Saturday 30 November 2019

Thursday 28 November 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 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.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.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday 27 November 2019


Ukiyo-e, literally meaning ‘pictures of the floating world’, is the name given to the multi-coloured woodblock prints that were exceptionally popular and affordable to the general population of Japan during the Edo period (1600–1868).

After centuries of military upheaval and hardship for the middle classes, the Edo period ushered a new era of peace and stability. People's attention turned to making money and enjoying life. The general public was inspired by a vibrant consumer culture, new fashions and recreational pursuits. A new style of theatre called Kabuki gained great popularity, and people’s interests in travel, sport and literature flourished.

To service these new passions, entrepreneurial publishers worked with leading artists and employed carvers and printers to develop an intricate multi-block/ multi-colour printing process, producing some of the most exquisite prints and illustrated books in all history. Ukiyo-e prints and e-hon printed books focused on popular subjects and were mass-produced for sale to the public.

These printed works give us a detailed window into the tastes and life styles of Edo period Japan just as magazines, posters and the Internet represent our current-day society. For example, images of Hollywood stars can be compared to Kabuki actors, movie action scenes to dramatic Japanese historical dramas, sports stars to sumo wrestlers, fashion models to bijin (beautiful woman), comic books to e-hon picture books and historical manga. Almost all the subjects of popular twenty-first century culture can find similar themes produced in Ukiyo-e prints of the Edo period.

This post is part of the Wordless Wednesday meme,
and also part of the ABC Wednesday meme.
Katsushika Hokusai is regarded as one of the most influential and creative minds in the history of Japanese art. His unique social observations, innovative approach to design and mastery of the brush made him famous in Edo-period Japan and globally recognised within a decade of his death.
In 1909 the National Gallery of Victoria purchased five works from Hokusai’s iconic Thirty-six Views of Mt Fuji series, including his most celebrated image The great wave off Kanagawa (The great wave - see above), 1830–34; two works from his A Tour to the Waterfalls in Various Provinces series; and four other major works. These astute acquisitions established a legacy of Japanese art in Australia that has now extended for more than one hundred years.
Kitagawa Utamaro (Japanese: 喜多川 歌麿; c. 1753 – 31 October 1806) was a Japanese artist. He is one of the most highly regarded designers of ukiyo-e woodblock prints and paintings, and is best known for his bijin ōkubi-e "large-headed pictures of beautiful women" of the 1790s, including erotic prints. He also produced nature studies, particularly illustrated books of insects.
Here is his "Kitchen Scene" ca. 1794–95.

Tuesday 26 November 2019


At the Block Arcade in Melbourne one can shop, enjoy seeing the sights, eat lunch, drink coffee, meet friends, take in some culture, and immerse oneself in the Victorian ambience of the ornate beautifully maintained surroundings.

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 25 November 2019


A walk in the parklands can be an inspiration for some drawing. Here on the left and right, are two little drawings in coloured pens and the view that inspired them in the middle.

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

Saturday 23 November 2019


All around Melbourne there are a multitude of farms and orchards, market gardens and other primary industries. When one drives in the countryside, such pastoral scenes are common and remind one, nostalgically, of the past.

This post is part of the Saturday Critters Meme.

Friday 22 November 2019

Thursday 21 November 2019


Stephanotis floribunda syn. S. jasminoides (Madagascar jasmine, waxflower, Hawaiian wedding flower, bridal wreath) is a species of flowering plant in the family Apocynaceae, native to Madagascar. Growing to 6 m or more, it is an evergreen woody climber with glossy, leathery oval leaves and clusters of pure white, waxy, intensely fragrant tubular flowers. Grown commercially, the trumpet-shaped blooms are in season year-round, provided they are given enough light and water, and are a popular component of bridal bouquets.

It is a vigorous climber, tough-stemmed, bearing dark green leathery leaves, which grow in pairs at regular intervals along the vine. It grows best in sunny, tropical conditions, or inside. They can grow from 2–6 meters, and are widely cultivated as garden plants. They can flourish for years, grown indoors on a sunny windowsill. They can be moved outside or into a greenhouse during the summer. Few resources are published relating to the culture of this woody vine.

