Friday 31 July 2020


“In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer. And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger – something better, pushing right back.” ― Albert Camus

This post is part of the Skywatch Friday meme.

Tuesday 28 July 2020


In Southwharf, Melbourne, watching the sun and moon set over the Yarra River.

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

Monday 27 July 2020


Today in Victoria, we've had our worst day so far in terms of the COVID-19 pandemic: The state notched up a record 532 new infections on Monday, along with six new deaths – five of them connected to aged-care outbreaks. Some 245 people are in hospital, including 44 in intensive care.

The lockdown and compulsory mask wearing by everyone, as well as the bans on travel, public gatherings and limiting very much the reasons why one may leave one's house has made most people quite depressed - aided and abetted by the wintry weather...

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 26 July 2020


Early morning in Winter, a lone commuter waits for the (empty) train during Melbourne's second wave COVID-19 lockdown.

This post is part of the My Sunday Best meme.

Saturday 25 July 2020


arachnophobia | əˌraknəˈfəʊbɪə | noun [mass noun]
Extreme or irrational fear of spiders.

This post is part of the Saturday Critters meme.

Friday 24 July 2020


Sunrise on the Yarra River. COVID-19 may be dampening our spirits a little, but we're smiling under our face masks...

This post is part of the Skywatch Friday meme,
and also part of the Weekend Reflections meme.

Thursday 23 July 2020


Acacia pycnantha, Golden Wattle, is a shrub or small tree about 4 to 8 metres tall. The specific name pycnantha from the Greek 'pyknos', meaning 'dense', and 'anthos', meaning 'a flower', refers to the dense clusters of flowers.  In spring large fluffy golden-yellow flower-heads with up to eighty minute sweetly scented flowers provide a vivid contrast with the foliage.

Golden Wattle occurs in the understorey of open forest or woodland and in open scrub formations in South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory, in temperate regions with mean annual rainfall of 350 mm to 1000 mm. It regenerates freely after fires, which usually kill the parent plants but stimulate the germination of seeds stored in the soil if rain follows soon after.

The brilliant yellow, fragrant flowers of Golden Wattle make it a popular garden plant. It is moderately frost tolerant and grows well in a wide range of soils provided drainage is effective, but tends to be short-lived in cultivation. It is easily propagated from seed soaked in hot water to break the hard seed coat, and the seedlings can be transplanted to pots of soil mix for growing on before planting out in a lightly shaded or open position.

Golden Wattle flowers have been used in perfume making. It was introduced to horticulture in the northern hemisphere about the middle of the nineteenth century. In Britain it survives outdoors only in the mildest areas. In California it has escaped from garden cultivation and now grows wild but it is not considered a pest. In South Africa, however, it has become a significant weed species.

The adoption of the Golden Wattle as the national flower tends to be confirmed by its introduction into the design of the Australian armorial bearings on the recommendation of the Rt Hon. Andrew Fisher, Prime Minister of Australia, when the Commonwealth Armorial Ensigns and Supporters were granted by Royal Warrant on 19 September 1912.  Acacia pycnantha enjoyed popular acceptance as Australia's national flower for much of the 20th century but it was not proclaimed as the national floral emblem until 1988, the year of Australia's bicentenary.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme

Wednesday 22 July 2020


While walking through the Parklands for my morning exercise, I sometimes come across little sheltered forgotten corners that seem to be like the entrance to another world. This spot was like a fairy bower and I half-expected to see little winged sprites flitting around...

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 21 July 2020


Williamstown is located at the mouth of the Yarra River where it enters Hobsons Bay and Port Phillip Bay, south-west of the Melbourne city centre. Originally Melbourne's first sea port, Williamstown has developed from what was a neglected industrialised centre into a popular and fashionable maritime village.

Williamstown is surrounded on three sides by water. The eastern shoreline consists of foreshore reserves dotted with piers, gardens and remnants of Williamstown's maritime history. Scenic views of Melbourne's city skyline can be enjoyed from Gem Pier where cruises on the Yarra River and the bay depart regularly.

The rocky south-eastern coastline consists of open parkland which includes the Point Gellibrand Coastal Heritage Park. The wildness of the rocky foreshore is quite charming and the lucky ones who live on the esplanade can enjoy its breathtaking views every day. Fishing, gathering shellfish and long walks along the foreshore can be enjoyed by everyone.

