Thursday 30 May 2024


Vachellia farnesiana, also known as Acacia farnesiana, and previously Mimosa farnesiana, commonly known as sweet acacia, huisache, or needle bush, is a species of shrub or small tree in the legume family, Fabaceae. Its flowers are used in the perfume industry. The plant's young leaves, flowers, and seed pods are edible raw or cooked. The foliage is a significant source of forage in much of its range, with a protein content around 18%. The tree makes good forage for bees. The seed pods are readily eaten by livestock.

The plant is deciduous over part of its range, but evergreen in most locales. Growing from multiple trunks, it reaches a height of 4.6–9.1 metres. The bark is whitish gray. The base of each leaf is accompanied by a pair of thorns on the branch. The dark brown fruit is a seed pod. The small flowers have five very small petals, almost hidden by the long stamens, and are arranged in dense, globular or cylindrical clusters; they are yellow and highly fragrant.

The flowers are processed through distillation to produce a perfume called cassie, which has been described as "delicious". It is widely used in the perfume industry in Europe. Flowers of the plant provide the perfume essence from which the biologically important sesquiterpenoid farnesol is named. Scented ointments from cassie are made in India.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme

Wednesday 29 May 2024


As the end of Autumn is a whisker away, the plane trees that line many of Melbourne's suburban trees are shedding their leaves, a sure sign of Winter's beginning. We are lucky to leave in a city which despite its large area and enormous population, there are still many parks and conservation areas, many gardens and of course the trees that are planted in many streets.

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

Tuesday 28 May 2024


At the Northland Shopping Centre in Preston, early one morning. Best time to visit and avoid the crowds later on!

This post is part of the Travel Tuesday meme

Sunday 26 May 2024


Featuring the world’s most creative emerging and established publishers, artists and writers, Melbourne Art Book Fair 2024 presents a diverse program of ideas, discussions and book launches. The National Gallery of Victoria's Great Hall was a splendid venue for the event. It is on until the 2nd June. More details here.

This post is part of the My Sunday Best meme

Saturday 25 May 2024


Cassowaries (Tok Pisin: muruk, Indonesian: kasuari) are flightless birds of the genus Casuarius in the order Casuariiformes. They are classified as ratites: flightless birds without a keel on their sternum bones. Cassowaries are native to the tropical forests of New Guinea (Papua New Guinea and West Papua), the Aru Islands (Maluku), and northeastern Australia.

Three cassowary species are extant. The most common, the southern cassowary, is the third-tallest and second-heaviest living bird, smaller only than the ostrich and emu. The other two species are represented by the northern cassowary and the dwarf cassowary; the northern cassowary is the most recently discovered and the most threatened. A fourth but extinct species is represented by the pygmy cassowary. 

Around 90% of the cassowary diet consists of fruit, although all species are opportunistic omnivores, and take a range of other plant foods, including shoots and grass seeds, in addition to fungi, invertebrates, eggs, carrion, fish, and small vertebrates like rodents, small birds, frogs, lizards, and snakes. Although all ratites can eat meat, cassowaries, by definition, are the most omnivorous and, therefore, the largest omnivorous bird where meat still forms a minute part of their diet. Indeed, whilst not hypercarnivorous predators like birds-of-prey, cassowaries including juveniles are not picky eaters and are willing to eat anything that will fit in their mouths. They also have the most varied diet in protein consumption, in contrast to other ratites such as ostriches, where meat is largely used as a substitute in harsh times and is limited to mere invertebrates and small animals.

Cassowaries are very wary of humans, but if provoked, they are capable of inflicting serious, even fatal, injuries upon both dogs and people. The cassowary has often been labelled "the world's most dangerous bird", although in terms of recorded statistics, it pales in comparison to the common ostrich that is recorded to kill two to three humans per year in South Africa.

This post is part of the Saturday Critters meme

Friday 24 May 2024


View from my window. The tall gum tree on the left of the photo is home to about a hundred pigeons that constantly flock and fly about. It can be quite spectacular at times.

This post is part of the Skywatch Friday meme

Wednesday 22 May 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.

Prior to European settlement, the area was occupied by the indigenous Wurundjeri tribe of the Kulin nation. The rock falls would have provided the Aboriginal people with a natural river crossing and place to trap migrating fish. It was also a meeting place for many clans where they would trade, settle disputes and exchange brides.

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

Tuesday 21 May 2024


A cold, rainy Autumn evening in Melbourne. Everyone (well almost!) is indoors quite cosy with the heater on and the electric blanket warming the bed...

This post is part of the Travel Tuesday meme.

Monday 20 May 2024


The temperatures have fallen these past couple of days and rain has been falling. The heating indoors is making it all cosy and warm. Winter is still ahead of us, this is just a preview!

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

Thursday 16 May 2024

Wednesday 15 May 2024


We are enjoying some fine, mild Autumn weather these last few days, but as May progresses, the days get shorter, the temperatures are dropping and rain is on its way. Nevertheless, the leaves are putting on a good show.

