Tuesday, 6 October 2015


"The Loft In The Mill" is a magnificent bluestone replica of an old flour mill with adjacent stone carriage house. It is located at 1602 Mt Dandenong Tourist Rd in Olinda, located in the middle of Olinda Village: Walking distance to boutique shops; lovely gardens, galleries and tearooms; and quality restaurants. A short distance away is the local golf course, and William Ricketts Sanctuary. 15 minutes away is Puffing Billy Railway or the Yarra Valley's numerous wineries.

The hotel has 4.5 star accommodation, and offers a range of suites to suit all styles and budgets. Each suite has a private entrance, its own facilities, and individual decor. There are large spas, log fires, four poster beds, private courtyards, in-house massage, even a self contained cottage. All rooms have en suites and kitchenettes. Quite the place for a weekend away...

This post is part of the Our World Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Trees & Bushes meme.

Monday, 5 October 2015


Right next to Federation Square, in the City, on the Yarra River embankment. Walking Eastwards, towards the Birrarung Marr park, one may find plenty to look at. Sometimes there are fairs, amusements, Ferris wheels and merry-go-rounds that are sure to attract the crowds.

This post is part of the Monday Mellow Yellows meme,
and also part of the Blue Monday meme.

Sunday, 4 October 2015


The Darebin Parklands straddle Alphington and Ivanhoe, approximately 10 kilometres northeast of the City of Melbourne, and they are a district park covering an area of 33 hectares. Darebin Creek flows through the Parklands, to join the Yarra River, at Alphington. The Darebin Parklands are highly regarded for its social, recreation, education, conservation, water quality management, cultural and heritage values.

The Parklands have a rich history as the homeland of the Wurundjeri Willam people and for cattle and sheep grazing, orchard and market garden use post European settlement. The southern section of the Darebin Parklands was developed as a bluestone quarry in 1890 and following the closure of the quarry in 1965, the land was leased to the Northcote Council as a municipal garbage tip which reached its capacity by 1975.

In the 1970’s the site was marked as a potential freeway or an area for industrial or residential development. Following this classification, local residents moved to protect the area and in 1973, formed the Rockbeare Park Conservation Group. The group pushed for the acquisition of land on the Alphington side and in 1975 the Whitlam Government funded the purchase of land for the park. A management committee was formed which included both adjoining Councils and community representatives. In 2001, the Darebin Parklands Committee of Management joined the Darebin Creek Co- ordinating Committee to form the Darebin Creek Management Committee. The Darebin Parkland’s rich history has contributed greatly to it being such a special and highly valued place today.

This post is part of the Weekend Reflections meme,
and also part of the Scenic Weekends meme,
and also part of the Shadow Shot Sunday meme.

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Friday, 2 October 2015


We've had a lovely Spring day here in Melbourne today, and it was made all the more pleasant by it being a public holiday on account of the AFL Football Final. Many people chose to ignore all things football-related, including the crowded parade in the City, and instead enjoyed the sunshine in parks, gardens and the glorious countryside.

We had a wonderful walk in our local stretch of green, the Darebin Parklands. Lots of other people had the same idea and the park was full of families, couples, kids, dogs, more dogs and their owners... But always a little quiet nook to enjoy with those nearest and dearest.

This post is part of the Friday Greens meme,
and also part of the Scenic Weekends meme.


Hakea bucculenta is a large shrub up to 4 metres high with linear leaves up to 150 mm long x 3 mm wide. The species is similar to H. francisiana and H. multilineata and all have fairly fairly similar cultivation requirements. They all belong to the Proteaceae family.

The flowers of H.bucculenta occur in large racemes about 150 mm long which are seen in the leaf axils in winter and spring. The flower colour is orange-red. Although the flowers occur within the foliage, the open habit of the plant means that they are well displayed, never failing to attract attention. Flowers are followed by woody seed pods about 20mm long containing two winged seeds, the usual number for all Hakea species. The pods do not shed the seed until stimulated to do so by environmental conditions (eg after a bushfire).

This species has been in cultivation for many years but is mainly suited to areas of low summer humidity. In humid areas it can grow successfully for some years but may collapse overnight. Grafting (see below) is recommended for these areas. The species is tolerant of at least moderate frosts and the flowers are attractive to honeyeating birds. The species grows and flowers best in an open, very well drained, sunny position but it will tolerate some shade.

Hakea bucculenta is easily grown from seed. Cuttings may succeed but these may not be particularly easy to strike and often do not produce a strong root system. Grafting of the species onto the eastern species H. salicifolia has proved to be very successful and has enabled the plant to be grown in previously unsuitable areas. Grafted plants are now appearing in specialist Australian plant nurseries in eastern Australia. This tree is becoming a very popular and attractive street tree in Melbourne.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday, 30 September 2015


OK this is an Australasian Darter, rather than a cormorant (thank you Stewart).