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.

Monday 20 July 2020


Lockdown in Melbourne means staying at home while the COVID-19 storm passes again. Staying at home starts the creative juices flowing and this includes painting for me. I've just completed this mixed media piece on canvas and was quite pleased with the end result. 

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 18 July 2020


The dog couldn't see me as I was behind some shrubs, but certainly knew I was there!

This post is part of the Saturday Critters meme.

Friday 17 July 2020


A cold and foggy morning today, a typical Winter's day in Melbourne. I walked in the Parklands for my exercise and was surprised by the presence of quite a few other people who had the same idea. Strict social distancing was observed - after all, there was enough room for everyone!

This post is part of the Skywatch Friday meme.

Thursday 16 July 2020


We are on the midst of Southern Winter here in Melbourne, with our July being the equivalent of Northern Hemisphere January. Plants are showing strange behaviours this year, with unseasonal growth and flowering (see my earlier post here).

A neighbour's Callery pear tree has retained all of its leaves (albeit in Autumnal colours), and a couple of days I noticed that it is flowering also! A few doors down, another Callery pear tree is bare and shown no signs of flowering or of sprouting any leaves. Very odd!

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme,
and also part of the Nature Notes meme.

Wednesday 15 July 2020


Darebin Parklands, in Fairfield/Alphington/Ivanhoe, is a pocket of natural bushland that is unique given it is only 7 km from the Melbourne CBD. There are hidden treasures within the park including remnant orchards and crops that were grown on the fringe of a growing city during the mid-1800s. A dairy farm, vineyard, quarry and tip site were all at times active industries within the bounds of the park, and clues of this can still be found if one knows where to look. Sunrise there is quite magical.

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 14 July 2020


We have experienced a resurgence of COVID-19 cases in Melbourne over the past couple of weeks and thus, Victoria has introduced stage 3 restrictions over metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire. This entails people to stay at home unless they are shopping for essentials, caregiving, exercising in the open, or going to work or study (if it’s not possible to do this from home).

Social distancing is the order of the day, hand-washing and sanitising ever one's duty, as well as self-isolating if awaiting COVID-19 test results. Testing for the virus is widespread and more and more people are being encouraged to have the test. The wearing of masks is strongly recommended in situations where there is opportunity for the virus to spread, for example, on public transport or crowded supermarkets.

In our family we are able to follow all the rules of minimising risks of infection, and we are lucky enough to live within walking distance of marvellous parks in which to walk for exercise. Here illustrated is the Darebin Parklands where one may walk safely to one's heart's content. Large open natural areas can be found in most suburbs in Melbourne and they are a godsend in times like these. Keep safe and healthy wherever you are!

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 10 July 2020


The water purification pond at the Darebin Parklands. Walking there early this morning for my exercise now that the gym has closed due to Lockdown#2. I must have disturbed the magpie, which is scooting off to the left...

This post is part of the Skywatch Friday meme.

Thursday 9 July 2020


The genus Aeonium includes at least 35 species of tender, rosetted, leaf succulents mainly from the Canary Islands but also found in Madeira, Morocco and Ethiopia. These succulent plants vary in size from small herbs almost flat against the ground to woody shrubs with stout basal stems supporting one or more disc-shaped rosettes, giving them a distinctive appearance. The generic name comes from the Greek "aionion" = everliving. Flowers are panicles of numerous small yellow or white florets. Some Aeonium species are monocarpic. 

Natural hybrids are common and there are many attractive horticultural hybrids and cutivars. The sap of Aeonium lindleyi is a traditional antidote to the toxic sap of Euphorbias e.g. E. canariensis. Aeonium includes the former genera Greenonium and Greenovia (Mountain Roses), which may be seen occasionally on plant labels and in old books. Many species were originally classified as Sempervivums.

Aeonium undulatum, shown here, is a succulent, evergreen subshrub, is one of the larger species of Aeonium with the rosette often over a metre from the ground on a single stem. Other rosettes do not branch off this stem (normally) but grow from the bottom, unlike most aeoniums. The plant is monocarpic so the flowering stem will die when it flowers which is normally after about 5 years. The specific epithet undulatum comes from the Latin unda, meaning "wave" and refers to the wavy leaves. Synonyms include Sempervivum undulatum and Sempervivum youngianum. The common name "saucer plant" is applied to this and other plants of a similar habit. In temperate regions this plant is grown under glass. It has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday 8 July 2020


As we prepare for another general COVID-19 lockdown here in Melbourne, the streets in  the mid-city CBD become deserted yet again. We'll get over this...

