Saturday 31 October 2020


The galah (Eolophus roseicapilla), also known as the rose-breasted cockatoo, galah cockatoo, roseate cockatoo or pink and grey, is one of the most common and widespread cockatoos, and it can be found in open country in almost all parts of mainland Australia. It is endemic on the mainland and was introduced to Tasmania, where its distinctive pink and grey plumage and its bold and loud behaviour make it a familiar sight in the bush and increasingly in urban areas. It appears to have benefited from the change in the landscape since European colonisation and may be replacing the Major Mitchell's cockatoo in parts of its range. The term galah is derived from gilaa, a word found in Yuwaalaraay and neighbouring Aboriginal languages.

Galahs are about 35 cm long and weigh 270–350 g. They have a pale grey to mid-grey back, a pale grey rump, a pink face and chest, and a light pink mobile crest. They have a bone-coloured beak and the bare skin of the eye rings is carunculated. They have grey legs. The genders appear similar, however generally adult birds differ in the colour of the irises; the male has very dark brown (almost black) irises, and the female has mid-brown or red irises. The colours of the juveniles are duller than the adults. Juveniles have greyish chests, crowns, and crests, and they have brown irises and whitish bare eye rings, which are not carunculated.

This post is part of the Saturday Critters meme.

Friday 30 October 2020

Wednesday 28 October 2020


Today our lockdown is officially over and the first thing I wanted to do this morning was to go on a walk. No, not to the shops that had reopened, but rather to the same place that I usually went to while in lockdown. The weather was good and the invitation of the Spring sunshine was enough to make me walk in the Darebin Parklands, as usual. Everything was fresh and blooming and green and the sun felt warm, with the air fragrant. Time enough to go shopping later today, or tomorrow or next week!

The yellow flowering plants in the photo are black mustard (Brassica nigra), a common "weed", but really a useful and important plant. Its seeds after all are used to make mustard, and its young and tender shoots are used as a tasty wild green.

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 27 October 2020


One of the things I have sorely missed during our lockdown is the inability to go to public libraries. Taking prize position amongst these institutions is the State Library of Victoria (illustrated above). This is one of my favourite haunts in the City and whenever I can I duck in, even if it just for a few minutes. Better of course to be able to spend the whole day there!

There is always something going on in there, special exhibitions, books displays, cultural events, art exhibitions, but also of course the books themselves! The great Dome Reading Room is a magnificent temple of knowledge and sitting in the midst of it, seeing all of the galleries of books around, one feels warm, content and secure. And the joy of having all those billions of printed words just screaming out to be read is beyond compare!

Tomorrow, I'll be in the City for work and guess where I shall go when I finish my work!

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 26 October 2020


Melbourne will exit lockdown from Wednesday 28th October, after recording no new Covid-19 cases for the first time since June. The State of Victoria was the epicentre of Australia's second wave, accounting for more than 90% of its 905 deaths. Our state capital, Melbourne, went into lockdown 111 days ago - enforcing home confinement, travel restrictions and closing of most stores and all restaurants. However today, authorities said the city was ready to re-open! Here's to a much needed return to a more normal life from this Wednesday onwards...

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 25 October 2020


View from my window through a crystal ball. Note that the photo is rotated 180˚ as the image through a glass ball is normally seen upside down.

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

Saturday 24 October 2020


One of our neighbours regularly feeds pigeons in her yard. The result is that large flocks of them congregate around her house, which has caused other people around to complain. Pigeons can cause problems in urban environments and in this old post of mine you can read how Melbourne City Council curtails the population. 

How do you view pigeons in the urban setting? Love them? Hate them? Are you indifferent to them? Why?

This post is part of the Saturday Critters meme.

Thursday 22 October 2020


Hippeastrum flowering in our garden. Hippeastrum is a genus in the family Amaryllidaceae. The name Hippeastrum, given to it by William Herbert, means "knight's star", although precisely what Herbert meant by the name is not certain. For many years there was confusion among botanists over the generic names Amaryllis and Hippeastrum, one result of which is that the common name amaryllis is mainly used for cultivars of this genus, often sold as indoor flowering bulbs particularly at Christmas in the northern hemisphere. By contrast the generic name Amaryllis applies to bulbs from South Africa, usually grown outdoors. The genus is native to tropical and subtropical regions of the Americas from Argentina north to Mexico and the Caribbean.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday 21 October 2020


The Werribee River is a perennial river of the Port Phillip catchment that is located on the plain West of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. The headwaters of a tributary, the Lerderderg River, are north of Ballan near Daylesford and it flows across the basalt plain, through the suburb of Werribee to enter Port Phillip.

A linear park follows the Werribee River along much of its course. In total the Werribee River completes a journey of approximately 110 kilometres. The river flows through the Werribee Gorge State Park before being utilised for irrigation of market gardens at Bacchus Marsh, then through Werribee where it is crossed by the Maltby By-pass. It then flows through the Werribee Open Range Zoo in Werribee Park, and finally the small coastal settlement of Werribee South before entering Port Phillip.

