Tuesday 30 June 2020


Having the Yarra River course its way through our city is quite marvellous as it affords beautiful vistas along its length. By night, some magical reflections can be seen in the City as the lights come on. These views are taken from Southbank, an entertainment and residential precinct.

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 June 2020


Since the COVID isolation and social distancing rules were enforced, many people have been spending more time at home, me being no exception. I have been busy with working from home, but have also had more free time, which I have utilised to do more of the things that I previously didn't have much time to do. For example, more reading, some writing, composing and painting/drawing. 

Here is a page from my journal, showing some small pieces that I've drawn together, suggesting the passage of time and the succession of seasons.

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 27 June 2020


The Pacific Black Duck (Anas superciliosa), commonly known as the PBD, 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.

Pacific Black Ducks breed from June to January in the South, and from January to April in the North. This mother duck was having some difficulty keeping all her ducklings under control!

This post is part of the Saturday Critters meme.

Thursday 25 June 2020


We know them simply as 'geraniums'. They are one of the most popular container plants, yet they are not really geraniums at all. Botanically they are Pelargonium. There are true geraniums, the perennial cranesbills, but they look little like the annual plants we commonly call 'geraniums'.

The confusion with the names can be traced back to disagreements between botanists over classification and is of little importance to most gardeners, except for the distinction that perennial cranesbill geraniums will come back each year and zonal geraniums, those now classified as Pelargonium, are topical perennials usually grown as annuals in colder climates. They got the prefix "zonal" because of the markings on their leaves. Zonal geraniums were discovered in South Africa and if you have a similar, subtropical climate, you can grow them as perennials.

This coral pink zonal geranium is Pelargonium x hortorum.  Zonal geraniums are bushy plants, mainly used for containers and bedding. There has been considerable breeding done, particularly for size and abundance and colours of flowers, so there is a good deal of variety. Zonal geraniums start blooming in mid-spring and will repeat bloom until frost. Deadheading the entire flower stalk after the flower fades will encourage more blooms.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Monday 22 June 2020

Saturday 20 June 2020


 The pied currawong (Strepera graculina) is a medium-sized black passerine bird native to eastern Australia and Lord Howe Island. One of three currawong species in the genus Strepera, it is closely related to the butcherbirds and Australian magpie of the family Artamidae. Six subspecies are recognised.

It is a robust crow-like bird averaging around 48 cm in length, black or sooty grey-black in plumage with white undertail and wing patches, yellow irises, and a heavy bill. The male and female are similar in appearance. Known for its melodious calls, the species' name currawong is believed to be of indigenous origin. Within its range, the pied currawong is generally sedentary, although populations at higher altitudes relocate to lower areas during the cooler months. It is omnivorous, with a diet that includes a wide variety of berries and seeds, invertebrates, bird eggs and juvenile birds.

It is a predator which has adapted well to urbanisation and can be found in parks and gardens as well as rural woodland. The habitat includes all kinds of forested areas, although mature forests are preferred for breeding. Roosting, nesting and the bulk of foraging take place in trees, in contrast with the ground-foraging behaviour of its relative, the Australian magpie. Here it is seen in suburban Melbourne, in the Darebin Parklands in Fairfield.

This post is part of the Saturday Critters meme.

Friday 19 June 2020


I get up quite early each day, and now that it is Winter when I wake up it's still dark. One of the bonuses is that get to see the sun rise. Today there was an added attraction - a tiny sliver of a crescent moon. It was easy to miss, though, as it was faint and the sky was lighting up with the rising sun. If you can't spot it in the first photo, it does get larger as I zoom up to it in the photos below!

This post is part of the Skywatch Friday meme.

Thursday 18 June 2020

Wednesday 17 June 2020


Viola is a genus of flowering plants in the violet family Violaceae. It is the largest genus in the family, containing between 525 and 600 species. Most species are found in the temperate Northern Hemisphere, however some are also found in widely divergent areas such as Hawaii, Australasia, and the Andes. Some Viola species are perennial plants, some are annual plants, and a few are small shrubs. A large number of species, varieties and cultivars are grown in gardens for their ornamental flowers.

In horticulture the term "pansy" is normally used for those multi-coloured, large-flowered cultivars which are raised annually or biennially from seed and used extensively in bedding. The terms "viola" and "violet" are normally reserved for small-flowered annuals or perennials, including the type species.

Viola odorata is a species of the genus Viola native to Europe and Asia, but has also been introduced to North America and Australia. It is commonly known as wood violet, sweet violet, English violet, common violet, florist's violet, or garden violet. The sweet scent of this flower has proved popular throughout the generations particularly in the late Victorian period, and has consequently been used in the production of many cosmetic fragrances and perfumes. The scent of violet flowers is distinctive with only a few other flowers having a remotely similar odour.

