Whenever I see a snowy landscape of a Northern Hemisphere Winter, I am a little sorry that we don't get snow in Melbourne. However, considering the inconveniences it brings as well as the hibernating gardens, I am glad that our Winters are mild enough to allow a wide variety of flowers to bloom in our gardens. Here are some now blooming in our garden. This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.
Darebin Creek is a creek that runs through the northern suburbs of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. It is the main watercourse of the Darebin Valley and a major tributary of the Yarra River. For tens of thousands of years it was used as a food and tool source sustainably by the Wurundjeri people, Indigenous Australians of the Kulin nation alliance, who spoke variations of the Woiwurrung language group. The creek arises on the northern urban fringe of Melbourne north of the suburb of Epping, following a general southerly route and meeting the Yarra at Alphington. The creek forms much of the municipal boundary between the City of Darebin and City of Banyule. Formerly an intermittent stream, increased stormwater runoff with urbanisation of the Darebin Creek catchment has resulted in permanent water flow. The creek runs through Darebin Parklands, a large nature reserve one or two kilometres northwest of the junction at which the creek meets the Yarra. The Darebin Creek Trail runs along the banks in the lower reaches of the creek. This is the creek at the Darebin Parklands in Fairfield. This post is part of the Outdoor Wednesday meme, and also part of the Wordless Wednesday meme, and also part of the ABC Wednesday meme.
Birrarung Marr is on the north bank of the Yarra River next to Federation Square. It is Melbourne’s newest major park, opened in 2002. Its name comes from the language of the Wurundjeri people who originally inhabited this area. “Birrarung” means “river of mists” while “Marr” means river bank. There are many interesting public spaces, beautiful walks and many art works that allow the visitor not only to relax and enjoy the pleasant views of the water and the city skyline, but also many artworks to stimulate and excite the senses. Birrarung Marr is also the home of ArtPlay. The location is a popular venue for festivals, exhibitions, events and fairs. 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.
We are beginning to see the first hints of Spring here in Melbourne. Although the days are still short and the nights cold, the garden is awakening and the flowers are beginning to bloom. Camellia and iris, wattle and grevillea, French lavender and daphne. Still some way to go, but the smell of daphne in the house sure is a strong reminder that Spring is not too far away... This post is part of the Mosaic Monday meme, and also part of the Macro Monday meme, and also part of the Through my Lens meme, and also part of the Seasons meme.
Sea Life Melbourne Aquarium is a Southern Ocean and Antarctic aquarium in central Melbourne, Australia. It is located on the banks of the Yarra River beside and under the Flinders Street Viaduct and the King Street Bridge. Here are some photos of some its wilder residents... This post is part of the Saturday Critters meme, and also part of the My Sunday Best meme, and also part of the Camera Critters meme, and also part of the My Sunday Photo meme, and also part of the Photo Sunday meme.
Walking west from Spencer St on the Yarra Promenade, towards the Seafarers' Bridge. Looking back towards the City, one may catch many sparkling reflections on the Yarra River waters. It was a cold night and I was only using a small handheld camera, but I think you get the idea... This post is part of the Weekend Reflections meme, and also part of the My Sunday Best meme.
