Friday 31 May 2019


“Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add colour to my sunset sky.” ― Rabindranath Tagore

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

Thursday 30 May 2019


Lilium (members of which are true lilies) is a genus of herbaceous flowering plants in the Liliaceae family, growing from bulbs, all with large prominent flowers. Lilies are a group of flowering plants which are important in culture and literature in much of the world. Most species are native to the temperate northern hemisphere, though their range extends into the northern subtropics. Many other plants have "lily" in their common name but are not related to true lilies.

Asiatic Lilies, shown here, are a very popular garden and florist flower and they offer a brilliantly colourful range of blooms to choose from. The bulbs of Asiatic lilies are tough and resilient, providing a bounty of colourful blooms for vases, very easily grown and wonderfully tolerant of searing Australia's hot Summers. Asiatic Lilies come in a wide range of brilliant colours from bright red to soft and pretty pink which means they can be used to create pockets of colour or gentle waves of soft and pretty cottage colours. Asiatic Lilies have more advantages in that they are great in pots and the bulbs can be planted anytime between May and October (in the Southern Hemisphere).

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday 29 May 2019


The Darebin Parklands have a variety of topographical features, ecological niches and biological environments. One of the interesting features for the visitor is the undulating terrain, which makes walking there a pleasure. Small hills - natural and man-made, gullies, winding paths, small escarpments, creeks and flatlands, alternate with rocky, sparsely covered areas and thickly vegetated tracts. Dry environments contrast with wetlands and a variety of flora and fauna will be encountered on one's walk.

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 28 May 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”.

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 27 May 2019


Our weather has turned nasty all of the sudden and Autumn is leading us into Winter post haste. We've had cold, rainy days and nights, although that does not deter many people from taking their daily constitutional...

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.

Sunday 26 May 2019


The Byzantine Empire succeeded the Roman Empire and officially began when Constantine the Great (St Constantine - 272-337 AD) moved his capital in 330 AD from Rome to Byzantium, renaming it Constantinople (now Istanbul). Constantine had chosen the site for his new capital with care. He placed Constantinople on the frontier of Europe and Asia, dominating the waterway connecting the Mediterranean and Black seas. It was a crossroads of trade, of cultures and with a great tradition going back to prehistory.

From 330 AD to 1453 AD Byzantium reigned supreme, and while Western Europe languished in the dark ages, Byzantium flourished. The most salient aspect of Greek Byzantium was the transmission of classical culture. While classical studies, science, and philosophy largely dissipated in the Latin west, Byzantine education and philosophy still zealously pursued these intellectual traditions. It was in Byzantium that Plato and Aristotle continued to be studied and were eventually transmitted first into the Islamic world and then back into Western Europe. A basic education in Byzantium consisted first of the mastery of classical Greek literature, such as Homer (largely unknown in the West during this period) and almost all of the Greek literature we have today was only preserved by the Byzantines.

The Byzantine emperors reigned over a vast empire of fabulous wealth. Life in Constantinople was extremely civilised and the emperor’s court and his nobles lived a lavish existence, dressed in silks, adorned with gold and precious stones and eating the best and freshest foods spiced with the richest condiments the Orient had to offer.

Here is a recipe from the Byzantine Empire, which has continued to be cooked and enjoyed by Greeks (and not only!) until present times - in fact, this was our dinner tonight!

    500 g lean beef or veal, ground
    1 large onion, grated
    2 cloves garlic, crushed
    1 egg, beaten lightly
    3 slices of bread, crusts removed, soaked in water and squeezed lightly
    3 tablespoonfuls finely chopped parsley
    2 sprigs fresh mint
    3 tablespoonfuls red wine
    2-3 tablespoonfuls water, if necessary
    Freshly ground cinnamon (pinch)
    Freshly ground pepper (to taste)
    Freshly ground nutmeg (pinch)
    Freshly ground allspice (pimento - pinch)
    Salt to taste
    1 cup of barley, powdered in the blender
    Olive oil, enough for a frying depth of 2 cm

In the authentic recipe, the meat would probably be pounded or finely minced with a knife instead of ground.
Mix all ingredients except barley and olive oil, and refrigerate for an hour.
Pinch off small pieces of the mixture, the size of walnuts, form into a ball and dredge in the barley flour.
Heat the oil to a smoking point and fry the meatballs until crisp, turning constantly. Remove and drain on absorbent paper.
Serve with a green salad and crispy bread, accompanied by a gutsy red wine.