References to violets and the desirable nature of the fragrance go back to classical sources such as Pliny and Horace when the name ‘Ion’ was in use to describe this flower from which the name of the distinctive chemical constituents of the flower, the ionones – is derived. The leaves are edible and contain mucilage.

This year our violets are blooming early (in mid-June, our first Winter month), quite unusual...

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

Tuesday 16 June 2020


John de Burgh Perceval AO (1 February 1923 – 15 October 2000) is a well-known Australian artist. Perceval was the last surviving member of a group known as the “Angry Penguins” who redefined Australian art in the 1940s. Other members included John and Sunday Reed, Joy Hester, Sidney Nolan, Arthur Boyd and Albert Tucker.

The painting below is “Ocean Beach, Sorrento”, exhibited in the National Gallery of Victoria. In January 1957 John Perceval visited Portsea and Sorrento as the houseguest of Thomas and Anne Purves, the directors of Australian Galleries, Melbourne. Inspired by the rough and irregular coastline, Perceval painted a small group of works, which he showed in April that year at Australian Galleries, in a joint exhibition with his brother-in-law Arthur Boyd.

‘Ocean beach, Sorrento’, the major work from this series, depicts the rocky Victorian coastline under the dry heat of a summer’s day. Two of the Purves children are shown huddled in a recess in the rocks in the lower right-hand corner of the composition. After making his paintings of Williamstown in 1956, Perceval responded confidently to the subject of water, and in the splash and foam of waves on the shore his calligraphy beautifully matches his subject: paint has been applied frenetically – dribbled and scratched onto the surface – successfully conveying the turbulent water and rugged landscape.

The painting was purchased by Geoffrey Hillas in March 1957. Mr and Mrs Hillas were among the most noted collectors of contemporary Australian art of the period, and their collection included major works by Arthur Boyd, John Brack, John Perceval and Fred Williams.

The National Gallery of Victoria is opening its doors to the public next Monday, 22nd June, as another lot of restrictions due to COVID-19 are lifted. We are looking forward to that opening as we are frequent visitors to this world-class gallery and we have missed spending lots of time in there!

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

Monday 15 June 2020


Well, it looks like on June 22nd things may begin to have an appearance of normality in Victoria, Australia, with many more restrictions being lifted and many more venues and activities becoming available. Everyone is sick of all the COVID-19 restrictions and endless talk of it in the news, however, we are lucky in Australia as we have had a relatively low number of cases and relatively few deaths. Part of this was due to the draconian measures our government took in dealing with the pandemic, and partly because of the largely compliant and conscientious attitude of our population.

Now as next Monday looms ahead and newly regained freedoms can be enjoyed, it is important for some clowns amongst us to remember :

Let's enjoy our freedom, but let's not push our luck...

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 14 June 2020


Peak hour suburban train in the days of COVID-19 and social distancing... Most Australians are conscientious and observe the recommendations about stemming the spread of the virus. This explains why we have a relatively low rate of incidence of the disease and a relatively small number of COVID-related deaths.

This post is part of the My Sunday Best meme.

Saturday 13 June 2020


I had occasion to travel to the country on a day trip yesterday and fortunately the weather was good - cold but sunny. To this effect, these horses can attest, wearing their Winter coats against the weather!

This post is part of the Saturday Critters meme.

Thursday 11 June 2020


Ceratostigma willmottianum or Chinese plumbago is a deciduous shrub that provides great interest in early autumn when its slender stems bear pale blue flowers amongst the foliage that gradually turns red as the autumn season develops. This shrub is easy to grow in a sunny, well-drained spot and can be cut hard back in the spring where it can be utilised at the front of beds and borders in small or large gardens. The flowers are very attractive to butterflies.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday 10 June 2020


It's been cold and wintry these past few mornings, and on a couple of days we've had morning fog. Although I enjoy taking my morning walk in the fog, it's so lovely to come home to a warm house and a cup of steaming hot chocolate!

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

Tuesday 9 June 2020


Yarra Bend Park has been one of Melbourne’s largest expanses of inner suburban parkland for nearly 150 years. Yarra Bend Park and neighbouring Studley Park were reserved in 1877. Both park areas and several reserves were combined in 1929 to create one large park. The combined area became known as Yarra Bend National Park despite never being raised to formal national park status.

During the 1930’s additions included picnic and sporting grounds, toilet facilities and a public golf course. The Yarra Bend Golf Club House, officially opened in May 1936, is an original example of American ‘Country Club’ type architecture. The Park provides a great open space for walking, bike riding, riverside cafes, golf, boating, BBQs, picnicking and a host of other leisure activities.

