Thursday 29 February 2024


Coreopsis is a genus of flowering plants in the family Asteraceae. Common names include calliopsis and tickseed, a name shared with various other plants. These plants range from 46–120 centimetres in height. The flowers are usually yellow with a toothed tip, but may also be yellow-and-red bicolor. They have showy flower heads with involucral bracts in two distinct series of eight each, the outer being commonly connate at the base.

The flat fruits are small and dry and look like insects. There are 75–80 species of Coreopsis, all of which are native to North, Central, and South America. The name Coreopsis is derived from the Greek words κόρις (koris), meaning "bedbug", and ὄψις (opsis), meaning "view", referring to the shape of the achene.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme

Wednesday 28 February 2024


Although I live in a big city, I'm lucky enough to have a back garden in which there is not a smidgeon of lawn. Instead there are garden beds with flowers, herbs, seasonal vegetables, a couple of ponds and bird baths and a few trees. There are many birds visiting, the odd possum, the occasional flying fox and numerous butterflies, spiders, bees and other insects. This year, our tomatoes grew well and these three beauties proved to be perfect in looks, taste and flavour. How wonderful to enjoy a garden and its produce, its flowers and fruits and also know that it is a haven for wildlife and a carbon sink...

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

Tuesday 27 February 2024


Flinders Street station is a railway station on the corner of Flinders and Swanston Streets in Melbourne, Australia. It serves the entire metropolitan rail network. Backing onto the city reach of the Yarra River in the heart of the city, the complex covers two whole city blocks and extends from Swanston Street to Queen Street. Flinders Street is served by Metro's suburban services, and V/Line regional services to Gippsland. It is the busiest station on Melbourne's metropolitan network, with some 92.6 million passenger movements recorded in 2011/12.

It was the first railway station in an Australian city and the world's busiest passenger station in the late 1920s. The main station building, completed in 1909, is a cultural icon of Melbourne, with its prominent dome, arched entrance, tower and clocks one of the city's most recognisable landmarks. It is listed on the Victorian Heritage Register. 

The Melburnian idiom "I'll meet you under the clocks" refers to the row of clocks above the main entrance, which indicate the time-tabled time of departure for trains on each line; another idiom, "I'll meet you on the steps", refers to the wide staircase underneath these clocks. Flinders Street Station is responsible for two of Melbourne's busiest pedestrian crossings, both across Flinders Street, including one of Melbourne's few pedestrian scrambles.

This post is part of the Travel Tuesday meme

Monday 26 February 2024


Enjoying the last few days of Summer, as we progress towards March and Autumn! Forecast says 31˚C tomorrow and 35˚C on Wednesday. Make hay while the sun shines!

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

Saturday 24 February 2024


A beautiful dog with a lovely temperament waiting for his master outside a shop. He said "hello" to us!

This post is part of the Saturday Critters meme

Friday 23 February 2024


It is bushfire season in Southeastern Australia and yesterday, Thursday 22nd of February, the temperature maximum in Melbourne approached 40˚C. In the Northwest of the state, the temperatures were higher. In Beaufort, a small town near Ballarat, a bushfire started and in a day had burnt 5000 hectares (50 km2) of bushland, with homes and farms destroyed. Today, 10,000 hectares had been burnt and the fire is still burning.

The sky in Melbourne yesterday afternoon was brownish red with a red sun on account of the smoke high in the atmosphere. Fortunately a cool change came through with some rain and things went back to normal in the City. However, while it lasted, the unearthly, apocalyptic light and the red sun was quite frightening. Our climate is changing, our deforestation progresses at an alarming rate and such horrific and catastrophic events are now becoming more and more common and severe.

About 1000 firefighters and dozens of aircraft are still battling (Friday night) an uncontrolled bushfire burning around the Pyrenees Ranges in regional Victoria to Ballarat’s west. The towns of Elmhurst and Amphitheatre on the Pyrenees Highway remain under threat as winds continue to push the fire north-east. It is heart-breaking that farming communities have to evacuate farms and properties, leaving their livestock behind, with no guarantee they will have a home and property to come back to. Even sadder that some of these small farmers have no insurance...

This post is part of the Skywatch Friday meme

Thursday 22 February 2024


The common sunflower (Helianthus annuus) is a species of large annual forb of the genus Helianthus. It is commonly grown as a crop for its edible oily seeds. Apart from cooking oil production, it is also used as livestock forage (as a meal or a silage plant), as bird food, in some industrial applications, and as an ornamental in domestic gardens.

