Sunday 31 March 2024


Visiting the fantastic "Through the Looking Glass" bookshop in Sassafras in the Dandenongs. A perfect place to spend some time in (allow a couple of hours!) and buy some wonderful books.

This post is part of the My Sunday Best meme

Saturday 30 March 2024


The black swan (Cygnus atratus) is a large waterbird, a species of swan which breeds mainly in the southeast and southwest regions of Australia. Within Australia, the black swan is nomadic, with erratic migration patterns dependent on climatic conditions. It is a large bird with black plumage and a red bill. It is a monogamous breeder, with both partners sharing incubation and cygnet-rearing duties.

This posts is part of the Saturday Critters meme

Friday 29 March 2024


Best wishes for the Easter Season. Peace, health, serenity for all in these troubled times worldwide.

This post is part of the Skywatch Friday meme

Thursday 28 March 2024


Easter (or Michaelmas - depending in which Hemisphere you live!) daisies (Aster novi-belgii) were once popular in gardens, but are less frequently seen now. They are herbaceous perennials with upright, much-branched stems on which masses of small daisies are produced in late summer and autumn. The flowers range in colour from white through pale lilac blue, mauve, purple and pink to deep reddish plum.

They can be planted in mixed borders and can also be used effectively in beds on their own. The taller varieties often need staking, and are best planted at the back of garden beds. A. novi-belgii was introduced from North America into Britain in 1710. In America they were called New York daisies, however, in England these plants bloomed at the same time as St Michael's Day is celebrated (September 29th), and so they became associated with the festival of Michaelmas and were given its name. In the Southern hemisphere where Easter is an Autumnal feast, the daisies bloom at about this time and hence the term "Easter Daisies". 

These daisies are easy to grow. Plant them in full sun in a rich, moisture-retentive soil. When they die down in winter cut the dead stems back to ground level. When the new shoots appear in spring, apply a mulch of well-rotted manure or compost to which fertiliser has been added. Lift and divide the clumps every second or third year in winter.


This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme

Tuesday 26 March 2024


Acland Street is a street in the Melbourne suburb of St Kilda, which enjoys great popularity as a recreational area, mainly due to its many restaurants and its proximity to the entertainment areas along St Kilda beach.

Acland Street runs on a north-west to south-east axis between Fitzroy and Barkly Streets. It was one of the first streets laid out when St Kilda was surveyed in 1842. The north-west end of the street is largely residential, and features many fine houses from the late 19th century, some of them converted to flats or other uses, such as the Linden Gallery, and earlier, Acland Street Gallery, which was at number 18, and closed in 1990.

The south-east end of the street, between Carlisle and Barkly Streets, is a commercial strip, with many cafés, cake shops, venues, retail outlets and restaurants. The section of Acland Street between Barkly Street and Carlisle Street is a tram zone where route 96 terminates.

This post is part of the Travel Tuesday meme

Sunday 24 March 2024


All Nations Park is a contemporary park located in Northcote, an inner suburb. The park was created on the site of the former Northcote Landfill and opened to the public in 2002. The park is 13 hectares in size and is home to many unique features, including The Hilltop, Veterans Walk and ANZAC Memorial, lake and performance area, The Olive Grove, lawn areas, contemporary Indigenous gardens, playground with disabled access, skate park, art projects, and outdoor exercise area for All Abilities. The park is a popular destination for locals and visitors alike and offers stunning views of the surrounding area.

This post is part of the My Sunday Best meme

Wednesday 20 March 2024


Dights Falls is located in Melbourne, Victoria just downstream of the junction of the Yarra River with Merri Creek, about 2 km east of the City. At this point the river narrows and is constricted between 800,000 year old volcanic, basaltic lava flow and a much older steep, Silurian, sedimentary spur.

The area can be readily accessed from the Yarra River Trail. The rapids have been used many times for the Victorian Canoe Slalom Championships. The falls are a major obstacle to fish migration up the Yarra River. A fish ladder was installed in 1993, but subsequent research found it was not functioning adequately and would require modifications to improve its efficiency and effectiveness”.

Melbourne Water have undertaken works from the end of 2010 to replace the weir and construct a new fishway to address this issue. In 2024, although works have been completed, there are still issues left unaddressed and the area is partly closed off.

Nevertheless, we are lucky to have such a gem of conserved native parkland along the Yarra River in the midst of our City and accessible to so many people.