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 20 October 2020


Yarra River at Yarra Bend Park, about 4 km NE of the CBD. A daily walk here keeps us sane and healthy in these COVID lockdown times...

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.

Thursday 15 October 2020


Veronica peduncularis (creeping speedwell) is a plant in the plantain family, Plantaginaceae. The ‘Georgia Blue’ Speedwell (USDA Zone: 4-9) was introduced a few years ago from Russia. This creeping speedwell has proven to be an outstanding selection for a bright display in the Spring garden.

Plants form a low creeping mat of deep green leaves, evergreen but turning bronze in the colder months. Small sapphire-blue flowers are studded all over during the spring, and sometimes again in late summer. Perfect for underplanting with spring flowering bulbs of all kinds, particularly miniature Narcissus. Plants may be easily divided in early Autumn. Clip back hard immediately after flowering, to maintain a tight, thick habit.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.


Our garden is looking quite lovely at the moment as the Spring flowers are beginning to make a showy display. Here are some of them below: 'Just Joey' rose; babesia; Florentine iris; Winter marigold; geranium; and wild poppy.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday 14 October 2020

Monday 12 October 2020


Three corners of the sky complemented by the three corners of the earth. Green growth melds all earth into one, finally managing to break free and shoot up into the sky and the infinite.

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

Sunday 11 October 2020


In lockdown, with all sorts of restrictions, prohibitions, limits and constraints and regulations, the pursuit of happiness can still occur without limitation. At home, or within a 5km radius from it, with others (as permitted) or alone, we can still chase those precious moments of joy, capture them and hold their memory dear in years to come: THAT good thing happened during that terrible, terrible COVID year...

This post is part of the My Sunday Best meme.

Saturday 10 October 2020


The Pacific black duck (Anas superciliosa) 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. This sociable duck is found in a variety of wetland habitats, and its nesting habits are much like those of the mallard, which is encroaching on its range in New Zealand. It feeds by upending, like other Anas ducks.

This post is part of the  Saturday Critters meme.

Wednesday 7 October 2020


The Yarra River or historically, the Yarra Yarra River, (Aboriginal: 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. The river is still a major habitat area for both local and introduced species of flora and fauna, as numerous nature reserves adjacent to the waterway exist throughout the metropolitan area.

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

Tuesday 6 October 2020


The National Gallery of Victoria is housed in a bluestone clad building, which was completed in December 1967 and Victorian premier Henry Bolte officially opened it on 20 August 1968. One of the features of the building is the Leonard French stained glass ceiling, one of the world's largest pieces of suspended stained glass, which casts colourful light on the floor below.

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.

Saturday 3 October 2020


The rainbow lorikeet (Trichoglossus moluccanus) is a species of parrot found in Australia. It is common along the eastern seaboard, from northern Queensland to South Australia. Its habitat is rainforest, coastal bush and woodland areas. Several taxa traditionally listed as subspecies of the rainbow lorikeet are now treated as separate species, 6 species have now been identified.

This post is part of the Saturday Critters meme.

Thursday 1 October 2020


Crataegus (from the Greek kratos "strength" and akis "sharp", referring to the thorns of some species) commonly called hawthorn, thornapple, May-tree, whitethorn, or hawberry, is a large genus of shrubs and trees in the family Rosaceae, native to temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere in Europe, Asia and North America. The name "hawthorn" was originally applied to the species native to northern Europe, especially the common hawthorn C. monogyna, and the unmodified name is often so used in Britain and Ireland. The name is now also applied to the entire genus and to the related Asian genus Rhaphiolepis. The name haw, originally an Old English term for hedge, applies to the fruit.

The common hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna) is a shrub or small tree 5–14 metres tall, with a dense crown. The bark is dull brown with vertical orange cracks. The younger stems bear sharp thorns, approximately 12.5mm long. The leaves are 20 to 40mm long, obovate and deeply lobed, sometimes almost to the midrib, with the lobes spreading at a wide angle. The upper surface is dark green above and paler underneath. The hermaphrodite flowers are produced in late spring (May to early June in its native area) in corymbs of 5-25 together; each flower is about 10mm diameter, and has five white petals, numerous red stamens, and a single style; they are moderately fragrant. The flowers are pollinated by midges, bees and other insects and later in the year bear numerous haws.

The haw is a small, oval dark red fruit about 10mm long, berry-like, but structurally a pome containing a single seed. Haws are important for wildlife in winter, particularly thrushes and waxwings; these birds eat the haws and disperse the seeds in their droppings. The common hawthorn is distinguished from the related but less widespread Midland hawthorn (C. laevigata) by its more upright growth, the leaves being deeply lobed, with spreading lobes, and in the flowers having just one style, not two or three. However they are inter-fertile and hybrids occur frequently; they are only entirely distinct in their more typical forms. Common hawthorn is extensively planted as a hedge plant, especially for agricultural use. Its spines and close branching habit render it effectively stock- and human-proof, with some basic maintenance. The traditional practice of hedge laying is most commonly practised with this species. It is a good fire wood which burns with a good heat and little smoke.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.