Tuesday 30 April 2019


The University of Melbourne (informally Melbourne University, Melbourne Uni or simply Melbourne) is an Australian public research university located in Melbourne, Victoria. Founded in 1853, it is Australia's second oldest university and the oldest in Victoria. Times Higher Education ranks Melbourne as 33rd in the world, while the QS World University Rankings places Melbourne 31st in the world. According to QS World University Subject Rankings 2015, the University of Melbourne is ranked 5th in the world for education, 8th in law, 13th in computer science and IT, 13th in arts and humanities, 14th in accounting and finance, 14th in dentistry and 18th in medicine.

Melbourne's main campus is located in Parkville, an inner suburb north of the Melbourne central business district, with several other campuses located across Victoria. Melbourne is a sandstone university and a member of the Group of Eight, Universitas 21 and the Association of Pacific Rim Universities. Since 1872 various residential colleges have become affiliated with the university. There are 12 colleges located on the main campus and in nearby suburbs offering academic, sporting and cultural programs alongside accommodation for Melbourne students and faculty.

Melbourne University comprises 11 separate academic units and is associated with numerous institutes and research centres, including the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research and the Grattan Institute. Amongst Melbourne's 15 graduate schools the Melbourne Business School, the Melbourne Law School and the Melbourne Medical School are particularly well regarded. Four Australian prime ministers and five governors-general have graduated from Melbourne. Seven Nobel laureates have been students or faculty, the most of any Australian university.

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 29 April 2019


I've had a nice old wooden frame that is divided into four sections and I hadn't had time to draw or paint and use it. The last couple of weeks I had a seasonal cold and stayed inside for a few days. It was time to put the frame into good use and I took out my coloured pencils, watercolours and Faber-Castell PITT Artist Pens. Here is the result.

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

Sunday 28 April 2019


Three different views of the Darebin Parklands placed side by side through the magic of Photoshop...

This post is part of the My Sunday Best meme.

Saturday 27 April 2019


The temperatures are falling, and Autumn is advancing with the days getting shorter. A morning walk while the sun is still shining and the rain is at bay, is just what the vet ordered!

This post is part of the Saturday Critters meme,
and also part of the Camera Critters meme.

Thursday 25 April 2019


Cyclamen persicum, the Persian cyclamen, in the family Primulaceae, is a species of flowering herbaceous perennial plant growing from a tuber, native to rocky hillsides, shrubland, and woodland up to 1,200 m above sea level, from south-central Turkey to Israel and Jordan. It also grows in Algeria and Tunisia and on the Greek islands of Rhodes, Karpathos, and Crete, where it may have been introduced by monks. Cultivars of this species are the commonly seen florist's cyclamen.

Wild plants have heart-shaped leaves, up to 14 cm usually green with lighter marbling on the upper surface. Flowers bloom from winter to spring (var. persicum) or in autumn (var. autumnale) and have 5 small sepals and 5 upswept petals, usually white to pale pink with a band of deep pink to magenta at the base. After pollination, the flower stem curls downwards slightly as the pod develops, but does not coil as in other cyclamens. Plants go dormant in summer. Some cultivars (as the one pictured) have a subtle, distinctive fragrance, which is quite unforgettable.

Cyclamen persicum has a dark-brown tuberous root which is semi-poisonous. In some cultures, the tubers were used in making soap, as they generate a lather when mixed with water. The Bedouins of Mandate Palestine used to collect the root, and after grating it, would mix it with lime and sprinkle it over the surface of lakes or other large bodies of water known to contain fish. These poisonous mixtures would stun fish, which would then come to the surface and be collected by the fishermen. Such methods, as well as fishing with explosives, which came into use in the early 20th century, were banned by the British Mandate authorities.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday 24 April 2019

P for POND

The topography of the Darebin Parklands is highly interesting due to the varying geology of the area. Although the formations within the Parklands are regionally common, they are internationally rare. The environmental conservation significance of the Parklands is one of the most important values of the landscape. The Darebin Parklands plays an important role as part of the Darebin Creek and Yarra River’s linear habitat corridor. The Darebin Creek and several ponds within the Parklands provide ample watery habitats for fish, amphibians and reptiles that depend on water fro their survival.

The Parklands’ indigenous vegetation supports native wildlife such as echidna, possums, lizards and other reptiles. In late 2007, several kangaroos sought refuge within the Parklands bushland environment. There are over 50 species of birds living in the Parklands. Many of these are resident species and use the Parklands for breeding whilst others are migratory birds. As urban development to Melbourne’s northern suburbs continues, there is evidence that displaced animals find refuge within the Parklands.