This post is part of the Wordless Wednesday meme,
and also part of the Nature Notes meme,
and also part of the Roentare’s Water Meme

Tuesday 19 March 2024


St Paul's Cathedral in Melbourne is the metropolitical and cathedral church of the Anglican Diocese of Melbourne, Victoria in Australia. It is the seat of the Anglican Archbishop of Melbourne and Metropolitan of the Province of Victoria. The cathedral, which was built in stages, is a major Melbourne landmark.

A distinguished English architect, William Butterfield, designed the cathedral, in the architectural style of Gothic transitional. The foundation stone was laid in 1880 and, on 22 January 1891, the cathedral was consecrated. St Paul's replaced St James Old Cathedral which then stood on the corner of William Street and Collins Street - later moved to a site near the Flagstaff Gardens.

To fit the block, the cathedral building is orientated NNW. The erection of the spires began in 1926, to the design of John Barr of Sydney instead of Butterfield's original design. The 1960s saw extensive work completed to the exterior of the cathedral and the T.C. Lewis organ was restored in 1989 by a major National Trust appeal. Major restoration works were completed in 2009 with significant repairs to the spires, the building of the Moorhouse Tower Lantern and the new processional doors.

This post is part of the Travel Tuesday meme

Monday 18 March 2024


Autumn arriving, waiting for the Equinox on the 20th of March!

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

Sunday 17 March 2024


Happy St Patrick's Day! 

May love and laughter light your days, and warm your heart and home.
May good and faithful friends be yours, wherever you may roam.
May peace and plenty bless your world with joy that long endures.
May all life’s passing seasons bring the best to you and yours!

This post is part of the My Sunday Best meme

Thursday 14 March 2024


Corymbia ficifolia or flowering gum also known as Albany flowering gum (previously known as Eucalyptus ficifolia) is one of the most commonly planted ornamental trees in the broader eucalyptus family. It is native to a very small area of south coastal Western Australia (measured in just tens of kilometres) to the east of Walpole (430 km Southeast of Perth), but is not considered under threat in the wild.

In nature Corymbia ficifolia prefers infertile, sandy soils but it is readily adaptable to most temperate locations, provided it is not exposed to severe frost or sustained tropical damp. It is an ideal street tree as it is hardy, moderately fast growing, and rarely grows large enough to require pruning.

This is the beautiful pink flowering hybrid (C.ficifolia C.ptychocarpa) known as Corymbia 'Summer Beauty'. The flowers do not have any petals, it is the many coloured stamen that give the flowers their fluffy appearance.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme

Wednesday 13 March 2024


After the sweltering heat of high 30s for the past few days, today we had rain and a maximum of 20˚C. The plane trees (Platanus × acerifolia) in our neighbourhood seemed to suddenly put on their autumn colours, although come to think of it, I have been raking fallen leaves for the past two weeks. March is the first Autumn month here in Melbourne and it looks like we may have an early Autumn. But who knows, with this worldwide climate change we are experiencing...

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

Tuesday 12 March 2024


Southbank is is a suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 1km south from Melbourne's Central Business District. It is nowadays dominated by high-rise development, although it was a former industrial area. It is one of the primary business centres in Greater Melbourne, being the headquarters of Foster's, Treasury Wine Estates, Crown Limited, Alumina, Incitec Pivot, The Herald and Weekly Times (including the Herald Sun), as well as regional offices of many major corporations, in a cluster of towers with over 340,000 square metres of office space in 2008.

Southbank is also one of the most densely populated areas of Melbourne, with a large cluster of apartment towers, including Australia's tallest tower measured to its highest floor, the Eureka Tower. Southbank Promenade and Southgate Arts and Leisure Precinct, on the southern bank of the Yarra River, extending to Crown Casino, is one of Melbourne's major entertainment precincts.

This post is part of the Travel Tuesday meme

Monday 11 March 2024


Moomba (also known as the Moomba Festival) is held annually in Melbourne, Australia. Run by the City of Melbourne, it is Australia's largest free community festival. This Melburnian tradition is celebrated over four days, incorporating the Labour Day long weekend, from Friday to the second Monday in March.

Moomba is culturally important to Melbourne, having been celebrated since 1955, and regularly attracts up to a million people, with a record attendance of 3.8 million (2.3 million tourists) set in 2018. In 2003, the event was renamed Melbourne Moomba Waterfest.

Traditional events include the Moomba parade, crowning of Moomba monarchs, fireworks displays, carnivals in the gardens along the river, river activities including watersports, water floats and the Birdman Rally, as well as live music and bands.

Labour Day is an annual holiday to celebrate the achievements of workers. Labour Day has its origins in the labour union movement, specifically the eight-hour day movement, which advocated eight hours for work, eight hours for recreation, and eight hours for rest.