In areas where the outside winter temperature drops below 4 °C, Stephanotis floribunda can be wintered over in greenhouse or household settings. During the summer growth season, this vine requires full sun, abundant water, high humidity and a balanced fertiliser. The vine will need to be trellised due to the vigorous growth habit. As temperatures begin to cool, pots should be brought indoors and placed in the sunniest location available. If the temperature in the home is on the cool side, the vines slow in their growth and thus should be watered very infrequently. Kept on the cool, sunny and dry side, the plants will "rest" until the outside temperatures begin to rise again, at which time they may be eased back into full sun. They may continue to grow during this period, but growth is often slower and less vigorous. When the weather warms, moving the vines into a full sun exposure too quickly will result in leaf blister and sun burns on the plant, rendering it less attractive and damaging the plant's ability to produce food.

In ideal conditions, these vines may be kept in bloom all year, but this is difficult in the home setting, especially where Australian possums, to which the leaves are highly attractive, are present. This plant has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit. Stephanotis floribunda appears to do best if root bound, thus it is best to not plant the vines in an over-sized container. The soil mixture used should have a high content of loam and peat moss with generous drainage material such as perlite or coarse sand. A citrus-type soil mixture works well in most home situations. A soil mixture that retains too much water will lead to root rot.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday 20 November 2019


Joseph Mallord William Turner RA (23 April 1775 – 19 December 1851), known contemporarily as William Turner, was an English Romantic painter, printmaker and watercolourist. He is known for his expressive colourisations, imaginative landscapes and turbulent, often violent marine paintings.

Turner was born in Maiden Lane, Covent Garden, London, to a modest lower middle-class family. He lived in London all his life, retaining his Cockney accent and assiduously avoiding the trappings of success and fame. A child prodigy, Turner studied at the Royal Academy of Arts from 1789, enrolling when he was 14, and exhibited his first work there at 15. During this period, he also served as an architectural draftsman. He earned a steady income from commissions and sales, which due to his troubled, contrary nature, were often begrudgingly accepted.

He opened his own gallery in 1804 and became professor of perspective at the academy in 1807, where he lectured until 1828, although he was viewed as profoundly inarticulate. He travelled to Europe from 1802, typically returning with voluminous sketchbooks. Intensely private, eccentric and reclusive, Turner was a controversial figure throughout his career. He did not marry, but fathered two daughters, Eveline (1801–1874) and Georgiana (1811–1843), by his housekeeper Sarah Danby.

He became more pessimistic and morose as he got older, especially after the death of his father, after which his outlook deteriorated, his gallery fell into disrepair and neglect, and his art intensified. He lived in squalor and poor health from 1845, and died in London in 1851 aged 76. Turner is buried in Saint Paul's Cathedral, London. He left behind more than 550 oil paintings, 2,000 watercolours, and 30,000 works on paper. He had been championed by the leading English art critic John Ruskin from 1840, and is today regarded as having elevated landscape painting to an eminence rivalling history painting.

This post is part of the Wordless Wednesday meme,
and also part of the ABC Wednesday meme.
Falls of Schaffhausen -Val d’Aosta (c. 1845). Turner in his later years used oils ever more transparently and turned to an evocation of almost pure light by use of shimmering colour. A prime example of his mature style can be seen in this painting, where the objects are barely recognisable. The intensity of hue and interest in evanescent light not only placed Turner's work in the vanguard of English painting but exerted an influence on art in France; the Impressionists, particularly Claude Monet, carefully studied his techniques.

"Dunstanburgh Castle, north-east coast of Northumberland, sunrise after a squally night" (1798) - National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne. This painting is an early working of what was to become Turner’s grand theme: Man’s heroic fragility in the face of the powers of nature. By depicting the castle as an ‘heroic’ presence above dark, soaring cliffs and a violent ocean, Turner invokes a sense of the Sublime, an aesthetic popularised in the eighteenth century by the British statesman and writer Edmund Burke (1729–1797).