Wild H. annuus is a widely branched annual plant with many flower heads. The domestic sunflower, however, often possesses only a single large inflorescence (flower head) atop an unbranched stem. The plant was first domesticated in the Americas.

Sunflower seeds were brought to Europe from the Americas in the 16th century, where, along with sunflower oil, they became a widespread cooking ingredient. With time, the bulk of industrial-scale production has shifted to Eastern Europe, and (as of 2020) Russia and Ukraine together produce over half of worldwide seed production.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme

Wednesday 21 February 2024


An expanse of lush lawn in the Darebin Parklands. It should be noted that the majority of the Parklands is planted with native Australian bushland plants. The presence of expanses of lawn in the Parklands, however, raises the question 'have we adopted this English tradition to our detriment in this country?' 

Researchers have warned lawn lovers that their green grass obsession could have a significant impact on the environment. The study conducted by the University of Western Australia and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences looked at research from across the world at the impact of maintaining lawns.

The study found that the upkeep of lawn with its high water consumption, the use of pesticides, and the gas emitted from mowing, were all factors that had a significant impact on the environment.

Conventional grassy lawns as a universal urban ground feature can be replaced with a variety of drought-resistant native plants, new generation of ground-covers or other materials such as mulch and stones. Native plants are designed to cope with Australia’s hot, dry conditions, and while being environmentally friendly they also require far less time and expense to maintain. It’s still really important that we retain areas of lawn for leisure, but there are question marks about how much...

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

Monday 19 February 2024


A digital collage/mosaic of three different photos in the same location at different times stitched together  in Photoshop.

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

Sunday 18 February 2024

Saturday 17 February 2024

Thursday 15 February 2024


Rosa 'Mister Lincoln', also known as 'Mr. Lincoln', is a dark red hybrid tea rose cultivar. Bred by Herbert Swim and Weeks Rose Growers in 1964, the rose was named an All-America Rose Selections winner in 1965.

'Mister Lincoln' is a vigorous, tall upright shrub, 121–213 cm in height. Blooms are very large, 15  cm or more in diameter, with 30 to 35 petals. The rose has a strong damask fragrance. The high-centred, deep red petals are generally borne singly on long stems and do not fade, even in the hottest climates.

The shrub is a repeat bloomer.The buds are deep red and open up into large, velvety red, double blossoms. The foliage is dark red when young and becomes leathery and dark, matte green when the plant is older. It is generally healthy and heat tolerant, but is susceptible to blackspot. 'Mister Lincoln' is hardy to zone 5–9.


This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme

Wednesday 14 February 2024


Lincoln Square, Swanston Street, Carlton provides a green space in the heart of the City. A central part of it is the Bali Memorial Fountain. This fountain and landscaped site memorialises those who lost their lives or were injured by the bomb blasts that devastated Kuta, Bali, on 12 October 2002, and honours those who helped in the aftermath. It has been conceived as a place of comfort, the seating offering a place for quiet contemplation.

The memorial’s centrepiece is a low concrete platform in which two rectangular pools are sunk. These house 91 jets, representing the Australians who perished in the bombing; the names of the 22 Victorians killed are recorded on the sides of the fountain. The fountain’s 202 lights represent all who died that night. A plaque on the eastern side of the memorial lists the names of the Australians who lost their lives. On each anniversary of the bombing, the fountain recedes to become a reflection pool. 

This memorial rejuvenated an existing water feature, built on the site in the 1960s. In 1961, the Melbourne City Council began work landscaping Lincoln Square, laying paths, stone terraces, flower beds and installing an ornamental spraying fountain. It was officially opened by Councillor Brens, Chairman of the Parks and Gardens Committee on the 23rd of July, 1965. The fountain was the first work to be designed financed and installed entirely by the Melbourne City Council, at a cost of 18,000 pounds. The City Architects designed a 40 foot square pool with 150 jets forming the water sculpture. The pool is capped with Sicilian marble and Harcourt granite.

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

Tuesday 13 February 2024


At the Darebin Parklands on a hot Summer's day. The gum trees and the creek running through the park keep the temperature down a few degrees compared to the suburban surrounds. Such nature reserves abound in Melbourne and it's worth visiting a few if you are in the City.

This post is part of the Travel Tuesday meme

Monday 12 February 2024


Chinese New Year is a festival that celebrates the beginning of a new year on the traditional lunisolar Chinese calendar. Marking the end of winter and the beginning of the spring season, observances traditionally take place from Chinese New Year's Eve, the evening preceding the first day of the year, to the Lantern Festival, held on the 15th day of the year. The first day of Chinese New Year begins on the new moon that appears between 21 January and 20 February.