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

Tuesday 7 July 2020


Warrandyte is a suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 24 km north-east of Melbourne's Central Business District. Its local government area is the City of Manningham. At the 2011 Census, Warrandyte had a population of 5,520. Warrandyte is bounded in the west by the Mullum Mullum Creek and Target Road, in the north by the Yarra River, in the east by Jumping Creek and Anzac Road, and in the south by an irregular line from Reynolds Road, north of Donvale, Park Orchards and Warrandyte South.

Warrandyte was founded as a Victorian town, located in the once gold-rich rolling hills east of Melbourne, and is now on the north-eastern boundary of suburban Melbourne. Gold was first discovered in the town in 1851 and together, with towns like Bendigo and Ballarat, led the way in gold discoveries during the Victorian gold rush. Today Warrandyte retains much of its past in its surviving buildings of the Colonial period and remains a twin community with North Warrandyte, which borders the Yarra River to its north. The Warrandyte Road Bridge over the Yarra River connects Warrandyte with North Warrandyte. The first bridge was built in 1861, but after its demise, the current bridge was built in 1952.

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 5 July 2020


Vista of the Yarra River in suburban Melbourne, about 4 km from the CBD. Yarra Bend Park is an amazing nature reserve in the midst of the City.

This post is part of the My Sunday Best meme.

Friday 3 July 2020


Colac is a small city in the Western District of Victoria, Australia, approximately 150 kilometres south-west of Melbourne on the southern shore of Lake Colac and the surrounding volcanic plains, approximately 40 km inland from Bass Strait. Colac is the largest city in and administrative centre of the Colac Otway Shire. At the 2018 census, Colac had a population of 12,547. A commercial centre for a major agricultural district, it was named after nearby Lake Colac and was proclaimed a city in 1960.

This post is part of the Skywatch Friday meme.

Thursday 2 July 2020


Rosmarinus officinalis, commonly known as rosemary, is a woody, perennial herb with fragrant, evergreen, needle-like leaves and white, pink, purple, or blue flowers, native to the Mediterranean region. It is a member of the mint family Lamiaceae, which includes many other herbs. The name "rosemary" derives from the Latin for "dew" (ros) and "sea" (marinus), or "dew of the sea". The plant is also sometimes called anthos, from the ancient Greek word ἄνθος, meaning "flower".

Rosemary has a fibrous root system. Rosemary is an aromatic evergreen shrub that has leaves similar to hemlock needles. The leaves are used as a flavouring in foods such as stuffings and roast lamb, pork, chicken and turkey. It is native to the Mediterranean and Asia, but is reasonably hardy in cool climates. It can withstand droughts, surviving a severe lack of water for lengthy periods.

Forms range from upright to trailing; the upright forms can reach 1.5 m tall, rarely 2 m. The leaves are evergreen, 2–4 cm long and 2–5 mm broad, green above, and white below, with dense, short, woolly hair. The plant flowers in spring and summer in temperate climates, but the plants can be in constant bloom in warm climates; flowers are white, pink, purple or deep blue. Rosemary also has a tendency to flower outside its normal flowering season; it has been known to flower as late as early December, and as early as mid-February.

Since it is attractive and drought-tolerant, rosemary is used as an ornamental plant in gardens and for xeriscape landscaping, especially in regions of Mediterranean climate. It is considered easy to grow and pest-resistant. Rosemary can grow quite large and retain attractiveness for many years, can be pruned into formal shapes and low hedges, and has been used for topiary. It is easily grown in pots. The groundcover cultivars spread widely, with a dense and durable texture.

Rosemary grows on friable loam soil with good drainage in an open, sunny position. It will not withstand waterlogging and some varieties are susceptible to frost. It grows best in neutral to alkaline conditions (pH 7–7.8) with average fertility. It can be propagated from an existing plant by clipping a shoot (from a soft new growth) 10–15 cm long, stripping a few leaves from the bottom, and planting it directly into soil.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday 1 July 2020


Last Monday was a very frosty morning and the temperature was close to zero even after the sun had risen. A walk in the park proved to be quite bracing.

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.