Tuesday 19 November 2019


When flying, I always like choosing a window seat, as I enjoy the view and it gives me the opportunity to take photos like this one, which I took when flying out of Melbourne.

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

Monday 18 November 2019


Look down and see moss and rock; lichen and pebbles; wood and weed. All part of that wonderful microcosm in between your feet...

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

Sunday 17 November 2019


Our weather has continued being cool and wet, even though this is the last month of the Southern Spring. Still, it's pleasant walking weather and the new vegetation growing in thee parklands and garden is a pleasure to see.

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

Saturday 16 November 2019


The red-rumped parrot (Psephotus haematonotus), also known as the red-backed parrot or grass parrot, is a common bird of south-eastern Australia, particularly in the Murray-Darling Basin. Red-rumped parrots are slim, elegant, moderate-sized parrots approximately 28 cm in length. The male's plumage is a bright emerald-green with yellow underparts, a brick-red rump and blue highlights on the wings and upper back. The female's plumage is less vibrant, with pale olive underparts, dull green wings and back and blue-black wingtips. The characteristic red rump is only found in the male.

Like many parrots, red-rumped parrots nest in tree hollows or similar places, including fenceposts and stumps. They lay 3-6 white eggs, Breeding usually takes place in spring (August to January), however, in the drier inland areas, breeding can occur at any time of year in response to rainfall. Red-rumped parrots do well in aviaries and cages. They don't like to be in crowded spaces and will sometimes be aggressive towards other birds if they don't have enough space. Red-rumped parrots can also be hand reared, provided that they have a large cage and are taken out of their cage on a daily basis to prevent boredom, as it may result in the parrot pulling out its feathers to occupy itself. In captivity, if properly cared for, these birds will live from 15 to 32 years.

Their green plumage provides such a good camouflage in ankle length grasses that they can hide quite effectively until the viewer is only 10–20 metres away. They spend a great deal of time feeding on the ground, and often call to one another with an attractive 'chee chillip chee chillip'.

This post is part of the Saturday Critters meme.

Friday 15 November 2019


A couple of days we had a full moon in Melbourne and for short periods of time our cloudy skies opened up enough to take some photos. Our unseasonal "little Winter" continues in the Southern part of Australia, while the Northeast coast is battling with hot, dry weather  and catastrophic bushfires.

This post is part of the Skywatch Friday meme.

Thursday 14 November 2019


The plants known as epiphyllum hybrids, epiphyllums, epicacti or just epis, widely grown for their flowers, are artificial hybrids of species within the group of cacti placed in the tribe Hylocereeae, particularly species of Disocactus, Pseudorhipsalis and Selenicereus. In spite of the common name, species in the genus Epiphyllum are less often involved as parents of epiphyllum hybrids.

The parent species from which epiphyllum hybrids were bred are different in appearance and habit from most cacti. They are found in the tropical forests of Central America where they grow as climbers or on trees as epiphytes. They have leafless (or apparently leafless) flattened stems which act as the plant's photosynthetic organs. Relatively large flowers are borne on the sides of the stems; in many species they open at night.

Hybrids between Disocactus and Epiphyllum have been called ×Disophyllum or ×Aporophyllum. The Epiphyllum Society of America (the International Registration Authority for hybrids of the Tribe Hylocereeae) maintains a list of epiphyllum hybrids (and Hylocereeae species) which contained over 7,000 names in 1996.

Epiphyllum hybrids need different treatment from semi-desert cacti. They should be protected from direct sunlight, with preferably 75% shading at midday. They are not frost hardy, so need to be protected from freezing conditions. It is recommended that the growing medium allows rapid drainage of water and is open, with at least one third of coarse material to prevent compaction. Plants should be kept moist. High nitrogen fertilisers are not recommended; no fertiliser should be given during the winter rest period.

