Thursday, 19 May 2022

PLUMBAGO

Plumbago is a genus of 10–20 species of flowering plants in the family Plumbaginaceae, native to warm temperate to tropical regions of the world. Common names include plumbago and leadwort (names which are also shared by the genus Ceratostigma).

The species include herbaceous plants and shrubs growing to 0.5–2 m tall. The leaves are spirally arranged, simple, entire, 0.5–12 cm  long, with a tapered base and often with a hairy margin. The flowers are white, blue, purple, red, or pink, with a tubular corolla with five petal-like lobes; they are produced in racemes.

The flower calyx has glandular trichomes (hairs), which secrete a sticky mucilage that is capable of trapping and killing insects; it is unclear what the purpose of these trichomes is; protection from pollination by way of "crawlers" (ants and other insects that typically do not transfer pollen between individual plants), or possible protocarnivory.

Mature plumbago leaves often have a whitish residue on their undersides, a feature that can confuse gardeners. While this white material resembles a powdery mildew disease or a chemical spray deposit, it is actually a natural exudate from "chalk" glands that are found on the Plumbago species.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme


Tuesday, 17 May 2022

VICTORIAN MANSION

The discovery of gold in Victoria in 1851 led to the Victorian gold rush, and Melbourne grew rapidly. By 1865, Melbourne had overtaken Sydney as Australia's most populous city. This economic boom peaked during the 1880's and Melbourne had become the richest city in the world.

The city entered the "Marvellous Melbourne" boom period, transforming into one of the most important cities in the British Empire and one of the largest and wealthiest in the world. English architects flocked to Melbourne, looking for an opportunity to show their skills (and make their fortune).

The late 1800s saw the introduction of several grand English-inspired mansions, particularly in East Melbourne, Fitzroy, St Kilda, Kew, Hawthorn and Albert Park. Many of these mansions have survived in Melbourne, and some have become museums, others have been acquired and restored for special purposes, while many are still private residences. Heritage overlays protect these buildings and ensure they are preserved for the future.

This post is part of the Travel Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Ruby Tuesday meme.



Sunday, 15 May 2022

MY PLANET

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

This post is part of the My Sunday Best meme




Saturday, 14 May 2022

BUGS

Agonoscelis rutila (horehound bug), is a stink bug which sucks the sap of the horehound plant, causing wilting of new shoots. They have five nymphal stages in their development. Although they usually attack horehound, they may also swarm on a variety of other trees and shrubs.

This post is part of the Saturday Critters meme




Friday, 13 May 2022

RAINBOW

"And when it rains on your parade, look up rather than down. Without the rain, there would be no rainbow." - Gilbert K. Chesterton

This post is part of the Skywatch Friday meme






Thursday, 12 May 2022

ARISARUM

Arisarum vulgare, common name Cobra Plant, Friar's Cowl or Larus, is a herbaceous, perennial, with an underground rhizome plant in the genus Arisarum belonging to the family AraceaeArisarum vulgare reaches an average height of 10–30 cm.

The leaves of this geophyte plant are basal only, wide, ovate to arrow-shaped, with a petiole 12–15 cm long. The stems are erect and unbranched, usually mottled and grow directly from the underground rhizome. A single leaflike bract (spathe) forms a purplish-brown or olive green striped tube about 15 cm long, with an open upper part helmet or hood-shaped curved forward. It encloses a fleshy greenish club-like spike (spadix) bent forward, protruding from the tube and bearing at the bottom minute purple violet flowers. The 20 male flowers are located above the four to six female, with sterile flowers completely missing.

The flowering period extends from Autumn to Spring. The sexes are united in the same individual plant. Pollination is granted by insects (entomophily). The fruits are greenish berries of about 1 centimetre long. This plant native to Mediterranean region of southern Europe and northern Africa, east to the Caucasus, and west to the Canary Islands, the Azores and Madeira.

