Tuesday 31 August 2021


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.

Seal Rocks is a group of rocky inlets along Phillip island's coastline. It is home to Australia's largest fur seal population, numbering around 16,000. The population peaks between late October to December, but it is possible to view seals at all times of the year. Seals eat squid, cuttlefish and small fish. They can dive up to 100m and have excellent underwater vision.

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 30 August 2021


My thoughts are with everyone self-isolating due to the COVID lockdowns, wherever that may be, but especially so with those in the concrete jungles of the large cities...

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 29 August 2021


Lockdown No 6 of Australia's second-biggest city Melbourne will be extended, authorities announced today as the State's lawmakers struggle to quash a stubborn coronavirus Delta variant outbreak. Almost seven million people in Melbourne and surrounding Victoria state were scheduled to exit a four-week lockdown on Thursday, but state premier Dan Andrews said it would no longer be possible with case numbers rising by 92 overnight. It is the city's sixth lockdown of the pandemic, and includes a curfew, the closure of playgrounds and strict limits on exercise.

Melbourne now marks a cumulative total of 210 days of COVID-19 lockdowns since the pandemic began. Businesses that have up till now stayed open are struggling to survive with more and more closing down permanently. School schedules have been disrupted with many children disadvantaged by non-F2F learning. Many people have lost their jobs and livelihood. Relationships have frayed and families are struggling to maintain much-needed contact with loved ones at a distance. Hospitals are refusing to treat patients due for "elective" procedures and visiting loved ones in hospital is well nigh impossible. The psychological burden for many is proving to be untenable and people are cracking under the strain.

In the meantime, the vaccine roll-out has been bungled and the public has been confused and misled by mixed messaging from bickering politicians and public health "experts" who cannot agree on basic principles of epidemiology. Political games and opportunism are rife, while misinformed civil libertarians are putting themselves and others at risk by their reckless behaviour and vociferous baseless ranting. O tempora, o mores...

This post is part of the My Sunday Best meme

Saturday 28 August 2021


Came across this spider in the Parklands. Not familiar with it, any spider ID experts are welcome to tell us what it may be.

This post is part of the Saturday Critters meme.

Thursday 26 August 2021


These camellias are a reliable showy feature of our garden every year in late Winter/early Spring. The bush is compact and leafy and the flowers appear in large numbers and look quite spectacular.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Tuesday 24 August 2021


Busking or street performance is the act of performing in public places for gratuities. In many countries the rewards are generally in the form of money but other gratuities such as food, drink or gifts may be given. Street performance is practiced all over the world and dates back to antiquity. People engaging in this practice are called street performers or buskers.

Performances are anything that people find entertaining. Performers may do acrobatics, animal tricks, balloon twisting, caricatures, clowning, comedy, contortions, escapology, dance, singing, fire skills, flea circus, fortune-telling, juggling, magic, mime, living statue, musical performance, puppeteering, snake charming, storytelling or reciting poetry or prose, street art such as sketching and painting, street theatre, sword swallowing, and ventriloquism.

Melbourne has always had a lively busking culture, but now with the COVID lockdowns and restrictions, one is lucky to see some of these street performers somewhere. I certainly do hope that the end is in sight with this COVID pandemic, as our lives have been changed not only in major ways, but also in more subtle, but nonetheless quite significant ways.

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 23 August 2021


"In all things of nature there is something of the marvellous." - Aristotle

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 22 August 2021


We are on Day 17 of Lockdown N˚ 6 here in Melbourne, and as well as that we have a curfew in place from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. All this to control the spread of the COVID delta strain, which is causing a great deal of grief in Australia currently.

I took the rubbish out tonight and was pleased to see that people were mostly being sensible, with our normally busy road quite deserted as you can see.

This post is part of the My Sunday Best meme

Saturday 21 August 2021


A hoverfly (insect family Syrphidae) feasts on the flowers of the hemlock (Conium maculatum). 
This post is part of the Saturday Critters meme

Friday 20 August 2021


The sky from my window at 6:55 a.m. this morning. Looked a bit apocalyptic, I must admit...

This post is part of the Skywatch Friday meme

Thursday 19 August 2021


Brunnera is a genus of flowering plants in the family Boraginaceae. They are rhizomatous perennials, native to the woodlands of Eastern Europe and North West Asia. They have hairy leaves and sprays of blue flowers in spring. Numerous cultivars are available, which are valued as groundcover in dappled shade. Some possess variegated foliage, such as the  ‘Silver Heart’ hybrid shown here.