This post is part of the My Sunday Best meme.

Saturday 25 May 2019


The willie (or willy) wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys) is a passerine bird native to Australia, New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, the Bismarck Archipelago, and Eastern Indonesia. It is a common and familiar bird throughout much of its range, living in most habitats apart from thick forest. Measuring 19–21.5 cm in length, the willie wagtail is contrastingly coloured with almost entirely black upperparts and white underparts; the male and female have similar plumage.

Three subspecies are recognised; Rhipidura leucophrys leucophrys from central and southern Australia, the smaller R. l. picata from northern Australia, and the larger R. l. melaleuca from New Guinea and islands in its vicinity. It is unrelated to the true wagtails of the genus Motacilla. The willie wagtail is insectivorous and spends much time chasing prey in open habitat. Its common name is derived from its habit of wagging its tail horizontally when foraging on the ground.

Aggressive and territorial, the willie wagtail will often harass much larger birds such as the laughing kookaburra and wedge-tailed eagle. It has responded well to human alteration of the landscape and is a common sight in urban lawns, parks, and gardens. It was widely featured in Aboriginal folklore around the country as either a bringer of bad news or a stealer of secrets.

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

Thursday 23 May 2019


The tulip is a perennial, bulbous plant with showy flowers in the genus Tulipa, of which around 75 wild species are currently accepted and which belongs to the family Liliaceae. The genus's native range extends west to the Iberian Peninsula, through North Africa to Greece, the Balkans, Turkey, throughout the Levant (Syria, Israel, Lebanon, Jordan) and Iran, North to Ukraine, southern Siberia and Mongolia, and east to the Northwest of China. The tulip's centre of diversity is in the Pamir, Hindu Kush, and Tien Shan mountains. It is a typical element of steppe and winter-rain Mediterranean vegetation. A number of species and many hybrid cultivars are grown in gardens, as potted plants, or as cut flowers.

Tulips are spring-blooming perennials that grow from bulbs. Depending on the species, tulip plants can be between 10 cm and 71 cm high. The tulip's large flowers usually bloom on scapes with leaves in a rosette at ground level and a single flowering stalk arising from amongst the leaves.Tulip stems have few leaves. Larger species tend to have multiple leaves. Plants typically have two to six leaves, some species up to 12. The tulip's leaf is strap-shaped, with a waxy coating, and the leaves are alternately arranged on the stem; these fleshy blades are often bluish green in colour.

Most tulips produce only one flower per stem, but a few species bear multiple flowers on their scapes (e.g. Tulipa turkestanica). The generally cup or star-shaped tulip flower has three petals and three sepals, which are often termed tepals because they are nearly identical. These six tepals are often marked on the interior surface near the bases with darker colourings. Tulip flowers come in a wide variety of colours, except pure blue (several tulips with "blue" in the name have a faint violet hue).

In Melbourne, florist shops are full of bunches of tulips and pots of flowering tulips, even though Winter is not here yet. An aggressive flower industry is forcing more and more flowers to bloom unseasonably in order to attract consumers. Add to that the numerous flowers that are being imported from overseas and one is aware that the "seasonality" is being lost from this industry, just as it has been lost from the fruit and vegetable industry.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday 22 May 2019

T for TURF

Darebin Parklands contains open space that provides for a range of informal recreation experiences / uses (i.e. playgrounds, open space areas for informal play, walking, picnic and bbq facilities, relaxation). It also includes the open space around the perimeter of sporting fields. These are designated informal park areas.

There is also a formal park component that is conserved, maintaining the value of significant plantings (often exotic), structures (often historic), and landscape features. Often formally designed and of a high standard usually with mown and irrigated lawns or turf, paving, sculpture, shrub or flower beds. These areas are often subject to intensive use and may host special events. An ornamental open space area will primarily be managed to protect the normally fragile plantings and, as a result, some recreation activities may be restricted. Parks that preserve environmental components that have aesthetic, historic, scientific, cultural or social significance for the present community and for future generations.

Of increasing importance are the areas of conservation bushland with significant native flora and fauna. It is here that much work is being carried out to protect these species and remove infestations of exotic weeds and feral introduced animals.

