Thursday 27 February 2020


Helianthus annuus, the common sunflower, is a large annual forb of the genus Helianthus in the family Asteraceae, grown as a crop for its edible oil and edible fruits (sunflower seeds). This sunflower species is also used as bird food, as livestock forage (as a meal or a silage plant), and in some industrial applications.

The plant was first domesticated in the Americas. Wild Helianthus annuus is a widely branched annual plant with many flower heads. The domestic sunflower, however, often possesses only a single large inflorescence (flower head) atop an unbranched stem.

The name sunflower may derive from the shape of the flower head, which resembles the sun, or from the impression that the blooming plant appears to slowly turn its flower towards the sun as the latter moves across the sky on a daily basis. Sunflower seeds were brought to Europe from the Americas in the 16th century, where, along with sunflower oil, they became a widespread cooking ingredient.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday 26 February 2020


Walking along the Yarra River in Abbotsford, an inner suburb, enjoying the vast areas of parklands and nature reserve along the river. This is amazing as these large tracts of natural bushland are within a stone's throw of the bustling city centre. Melbourne has a population of close to five million people, so I consider myself very lucky to have such splendid conservation areas within walking distance of my home.

This post is part of the Wordless Wednesday meme,
and also part of the My Corner of the World meme.

Tuesday 25 February 2020


Phillip Island is an Australian island about 140 km south-southeast of Melbourne, Victoria. Named after Arthur Phillip, the first Governor of New South Wales, Phillip Island forms a natural breakwater for the shallow waters of the Western Port. It is 26 km long and 9 km wide, with an area of about 100 km2. It has 97 km of coastline and is part of the Bass Coast Shire.

A 640 m concrete bridge (originally a wooden bridge) connects the mainland town San Remo with the island town Newhaven. In the 2011 census the island's permanent population was 9,406, compared to 7,071 in 2001. During the summer, the population swells to 40,000. 60% of the island is farmland devoted to grazing of sheep and cattle.

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.

Friday 21 February 2020


"At sunrise everything is luminous but not clear. It is those we live with and love and should know who elude us. You can love completely without complete understanding." - Norman Maclean

This post is part of the Skywatch Friday meme.

Thursday 20 February 2020


Euryops is a genus of flowering plants in the sunflower family, Asteraceae. They are native mostly to rocky sites in southern Africa, with a few species in other parts of Africa and on the Arabian Peninsula. They produce daisy-like flowerheads from fern-like foliage. The name Euryops is probably a contraction of the Greek words ευρυς (eurys) meaning 'wide,' and ὄψις (opsis) meaning 'eye,' possibly referring to the large flowerheads compared to the narrow leaves.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday 19 February 2020


We've had a bout of subtropical weather here in Melbourne in the last couple of days and it's been quite humid and wet. It has flummoxed quite a few drivers who seem to bee driving a little more erratically than usual - add to that the multitude of infrastructure and road projects all over the city, and it's not a pleasant drive on our roads anymore...

This post is part of the Wordless Wednesday meme,
and also part of the My Corner of the World meme.

Tuesday 18 February 2020


Promenading, watching the coloured lights of the City reflected in the Yarra River, wining and dining in the multitude of cafés and restaurants, and living the dolce vita oblivious to all else happening elsewhere...

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 17 February 2020


It takes a lot of work to keep a garden green and flourishing, but it is worth it in the end when you see the great results of your toil. No pain, no gain...

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

Saturday 15 February 2020


The Darebin Parklands are a popular spot for dog walkers, all the more so on a hot Summer's day when the creek provides a perfect place for hot dogs to have a cooling dip in!

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

Thursday 13 February 2020


Eryngium is a genus of flowering plants in the family Apiaceae. There are about 250 species. The genus has a cosmopolitan distribution, with the centre of diversity in South America. Common names include eryngo and sea holly (though the genus is not related to the true hollies, Ilex). These are annual and perennial herbs with hairless and usually spiny leaves. The dome-shaped umbels of steely blue or white flowers have whorls of spiny basal bracts. Some species are native to rocky and coastal areas, but the majority are grassland plants.

Species are grown as ornamental plants in gardens. Numerous hybrids have been selected for garden use, of which E. × oliverianum and E. × tripartitum have gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit. Many species of Eryngium have been used as food and medicine. Eryngium campestre is used as a folk medicine in Turkey. Eryngium creticum is a herbal remedy for scorpion stings in Jordan. Eryngium elegans is used in Argentina and Eryngium foetidum in Latin America and South-East Asia. Native American peoples used many species for varied purposes.

Cultures worldwide have used Eryngium extracts as anti-inflammatory agents. Eryngium yields an essential oil and contains many kinds of terpenoids, saponins, flavonoids, coumarins, and steroids. The roots have been used as vegetables or sweetmeats. Young shoots and leaves are sometimes used as vegetables like asparagus. E. foetidum is used in parts of the Americas and Asia as a culinary herb. It is not unlike coriander, or cilantro, and is sometimes mistaken for it. It may be called spiny coriander or culantro.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday 12 February 2020


Opuntia ficus-indica is a species of cactus that has long been a domesticated crop plant important in agricultural economies throughout arid and semiarid parts of the world. It is thought to possibly be native to Mexico. Some of the common English names for the plant and its fruit are: Indian fig, opuntia, barbary fig, cactus pear, spineless cactus, and prickly pear, although this last name has also been applied to other less common Opuntia species. In Mexican Spanish the plant is called nopal, while the fruit is called tuna, which are names also used in American English, especially as culinary terms.

This post is part of the Wordless Wednesday meme,
and also part of the My Corner of the World.