Propagating epiphyllum hybrids from cuttings is easy. Rooting hormone can be applied to the base of the cutting before it is allowed to dry for ten days or more so that the cut forms a callus. The cutting is then planted sufficiently deeply so that it can stand upright. Water is not given for two weeks, after which the growing medium is kept at least slightly moist. Plants can be misted. They are fast growing plants and should flower within two years. Epiphyllum hybrids should be re-potted every 2 to 3 years as they tend to deplete the nutrients in their growing medium.

We have about half dozen different Epiphyllum hybrids growing in pots and they do quite well outside in Melbourne's climate. All of them we have grown from cuttings, and I am not aware of their "official" name. This pink one is quite spectacular with blooms about 20 cm in diameter. They last a few days (up to seven) on the plant and they can even be cut at the base of the stem as a cut flower that lasts 4-5 days indoors.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday 13 November 2019


Serigraphy or screen printing is a printing technique where a mesh is used to transfer ink onto a substrate, except in areas made impermeable to the ink by a blocking stencil. A blade or squeegee is moved across the screen to fill the open mesh apertures with ink, and a reverse stroke then causes the screen to touch the substrate momentarily along a line of contact. This causes the ink to wet the substrate and be pulled out of the mesh apertures as the screen springs back after the blade has passed.

One colour is printed at a time, so several screens can be used to produce a multicoloured image or design. There are various terms used for what is essentially the same technique. Traditionally the process was called screen printing or silkscreen printing because silk was used in the process. It is also known as serigraphy, and serigraph printing.

Currently, synthetic threads are commonly used in the screen printing process. The most popular mesh in general use is made of polyester. There are special-use mesh materials of nylon and stainless steel available to the screen printer. There are also different types of mesh size which will determine the outcome and look of the finished design on the material.

This post is part of the ABC Wednesday meme,
and also part of the Wordless Wednesday meme.
Herbert Bayer (April 5, 1900 – September 30, 1985) was an Austrian and American graphic designer, painter, photographer, sculptor, art director, environmental and interior designer, and architect. He was instrumental in the development of the Atlantic Richfield Company's corporate art collection until his death in 1985.
The square on the left is a piece found in the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne.

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Tuesday 12 November 2019


The Shrine of Remembrance is Victoria’s largest and most visited war memorial and is probably Melbourne’s most recognised landmark. It is a permanent and lasting memorial to the ANZAC spirit and acknowledges those who served and those who died in the Great War of 1914-1918 and armed conflicts and peacekeeping duties since. The Shrine is located on Melbourne’s most famous boulevard, St Kilda Road, just south of the Melbourne central business district.

Designed by architects Phillip Hudson and James Wardrop who were both World War I veterans, the Shrine is in a classical style, being based on the Tomb of Mausolus at Halicarnassus and the Parthenon in Athens. Built from Tynong granite, the Shrine originally consisted only of the central sanctuary surrounded by the ambulatory.

The Shrine went through a prolonged process of development, which began in 1918 with the initial proposal to build a Victorian memorial. Two committees were formed, the second of which ran a competition for the memorial’s design. The winner was announced in 1922. However, opposition to the proposal (led by Keith Murdoch and The Herald) forced the governments of the day to rethink the design, and a number of alternatives were proposed, the most significant of which was the ANZAC Square and cenotaph proposal of 1926.

In response, General Sir John Monash used the 1927 ANZAC Day march to garner support for the Shrine, and finally won the support of the Victorian government later that year. The foundation stone was laid on 11 November 1927, and the Shrine was officially dedicated on 11 November 1934.

Remembrance Day (sometimes known informally as Poppy Day owing to the tradition of the remembrance poppy) is a memorial day observed in Commonwealth member states since the end of the First World War to remember the members of their armed forces who have died in the line of duty. Following a tradition inaugurated by King George V in 1919, the day is also marked by war remembrances in many non-Commonwealth countries. Remembrance Day is observed on 11 November in most countries to recall the end of hostilities of First World War on that date in 1918. Hostilities formally ended "at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month", in accordance with the armistice signed by representatives of Germany and the Entente between 5:12 and 5:20 that morning. ("At the 11th hour" refers to the passing of the 11th hour, or 11:00 am.) The First World War officially ended with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles on 28 June 1919.