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 21 May 2019


The Studley Park Boathouse, originally established as the Burn's Boathouse, has been in continuous use since 1863. It is located in Yarra Bend Park, about 10 minutes drive from the  Melbourne City centre. This park is the largest area of natural bushland within the Melbourne Metropolitan area. The park's popularity waned mid-century as motor cars expanded leisure choices. Since the early 1980s revegetation and the construction of the Main Yarra Trail have led to a resurgence of popularity.

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 20 May 2019


Cabinets of curiosities (also known in German loanwords as Kunstkabinett, Kunstkammer or Wunderkammer; also Cabinets of Wonder, and wonder-rooms) were notable collections of objects. The term cabinet originally described a room rather than a piece of furniture. Modern terminology would categorise the objects included as belonging to natural history (sometimes faked), geology, ethnography, archaeology, religious or historical relics, works of art (including cabinet paintings), and antiquities.

The classic cabinet of curiosities emerged in the sixteenth century, although more rudimentary collections had existed earlier. In addition to the most famous and best documented cabinets of rulers and aristocrats, members of the merchant class and early practitioners of science in Europe formed collections that were precursors to museums.

Here is my little version of a cabinet of curiosities, one of several curio boxes I have and in which I have various objects, some precious, others remarkable, yet others quite ordinary but connected with some event or person, and which therefore bring back some memory. In this one you can see a mosaic of all manner of things including: Antique miniature toys, tropical tree dried seeds, mineral specimens, carved oriental bone figures, cloisonné miniatures, fossils and shells.

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 19 May 2019


View of the Yarra River at Fairfield Park with the Pipe Bridge in the distance. A popular place for kayaking, walking and cycling. Oh, and photography!

This photo is part of the My Sunday Best meme,
and also part of the Weekend Reflections meme.

Saturday 18 May 2019

Friday 17 May 2019


Funny sight when you draw the drapes in the morning and you see a hot air balloon just outside your window...

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

Thursday 16 May 2019


Narcissus jonquilla (Jonquil, Rush daffodil) is a bulbous flowering plant, a species of Narcissus (daffodil) that is native to southwestern Europe and northern Africa, but has naturalised throughout Europe and the United States. It bears long, narrow, rush-like leaves (hence the name "jonquil", Spanish junquillo, from the Latin juncus = "rush"). It is in the Amaryllidaceae family of plants.

In Spring it bears heads of up to 5 scented yellow or white flowers. It is a parent of numerous varieties within Division 7 of the horticultural classification. Division 7 in the Royal Horticultural Society classification of Narcissus includes N. jonquilla and N. apodanthus hybrids and cultivars that show clear characteristics of those two species.

N. jonquilla has been cultivated since the 18th century in France as the strongest of the Narcissus species used in Narcissus Oil, a component of many modern perfumes. Like other members of their family, narcissi produce a number of different alkaloids, which provide some protection for the plant, but may be poisonous if accidentally ingested. This property has been exploited for medicinal use in traditional healing and has resulted in the production of galantamine for the treatment of Alzheimer's dementia.

We have had the first jonquils blooming in our garden this week, which is very early (considering it is late Autumn here in Melbourne!).

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday 15 May 2019


Australia has nearly 200 known species of snake, only 25 of which are considered potentially deadly. Common snakes in the Melbourne area and surrounding suburbs include the Tiger Snake, Eastern Brown Snake, Copperhead Snake, White-Lipped Snake, Small-Eyed Snake and Red-Bellied Black Snake. There are over 27 types of snake in Victoria and a number of these are venomous, including the tiger snake, the copperhead, the brown snake and the red-bellied black snake.

Darebin Parklands being a nature reserve in the midst of inner suburban Melbourne, has a host of animal species, many of them native that live happily in its confines. These creatures of course include snakes. Numerous signs relating to snakes are found throughout the Parklands, reminding people to take care during the Summer between the months of October to April.

I have seen snakes a number of times, in the Parklands and elsewhere, but fortunately these encounters have been innocent enough. While seeing a snake may be an intimidating experience, they are typically shy creatures and most will try to avoid confrontation with humans and quickly slither away (how quickly they can move is indeed a sobering experience). My latest encounter was with a 1.2 m tiger snake that was crawling along the path, rushing to get to an area well-covered with grass and bushes. This was a couple of months ago and the day was very hot and the snake moved extremely quickly, rushing away from me towards cover. It was fortunate I had the camera in my hands and was able to take a few photos.