This post is part of the Wordless Wednesday meme,
and also part of the ABC Wednesday meme,
and also part of the Nature Notes meme.

Tuesday 23 April 2019


 Melbourne City Centre (sometimes referred to as "Central City", and colloquially known as simply "The City") is an area of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. It is the area in which Melbourne was established in 1835, by founders John Batman and John Pascoe Fawkner, and its boundaries are defined by the Government of Victoria's Melbourne Planning Scheme. Today it comprises the two oldest areas of Melbourne; the Hoddle Grid and Queen Victoria Market, as well as sections of the redeveloped areas of Docklands and Southbank/Wharf. It is not to be confused with the larger local government area of the City of Melbourne.

It is the core central activities district (CAD) of Melbourne's inner suburbs and the major central business district (CBD) of Greater Melbourne's metropolitan area, and is a major financial centre in Australia and the Asia-Pacific region. The Hoddle Grid in the City Centre is home to Melbourne's famed alleyways and arcades and is renowned for its distinct blend of contemporary and Victorian architecture as well as expansive parks and gardens which surround its edges. The City Centre is home to five of the six tallest buildings in Australia. In recent times, it has been placed alongside New York City and Berlin as one of the world's great street art meccas, and designated a "City of Literature" by UNESCO in its Creative Cities Network.

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 22 April 2019


This is a postcard I made to send electronically to a friend who is overseas and is feeling a little homesick.

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

Sunday 21 April 2019


"Shadow is a colour as light is, but less brilliant; light and shadow are only the relation of two tones." - Paul Cezanne

This post is part of the My Sunday Best meme,
and also part of the Shadow Shot Sunday meme.

Saturday 20 April 2019


Rabbit having lunch in the Yarra Valley, looking for some chocolate perhaps?

In Australia, rabbits are an introduced species and in the past had multiplied to numbers that were considered excessive. This caused enormous ecological problems as they competed with the native fauna and destroyed the delicate balance of the environment.

However, one cannot resist the charms of bunnies when encountering them in such an idyllic spot, especially at Eastertime...

This post is part of the Saturday Critters meme,
and also part of the Camera Critters meme.


Friday 19 April 2019


View from my room.

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

Thursday 18 April 2019


Podranea ricasoliana, the pink trumpet vine, has been out of fashion in Australian gardens for a long time, for no particular reason seeing it is a very attractive plant. As well as pink trumpet vine, this showy plant is also commonly known as Port St. John creeper, after its place of origin in South Africa. Its genus name Podranea is an anagram of Pandorea, the genus name for a group of closely related Australian native vines all in the Bignoniaceae family.

It is a vigorous, evergreen scrambler with glossy compound leaves. The beautiful trumpet shaped flowers are pale pink with carmine stripes and yellowish shading in the throat. Flowering time is summer and autumn. The fruit is a bean-like capsule containing winged seeds. Pink trumpet vine will grow best in the warmer parts of Australia, and is well worth a try in inland areas. It has low water needs once established.

It looks good grown over fences or walls pruned into a shrub or weeping standard. Pink trumpet vine grows best in a sunny position, but will tolerate light shade. It needs a well drained soil and a strong support if it is to be grown as a climber. Water well until the plant becomes established. Prune to shape and control growth immediately after flowering. It is high maintenance if pruned as a shrub or standard. The reward is a lovely plant with hardy attractive flowers, very free flowering, virtually pest and disease free and drought resistant.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday 17 April 2019


The Darebin Parklands straddle Alphington and Ivanhoe, approximately 10 kilometres northeast of the City of Melbourne, and they are a district park covering an area of 33 hectares. Darebin Creek flows through the Parklands, to join the Yarra River, at Alphington. The Darebin Parklands are highly regarded for its social, recreation, education, conservation, water quality management, cultural and heritage values. The Parklands have a rich history as the homeland of the Wurundjeri Willam people and for cattle and sheep grazing, orchard and market garden use post European settlement. The olive trees seen here in silhouette are a remnant of the older use of this land.

The olive (Olea europaea, meaning "olive from/of Europe") is a species of small tree in the family Oleaceae, found in much of Africa, the Mediterranean Basin from Portugal to the Levant, the Arabian Peninsula, and southern Asia as far east as China, as well as the Canary Islands, Mauritius and Réunion. The species is cultivated in many places and considered naturalised in France, Corsica, Crimea, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Palestine, Syria, Lebanon, Java, Norfolk Island, California and Bermuda. Its fruit, also called the olive, is of major agricultural importance in the Mediterranean region as the source of olive oil.