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

Sunday 10 March 2024


A photo taken through a crystal sphere (which I am holding). Note the inverted image.

This post is part of the My Sunday Best meme

Saturday 9 March 2024


The chestnut teal (Anas castanea) is a dabbling duck found in Australia. It is protected under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974. The chestnut teal is darker and a slightly bigger bird than the grey teal. The male has a distinctive green coloured head and mottled brown body. The female has a brown head and mottled brown body. The female is almost identical in appearance to the grey teal. The female chestnut teal has a loud penetrating "laughing" quack repeated rapidly nine times or more.

The chestnut teal is commonly distributed in south-eastern and south-western Australia, while vagrants may occur elsewhere. Tasmania and southern Victoria are the species' stronghold, while vagrants have been found as far north as New Guinea and Lord Howe Island, and as far south as New Zealand. The chestnut teal prefers coastal estuaries and wetlands, and is indifferent to salinity. This bird is an omnivore.

Chestnut teals form monogamous pairs that stay together outside the breeding season, defend the nest site and look after the young when hatched. Nests are usually located over water, in a down-lined tree hollow about 6–10 m high. Sometimes nests are placed on the ground, among clumps of grass near water. The young hatch and are ready to swim and walk within a day.

This post is part of the Saturday Critters meme

Friday 8 March 2024


Hot day in country Victoria, everyone is either indoors or at the town's aquatic centre. Sun beats down mercilessly on the main street. Only mad dogs and Englishmen (and the odd photographer) are out in the noonday sun...

This post is part of the Skywatch Friday meme

Thursday 7 March 2024


Brachychiton (kurrajong, bottletree) is a genus of 31 species of trees and large shrubs, native to Australia (the centre of diversity, with 30 species) and New Guinea (one species). Fossils from New South Wales and New Zealand are estimated to be 50 million years old, corresponding to the Paleogene.

They grow to 4 – 30m tall, and some are dry-season deciduous. Several species (though not all) are pachycaul plants with a very stout stem for their overall size, used to store water during periods of drought. The leaves show intraspecific variation and generally range from entire to deeply palmately lobed with long slender leaflet-like lobes joined only right at the base. Their sizes range from 4 – 20 cm long and wide. 

All species are monoecious with separate male and female flowers on the same plant. The flowers have a bell-shaped perianth consisting of a single series of fused lobes which is regarded as a calyx despite being brightly coloured in most species. The female flowers have five separate carpels that can each form a woody fruit containing several seeds. The flower colour is often variable within species. Eastern forest species drop their foliage before flowering but those of the drier regions carry the flowers while in leaf.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme

Wednesday 6 March 2024


Early autumn comes laden with its bounty. It is indeed a season of "mellow fruitfulness, close bosom-friend of the maturing sun..." The figs have ripened until they are luscious and honey sweet. Quinces are fragrant and tart, begging to be made into delicious quince paste, the grapes beckon the vintner, but even to the teetotaller provide a sweet delight with their ripe juiciness. Citrus begins to blush and apples crisp and red give the taste buds a treat. Pumpkin, chestnuts and winter cherries vie for attention, but the winter cherries - with their brash overcoats on - win hands down...

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

Tuesday 5 March 2024


The Doncaster Shopping Centre, one of the big branded such places around Melbourne. Although I don't particularly like them, sometimes I visit one of them as the specific shop I need is conveniently located there. The shopping centres I like more are the old-fashioned "village style" or "strip shopping streets" (see here). Which do you like?

This post is part of the Travel Tuesday meme.

Sunday 3 March 2024


Permission from the City of Melbourne is not needed to conduct a demonstration, rally or protest or other form of public assembly. The right thing to do is to advise City Council of such a gathering taking place, so that adequate precautions are taken so that no adverse consequences ensue.

​The Council advises: "Before notifying City of Melbourne, we encourage you to contact Victoria Police for advice and to discuss potential police resourcing. If your activity takes place in or passes through privately managed public spaces, we encourage you to notify them directly and discuss any requirements they may have."

Here is a (small) demonstration on Collins Street, advocating putting a stop to the extradition of Julian Assange to the USA and releasing him so he can come home to Australia.

This post is part of the My Sunday Best meme

Friday 1 March 2024


We've been getting a few hot days in February, drying out the grass and the sun seems to pump out all the ultraviolet it can, frying everything up. The sky a hot blue and the clouds look like steam. That old, fallen tree trunk on the right looks like a licked-clean bone discarded by a giant dog...

This post is part of the Skywatch Friday meme