Arisarum vulgare prefers grassy fields and rocky scrubland, forests and wasteland, mainly in shady and cool places and in moist soils, at an altitude of 0–800 metres above sea level. Grow this cautiously in the garden as it can become quite invasive.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme


Tuesday, 10 May 2022

GIPPSLAND PASTORAL

Gippsland is a rural region that makes up the southeastern part of Victoria, Australia, mostly comprising the coastal plains to the rainward (southern) side of the Victorian Alps (the southernmost section of the Great Dividing Range). It covers an elongated area of 41,556 km2 located further east of the Shire of Cardinia (Melbourne's outermost southeastern suburbs) between Dandenong Ranges and Mornington Peninsula, and is bounded to the north by the mountain ranges and plateaus/highlands of the High Country (which separate it from Hume region in Victoria's northeast), to the southwest by the Western Port Bay, to the south and east by the Bass Strait and the Tasman Sea, and to the east and northeast by the Black-Allan Line (the easternmost section of the Victoria/New South Wales state border).

The Gippsland region is generally divided by the Strzelecki Ranges and tributaries of the Gippsland Lakes into five statistical sub-regions — namely the West Gippsland, South Gippsland, Latrobe Valley, Central Gippsland and East Gippsland. As at the 2016 Australian census, Gippsland had a population of 271,266, with the principal population centres of the region, in descending order of population, Traralgon, Warragul, Drouin, Bairnsdale, Moe, Sale, Morwell, Wonthaggi, Leongatha, and Phillip Island. Gippsland is best known for its primary production such as mining, power generation and farming as well as its tourist destinations — Phillip Island, Wilsons Promontory, the Gippsland Lakes, Walhalla, the Baw Baw Plateau, and the Strzelecki Ranges.

It is a convenient region close to Melbourne for a day-trip, but not only. There are many attractive spots to see and many wonderful small towns to see and spots of  historical interest to visit.

This post is part of the Travel Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Blue Monday meme.





Sunday, 8 May 2022

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY

Happy Mother's Day to all mothers, grandmothers, foster mothers, mothers-in-law, stepmothers and mothers-to-be! A painting I completed today. For more of my artwork, visit: https://www.instagram.com/jammysevenk/

This post is part of the My Sunday Best meme


Saturday, 7 May 2022

WATER DRAGON

Male Eastern Water Dragon, (Intellagama lesueurii). Australian water dragons have long powerful limbs and claws for climbing, a long muscular laterally-compressed tail for swimming, and prominent nuchal and vertebral crests (a nuchal crest is a central row of spikes at the base of the head). These spikes continue down the spine, getting smaller as they reach the base of the tail.

Including their tails, which comprise about two-thirds of their total length, adult females grow to about 60 cm long, and adult males can grow slightly longer than one metre and weigh about 1 kg. Males show bolder colouration and have larger heads than females. Colour is less distinct in juveniles.

Australian water dragons are extremely shy in the wild, but readily adapt to continual human presence in suburban parks and gardens. They are fast runners and strong climbers. When faced with a potential predator, they seek cover in thick vegetation, or drop from an overhanging branch into water. They are able to swim totally submerged, and rest on the bottom of shallow creeks or lakes for up to 90 minutes, to avoid detection.

Both males and females display typical agamid behaviour such as basking, arm-waving and head-bobbing. Fast arm-waving signals dominance, while slow arm-waving signals submission. Males are territorial, and in areas of higher population density, males exhibit displays of aggression toward other males including posturing, chasing and fighting.

This post is part of the Saturday Critters meme


Thursday, 5 May 2022

SCABIOUS

Scabiosa is a genus in the teasel Family Dipsacaceae of flowering plants. Many of the species in this genus have common names that include the word scabious; however some plants commonly known as scabious are currently classified in related genera such as Knautia and Succisa; at least some of these were formerly placed in Scabiosa. Another common name for members of this genus is pincushion flowers. 

Members of this genus are native to Europe and Asia. Some species of Scabiosa, notably small scabious (S. columbaria) and Mediterranean sweet scabious (S. atropurpurea) have been developed into cultivars for gardeners. Illustrated here is the Scabiosa columbaria cultivar 'Pink Mist'.

Scabiosa plants have many small flowers of soft lavender blue, lilac or creamy white colour borne in a single head on a tall stalk. Scabious flowers are nectar rich and attract a variety of insects including moths and butterflies such as the Six-spot Burnet. Scabiosa species are also used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including Grey Pug.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme


Wednesday, 4 May 2022

AUTUMNAL

It was definitely autumnal today in Melbourne: Cold, wet and gray!

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, 3 May 2022

IN THE CITY

Melbourne's plane trees are in their autumnal garb. The weather prediction for tomorrow is for cool weather and rain, with even some hail and snow on higher ground. Nevertheless, we are beginning to see some international travellers visiting our city once again...

This post is part of the Travel Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Ruby Tuesday meme.


Monday, 2 May 2022

Sunday, 1 May 2022

AT ST VINCENT'S HOSPITAL

Utilitarian architecture at its best (worst?). One of the alleys in St Vincent's Hospital, which is certainly one of the best hospitals in Melbourne. On the strength of that we forgive the architecture...

This post is part of the My Sunday Best meme


Thursday, 28 April 2022

SPIDERWORT

Tradescantia is a genus of 75 species of herbaceous perennial wildflowers in the family Commelinaceae, native to the New World from southern Canada to northern Argentina, including the West Indies. Members of the genus are known by the common name spiderwort. They were introduced into Europe as ornamental plants in the 17th century and are now grown as such in many parts of the world. 

Subsequently, some species have become naturalised in various regions of Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia, as well as on some oceanic islands. Tradescantia are weakly-upright to scrambling plants, growing 30–60 cm tall, and are commonly found individually or in clumps in wooded areas and open fields. A number of species have flowers that unfold in the morning and close when the sun shines on the flowers in the afternoon but can remain open on cloudy days until evening.

Three species known colloquially as "Wandering Jew", one native to eastern Mexico, also belong to the genus Tradescantia. Other names used for various species include spider-lily, cradle-lily, oyster-plant and flowering inch plant. The genus is of interest to cytogenetics because of evolutionary changes in the structure and number of their chromosomes. In addition to their use as ornamentals, Tradescantia is of economic importance because a number of species have become pests to cultivated crops. They have also been used as bioindicators for the detection of environmental mutagens.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.


Tuesday, 26 April 2022

PHILLIP ISLAND, AUSTRALIA

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. The southern coast of the island lies exposed to the ocean of Bass Strait and can experience some wild weather, which doesn't seem to deter avid surfers.

This post is part of the Travel Tuesday meme,


Monday, 25 April 2022

ANZAC DAY

“We have failed to grasp the fact that mankind is becoming a single unit, and that for a unit to fight against itself is suicide.” - Havelock Ellis 

Today is Anzac Day, which is observed in Australia and New Zealand as a day of commemoration for those who died in the service of their country, and is a day for honouring returned servicemen and women, whichever battle or war they served in  The 25th day of April is the anniversary of the landing of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZACs) at Gallipoli in 1915. On the first anniversary of that landing services were held throughout both countries in remembrance of the thousands of Australian and New Zealand soldiers who died during the eight-month Gallipoli Campaign.

Since 1916 Anzac Day has evolved to the observance we commemorate today. The day of observance begins before dawn with a march by returned and service personnel to the local war memorial, where they are joined by other members of the community for the Dawn Service. This is a solemn and grave ceremony which brings to mind the lives lost and the terrible futility of warfare, whether it happened in Gallipoli, in the Middle East, in America, in Vietnam, in Afghanistan, the Gulf or in Korea…

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


Sunday, 24 April 2022

ORTHODOX EASTER

Easter as it's commonly celebrated in the United States falls on the first Sunday after the first full moon of the spring equinox (always between March 22 and April 25), while Orthodox Easter is celebrated on the Sunday after the first full moon after Passover (between April 4th and May 8th.) Both holidays celebrate the resurrection of Jesus within the Christian tradition—so why are they celebrated at different times?

It turns out, it can all be attributed to a decision Pope Gregory XIII made in 1582. At that time, much of Europe followed the Julian style calendar, which the pope wanted to change because it ran a few minutes long each day. He implemented the Gregorian calendar (which uses a leap year to offset the extra minutes). The Catholic church uses the Gregorian calendar to determine their holidays, while the Orthodox Christians still use the Julian calendar to calculate Easter — which means they celebrate the same holidays on different days.