The tree and its fruit give its name to the plant family, which also includes species such as lilacs, jasmine, Forsythia and the true ash trees (Fraxinus). The word "olive" derives from Latin ŏlīva ("olive fruit", "olive tree"; "olive oil" is ŏlĕum) which is cognate with the Greek ἐλαία (elaía, "olive fruit", "olive tree") and ἔλαιον (élaion, "olive oil"). The oldest attested forms of the latter two words in Greek are respectively the Mycenaean e-ra-wa, and e-ra-wo or e-rai-wo, written in the Linear B syllabic script.

The word "oil" in multiple languages ultimately derives from the name of this tree and its fruit. Melbourne has an excellent climate for raising olives and olive trees are commonly seen in streets and gardens of Melbourne. Numerous olive groves have now been established in close proximity to the City. At the moment, olive trees in the Parklands are in are fruiting and it looks as though it will be a bumper season this year!

This post is part of the Wordless Wednesday meme,
and also part of the ABC Wednesday meme,
and also part of the Nature Notes meme.

Tuesday 16 April 2019


Collins Street is a major street in the centre of Melbourne, Victoria in Australia. It was laid out in the first survey of Melbourne, the original 1837 Hoddle Grid, and soon became the most desired address in the city. Collins Street was named after Lieutenant-Governor David Collins who led a group of settlers in establishing a short-lived settlement at Sorrento in 1803.

The eastern end of Collins Street has been known colloquially as the 'Paris End' since the 1950s due to its numerous heritage buildings, old street trees, high-end shopping boutiques, and as the location for the first sidewalk cafes in the city. Blocks further west centred around Queen Street became the financial heart of Melbourne in the 19th century, the preferred home of major banks and insurance companies, a tradition which continues today with the most prestigious office blocks and skyscrapers found along its length.

We stand united with Parisians and all civilised people around the world, sharing their loss of one of the great cultural monuments of the world, the Nôtre Dame of Paris. The cathedral will arise anew from its ashes and continue to symbolise culture and civilisation, faith and enlightenment, sensitivity and broad-mindedness.

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

Monday 15 April 2019


After a drive in the country at the weekend, we realised how autumnal everything was. The overcast sky and rain showers, counterpointed with the bright yellows and oranges of the foliage of deciduous trees. The fields ploughed and the gardens got ready for the Winter, while evening fell quickly and a definite chill was in the air.

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

Thursday 11 April 2019


Dahlia is a genus of bushy, tuberous, herbaceous perennial plants native mainly in Mexico, but also Central America, and Colombia. A member of the Asteraceae or Compositae, dicotyledonous plants, related species include the sunflower, daisy, chrysanthemum and zinnia. There are at least 36 species of dahlia, with hybrids commonly grown as garden plants.

Flower forms are variable, with one head per stem; these can be as small as 5.1 cm diameter or up to 30 cm ("dinner plate"). This great variety results from dahlias being octoploids (that is, they have eight sets of homologous chromosomes), whereas most plants have only two. In addition, dahlias also contain many transposons (genetic pieces that move from place to place upon an allele), which contributes to their manifesting such great diversity.

The stems are leafy, ranging in height from as low as 30 cm to more than 1.8–2.4 m. The majority of species do not produce scented flowers or cultivars. Like most plants that do not attract pollinating insects through scent, they are brightly coloured, displaying most hues, with the exception of blue. Dahlias bloom all Summer and most of Autumn in temperate climates, making quite a show in our Autumn garden at the moment.

The dahlia was declared the national flower of Mexico in 1963. The tubers were grown as a food crop by the Aztecs, but this use largely died out after the Spanish Conquest. Attempts to introduce the tubers as a food crop in Europe were unsuccessful.

The variety shown here, 'York & Lancaster' is an unusual and very beautiful dahlia whose origins in history have been lost centuries ago. As well as being of striking appearance, it is a cultivar that most dahlia experts have never heard of, while for others it's a genetic conundrum that shouldn't really exist. For a dahlia it is surprisingly tough, almost hardy in light soils. Standing approximately 80 cm tall it produces large numbers of ball shaped flower heads. If it does throw up an occasional pure white flower it will always be followed by a brilliant white and carmine red bi-colour flower.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday 10 April 2019

N for NEST

Many birds, both native and introduced, nest in the Darebin parklands. The common bronzewing (Phaps chalcoptera) is a species of medium-sized, heavily built pigeon. Native to Australia and one of the country's most common pigeons, the common bronzewing is able to live in almost any habitat, with the possible exception of very barren areas and dense rainforests.