Tiger snakes, like this one, are a highly venomous snake species found in the southern regions of Australia, including its coastal islands, such as Tasmania. These snakes are highly variable in their colour, often banded like those on a tiger, and forms in their regional occurrences. All populations are in the genus Notechis, and their diverse characters have been described in further subdivisions of this group; they are sometimes described as distinct species and/or subspecies. Tiger snakes accounted for 17% of identified snakebite victims in Australia between 2005 and 2015, with four deaths recorded from 119 confirmed envenomations.

Tiger snake venoms possess potent neurotoxins, coagulants, haemolysins, and myotoxins. Symptoms of a bite include localised pain in the foot and neck region, tingling, numbness, and sweating, followed by a fairly rapid onset of breathing difficulties and paralysis. In a study, the mortality rate from untreated bites is reported to be between 40 and 60%. The risk of being bitten by a snake or dying from a snake bite is extremely low. While highly variable, it is estimated that no more than 100 or 200 people each year get bitten by snakes in Victoria. Despite this, on average only one person every 5 years dies of a snake bite. The last recorded fatal snake bite in Victoria was by a tiger snake in November 2014. To put the risk of dying from a snake bite in perspective, consider that each year in Victoria about 40 people die from drowning in waterways and about 250 people die in car accidents. 

Treatment is the same for all Australian venomous snakes. The pressure immobilisation method is used to inhibit the flow of venom through the lymphatic system. Broad, thick bandages are applied over the bite, then down and back along the limb to the armpit or groin. The affected limb is then immobilised with a splint. Identification of the venom is possible if traces are left near the wound. The availability of antivenom has greatly reduced the incidence of fatal tiger snake bites. Among the number of deaths caused by snakebite in Australia, those from tiger snakes are exceeded only by the brown snake. In most Australian states, tiger snakes are protected species, and to kill or injure one incurs a fine up to $7,500, as well as a jail sentence of 18 months in some states. It is also illegal to export a native Australian snake.

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 14 May 2019


Flinders Street Station is a railway station on the corner of Flinders and Swanston Streets in Melbourne, 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. Flinders Street is served by Metro's suburban services, and V/Line regional services to Gippsland. It is the busiest station on Melbourne's metropolitan network, with some 92.6 million passenger movements recorded in 2011/12. It was the first railway station in an Australian city and the world's busiest passenger station in the late 1920s.

The main station building, completed in 1909, is a cultural icon of Melbourne, with its prominent dome, arched entrance, tower and clocks one of the city's most recognisable landmarks. It is listed on the Victorian Heritage Register. The Melburnian idiom "I'll meet you under the clocks" refers to the row of clocks above the main entrance, which indicate the time-tabled time of departure for trains on each line; another idiom, "I'll meet you on the steps", refers to the wide staircase underneath these clocks. Flinders Street Station is responsible for two of Melbourne's busiest pedestrian crossings, both across Flinders Street, including one of Melbourne's few pedestrian scrambles.

The ladies in red are volunteer tourist helpers, willing to smile and lend a hand to "lost souls"! Volunteers play a vital role in the City of Melbourne’s tourism services. ​Volunteers provide information on Melbourne to around two million visitors each year. Their love and knowledge of the city and regional Victoria adds to Melbourne's reputation as a friendly, welcoming and culturally vibrant city.

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 13 May 2019


Our trees are showing beautiful Autumn colours and the weather has been wet, cool and crisp. Read the sign...

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 12 May 2019


Rowers on the Yarra River in Suburban Melbourne.

This post is part of the My Sunday Best meme.

Saturday 11 May 2019


European foxes can be found on most of the Australian continent where they represent a very successful invasive species. Foxes were introduced to Australia in the mid-1800s for sport hunting and in about 100 years spread to most of the continent. Recently, foxes have also been introduced into Tasmania but efforts are already underway to eliminate foxes from this island.

Foxes have had a major impact on the Australian fauna, predating on ground nesting birds, mammals and reptiles. Moreover foxes compete with Australian native animals for food and habitat and can act as a reservoir of disease for wildlife and domestic animals. They are very common in Melbourne, but are seldom seen as they are shy, nocturnal and prefer areas with low human disturbance and buildings without domestic dogs.

