Wednesday 30 November 2022


Stachys byzantina (syn. S. lanata), the lamb's-ear or woolly hedgenettle, is a species of flowering plant in the mint family Lamiaceae, native to Armenia, Iran, and Turkey. It is cultivated over much of the temperate world as an ornamental plant, and is naturalised in some locations as an escapee from gardens. Plants are very often found under the synonym Stachys lanata or Stachys olympica.

Lamb's-ear flowers in late spring and early summer; plants produce tall spike-like stems with a few reduced leaves. The flowers are small and light purple. The plants tend to be evergreen but can "die" back during cold winters and regenerate new growth from the crowns. The attractiveness of the plant is in its milky-green colour and the wooly soft texture of the leaves covered in fine hairs.

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

Tuesday 29 November 2022


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 2021 census, Warrandyte had a population of 5,541. 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.

This post is part of the Travel Tuesday meme.

Monday 28 November 2022


Trying to capture the essence of Melbourne is hard to do with a single mosaic limited to a few photos. But you get the idea...

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 27 November 2022

Thursday 24 November 2022


The deep blue flowers of Delphinium chinense 'Blue Butterfly' begin appearing in spring and continue throughout the season. This unusual dwarf delphinium grows just 30-40 cm tall and is ideal as a colourful low hedge or the front of a border. Blooms best in full to part sun. Great cut flower.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme

Wednesday 23 November 2022


Diamond Creek is a suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 23 km north-east of Melbourne's Central Business District, located within the Shire of Nillumbik local government area. Diamond Creek recorded a population of 12,503 at the 2021 census. It combines features of both big city and its amenities, with lovely countryside and a rural feel.

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 22 November 2022


Mornington is a seaside town on the Mornington Peninsula, Victoria, Australia, located 57 km south-east of Melbourne's central business district. It is in the local government area of the Shire of Mornington Peninsula.Mornington is known for its "village" atmosphere and its beautiful beaches. Mornington is a popular tourist destination with Melburnians who often make day trips to visit the area's bay beaches and wineries.

The town centre runs into the foreshore area and local beach.  Mornington is an attractive destination for shopping and features some excellent restaurants and cafes. The north of Mornington is also home to several horse breeders and stables. It has a modern library, cinema and numerous parks, gardens and historical buildings, many of which are open to the public. It holds several annual festivals, and holds a market day in the main street every Wednesday, which attracts hundreds of people.  

Mornington has an active Yacht club (Mornington Yacht Club), located at Schnapper Point, catering for sailors of all levels and abilities, from beginners - “Tackers”, through to those competing at ocean racing level. The club hosts many state, National, & International regattas, as it provides a good location in sheltered, pristine waters. 2014 saw the successful running of the largest single class Yachting regatta ever held in the Southern Hemisphere - the Optimist National Championships. The Optimist is a youth class and drew over 2000 people to the Club and Mornington shire.

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

Monday 21 November 2022


The good old days when mail was handwritten with a fountain pen on lovely paper and came in an envelope with interesting stamps, and when the postie rang the bicycle bell to alert you to look in your mailbox...

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 20 November 2022


Our weather this Spring has been rather cool, gray, wet and miserable - courtesy of La NiƱa! Whenever we see a sunny spell we all rush out and enjoy the rare occurrence in some nearby park or nature reserve!

This post is part of the My Sunday Best meme

Thursday 17 November 2022


Mesembryanthemum (meaning "midday flowering" in Greek) is a genus of flowering plants native to southern Africa. Fig marigold or Icicle plant is a name for any of several South African taxa of Mesembryanthemum which are cultivated as ornamental plants for their showy pink or white flowers. "Pebble plant" or "Ice plant" are other but rather ambiguous common names, usually referring to other Aizoaceae

The plant  is characterised by long-lasting flower heads. Flowers of Mesembryanthemum protect their gametes from night-time dews or frosts but open in sunlight. There is an obvious evolutionary advantage to doing this; where sun, dew, frost, wind or predators are likely to damage exposed reproductive organs, closing may be advantageous during times when flowers are unlikely to attract pollinators.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme

Wednesday 16 November 2022


The Walker fountain was presented by Ron and Barbara Walker, Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress of Melbourne (1974-1975) to the people of Victoria, opened by the Hon. Lindsay Thompson, C.M.P.,M.P., Premier of Victoria on the 18.12.1981.

It is in the King's Domain in South Melbourne, at the corner of Linlithgow Ave and St Kilda Rd, diagonally opposite the National Gallery of Victoria. The fountain is part of the City of Melbourne Art and Heritage Collection and comprises 46 underwater lights and 144 individual streams of water.

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 November 2022


"Ophelia" is Deborah Halpern’s sculpture inspired by Ophelia from Hamlet and is synonymous with Melbourne. So much so that in 1996 it was picked by Tourism Victoria as the official “face of Melbourne” and appeared all over marketing campaigns for several years. The colourful, Picasso-esque mosaic has been a favourite at Southbank since it was installed in the early ‘90s and, after a major restoration in 2012, was moved to a more prominent position just outside Southgate shopping centre’s riverside entrance.

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

Sunday 13 November 2022


At the Darebin Parklands in Alphington, where the wild mustard plants are all abloom in a blaze of sulphur yellow.

This post is part of the My Sunday Best meme

Saturday 12 November 2022


The Chestnut Teal (Anas castanea) is a small duck. The male (shown here) has brown back, rich chestnut-coloured chest and sides with dark tail and white patch on the rear (the white patch is in front of the tail at the "water line" when it swims). The head is dark green. Females are brown with scalloped pattern. The bill is grey in both sexes. The female Chestnut Teal is very similar to the Grey Teal, but is darker.

This post is part of the Saturday Critters meme.