Chinese New Year is one of the most important holidays in Chinese culture. It has influenced similar celebrations in other cultures, commonly referred to collectively as Lunar New Year, such as the Losar of Tibet, the Tết of Vietnam, the Korean New Year, and the Ryukyu New Year. It is also celebrated worldwide in regions and countries that house significant Overseas Chinese or Sinophone populations, especially in Southeast Asia. It is also prominent beyond Asia, especially in Australia, Canada, Mauritius, New Zealand, Peru, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United States, as well as in many European countries.

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

Sunday 11 February 2024


A typical 1950s suburban blond brick veneer home in Thornbury, a northern Melbourne suburb. Many of these have been lovingly restored, and if one is lucky looking inside is like entering into a time machine, with period furniture, furnishings, appliances and wall decoration art.

The veneer part refers to the bricks that are built outside, onto a hardwood timber frame. Inside, plasterboards are attached to the timber and are then painted. The roof is of terracotta tiles. The windows typically are metal framed onto which glass is attached with putty.

This post is part of the My Sunday Best meme

Thursday 8 February 2024


Zinnia is a genus of 20 species of annual and perennial plants of the family Asteraceae. They are native to scrub and dry grassland in an area stretching from the Southwestern United States to South America, with a centre of diversity in Mexico. Members of the genus are notable for their solitary long-stemmed flowers that come in a variety of bright colours.

The name honours genus German botanist Johann Gottfried Zinn (1727–59). They are popular garden flowers, usually grown from seed, and preferably in fertile, humus-rich, and well-drained soil, in an area with full sun. They will reseed themselves each year. Over 100 cultivars have been produced since selective breeding started in the 19th century.

Zinnia elegans is the most familiar species, originally from Mexico and thus a warm–hot climate plant. Its leaves are lance-shaped and sandpapery in texture, and height ranges from 15 cm to 1 metre.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Tuesday 6 February 2024


Moe is a town in the Latrobe Valley in the Gippsland region of Victoria, Australia. It is approximately 130 kilometres east of the central business district of Melbourne, 45 kilometres due south of the peak of Mount Baw Baw in the Great Dividing Range and features views of the Baw Baw Ranges to the north and Strzelecki Ranges to the south. At June 2018, Moe had an estimated urban population of 16,812 - including Newborough, a suburb to the East.

A small gold discovery was made in the region in 1852. The small settlement on the Narracan Creek was a stopover en route to the Walhalla goldfields further north. A Post Office opened on 17 March 1862. In 1878 the Shire of Narracan was proclaimed, and the railway arrived from Morwell. Moe railway station was a key station, with a roundhouse, and connections to the now-closed Walhalla, Thorpdale and Yallourn lines. The town was surveyed in 1879. Moe was declared a city in 1963.

Today, Moe is a navigation point and stopover for tourists en route to Erica, the historic goldfields township of Walhalla, the Walhalla Goldfields Railway and Mount Baw Baw. Lake Narracan is nearby, and Moe is home to the annual Moe Cup horse races, the Moe Jazz Festival and the recreated historic settlement Old Gippstown.

This post is part of the Travel Tuesday meme

Monday 5 February 2024


I was asked to do a little design project as an exercise in Photoshop technique, which identified the country I call home. The result is this "Country I.D. Mosaic" for Australia. Can you do a similar one for the country you call home?

This post is part of the Mosaic Monday meme,

and also part of the Seasons meme.

Sunday 4 February 2024


We had a maximum temperature of 39˚C today, which is not unusual in Melbourne in February. Fortunately a cool change tonight will bring the temperatures back to mid-20˚C maxima over the next few days.

This post is part of the My Sunday Best meme

Saturday 3 February 2024


"How doth the little busy bee
Improve each shining hour,
And gather honey all the day
From every opening flower!

How skilfully she builds her cell!
How neat she spreads the wax!
And labors hard to store it well
With the sweet food she makes..."
Isaac Watts

This post is part of the Saturday Critters meme

Thursday 1 February 2024


Clematis is a genus of about 380 species within the buttercup family, Ranunculaceae. Their garden hybrids and cultivars have been popular among gardeners, beginning with Clematis jackmanii, a garden staple since 1862; more cultivars are being produced constantly. They are mainly of Chinese and Japanese origin.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme