Sunday 27 February 2022


Twilight in Melbourne, looking towards the West. The trio of planets visible in the sky are Venus, brightest and closest to the horizon, Mercury on the left above and Jupiter on the right above. Venus is the bringer of peace, Jupiter the bringer of jollity and Mercury, the winged messenger, hopefully bringing glad tidings...

This post is part of the My Sunday Best meme

Saturday 26 February 2022


A neighbour feeds pigeons in her front yard and this gets her into trouble with some people who regard the birds as vermin. The birds fly up to the roof whenever an argument happens and appear bemused by the whole situation. When it's all over, they come down and feast on the food the neighbour continues to put out for them, despite any objections raised by some. Are you a pigeon-hater or a pigeon-lover?

This post is part of the Saturday Critters meme

Friday 25 February 2022


Opuntia, commonly called prickly pear or pear cactus, is a genus of flowering plants in the cactus family Cactaceae. Prickly pears are also known as tuna (fruit), sabra, nopal ('paddle', plural nopales) from the Nahuatl word nōpalli for the pads, or nostle, from the Nahuatl word nōchtli for the fruit; or paddle cactus.

The genus is named for the Ancient Greek city of Opus, where, according to Theophrastus, an edible plant grew and could be propagated by rooting its leaves. The most common culinary species is the Indian fig opuntia (O. ficus-indica), which is seen here.

This post is part of thSkywatch Friday meme

Thursday 24 February 2022


Correa 'Ray's Tangerine' (Tangerine Australian Fuchsia) is slow growing compact evergreen shrub growing eventually to about 0.5-1 meter by only a bit wider, with closely paired shiny dark 2 cm long green leaves. The vibrant 4 cm long orange bell-shaped flowers are on display during the Autumn through Winter.

Grow in sun or partial shade, with good drainage. Tolerant of drought but best with regular water during dry periods. Hardy to about -7˚C. In the Appendix to the Encyclopaedia of Australian Plants authors Rodger Elliot and David Jones note that it is a hybrid between "Correa pulchella and a broad-bellied selection of C. reflexa var. scabridula from Carpenter Rocks, SA".

It is an Australian fuchsia that stays small and has bright, shiny, dark-green leaves and vibrant orange flowers that bloom in Autumn and Winter.  It grows well in containers or in-ground in gardens.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Tuesday 22 February 2022


View down the Yarra River towards the East and Melbourne City. The international borders opened to vaccinated tourists this week and theoretically, overseas visitors will be arriving in droves from now on. The City is still quiet though and the view serene...

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

Saturday 19 February 2022


Although it’s quite rare, a condition called heterochromia can result in cats having two different coloured eyes. These odd-eyed cats typically have one iris (the coloured part of the eye) that’s blue while the other is either green, brown or yellow. Heterochromia can also affect dogs and even humans too.

It isn’t clear what causes some cats to develop heterochromia and others not. It appears to be a developmental condition and while there could be a genetic link, nobody really knows what causes this strange and beautiful phenomenon. While some breeds of cat seem more likely to develop heterochromia than others, it can happen to any cat.

Luckily, heterochromia doesn’t have any impact on a cat’s ability to see, and it doesn’t seem to affect their hearing either. Although white cats with one or two blue eyes are more likely to be deaf, non-white cats with one blue eye do not appear to have a higher risk of deafness than normal.

This post is part of the Saturday Critters meme

Friday 18 February 2022


"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 17 February 2022


Flax (Linum usitatissimum), also known as common flax or linseed, is a member of the genus Linum in the family Linaceae. It is a food and fibre crop cultivated in cooler regions of the world. The textiles made from flax are known in the Western countries as linen, and traditionally used for bed sheets, underclothes, and table linen. The oil is known as linseed oil. In addition to referring to the plant itself, the word "flax" may refer to the unspun fibres of the flax plant.

Coriander (Coriandrum sativum), also known as cilantro or Chinese parsley, is an annual herb in the family Apiaceae. All parts of the plant are edible, but the fresh leaves and the dried seeds are the parts most traditionally used in cooking. Most people perceive the taste of coriander leaves as a tart, lemon/lime taste, but a smaller group, of about 4–14% of people tested, think the leaves taste like bath soap, as linked to a gene which detects aldehyde chemicals also present in soap.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday 16 February 2022


A pond in the Darebin Parklands, a suburban nature reserve in Melbourne's northeastern inner city suburbs.

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 15 February 2022


The Ninety Mile Beach is a sandy stretch of beach on the south-eastern coastline of the East Gippsland region of Victoria in Australia. The beach faces Bass Strait and backs the Gippsland Lakes. The beach is just over 151 kilometres (94 mi) in length, running north-eastward from a spit near Port Albert to the man-made channel at Lakes Entrance. Behind the beach are long sandy dunes that separate the Gippsland Lakes from Bass Strait. 