Fairfield Boathouse was established in 1908 by John St Clair as a picnic, camping and refreshment room area. John St Clair was a piano tuner from Smith St, Fitzroy, with a vision. He firstly wrote a letter to the Premier suggesting that he open a refreshment room and boat shed area, with motor boats at Fairfield Park. The Premier had to seek the approval form Yarra Bend Hospital of the Insane because the proposal for the boat shed was actually on the hospital grounds. The Premier gave his permission for the boat shed project to go ahead.

In 1985 the boathouse was restored and re-opened. The derelict building had recently housed squatters and possums. The project took 30,000 hours of restoration work. Meticulous work and an eye for detail was required for rebuilding. Even the gardens have been restored to encourage native birds. It now enjoys renewed popularity and is a pleasure to visit.

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 8 June 2020


"Sed fugit interea, fugit inreparabile tempus." Virgil, line 284 of book 3, "Georgics".
(Fast flies meanwhile the irreparable hour."

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 7 June 2020


As Winter tightens its hold on us here in the Great South Land, as the days shorten and the nights become darker, longer, cold and wet, it's time to reminisce of happier, warmer, brighter times...


On a perfect Summer's day
Walking on a fresh green field,
Making memories warm and bright
For a cold and dismal Winter's night.

On a Summerfield my merry fay,
With a kiss a promise sealed:
Lips that savoured cool sweet wine, 
Now in Winter's tears taste brine.

Oh to be in Summerfield again,
'Neath blue sky on verdant grass,
Clasping hands and heart alight
How we'd love, all sense delight...

But instead in Winter's bane
I look in frozen looking glass:
Wrinkles, white hair, all decline,
And for Summerfield I long and pine.


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

Saturday 6 June 2020


The chestnut teal duck (Anas castanea) is a dabbling duck found in Australia. Males have a distinctive green head, while the female has rather more drab plumage.

This post is part of the Saturday Critters meme.

Thursday 4 June 2020


Here in Southern Hemisphere, June is the first month of Winter. Admittedly, in Melbourne our Winter is very mild compared to say, Central Europe, Canada or the Northeastern USA. It almost never snows, and the lowest Winter temperatures are rarely below 10˚C (= 50˚F). However, nights can be quite cold, and it is often rainy.

This year, Winter has come rather early and we have had some very wet and cold weather beginning mid-May. This has alternated with days of milder, dry weather. Our gardens have become rather confused and the plants are doing strange things. This bouquet from our back garden was collected yesterday and it shows an odd assortment of flowers all  normally blooming at different times of the year, but amazingly, now all flowering at the same time: 

White Spanish jasmine (Summer);
Pink roses (Spring and Summer);
Crimson carnations (Summer);
Zinnias (Summer and Autumn);
Chrysanthemums (Autumn);
White and Yellow jonquils (Winter and Spring);
Cosmos (Summer and Autumn);
Stock (Spring and Summer);
Shasta Daisy (Summer).

A truly paradoxical collection!

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday 3 June 2020


We are definitely progressing into Winter, but the garden this year seems confused. Spring flowers have bloomed and while some trees are completely leafless and bare, others are hanging on to their Autumn foliage. The cold weather and rain don't seem to have affected the grass, which is growing quite luxuriantly and requires mowing often, something I haven't done at this time in previous years. Very strange...

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

Tuesday 2 June 2020


Standing on Queen's Bridge and looking to the East one sees the old Sandridge Rail Bridge, now converted to a footbridge The Sandridge Bridge is a historic former railway bridge over the Yarra River in Melbourne, Australia, which has been redeveloped in 2006 as a new pedestrian and cycle path featuring public art. It is the third bridge on the site and is listed on the Victorian Heritage Register. The bridge is 178.4 metres long and is made up of five spans, measuring in length, from the south bank to the north bank: 36.9 metres.

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 June 2020


A fungus (plural: fungi) is any member of the group of eukaryotic organisms that includes microorganisms such as yeasts and moulds, as well as the more familiar mushrooms. These organisms are classified as a kingdom, Fungi, which is separate from the other eukaryotic life kingdoms of plants and animals.

Abundant worldwide, most fungi are inconspicuous because of the small size of their structures, and their cryptic lifestyles in soil or on dead matter. Fungi include symbionts of plants, animals, or other fungi and also parasites. They may become noticeable when fruiting, either as mushrooms or as moulds. Fungi perform an essential role in the decomposition of organic matter and have fundamental roles in nutrient cycling and exchange in the environment.

They have long been used as a direct source of human food, in the form of mushrooms and truffles; as a leavening agent for bread; and in the fermentation of various food products, such as wine, beer, and soy sauce. Since the 1940s, fungi have been used for the production of antibiotics, and, more recently, various enzymes produced by fungi are used industrially and in detergents.

Fungi can break down manufactured materials and buildings, and become significant pathogens of humans and other animals. Losses of crops due to fungal diseases (e.g., rice blast disease) or food spoilage can have a large impact on human food supplies and local economies.

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