Foxes select areas infested with exotic weeds (fennel, blackberry and African thistle) as shelter during the daytime and these also have low human disturbance. The Darebin Parklands in Melbourne are an ideal habitat for them and this specimen was quite tame and seemed unwary of me snapping away at him.

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

Friday 10 May 2019


We've had a few good falls of rain in Melbourne after a rather dry start to the year (with only 7mm grand total for the month of April). This total was easily surpassed in one day with the rain gauge recording up to 20 or so mm...

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

Thursday 9 May 2019


Nymphaeaceae is a family of flowering plants. Members of this family are commonly called water lilies and live as rhizomatous aquatic herbs in temperate and tropical climates around the world. The family contains eight large-flowered genera with about 70 species. The genus Nymphaea contains about 35 species in the Northern Hemisphere. The genus Victoria contains two species of giant water lilies endemic to South America.

Water lilies are rooted in soil in bodies of water, with leaves and flowers floating on the surface. The leaves are round, with a radial notch in Nymphaea and Nuphar, but fully circular in Victoria. Water lilies are a well studied clade of plants because their large flowers with multiple unspecialised parts were initially considered to represent the floral pattern of the earliest flowering plants, and later genetic studies confirmed their evolutionary position as basal angiosperms. Analyses of floral morphology and molecular characteristics and comparisons with a sister taxon, the family Cabombaceae, indicate, however, that the flowers of extant water lilies with the most floral parts are more derived than the genera with fewer floral parts.

Horticulturally water lilies have been hybridised for temperate gardens since the nineteenth century, and the hybrids are divided into three groups: Hardy, night-blooming tropical, and day-blooming tropical water lilies. Hardy water lilies are hybrids from the subgenus Castalia; night-blooming tropical water lilies are developed from the subgenus Lotos (L.) Carl Ludwig Willdenow Willd.; and the day-blooming tropical plants arise from hybridisation of plants of the Brachyceras Casp. subgenus. The water-lily shown here is the hardy "Pink Ribbon" Nymphaea hybrid. 

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday 8 May 2019


The bedrock of the Melbourne district is of Middle Palaeozoic age belonging to the Silurian and Devonian periods (354-441 million years ago). However, these rocks are overlain in wide areas by much younger rocks, mostly of Tertiary and Quaternary age (2-65 mya). The oldest rocks of the bedrock are Early Silurian in age (441 mya).

During the Pliocene (2-5 mya) and through into the Pleistocene (2 mya), there was substantial volcanicity, in two episodes. The first produced extensive sheets of basalt lava on the west side of Melbourne to form the Keilor and Werribee Plains. The second phase involved volcanoes to the north of Melbourne. These extruded flows that filled the valleys of the Moonee Ponds, Merri and Darebin creeks. Lava flows erupted from Hayes Hill near Mernda, flowed down the ancestral Merri Creek and Darebin Creek valleys into the Yarra Valley at Fairfield and down that valley onto the Yarra delta as far as the present site of Spencer Street bridge.

Quaternary sediments are principally represented by raised beaches and sand ridges around the coast. They are particularly well developed at Altona, where shell beds occur, and form valley fill in the Yarra River and its tributaries, and sediments of the Yarra Delta. The alluvial flats of the Yarra River upstream of the Yarra Gorge at Warrandyte are thought to have been formed as a result of grade changes following rejuvenation of the Yarra Fault, whereas the alluvial flats upstream from Fairfield and in some of the Yarra tributaries, such as Gardiners Creek, were formed as a result of the damming of the Yarra by a stream of basaltic lava flowing down the Darebin Creek valley.

In the Darebin Parklands quite a lot of exposed rock can be found, both in situ, as well as transported so that various enhancements to the aesthetic of the Parklands was achieved - for example the artificial hill (Mt Puffalo Viewing Hill constructed in 1998), and seen below.

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 7 May 2019


Federation Square is a venue for arts, culture and public events on the edge of the Melbourne central business district. It covers an area of 3.2 ha (7.9 acres) at the intersection of Flinders and Swanston Streets built above busy railway lines and across the road from Flinders Street station. It incorporates major cultural institutions such as the Ian Potter Centre and ACMI and Koorie Heritage Trust as well as cafes and bars in a series of buildings centred around a large paved square, and a glass walled atrium. The corner is occupied by a glass walled pavilion that provides access to the underground Melbourne Visitor Centre. 