The beach is an uninterrupted stretch of untamed coastline; it does not have any rocky headlands or platforms, and offshore there are only a few ribbons of reef which are periodically covered by sand. In the northern section, the beach runs along a sandbar on what amounts to a series of tidal islands. Behind this are several large lakes and numerous shallow littoral lagoons. The three main lakes are Lake King, Lake Victoria and Lake Wellington, partially contained within The Lakes National Park.

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 14 February 2022

Sunday 13 February 2022


We are theoretically still in Summer, February in Southern Hemisphere corresponding to August in the Northern. However, we are seeing signs of Autumn and the garden is beginning to go into decline.

This post is part of the My Sunday Best meme

Thursday 10 February 2022


Caladenia catenata, commonly known as white caladenia, white fingers and lady's fingers, is a plant in the orchid family Orchidaceae and is endemic to New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria. It is a ground orchid with a single hairy leaf and one or two white, sometimes pink flowers on a thin, sparsely-hairy stem. It is similar to Caladenia carnea but lacks the red and white bars on the labellum of that species. 

There are one or two flowers borne on a slender, sparsely hairy spike 10–30 cm high. The sepals and petals are glistening white, rarely pink and are sparsely hairy on the lower part of their backs. The dorsal sepal is linear to oblong, erect or slightly curved forward and is 15–22 mm long. The lateral sepals and petals are about the same length as the dorsal sepal and spreading. The labellum is white or pinkish with a yellowy-orange tip. It is 8–10 mm long, 6–18 mm wide when flattened and has three lobes. The central lobe is triangle-shaped, longer than the lateral lobes, curves downward and has finger-like teeth on its edges. The lateral lobes are narrow and may have a few teeth near their tips. There are two rows of yellow or white, club-shaped calli on the centre of the mid-lobe but only as far forward as the front of the lateral lobes.

Flowering occurs from August to November, earlier in New South Wales than Victoria. This Caladenia is uncommon in Victoria where it grows in scattered populations in forest and woodland east of Melbourne. It is more common in New South Wales where it usually grows in sandy soil in coastal forest and shrubland. It is probably the most common Caladenia in the Sydney region.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Monday 7 February 2022


Because we all need some colour and joy in our lives!

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

Thursday 3 February 2022


It's summer and all of the plants are putting on a fine show and growing well in the humid atmosphere.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme

Wednesday 2 February 2022


The Australasian grebe (Tachybaptus novaehollandiae) is a small waterbird common on fresh water lakes and rivers in greater Australia, New Zealand and on nearby Pacific islands. At 25–27 cm in length, it is one of the smallest members of the grebe family, along with the least grebe and little grebe. The Australasian grebe is common on fresh water ponds and small rivers or lakes throughout most of Australia, New Zealand and on the nearby islands. They eat small fish and aquatic insects.\

In winter, adult birds have dark greyish-brown upperparts and mostly silvery-grey underparts and a white oval patch of bare skin at the base of the bill when in non-breeding plumage. Breeding plumage is considerably brighter: the head is glossy-black with a rufous or chestnut stripe that extends from just behind the eye to the base of the neck, the eye is gold and the patch of bare skin at the base of the bill is pale yellow. Males and females look the same. When breeding, grebes conceal their floating nests amongst reeds on the surface of the water. The chicks can swim at birth.

A peculiar habit that grebes have is they eat their feathers and feed them to their young. Although it is not known with certainty why they do this, several hypotheses have been proposed, including; to prevent injury from swallowed fish bones; to assist with pellet formation; and to reduce their vulnerability to gastric parasites.

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 1 February 2022


The 2022 Australian Open was a Grand Slam tennis tournament that took place at Melbourne Park, Australia from 17 to 30 January 2022. It was the 110th edition of the Australian Open, the 54th in the Open Era, and the first Grand Slam of the year. The tournament consisted of events for professional players in singles, doubles and mixed doubles. Junior and wheelchair players competed in singles and doubles tournaments.

Rafael Nadal and Ashleigh Barty won the Men's Singles and Women's Singles titles, respectively. Nadal claimed his record-breaking 21st major title by defeating Daniil Medvedev in the final, coming back from two sets to love down. Barty won the first Australian Open singles title by an Australian in 44 years by defeating Danielle Collins in straight sets in the final.

Novak Djokovic and Naomi Osaka were the 2021 champions in Men's Singles and Women's Singles, respectively. Djokovic was unable to participate in the tournament after his visa was cancelled by Australian Immigration Minister Alex Hawke on the merits of Djokovic being a "high profile unvaccinated individual" whose presence in Melbourne "may foster anti-vaccination sentiment". Osaka lost in the third round to Amanda Anisimova.

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.