Common bronzewings construct a rough nest of twigs and sticks, which is placed low down in a tree or bush. The eggs hatch after a period of roughly 14 to 16 days, after being incubated by both the male and the female. Both parents share the responsibility of caring for the young. In common with other pigeons, common bronzewings release a milky substance from their crop to feed their young.

This post is part of the Wordless Wednesday meme,
and also part of the ABC Wednesday meme,
and also part of the Nature Notes meme.

Tuesday 9 April 2019


The artist Peter Gerasimon was born in 1951 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, one of eight children of Russian/German immigrants. Very early in his life he developed an interest in fine arts and attended art classes, despite advice from relatives and friends that this was not a secure career choice. Although he preferred to learn the hard way, by trial and error, he did develop his skills formally through art studies at the Escuela de Artes Quilmes, Argentina 1966-1967 and a course at the Famous Artists' School for Talented Young People 1969-1971.

Not convinced that the arts could support him in the future, Peter pursued a career in economics and business management, but painting remained his passion. Even on his business travels he always found some time to draw sketches and produce an occasional painting. In early 1996 he gave up his busy management career to go after his passion and become a full time artist. He set up his home studio and gallery, “Glenrowan Studios” in Gisborne, Victoria, near the Macedon Ranges and met with instant success.

Gerasimon has participated in some Art Shows in Australia and has obtained several Awards at the Berwick, Ivanhoe and Woodend Art Shows.The art of Gerasimon is a mix of the realistic with the naïve, his canvases often depicting everyday scenes, streetscapes and landscapes in a rather dispassionate and detached manner, which nevertheless manages to evince emotion in the viewer. His paintings also include depictions of Australian flora and fauna, which border on the genre of scientific illustration, while his still life painting often evokes a deeper symbolic meaning. Still other types of paintings include commissioned work and illustrative material. More of the artist’s oeuvre can be found on his website (http://www.gerasimon.com.au/).

The painting below is his “As Time Goes By” ,a view in St Kilda, Melbourne.

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 8 April 2019


We've just turned our clocks back an hour and it started to rain tonight. Tomorrow we are expecting a maximum of 15˚C and the new season apples are in a fruit bowl in the kitchen. It was chilly enough this evening to turn the heater on. Yes, Autumn has arrived...

This post is part of the Mosaic Monday 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 7 April 2019


The Truganina Coastal Parklands are located 15 km west of Melbourne CBD, on the shores of Port Phillip Bay, stretching from Altona to Altona Meadows and adjacent to the Cheetham Wetlands and the Point Cook Coastal Park. They were formed through the 'recycling' of more than 300 hectares of parks and former industrial land and are now the largest cluster of parks on Port Phillip Bay, interlinked by cycling and walking trails and featuring a surprisingly high diversity and abundance of landscapes, natural environment and recreational areas, including beachside recreation, picnic & barbecue facilities, grassfields and wildlife conservation areas. The wetlands form part of the Cheetham and Altona Important Bird Area.

The view of the CBD from the Parklands is quite spectacular, especially if you have a good zoom lens, whereupon you feel as though you're only a few blocks away. For a city of five million people to have such extensive parklands in the Metropolitan area is quite a blessing!

This post is part of the My Sunday Best meme.

Saturday 6 April 2019


The Pacific black duck (Anas superciliosa) is a dabbling duck found in much of Indonesia, New Guinea, Australia, New Zealand, and many islands in the southwestern Pacific, reaching to the Caroline Islands in the north and French Polynesia in the east. It is usually called the grey duck in New Zealand, where it is also known by its Maori name, pārera.

The Australasian swamphen (Porphyrio melanotus), family Rallidae, is a species of swamphen occurring in eastern Indonesia, the Moluccas, Aru and Kai Islands, as well as in Papua New Guinea and Australia. It is also found in New Zealand where it is known as the Pūkeko, derived from the Māori language. The Australasian swamphen previously was considered a subspecies of the purple swamphen (Porphyrio porphyrio).

This post is part of the Saturday Critters meme,
and also part of the Camera Critters meme.

Friday 5 April 2019


The sun reflecting off coloured glass panes in some of Southbank's tall apartment buildings.

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

Thursday 4 April 2019


Lavandula spp "Princess Lavender" is an early flowering, fragrant Italian lavender cultivar. Bred in Australia and selected for its large, vibrant, dark pink flowers, it has a lengthy flowering season. The main flowering flush begins in spring but the plants also free flower throughout the autumn and winter months. We are having a very mild Autumn with little rain and this specimen in our garden is rewarding us with large numbers of blossoms.

