Services has recently commissioned a new conservation and management plan for the System Garden, which will enhance its ongoing value as a scientific, teaching, and recreational resource.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Haemanthus coccineus - Bloodflower

Symphyotrichum novae-angliae - New England Aster

Brachychiton bidwillii - Little-Kurrajong

Solanum betaceum - Tamarillo

Wednesday, 26 April 2017


We had a wet and miserable day of heavy rain and wild winds yesterday, and then even more today. Melburnians are being warned by the Bureau of Meteorology that the winter drenching is to continue.  After downpours, hail and stormy weather this morning, there were evening showers and rain over the city’s eastern suburbs, with local hail and winds of up to 30km/h. Melbourne’s drenching is promising to continue through the week, with the bureau forecasting rain every day this week. With the taste of the winter ahead, top temperatures are not expected to rise above 18˚C before early next week, before dropping to a low of 7˚C.

Here is the Darebin Creek at Fairfield showing the masses of water coming down and inundating the flats of the banks. The volume of water and the strength of the current were quite remarkable!

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

Tuesday, 25 April 2017


Anzac Day, 25 April, is one of Australia’s most important national occasions. It marks the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War. ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. The soldiers in those forces quickly became known as Anzacs, and the pride they took in that name endures to this day.

When war broke out in 1914 Australia had been a federated nation for only 13 years, and its government was eager to establish a reputation among the nations of the world. When Britain declared war in August 1914 Australia was automatically placed on the side of the Commonwealth. In 1915 Australian and New Zealand soldiers formed part of the expedition that set out to capture the Gallipoli peninsula in order to open the Dardanelles to the allied navies. The ultimate objective was to capture Constantinople (now Istanbul), the capital of the Ottoman Empire, an ally of Germany.

The Australian and New Zealand forces landed on Gallipoli on 25 April, meeting fierce resistance from the Ottoman Turkish defenders. What had been planned as a bold stroke to knock Turkey out of the war quickly became a stalemate, and the campaign dragged on for eight months. At the end of 1915 the allied forces were evacuated from the peninsula, with both sides having suffered heavy casualties and endured great hardships. More than 8,000 Australian soldiers had died in the campaign. Gallipoli had a profound impact on Australians at home, and 25 April soon became the day on which Australians remembered the sacrifice of those who died in the war.

The Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne is Victoria's memorial to the men and women who have served Australia in armed conflicts and peacekeeping operations throughout our nation's history. Lest we forget...

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

Monday, 24 April 2017


It's Autumn in Melbourne and the rain and cool weather are here.

This post is part of the Mosaic Monday meme,
and also part of the Monday Mellow Yellows meme,
and also part of the Macro Monday meme,
and also part of the Through my Lens meme,
and also part of the Seasons meme.

Sunday, 23 April 2017


At 63%, Australia has one of the highest rates of pet ownership in the world. Dogs are the most common pet, with 39% of households owning a dog. There are estimated to be 4.2 million pet dogs in Australia; 19 dogs for every 100 people.

Cats are the second most common pet, with 29% of households owning a cat. There are estimated to be 3.3 million pet cats in Australia; 15 cats for every 100 people.

Fish are the most numerous pet type, with a total population of 10.7 million. The number of birds is estimated to be 4.8 million, with a further 2.2 million other pets including small mammals and reptiles.

This is Rusty, our neighbour's cat, who often enough ventures into our own yard...

This post is part of the My Sunday Best meme,
and also part of the My Sunday Photo meme,
and also part of the Photo Sunday meme,
and also part of the Saturday Critters meme,
and also part of the Camera Critters meme.

Saturday, 22 April 2017


This post is part of the Weekend Reflections meme,
and also part of the Scenic Weekends meme,
and also part of the Saturday Critters meme,
and also part of the Camera Critters meme.

Friday, 21 April 2017


Sunset on the Yarra River on an Autumn evening.

This post is part of the Skywatch Friday meme,
and also part of the Friday Photo Journal,
and also part of the Orange you Glad It's Friday meme.

Thursday, 20 April 2017


Hibiscus rosa-sinensis, known colloquially as Chinese hibiscus, China rose, Hawaiian hibiscus, and shoeblackplant, is a species of tropical hibiscus, a flowering plant in the Hibisceae tribe of the family Malvaceae, native to East Asia.

Hibiscus rosa-sinensis is a bushy, evergreen shrub or small tree growing 2.5–5 m tall and 1.5–3 m wide, with glossy leaves and solitary, brilliant red flowers in summer and autumn. The 5-petaled flowers are 10 cm in diameter, with prominent orange-tipped red anthers. Numerous hybrids have been developed in a variety of flower colours.

This is one of many plant species with a genetic characteristic known as polyploidy, in which there are more than two complete sets of chromosomes, unlike most other species. A side effect of polyploidy is a condition where the appearance of the offspring may be quite different from the parent, or indeed any ancestor, essentially allowing possibly random expression of all (or any) of the characteristics of all the generations that have gone before. Because of this characteristic, H. rosa-sinensis has become popular with hobbyists who cross and recross varieties, creating new named varieties and holding competitions to exhibit and judge the many resulting new seedlings and often strikingly unique flowers.

The flowers of Hibiscus rosa-sinensis are edible and are used in salads in the Pacific Islands. The flower is additionally used in hair care as a preparation. It is also used to shine shoes in certain parts of India. It can also be used as a pH indicator. When used, the flower turns acidic solutions to a dark pink or magenta colour and basic solutions to green. It is also used for the worship of Devi, and the red variety is especially prominent, having an important part in tantra. In Indonesia, these flowers are called "kembang sepatu", which literally means "shoe flower". In several countries the flowers are dried to use in a beverage, usually tea.

It is widely grown as an ornamental plant throughout the tropics and subtropics. As it does not tolerate temperatures below 10 °C, in temperate regions it is best grown under glass. However, plants in containers may be placed outside during the summer months or moved into shelter during the winter months.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday, 19 April 2017


Phillip Island is an Australian island about 140 km south-southeast of Melbourne, Victoria. Named after Arthur Phillip, the first Governor of New South Wales, Phillip Island forms a natural breakwater for the shallow waters of the Western Port. It is 26 km long and 9 km wide, with an area of about 100 km2. It has 97 km of coastline and is part of the Bass Coast Shire. The southern coast of the island lies exposed to the ocean of Bass Strait and can experience some wild weather, which doesn't seem to deter the avid surfers.

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

Tuesday, 18 April 2017


Birrarung Marr is on the north bank of the Yarra River next to Federation Square. It is Melbourne’s newest major park, opened in 2002. Its name comes from the language of the Wurundjeri people who originally inhabited this area. “Birrarung” means “river of mists” while “Marr” means river bank. There are many interesting public spaces, beautiful walks and many art works that allow the visitor not only to relax and enjoy the pleasant views of the water and the city skyline, but also many artworks to stimulate and excite the senses. Birrarung Marr is also the home of ArtPlay.

This post is part of the Our World Tuesday meme,

and also part of the Ruby Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Travel Tuesday meme.