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

Sunday 10 November 2019


The Darebin Creek flowing through the nature reserve of the Darebin Parklands.

This post is part of the "My Sunday Best" meme.

Saturday 9 November 2019


There is something very relaxing and tranquil about walking the dog. Not only do you and the dog get the benefit of the exercise, but there is also the knowledge that both of you are sharing an enjoyable activity and there is a sense of mutually comprehended agreeableness, without a single word being exchanged!

This post is part of the Saturday Critters meme.

Friday 8 November 2019


We may be only three weeks away from summer, but snow is falling on the mountains around Melbourne! After some days in the mid-30s last week, the weather has taken a turn for a winter flashback. Showers produced extensive hail and they are expected to continue tonight along with cold and gusty winds.

Fresh snow has already fallen at Mt Hotham and will continue to fall into the weekend, with the temperature there expected to reach a minimum of -7˚C tonight. Melbourne is in for a chilly top of 14˚C today and tomorrow, before improving on Sunday. Meanwhile we keep the home fires burning!

This post is part of the Skywatch Friday meme.

Thursday 7 November 2019


Rosa 'Casanova' is a floribunda/modern shrub rose raised by Fryers, UK. This very versatile rose will stand out wherever it is planted because of the bright warm orange blooms which hold well in all weather conditions and fade at the very last to a pale orange/pink.

Casanova has the most striking crimson new foliage which turns dark green and is so very disease-resistant. When the plant is so clothed with green foliage, the orange blooms stand out and put on a grand display. The rounded bush of 1 metre x 1 metre is never without flowers from very early in the Spring right through to Winter pruning.

There is a strong fragrance of floral spice when it is warm and still, and this rose is a brilliant one to pick in great branches for the vase – it holds up very well as a cut flower. Suited to mass planting or a low rose hedge.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday 6 November 2019


Pierre-Auguste Renoir, commonly known as Auguste Renoir (25 February 1841 – 3 December 1919), was a French artist who was a leading painter in the development of the Impressionist style. As a celebrator of beauty and especially feminine sensuality, it has been said that "Renoir is the final representative of a tradition which runs directly from Rubens to Watteau." He was the father of actor Pierre Renoir (1885–1952), filmmaker Jean Renoir (1894–1979) and ceramic artist Claude Renoir (1901–1969). He was the grandfather of the filmmaker Claude Renoir (1913–1993), son of Pierre.

Next to his "Self Portrait", c.1897, is "The Guitar Player" of 1896. This painting is in the National Gallery Victoria in Melbourne. Renoir often painted people enjoying quiet, private moments. Women were frequently the subject of these paintings, and were portrayed bathing, reading, sewing, or closely interacting with children. From the late 1880s onward, Renoir produced a number of intimate studies where the sitters are playing musical instruments. Curiously, very few of these works convey any sense of ‘performance’, or any suggestion that the music is meant for ears other than the player’s.

The painting below is the famous "Luncheon of the Boating Party" (1881; French: Le déjeuner des canotiers). It was included in the Seventh Impressionist Exhibition in 1882, and was identified as the best painting in the show by three critics. It was purchased from the artist by the dealer-patron Paul Durand-Ruel and bought in 1923 (for $125,000) from his son by industrialist Duncan Phillips, who spent a decade in pursuit of the work. It is now in The Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C. It shows a richness of form, a fluidity of brush stroke, and a flickering light. This is impressionism par excellence!

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

Tuesday 5 November 2019


The Melbourne Cup is the greatest horse race of all Australian great horse races. Every year when this race is run around 3:00 pm, it literally stops the entire nation. Melbourne Cup Day is fixed on the first Tuesday in November and although it is a public holiday only in the Melbourne Metropolitan area, Australians all over the nation are glued to their television screens or listen on the radio (or more on the internet, nowadays, I suppose) to watch this historic race.