HAPPY ORTHODOX EASTER!
ΚΑΛΟ ΠΑΣΧΑ & ΚΑΛΗ ΑΝΑΣΤΑΣΗ!

This post is part of the My Sunday Best meme.


Friday, 22 April 2022

DAY & NIGHT

The Arts Centre precinct in Southbank, Melbourne, by day and by night. The round building is the concert hall and under the spire is the state theatre.

This post is part of the Skywatch Friday meme.



Thursday, 21 April 2022

MILTONIA

Miltonia, abbreviated Milt. in the horticultural trade, is an orchid genus formed by nine epiphyte species and eight natural hybrids inhabitants of the Brazilian Atlantic Forest, one species reaching the northeast of Argentina and east of Paraguay. This genus was established by John Lindley in 1837, when he described its type species, Miltonia spectabilis. Many species were attributed to Miltonia in the past, however, today, the species from Central America and from cooler areas on northwest of South America have been moved to other genera.

Miltonia species have large and long lasting flowers, often in multifloral inflorescences. This fact, allied to being species that are easy to grow and to identify, make them a favourite of orchid collectors all over the world. Species of this genus are extensively used to produce artificial hybrids. Despite the fact that Miltonia is now a well established genus, most of its species were originally classified under other genera as Cyrtochilum, Oncidium, Odontoglossum, and Brassia. All were discovered between 1834 and 1850 with the exception of M. kayasimae, discovered only in 1976. 

These epiphytic orchids occur from Central to Southern Brazil down to Argentina. These orchids have two leaves, arising from a pseudobulbs, covered with a foliaceous sheath. The inflorescence consists of waxy, nonspurred flowers. The lip is large and flat and lacks a callus at its base. They possess a footless column with two hard pollinia. The flowers have a delicate, exotic scent, some compare to that of roses. They are named after Charles Wentworth-Fitzwilliam, 5th Earl Fitzwilliam, formerly Viscount Milton, an English orchid enthusiast. The species in this genus are sometimes referred to as the "pansy orchids", but it is the Miltoniopsis orchids that have flowers that closely resemble the pansy. Almost everyone except for the most serious orchid hobbyists use the name pansy orchids interchangeably, which may cause confusion.

Miltonia looks more like Oncidium than the other pansy orchids. The most "pansy-like" a Miltonia can get is the species Miltonia spectabilis. The one shown here is "Miltonia Lavender Glade" ( Milt. spectabilis var. moreliarta X "Milt Belle Glade"). Easy to grow, has a nice scent and is free- flowering. It is a plant that will give much pleasure and few hassles!

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme


Tuesday, 19 April 2022

MELBOURNE BY NIGHT

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. With COVID restrictions easing even further, night life is almost pre-COVID normal now.

This post is part of the Travel Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Ruby Tuesday meme.





Monday, 18 April 2022

MY ART

One of my paintings. You can find more of my artworks on my Instagram account: @jammysevenk

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, 17 April 2022

TOADSTOOL

 It's Autumn and the fungi are coming out to play... To have fun?

This post is part of the My Sunday Best meme


Saturday, 16 April 2022

CURRAWONG

Currawongs are three species of medium-sized passerine birds belonging to the genus Strepera in the family Artamidae native to Australia. These are the grey currawong (Strepera versicolor), pied currawong (S. graculina), and black currawong (S. fuliginosa). The common name comes from the call of the familiar pied currawong of eastern Australia and is onomatopoeic.

They were formerly known as crow-shrikes or bell-magpies. Despite their resemblance to crows and ravens, they are only distantly related to the Corvidae, instead belonging to an Afro-Asian radiation of birds of superfamily Malaconotoidea. They are not as terrestrial as the magpie and have shorter legs. They are omnivorous, foraging in foliage, on tree trunks and limbs, and on the ground, taking insects and larvae (often dug out from under the bark of trees), fruit, and the nestlings of other birds.

They are distinguishable from magpies and crows by their comical flight style in amongst foliage, appearing to almost fall about from branch to branch as if they were inept flyers.