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 6 May 2019


Victorian architecture is a series of architectural revival styles in the mid-to-late 19th century. Victorian refers to the reign of Queen Victoria (1837–1901), called the Victorian era, during which period the styles known as Victorian were used in construction. However, many elements of what is typically termed "Victorian" architecture did not become popular until later in Victoria's reign. The styles often included interpretations and eclectic revivals of historic styles. The name represents the British and French custom of naming architectural styles for a reigning monarch. Within this naming and classification scheme, it followed Georgian architecture and later Regency architecture, and was succeeded by Edwardian architecture.

Terraced houses in Australia refers almost exclusively to Victorian and Edwardian era terraced houses or replicas, almost always found in the older, inner city areas of the major cities, mainly Sydney and Melbourne. Terraced housing was introduced to Australia in the 19th century. Their architectural work was based on those in London and Paris, which had the style a century earlier. Large numbers of terraced houses were built in the inner suburbs of large Australian cities, particularly Sydney and Melbourne, mainly between the 1850s and the 1890s. The beginning of this period coincided with a population boom caused by the Victorian and New South Wales Gold Rushes of the 1850s and finished with an economic depression in the early 1890s. Detached housing became the popular style of housing in Australia following Federation in 1901.

The generic Melbourne style of terrace is distinguishable from other regional variations, often reflecting the popularity of Italianate villa architecture in the city. Many Victorian era Melbourne terraces are built on foundations of bluestone, a solid and porous local rock quarried from the volcanic plains to the north and west of the city, although it is rare to find terraces completely constructed of the material due to the difficulty to mould it. The majority of designers of Victorian terraces in Melbourne made an effort to deliberately hide roof elements with the use of a decorative parapet, often combined with the use balustrades above a subtle but clearly defined eave cornice and a frieze which was either plain or decorated with a row of brackets (and sometimes additional patterned bas-relief. Chimneys were often tall, visible above the parapet and elaborately Italianate in style. Cast iron lacework was abundantly used as a decorative and functional element.

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 5 May 2019


CERES - Centre for Education and Research in Environmental Strategies, is an award winning, not-for-profit, sustainability centre located on 4.5 hectares on the Merri Creek in East Brunswick, Melbourne. It is no accident that the acronym was chosen mindful of the fact that Ceres was the ancient Roman goddess of agriculture (hence "cereals").

It is also a thriving community, an urban farm, Australia’s largest deliverer of environmental education, an event and conference venue and a place rich with social and cultural diversity. CERES is recognised as an international leader in community and environmental practice. Built on a decommissioned rubbish tip that was once a bluestone quarry, today CERES is a vibrant eco-oasis. 350,000 people visit CERES each year.

CERES’ green technology displays, buildings, education and training programs and social enterprises (CERES’ Organic Market, Café, Permaculture Nursery and Fair Food organics delivery) demonstrate food security, sustainable agriculture, energy efficiencies, renewables and water conservation in action.

We often visit the organic grocery and green-grocery onsite, where you can find delicious breads, grocery items and seasonal fruit and vegetables, most of which are produced at the urban market garden in CERES. Delicious and wholesome!

This post is part of the My Sunday Best meme.

Saturday 4 May 2019

Friday 3 May 2019

Thursday 2 May 2019


Portulaca (purslane) is the type genus of the flowering plant family Portulacaceae, comprising about 40-100 species found in the tropics and warm temperate regions. They are also known as Moss Roses. The genus includes common purslane (Portulaca oleracea), which is widely regarded as an edible plant, and in some areas an invasive type of weed.

Seen here is a hybrid, Portulaca 'Sun Jewels', which are hardy, water saving plants that require minimal attention and produce a range of iridescent warm coloured flowers from spring to autumn, peaking in summer. These are still useful additions to salads, as all parts of the plant are edible. Plant in full sun to part shade, in containers or hanging baskets so that this vibrant mix can spill over to spread their colours. Water only when soil dries out. Grows 30cm high x 30cm wide. It is of medium frost tolerance and also is salt tolerant.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.