The best known species is Brunnera macrophylla, known as Siberian bugloss. It thrives in shade but also likes morning sunshine as long as it is in consistently moist, rich, organic soil. It does not tolerate dry conditions. It is often used in woodland gardens along streams of ponds and in naturalised areas as a specimen plant or clumped together as a border. Clumps slowly spread by both creeping rhizomes to form thick ground covers.

Brunnera macrophylla ‘Silver Heart’ (USDA Zone: 4-9) is a superb introduction, forming a clump of very thick, heart-shaped leaves that are silver with green edging and veining. Sprays of deep blue Forget-me-not-like flowers appear in spring. This is a choice collector’s plant, but also an easy-to-grow perennial that performs well in all but the driest of shady conditions. Excellent for the woodland garden. Provided there is sufficient moisture, plants can tolerate full sun; as the leaves are so thick, little or no scorching occurs. Bred by Spitsbergen-Willemsen of the Netherlands. USPP#24685: Unlicensed propagation prohibited.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday 18 August 2021

Tuesday 17 August 2021


Wilsons Promontory is a peninsula that forms the southernmost part of the Australian mainland and is located in the state of Victoria. South Point at 39°08′06″S 146°22′32″E is the southernmost tip of Wilsons Promontory and hence of mainland Australia. Located at nearby South East Point, (39°07′S 146°a25′E) is the Wilsons Promontory Lighthouse. Most of the peninsula is protected by the Wilsons Promontory National Park and the Wilsons Promontory Marine National Park.

The promontory has been a national park, to one degree or another, since 1898. Wilsons Promontory National Park, also known locally as "the Prom", contains the largest coastal wilderness area in Victoria. The site was closed to the public during World War II, as it was used as a commando training ground. The only settlement within Wilsons Promontory is Tidal River which lies 30 kilometres south of the park boundary and is the focus for tourism and recreation. This park is managed by Parks Victoria.

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 16 August 2021


We are now on the eleventh day of Lockdown N˚ 6 in Melbourne, as Australia grapples with the spread of the Delta strain of COVID-19. We are dealing with an aggressive virus which is easily transmitted and affects a wider range of the population (which remains markedly under-vaccinated when compared to other developed nations).

It is unfortunate that we are in this situation yet again, and we can blame a whole host of factors:

  • Politicians too busy playing games and jousting for votes so they are not dealing effectively with public health policy, good planning and prompt COVID legislation;
  • Incompetent handling of quarantine, contact tracing and stopping of spread of virus;
  • Arrant disregard for basic epidemiological theory when allowing super spreader events to occur (e.g. sport spectator attendance in packed stadiums);
  • Inadequate vaccine doses and lukewarm vaccination adoption;
  • Conflicting messaging from multiple layers of government and public health officials;
  • Anti-vaxxers running riot with conspiracy theories and claims contrary to logic and science;
  • A population obsessed with quaint, simplistic and selfish ideas of "freedom" and "personal liberties";
  • etc,etc,etc...
Further restrictions were announced today in Victoria as exposure sites increase and our COVID cases keep on pullulating... How many more wake-up calls do we need as individuals, as members of groups, as people in powerful and responsible positions, as politicians, as medical professionals, so that we all do what is right and ethical?

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 14 August 2021


Since the Spotted Dove (Streptopelia chinensis) was introduced into Australia from Asia in the 1860s, they have been very successful, expanding their range greatly to occur right along the east coast, as well as in parts of South Australia and Western Australia.

The Spotted Dove builds its nest from a few fine twigs. It is so frail that the eggs are often visible from below, and they often fall out. Being so precarious, it seems the eggs must seldom hatch successfully and nestlings seldom survive to fledge, but this is not so.

Spotted Doves are mostly light brown above, with darker centres to the feathers of the back and wings. The head is grey, and the neck and underparts are grey-brown, tinged with pink. In flight the white-tipped tail is clearly seen. The distinguishing feature is the large black collar on the base of the hind-neck, which has many white spots. Sexes are similar in plumage. Young Spotted Doves are similar to adults, but have a mostly dark grey collar instead of black and white

This post is part of the Saturday Critters meme

Thursday 12 August 2021


The Native Sarsaparilla Hardenbergia violacea (var. 'Happy Wanderer') is a useful climbing and creeping plant useful as a ground cover that grows prolifically in the Southern Australian Region. This vigorous, popular and generally hardy Australian native plant grows to about 1 metre high by 1 metre wide. The pea shape flowers appear in late winter and early spring and are violet in colour. It can be used as a ground cover and will climb on a support. It prefers an open sunny position. Pink and white flowering cultivars are also available.

This post is part of the  Floral Friday Fotos meme

Tuesday 10 August 2021


Melbourne General Post Office (also known as Melbourne GPO) is located on the corner of Elizabeth and Bourke Street in Melbourne CBD, Australia and is currently listed on the Victorian Heritage Register. The former purpose built post office building currently functions as a shopping mall, having been redeveloped by adaptive reuse in 2004.