Friday 11 November 2022


Thousands turned to the sky to witness a lunar eclipse as a blood moon rose over Victoria last Tuesday night. Lunar eclipses occur when the sun, Earth and moon all line up, with Earth casting a shadow across the moon. A blood moon is so called from the red hue of the moon at totality, but the hue the moon appears would depend on local atmospheric conditions: If there’s enough pollution, volcanic dust or cloud cover, the moon can appear quite red. We were lucky enough not to have cloud cover and the moon appeared quite red! Australians will not get to see another lunar eclipse until 2025.

This post is part of the Skywatch Friday meme

Thursday 10 November 2022


Rosa 'Iceberg' was introduced over 40 years ago by Kordes and is still one of the most popular roses. The first hybrid was that of pure white double blooms, which are produced continuously all season. They are borne on a healthy bush ideal for massed display, but are also popular as a standard. One of the World's favourite roses, inducted into the Rose Hall of Fame in 1983. In the 1990s, pink hybrids were introduced and in the early 2000s, burgundy variants appeared. Here are all three types growing together.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme

Wednesday 9 November 2022


We have warm weather at last, and finally it looks as though it's time to go out and enjoy the sun (or shade under the thick, rich green canopy of the trees) in the parks and gardens of Melbourne. Here is a verdant scene at the Queen Victoria Gardens opposite the NGV.

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.

Monday 7 November 2022


A little baroque touch in the King's Domain in the City, where a built rock garden coexists with trees and succulents. Home to birds, insects, small reptiles and the odd snake. All in the midst of the bustling City.

This post is part of the Seasons meme.

Sunday 6 November 2022


A perfect Spring day in Melbourne today and what better place to enjoy it than in Southbank, by the River...

This post is part of the My Sunday Best meme

Saturday 5 November 2022


It's very unkind to call seagulls "rats with wings", unless of course you really like rats! In any case, they are all over the seaside suburbs in Melbourne and yes, they do raid the rubbish bins!

This post is part of the Saturday Critters meme

Thursday 3 November 2022


Paulownia is a genus of seven to 17 species of hardwood tree (depending on taxonomic authority) in the family Paulowniaceae, the order Lamiales. They are present in much of China, south to northern Laos and Vietnam and are long cultivated elsewhere in eastern Asia, notably in Japan and Korea. It was introduced to North America in 1844 from Europe and Asia where it was originally sought after as an exotic ornamental tree.

Its fruits (botanically capsules) were also used as packaging material for goods shipped from East Asia to North America, leading to Paulownia groves where they were dumped near major ports. The tree has not persisted prominently in US gardens, in part due to its overwintering brown fruits that some consider ugly. In some areas it has escaped cultivation and is found in disturbed plots. Some US authorities consider the genus an invasive species, but in Europe, where it is also grown in gardens, it is not regarded as invasive.

The genus, originally Pavlovnia but now usually spelled Paulownia, was named in honour of Anna Paulowna, queen consort of The Netherlands (1795–1865), daughter of Tsar Paul I of Russia. It is also called "princess tree" for the same reason. Paulownia trees produce as many as 20 million tiny seeds per year. However, the seeds are very susceptible to soil biota and only colonise well on sterile soils (such as after a high temperature wildfire). Well-drained soil is also essential. Successful plantations usually purchase plants that have been professionally propagated from root cuttings or seedlings.

Although seeds, seedlings, and roots of even mature trees are susceptible to rot, the wood is not and is used for boat building and surfboards. Trees can grow to maturity in under 10 years and produce strong, lightweight timber, good as firewood, with an even higher strength to weight ratio than balsa wood. Its density is low at around 0.28 kg/litre, although significantly higher than balsa's very low 0.16 kg/litre.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme

Wednesday 2 November 2022


This poor little butterfly got trapped between a heavy rainshower and a full pond. Mishap with fatal consequences...

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 November 2022


The Melbourne Cup is the horse race of all Australian horse races. Every year when this race is run around 3:00 pm, it literally stops the entire nation. Melbourne Cup Day is fixed on the first Tuesday in November and although it is a public holiday only in the Melbourne Metropolitan area, Australians all over the nation are glued to their television screens or listen on the radio (or more likely on the internet, nowadays, I suppose) to watch this historic race.

The race is held over a distance of 3,200 meters, the traditional two-mile cup distance, for horses three years and older and is the richest and most prestigious “two-mile” handicap in the world. It is held in Flemington Racecourse, located in Flemington, one of Melbourne's inner city suburbs, which is named after a butcher who lived there in the 19th century. I certainly hope he didn't sell horse meat - that would be grand irony!

The first Melbourne Cup was run in 1861. There were 17 starters and the prize was 170 pounds and a hand-beaten gold watch (this was the trophy given before the traditional Loving Cup which the Melbourne Cup is known for). “Archer”, the first Cup-winning horse, had been walked to Melbourne from its stable in Nowra, New South Wales, a distance of about 800km. “Archer” won again the following year to a prize of 810 gold sovereigns (£810) and a gold watch. “Archer” went on to win the race the following year once more, making him one of the five horses to win the event more than once.

The 2022 Melbourne Cup has been won by Gold Trip, ridden by Mark Zahra. Emissary came in second, with High Emocean charging home in third. Overwhelming favourite Deauville Legend finished in fourth. Gold Trip is a 5yo bay Stallion from France trained by Ciaron Maher & David Eustace, who is based at Ballarat. It is sired by the stallion Outstrip out of the dam Sarvana. Given that it has won at Group One level and has amassed $5,914,914 in career earnings. Today, Gold Trip scored its most significant win to date, getting the money in the $7,750,000 Lexus Melbourne Cup, defeating Emissary. Gold Trip is regarded as an elite class of racehorse.

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