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

Tuesday 14 May 2024


Daylesford is a spa town located in the foothills of the Great Dividing Range, within the Shire of Hepburn, Victoria, Australia, approximately 115 kilometres north-west of Melbourne. First established in 1852 as a gold-mining town, today Daylesford has a population of 2,781 as of the 2021 census.

As one of Australia’s few spa towns, Daylesford is a notable tourist destination. The town’s numerous spas, restaurants and galleries are popular alongside the many gardens and country-house-conversion styled bed and breakfasts. The broader area around the town, including Hepburn Springs to the north, is known for its natural spring mineral spas and is the location of over 80 per cent of Australia's effervescent mineral water reserve.

This post is part of the Travel Tuesday meme

Saturday 11 May 2024


The Eurasian coot (Fulica atra), also known as the common coot, or Australian coot, is a member of the rail and crake bird family, the Rallidae. It is found in Europe, Asia, Australia, New Zealand and parts of North Africa. It has a slaty-black body, a glossy black head and a white bill with a white frontal shield. The sexes are similar. Similar looking coot species are found throughout the world, with the largest variety of coot species living in South America.

This post is part of the Saturday Critters meme

Thursday 9 May 2024


Walking along a church garden in Kew, my eye caught sight of this Pyrus calleryana. It is also known as the Callery pear or Bradford pear, and is a species of pear tree native to China and Vietnam, in the family Rosaceae.

Now we are nearly at the end of Autumn here in Australia, and you can see the fallen yellow brown leaves on the ground. However, this tree was blooming as if it were Spring, some of the flowers opening next to the ripening fruit on the same tree... How odd!

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme

Wednesday 8 May 2024


Always nice to go and pick mushrooms in Autumn, but you have to know what you are doing... A tiny mistake can prove fatal!

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

Tuesday 7 May 2024


The beautiful old Anglican Church of the Holy Trinity, on the corner of High St and Pakington St, Kew, is an imposing Victorian building. Begun in 1862 to the design of Charles Barrett, it has been heterogeneously extended over time, and is now of greater interest for elements like the Albert Memorial window of 1864, and for the fine reredos, carved by William Howitt to the design of Laver & Fick.

Holy Trinity has provided the spiritual home to a community of faith that has gathered to worship in a magnificent bluestone building since 1863. The church has been the focus of the Anglican Kew community in many ways over the years, and provides a traditional style of worship, and a contemporary family ministry with services and playgroup.

This post is part of the Travel Tuesday meme

Monday 6 May 2024


Dipping into the archives and reconstructing the current season.

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

Sunday 5 May 2024


Happy Easter to all Orthodox Christians who celebrate this great Feast Day today, Sunday 5th of May.

This post is part of the My Sunday Best meme

Saturday 4 May 2024


The little wattlebird (Anthochaera chrysoptera), also known as the brush wattlebird, is a passerine bird in the honeyeater family Meliphagidae. It is found in coastal and sub-coastal south-eastern Australia, typically in in banksia/eucalypt woodlands, heathlands, tea-tree scrub, sandplain-heaths, lantana thickets, wild tobacco, parks and gardens.

The little wattlebird is a medium to large honeyeater, but the smallest wattlebird. The appearance is similar to the yellow wattlebird and the red wattlebird. The little wattlebird lacks the wattles, which characterise other members of the genus. Juveniles are duller with less streaking and have a browner eye. Calls include a strident cookay-cok, a raucous fetch-the-gun, a mellow guttural yekkop, yekkop and many squeaky, musical lilting notes. The alarm call is a kwock or shnairt!

Little wattlebirds feed on nectar obtained with a long, brush-tipped tongue, adapted for probing deep into flowers. They also feed on insects, berries, and some seeds. Most feeding is done perched, but some insects are caught in mid-air. Birds may feed alone or in groups.

Breeding takes place from June to December. The female wattlebird generally constructs the nest, which is a loose, untidy cup of twigs, lined with shredded bark, and placed from 1 to 10 m high in the fork of a banksia, tea-tree or eucalypt sapling. 1-2 eggs are laid and may be spotted red-brown, purplish-red or salmon-pink in colour. The female incubates the eggs alone but both parents care for the young chicks.

This post is part of the Saturday Critters meme

Friday 3 May 2024


It is Orthodox Good Friday today, with Easter this Sunday. For all who celebrate, compliments of these festive days.

This post is part of the Skywatch Friday meme.

Thursday 2 May 2024


Autumn is Chrysanthemum season, just in time for Mother's day on Sunday May 12th. Our garden is beginning to put on quite a chryssie show now that the roses have almost finished.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme

Wednesday 1 May 2024


Gently, deeper into Autumn. At the Darebin Parklands where the cloudy, showery weather and drop in temperature kept most people away.

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