This post is part of the Saturday Critters meme


Thursday, 14 April 2022

NAKED LADIES LILIES

Amaryllis is a small genus of flowering bulbs, with two species. The better known of the two, Amaryllis belladonna, is a native of the Western Cape region of South Africa, particularly the rocky southwest area between the Olifants River Valley to Knysna. For many years there was confusion amongst botanists over the generic names Amaryllis and Hippeastrum, one result of which is that the common name "amaryllis" is mainly used for cultivars of the genus Hippeastrum, widely sold in the winter months for their ability to bloom indoors.

Plants of the genus Amaryllis are known as belladonna lily, Jersey lily, naked lady, amarillo, Easter lily in Southern Australia or, in South Africa, March lily due to its propensity to flower around March. This is one of numerous genera with the common name "lily" due to their flower shape and growth habit. However, they are only distantly related to the true lily, Lilium.

Each bulb produces one or two leafless stems 30–60 cm tall, each of which bears a cluster of 2 to 12 funnel-shaped flowers at their tops. Each flower is 6–10 cm diameter with six tepals (three outer sepals, three inner petals, with similar appearance to each other). The usual colour is white with crimson veins, but pink or purple also occur naturally.

Amaryllis belladonna was introduced into cultivation at the beginning of the eighteenth century. It reproduces slowly by either bulb division or seeds and has gradually naturalised from plantings in urban and suburban areas throughout the lower elevations and coastal areas in much of the West Coast of the USA since these environments mimic their native South African habitat. Hardiness zones 6-8. It is also naturalised in Australia.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.


Wednesday, 13 April 2022

IDYLLIC DRAIN!

The run off from a storm water drain cascading down a bluff. It always looks picturesque in the Darebin Parklands even where the storm water drains into one of ponds. It's so good to see the clean water running off from the streets above.  Always good to remember this and put all rubbish in the bin, don't throw it in the street. Keep our storm water drains clean!

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


Sunday, 10 April 2022

PROTEA

Leucospermum (Pincushion, Pincushion Protea or Leucospermum) is a genus of about 50 species of flowering plants in the family Proteaceae, native to Zimbabwe and South Africa, where they occupy a variety of habitats, including scrub, forest, and mountain slopes. They are evergreen shrubs (rarely small trees) growing to 0.5-5 m tall. The leaves are spirally arranged, tough and leathery, simple, linear to lanceolate, 2-12 cm long and 0.5-3 cm broad, with a serrated margin or serrated at the leaf apex only.

The flowers are produced in dense inflorescences, which have large numbers of prominent styles, which inspires the name. The genus is closely related in evolution and appearance to the Australian genus Banksia. Shown here is a Leucospermum patersonii hybrid. An excellent ornamental hardy shrub for most well-drained soils and full sun positions. It is a relatively fast growing landscape shrub for coastal or inland gardens. The two-tone orange-red flowers make a great long stemmed cut flower, and is thus grown commercially for this purpose.

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


Friday, 8 April 2022

CONVENT

The Abbotsford Convent is located in Abbotsford, Victoria, an inner city suburb of Melbourne, Australia. The Convent is in a bend of the Yarra River west of Yarra Bend Park, with the Collingwood Children's Farm to its north and east, the river and parklands to its south and housing to its west. During the 19th and part of the 20th century the 6.8 hectare site was occupied by one of the largest convents in Victoria. 

Today the site and its buildings are used as an arts, educational and cultural hub, the grounds, historic buildings and gardens are occupied by, and host artisans; community and cultural events and cultural institutions, a community classical music radio station (3MBS), a Steiner School (Sophia Mundi), live music performances, a gallery, theatre, markets, bakery, bar, cafe and an organic pay-as-you-feel restaurant. 

There are 11 buildings on the site; the Convent, Convent Annexe, St Euphrasia, Providence, Rosina, St Mary's, Mercator, Magdalen Laundries, Sacred Heart, Industrial School and St Anne's. And all of this by the Yarra River, only about 3 km from the City centre.

This post is part of the Skywatch Friday meme.