The race is held over a distance of 3,200 meters, the traditional two-mile cup distance, for horses three years and older and is the richest and most prestigious “two-mile” handicap in the world. It is held in Flemington Racecourse, located in Flemington, one of Melbourne's inner city suburbs, which is named after a butcher who lived there in the 19th century. I certainly hope he didn't sell horse meat - that would be grand irony!

The first Melbourne Cup was run in 1861. There were 17 starters and the prize was 170 pounds and a hand-beaten gold watch (this was the trophy given before the traditional Loving Cup which the Melbourne Cup is known for). “Archer”, the first Cup-winning horse, had been walked to Melbourne from its stable in Nowra, New South Wales, a distance of about 800km. “Archer” won again the following year to a prize of 810 gold sovereigns (£810) and a gold watch. “Archer” went on to win the race the following year once more, making him one of the five horses to win the event more than once.

The Victoria Turf Club and the Victoria Jockey Club merged to form the Victoria Racing Club in 1864. The Victoria Racing Club (VRC) had taken charge of the proceedings since then. The Melbourne Cup saw even more promise and popularity under the auspices of the VRC. By 1865, Cup Day was declared a half-day holiday. By 1877 it was declared a whole day holiday to allow patrons to crowd the Flemington racecourse. The Cup was first held on the first Tuesday of November in 1875. It then too adopted the four-day format, which later evolved to today's well-attended Carnival.

From then until now the Melbourne Cup was growing to a locally and internationally supported event. The Flemington racetrack is the most popular course in Australia and the home of the organisers of the VRC. The whole field has a capacity of 120,000. Spectators who cannot get into Flemington watch from the television panels outside of the field. The pear-shaped track has a back straight of six furlongs. The final straight to the finishing post measures 450 metres long. The length of the home stretch has decided Melbourne Cup races throughout history.

Animal rights activists and anti-horseracing groups staged a demonstration at Flemington,  today, holding placards and chanting as punters inside the racecourse waited for the main event. A groundswell of negative sentiment has been building for weeks, with a number of celebrities – including US pop star Taylor Swift and Australian model Megan Gale – pulling out of attending the Cup. The Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses was the main organiser of Spring Racing Carnival demonstrations and said awareness of animal welfare issues was the highest it has ever been this year, with more Australians “saying nup to the Cup”. A number of other groups have advocated for boycotts, including Animals Australia and the group PETA, which urged disruptive action including wearing “gory” fascinators covered in fake blood.

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.

Sunday 3 November 2019


The creek running through the Darebin Parklands in suburban Melbourne has many such serene cul-de-sacs to explore.

This post is part of the My Sunday Best meme.

Saturday 2 November 2019


Moorhens — sometimes called marsh hens — are medium-sized water birds that are members of the rail family (Rallidae). Most species are placed in the genus Gallinula, Latin for "little hen". They are close relatives of coots. They are often referred to as (black) gallinules. Recently, one of the species of Gallinula was found to have enough differences to form a new genus Paragallinula with the only species being the Lesser moorhen (Paragallinula angulata).

Two species from the Australian region, sometimes separated in Tribonyx, are called "nativehens". The nativehens differ visually by shorter, thicker and stubbier toes and bills, and longer tails that lack the white signal pattern of typical moorhens.

"Marsh Hens" are briefly mentioned in the Edgar Allan Poe story "The Gold-Bug", as part of a description of the ecology of Sullivan's Island. The main characters also prepare Marsh Hens for supper at one point early in the story.

Breeding season for the Australian dusky moorhen is from August to January in the south of Australia, with generally one brood, and January to June in the north, often brooding twice. This species builds a bulky nest of reeds or grasses at the water's edge or a few centrimetres above the water, often at the base of a Melaleuca and lays a clutch of 5–11 matte whitish eggs that are covered with red-brown dots and splotches. Tapered oval in shape, they measure 53 mm long by 36 mm wide each and have more prominent markings at the larger end. It is territorial when breeding, but otherwise gregarious.

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