The architectural style of the building is Classical with French Second Empire influences and was designed in the Victorian period by architect A.E Johnson. Its historical significance is also due to incorporating distinct sections built over a period of 48 years between 1859 and 1907, and multilayered architecture, as a result of the four floors being constructed at different times. A distinctive architectural element is the clock tower which dominates the intersection of the two streets. Its location is still used as a point of reference for the measure of distances from the centre of Melbourne.

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 9 August 2021


August is the last Winter month in Australia and typically, it still carries a bit of oomph in terms of cold and wet weather. This year, we've had early signs of Spring, including some windy weather, which we more often see in Spring. Nevertheless, it's good to see these signs of Spring, especially as we are going through COVID woes...

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

Sunday 8 August 2021


I don't know if it's just my impression, but I think now with all the successive lockdowns, I've become aware of more accidents of all kinds occurring. The other night we were disturbed by a bang outside and going out we saw that a car accident had happened up our street. Fortunately, nobody was hurt, but the cars were a bit of a mess.

Lockdown fatigue has been described worldwide as a state of exhaustion caused by the long-term effects of COVID-19 and the changes it has caused to every aspect of your life. It is a state experienced when people have had to come to terms with a virus that has affected their life, including their freedom, and which has continued for months, sometimes with no end in sight until vaccination has become widespread or an effective treatment is in wide use.

If you are feeling demotivated, sluggish or exhausted despite potentially having more downtime due to a disrupted routine, you could well be suffering from lockdown fatigue. If your nerves are on edge, if you feel jittery, if you get into more arguments, behave in uncharacteristic ways, yes, you guessed it, you could have lockdown fatigue. No surprise then of news of more accidents, more affrays, more crimes...

This post is part of the My Sunday Best meme

Saturday 7 August 2021


Kookaburras are terrestrial tree kingfishers of the genus Dacelo native to Australia and New Guinea, which grow to between 28–42 cm in length. The name is a loanword from  the Wiradjuri language guuguubarra, onomatopoeic of its call. The loud distinctive call of the Laughing Kookaburra is widely used as a stock sound effect in situations that involve a bush setting.

They are found in habitats ranging from humid forest to arid savanna, as well as in suburban areas with tall trees or near running water. Even though they belong to the larger group known as "kingfishers", kookaburras are not closely associated with water. This laughing kookaburra (Dacelo novaeguineae) is a large robust bird occupying dry eucalypt forest, woodland, city parks and gardens. Here they are perching on a gum tree in the Darebin Parklands in Melbourne's inner northeastern suburbs. 

This post is part of the Saturday Critters meme.

Friday 6 August 2021


"The Nest" is a sculpture made by artists David Bell and Gary Tippett from recycled materials and is located in the Darebin Parklands, in suburban Melbourne.

This post is part of the Skywatch Friday meme

Thursday 5 August 2021


Lavandula stoechas (French lavender, Spanish lavender, or topped lavender) is a species of flowering plant in the family Lamiaceae, occurring naturally in Mediterranean countries. It is an evergreen shrub, usually growing to 30–100 cm tall and occasionally up to 2 m high in the subspecies luisieri.

The leaves are 1–4 cm long, greyish and tomentose. The flowers, which appear in late spring and early summer, are pink to purple, produced on spikes 2 cm long at the top of slender, leafless stems 10–30 cm long; each flower is subtended by a bract 4–8 mm long. At the top of the spike are a number of much larger, sterile bracts (no flowers between them), 10–50 mm long and bright lavender purple (rarely white).

This species is more fragile than common English lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), as it is less winter hardy; but harsher and more resinous in its oils. Like other lavenders, it is associated with hot, dry, sunny conditions in alkaline soils. However, it tolerates a range of situations, though it may be short-lived. Selected forms are grown as ornamental plants. The cultivar 'Willow Vale' has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Tuesday 3 August 2021


With COVID restrictions easing, life in the City is returning to some degree of normality. A return to pre-COVID life may still take a few years, however, we lose no opportunity to take advantage of what we now can. A stroll in Melbourne's famous, stopping to drink a coffee or enjoy lunch are some of life's little pleasures that one does not fully appreciate until they are denied one.

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 2 August 2021


We've had a very mild Winter this year and venturing out into the garden, fills me with gratitude for our climate, which allows the flowering of all sorts of plants in Winter.

From left to right, top: Chimonanthus; Correa; Arisarum;
From left to right, middle: Protea; Magnolia; Viola;
From left to right, bottom: Eriostemon; Erythrina; Eryops.

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