Tuesday 11 February 2020


Melbourne’s fascination with coffee began with the advent of the Italian immigrants after the Second World War and since then it has taken off! Whether you’re visiting or working here, you’re in luck because Melbourne’s coffee scene is unmatched anywhere else in the world! In fact, in a survey done by, Melbourne emerged as the city with the world’s best coffee, beating titans like Rome, Vienna, and even Sydney.

You don’t have to be a coffee connoisseur to know the difference between good and bad coffee. Coffee has the effect that the good stuff propels you through a slow day and horrible coffee just adds to the blues of a bad day. Some of the best Melbourne coffee shops are these. One of my personal favourites is Brunetti's in Carlton.

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 10 February 2020


A composite image of Venus, the crescent moon and the setting sun.

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

Sunday 9 February 2020

Saturday 8 February 2020


The Australian white ibis (Threskiornis moluccus) is a wading bird of the ibis family, Threskiornithidae. It is widespread across much of Australia. It has a predominantly white plumage with a bare, black head, long downcurved bill and black legs. Its sister species is the sacred ibis. Historically rare in urban areas, the Australian white ibis has immigrated to urban areas of the east coast in increasing numbers since the late 1970s.

It is now commonly seen in Wollongong, Sydney, Melbourne, the Gold Coast, Brisbane and Townsville. In recent years the bird has also become increasing common in Perth, Western Australia and surrounding towns in south-western Australia. Populations have disappeared from natural breeding areas such as the Macquarie Marshes in north-western New South Wales. Management plans have been introduced to control problematic urban populations in Sydney.

This post is part of the Saturday Critters meme.

Thursday 6 February 2020


Serruria florida is a species of flowering plant in the family Proteaceae, endemic to South Africa. It is known by the common names of blushing bride or pride of Franschhoek. This species grows to between 0.8 and 1.5 metres in height and 0.5 metres in width. The leaves are fine and dissected and the flowers are white to pink and appear from July to October in its native range.

It occurs in the Hottentots Holland Nature Reserve in the Cape Province. A well-drained position in full sun is preferred by this species, which tolerates dryness. Propagation is from cuttings or seed, although the latter can prove difficult. The species is cultivated for the cut flower trade and it is also grown as an ornamental plant.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday 5 February 2020


At Flinders St Station, hurrying to catch my train, but nevertheless stopping to take a quick shot as I move onto the platform up ahead.

This post is part of the Wordless Wednesday meme,
and also part of the My Corner of the World.

Tuesday 4 February 2020


Mornington is a seaside town on the Mornington Peninsula, Victoria, Australia, located 57 km south-east of Melbourne's central business district. It is in the local government area of the Shire of Mornington Peninsula.

Mornington is known for its "village" atmosphere and its beautiful beaches. Mornington is a popular tourist destination with Melburnians who often make day trips to visit the area's bay beaches and wineries. The town centre runs into the foreshore area and local beach.

Mornington is an attractive destination for shopping and features some excellent restaurants and cafes. The north of Mornington is also home to several horse breeders and stables. The town has a modern library, cinema and numerous parks, gardens and historical buildings, many of which are open to the public. It holds several annual festivals, and holds a market day in the main street every Wednesday, which attracts hundreds of people.

Mornington has an active Yacht club (Mornington Yacht Club), located at Schnapper Point, catering for sailors of all levels and abilities, from beginners - “Tackers”, through to those competing at ocean racing level. The club hosts many state, National, & International regattas, as it provides a good location in sheltered, pristine waters. 2014 saw the successful running of the largest single class Yachting regatta ever held in the Southern Hemisphere - the Optimist National Championships. The Optimist is a youth class and drew over 2000 people to the Club and Mornington shire.

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 2 February 2020


One of the old faithful garden shrubs is the diosma, with which seemingly no gardener can go wrong. It grows as a round tidy plant with masses of pink flowers in late winter and spring. It will grow in all but the most tropical and humid parts of Australia. Although its common name is most often diosma it is also known as confetti bush and breath of heaven.

Its botanic name is Coleonema pulchellum (or Coleonema pulchrum) and the plant is in the Rutaceae family. The genus name Coleonema is taken from a Greek term describing the base of the petals. The species name pulchellum means beautiful and small.

The species has pink flowers and tall growth. It will reach around 2m. The leaves of the plant are fragrant when rubbed and smell a little of sweet pine. There are various cultivars available including:
‘Compactum’ – a dwarf pink flowered form growing to 1m, which is also sold as ‘Nanum’;
‘Rubrum’ – a red flowered diosma (also sold as Red Form);
and ‘Sunset Gold’ – a dwarf golden foliage form growing to 75cm. This form has its best colour in summer and autumn when grown in full sun.
In addition a white flowered diosma, Coleonema album, is also available. This plant grows to about 1.5m tall with a spread of about 1.8m.

Diosma best grows in warm areas but will grow in most parts of Australia except the tropics. In humid summers it can be affected by fungal problems. In very cold areas such as mountain districts this plant will need a warm, sheltered micro-climate for best growth. It is native to the Cape Province of South Africa.

The butterfly is the Australian Painted Lady, Vanessa kershawi, in the Nymphalidae family, which is the largest family of butterflies with about 6,000 species distributed throughout most of the world. These are usually medium-sized to large butterflies.

This post is part of the My Sunday Best meme.

Saturday 1 February 2020


Harmonia conformis (the large spotted ladybug) is a species of ladybug (the family Coccinellidae). It has a light reddish appearance and its colouration includes 20 large black spots, 18 of which are found on the elytra (wing covers). They are quite large for ladybirds, being about 6-7 mm long.

This species is a predator of other insects, eating aphids as both a larva and imago (adult). It is found in Australia, and has been introduced to New Zealand, where it is common in northern regions. Another member of the same genus, Harmonia antipoda, also occurs in New Zealand. This species, however, is a native and is much smaller and harder to find.

This post is part of the Saturday Critters meme.