Fraxinus excelsior — known as the ash, or European ash or common ash to distinguish it from other types of ash — is a flowering plant species in the olive family Oleaceae. It is native throughout mainland Europe east to the Caucasus and Alborz mountains. The northernmost location is in the Trondheimsfjord region of Norway. The species is widely cultivated and reportedly naturalised in New Zealand and in scattered locales in the United States and Canada. It is a large deciduous tree growing to 12–18 m (exceptionally to 43 m) tall with a trunk up to 2 m (exceptionally to 3.5 m) diameter, with a tall, narrow crown. The bark is smooth and pale grey on young trees, becoming thick and vertically fissured on old trees. The shoots are stout, greenish-grey, with jet black buds (which distinguish it from most other ash species, which have grey or brown buds). The leaves are opposite, 20–35 cm long, pinnately compound, with 7-13 leaflets with coarsely serrated margins, elliptic to narrowly elliptic, 3–12 cm long and 0.8–3 cm broad and sessile on the leaf rachis. There are no stipules. These features distinguish ash from mountain ash (Sorbus aucuparia) in which the leaves are alternate with paired stipules. The leaves are often among the last to open in spring, and the first to fall in autumn if an early frost strikes; they have no marked autumn colour, often falling dull green. The flowers are borne in short panicles, open before the leaves, and have no perianth. The female flowers are somewhat longer than the male flowers, dark purple, without petals, and are wind-pollinated. Both male and female flowers can occur on the same tree, but it is more common to find all male and all female trees. A tree that is all male one year can produce female flowers the next, and similarly a female tree can become male. The fruit is a samara 2.5–4.5 cm long and 5–8 mm broad, often hanging in bunches through the winter; they are often called 'ash keys'. If the fruit is gathered and planted when it is still green and not fully ripe, it will germinate straight away, however once the fruit is brown and fully ripe, it will not germinate until 18 months after sowing (i.e. not until two winters have passed). The resilience and rapid growth of ash made it an important resource for smallholders and farmers in the past. It was probably the most versatile wood in the countryside with wide-ranging uses. Until World War II the trees were often coppiced on a ten-year cycle to provide a sustainable source of timber for fuel and poles for building and woodworking. This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.
The Grey Butcherbird (Cracticus torquatus) is a widely distributed species endemic to Australia. The grey butcherbird occurs in a range of different habitats including arid, semi-arid and temperate zones. The grey butcherbird is found across southern Australia, but is absent from the deserts of central Australia and the monsoon tropics of northern Australia. It has a characteristic "rollicking" birdsong. It appears to be adapting well to city living, and can be encountered in the suburbs of many Australian cities including Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. The grey butcherbird preys on small vertebrates including other birds. Other birds in the same family include the Australian magpie, the currawongs, woodswallows and other members of the butcherbird genus Cracticus. The grey butcherbird is a small grey, black and white bird with a weight of 90 grams, a body length between 27-30cm and a wing span expanding 37-43cm. The grey butcherbird is smaller than the Pied Butcherbird (Cracticus nigrogularis). The adult grey butcherbird has a black head, top and sides; and a white chin and throat through to the lower hindneck. The upper body is mostly dark grey with streaks of narrow white bands that extends across the uppertail-coverts at the base of the tail. The uppertail is black with narrow white tips. The wings are grey with large areas of white and the underside of the wing is also white. The tip of the beak has a slight downwards hook. Both the male and female grey butcherbirds are similar in appearance, but the female is slightly smaller in size. The grey butcherbird usually breed in single territorial pairs from July to January. Both sexes defend their territories and nest throughout the year. The female incubates the eggs, while the nestlings and fledglings are fed by both parents. The nest is a shallow, bowl-shaped made from sticks and twigs. The nest is lined with grasses and other soft fibres. Nests are normally located within 10m of the ground. This post is part of the ABC Wednesday meme, and also part of the Outdoor Wednesday meme, and also part of the Wordless Wednesday meme.
Southbank is an inner urban neighbourhood of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 1 km south of Melbourne's central business district. Its local government area are the Cities of Melbourne and Port Phillip. At the 2011 Census, Southbank had a population of 11,235. Southbank was formerly an industrial area and part of South Melbourne. It was transformed into a densely populated district of high rise apartment and office buildings beginning in the early 1990s, as part of an urban renewal program. With the exceptions of the cultural precinct along St Kilda Road, few buildings built before this time were spared by redevelopment. Today Southbank is dominated by high-rise development. It is one of the primary business centres in Greater Melbourne. Southbank Promenade and Southgate Restaurant and Shopping Precinct, on the southern bank of the Yarra River, extending to Crown Casino, is one of Melbourne's major entertainment precincts. The flame show outside the Casino at night is very popular with visitors to our City. 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.