It has a neat, compact habit with aromatic foliage. Flowers last well for floral arrangements and it is hardy and easy to grow without any special needs. Once established, the plants are quite dry tolerant requiring only occasional deep watering during extended periods of heat. They should be planted in a sunny location in a well draining soil. Clip back to two thirds of overall size in late summer to maintain shape and vigour. After pruning an application of slow release fertiliser and a light sprinkling of dolomite lime over soil would be beneficial to overall performance.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday 3 April 2019


The Australian magpie (Gymnorhina tibicen) is a medium-sized black and white passerine bird native to Australia and southern New Guinea. Although once considered to be three separate species, it is now considered to be one, with nine recognised subspecies. A member of the Artamidae, the Australian magpie is placed in its own genus Gymnorhina and is most closely related to the black butcherbird (Melloria quoyi). It is not, however, closely related to the European magpie, which is a corvid.

The adult Australian magpie is a fairly robust bird ranging from 37 to 43 cm in length, with distinctive black and white plumage, gold brown eyes and a solid wedge-shaped bluish-white and black bill. The male and female are similar in appearance, and can be distinguished by differences in back markings. The male has pure white feathers on the back of the head and the female has white blending to grey feathers on the back of the head. With its long legs, the Australian magpie walks rather than waddles or hops and spends much time on the ground.

Described as one of Australia's most accomplished songbirds, the Australian magpie has an array of complex vocalisations. It is omnivorous, with the bulk of its varied diet made up of invertebrates. It is generally sedentary and territorial throughout its range. Common and widespread, it has adapted well to human habitation and is a familiar bird of parks, gardens and farmland in Australia and New Guinea. This species is commonly fed by households around the country, but in spring a small minority of breeding magpies (almost always males) become aggressive and swoop and attack those who approach their nests.

Over 1000 Australian magpies were introduced into New Zealand from 1864 to 1874 but have subsequently been accused of displacing native birds and are now treated as a pest species. Introductions also occurred in the Solomon Islands and Fiji, where the birds are not considered an invasive species. The Australian magpie is the mascot of several Australian sporting teams, most notably the Collingwood Magpies, the Western Suburbs Magpies and Port Adelaide Magpies.

The Darebin Parklands provide an ideal habitat for magpies so large numbers of these birds may be seen throughout this nature reserve. Their distinctive melodious song announces their presence and one may approach them quite closely before they walk or fly away.

This post is part of the Wordless Wednesday meme,
and also part of the ABC Wednesday meme,
and also part of the Nature Notes meme.

Tuesday 2 April 2019


The Yarra River or historically, the Yarra Yarra River (Aboriginal: Berrern, Birr-arrung, Bay-ray-rung, Birarang, Birrarung, and Wongete) is a perennial river in east-central Victoria, Australia. The lower stretches of the river are where the city of Melbourne was established in 1835 and today Greater Melbourne dominates and influences the landscape of its lower reaches.

From its source in the Yarra Ranges, it flows 242 kilometres west through the Yarra Valley, which opens out into plains as it winds its way through Greater Melbourne before emptying into Hobsons Bay in northernmost Port Phillip. The river was a major food source and meeting place for indigenous Australians from prehistoric times. Shortly after the arrival of European settlers land clearing forced the remaining Wurundjeri to neighbouring territories and away from the river. Originally called Birrarung by the Wurundjeri, the current name was mistranslated from another Wurundjeri term in the Boonwurrung language; Yarro-yarro, meaning “ever-flowing”.

The river was utilised primarily for agriculture by early European settlers. The landscape of the river has changed dramatically since 1835. The course has been progressively disrupted and the river widened in places. The first of many Crossings of the Yarra River to facilitate transport was built in Princes Bridge. Beginning with the Victorian gold rush it was extensively mined, creating the Pound Bend Tunnel in Warrandyte, and the Big and Little Peninsula Tunnels above Warburton . Widening and dams, like the Upper Yarra Reservoir have helped protect Melbourne from major flooding. The catchment’s upper reaches are also affected by logging.Industrialisation ultimately led to the destruction of the marshlands at the confluence of the Yarra and Maribyrnong Rivers in the area around Coode Island in West Melbourne.

Today, the mouth and including Swanson and Appleton Docks are used for container shipping by the Port of Melbourne, which is the busiest on the continent. The city reach, which is inaccessible to larger watercraft, has seen increased use for both transport and recreational boating (including kayaking, canoeing, rowing and swimming). In recent years, however, recreational use of the river is threatened by high levels of pollution in its lower stretches. The upper reaches remain relatively healthy. The annual Moomba festival celebrates the Yarra River’s increasing cultural significance to Melbourne.

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 1 April 2019


A composite of three photographs where I wanted to show the view one sees while seated at the bench on the left...

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