Anhinga novaehollandiae (Anhingidae) - Because of its long and slender neck, the Australasian Darter is sometimes called the snakebird. Usually inhabiting freshwater wetlands, darters swim with their bodies submerged beneath the water’s surface, with only the sinuous neck protruding above the water, enhancing its serpentine qualities. Darters forage by diving to depths of about 60 centimetres, and impaling fish with its sharp, spear-like beak. Small fish are swallowed underwater, but larger ones are brought to the surface, where they are flicked off the bill (sometimes into the air) and then swallowed head-first.

[The great cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo), known as the great black cormorant across the Northern Hemisphere, the black cormorant in Australia, the large cormorant in India and the black shag further south in New Zealand, is a widespread member of the cormorant family of seabirds. It breeds in much of the Old World and the Atlantic coast of North America.

The great cormorant is a large black bird, but there is a wide variation in size in the species wide range. Weight is reported to vary from 1.5 kg to 5.3 kg. Males are typically larger and heavier than females, with the nominate race (P. c. carbo) averaging about 10% larger in linear measurements than the smallest race in Europe (P. c. sinensis).  Length can vary from 70 to 102 cm and wingspan from 121 to 160 cm. They are tied as the second largest extant species of cormorant after the flightless cormorant, with the Japanese cormorant averaging at a similar size. Great cormorants are mostly silent, but they make various guttural noises at their breeding colonies.]

The Werribee River is a perennial river of the Port Phillip catchment that is located on the plain West of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. The headwaters of a tributary, the Lerderderg River, are north of Ballan near Daylesford and it flows across the basalt plain, through the suburb of Werribee to enter Port Phillip. A linear park follows the Werribee River along much of its course. In total the Werribee River completes a journey of approximately 110 kilometres.

This post is part of the Wednesday Waters meme,
and also part of the Waterworld Wednesday meme,
and also part of the Outdoor Wednesday meme,
and also part of the Wordless Wednesday meme,
and also part of the Wild Bird Wednesday meme.

Tuesday, 29 September 2015


The Dandenong Ranges (commonly just called 'the Dandenongs') are a set of low mountain ranges, rising to 633 metres at Mount Dandenong, approximately 35 km east of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. The ranges consist mostly of rolling hills, steeply weathered valleys and gullies covered in thick temperate rainforest, predominantly of tall Mountain Ash trees and dense ferny undergrowth.

After European settlement in the region, the ranges were used as a main source of timber for Melbourne. They were popular with day-trippers from the 1870s onwards. Much of the Dandenongs were protected by parklands as early as 1882 and by 1987 these parklands were amalgamated to form the Dandenong Ranges National Park, which was added to again in 1997. The ranges experience light to moderate snow falls a few times most years, frequently between late winter and late spring.

Today, the Dandenongs are home to over 100,000 residents and the area is popular amongst visitors, many of which stay for the weekend at the various Bed & Breakfasts through the region.

This post is part of the Our World Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Trees & Bushes meme,
and also part of the Wordless Wednesday meme.

Monday, 28 September 2015


The Bell Street Mall is located on Bell Street in West Heidelberg, a typical centre zone Melbourne suburb. The Mall includes 80 businesses and public areas for patrons to sit and rest during their stay. Stores include food stores, clothing stores, supermarkets and various specialist stores catering to the local Somali community. Across Oriel Road in the newer development, there is Aldi and other stores.

At the entrance of the Mall, shoppers are greeted by the Mall Sculpture, showing a family of three sculptural figures, probably made of cast metal and lately re-decorated through the application of paint. The mall is the focus of a yet-to-be-implemented Urban Development Framework and Master Plan.

This was Melbourne’s first Mall and still retains an authentic 1950’s feel. The Housing Commission of Victoria designed the Mall in 1954-56, at the same time as the nearby Olympic Village. It was the shopping centre for its Heidelberg estate and was in the “American style, drive-in shopping centre” model. The central, open-air mall is restricted to foot traffic, and in the surrounding areas there are set aside off-street car parking areas to accommodate the shoppers. When it was opened in 1956, the Argus newspaper praised the shopping centre’s simple lines, and the shop fronts designed and fitted by Silverwood and Beck, as examples of how plain, utilitarian planning can be attractive.

At many times during the day the mall is deserted and wandering through it can be quite a surrealistic experience, with one imagining to be in a time warp. Lately, there have been attempts at renewal with the installation of fake lawn and the occasional street art mural turning up, such as the zebra illustrated below.

If shoppers look above the Mall on Bell Street, they will see a vintage neon sign signifying the time the Mall was originally built around 1956. This sign has been recently restored to light up at night and forms the basis of the Bell Street Mall Logo.

This post is part of the Monday Mellow Yellows meme,
and also part of the Monday Murals meme,
and also part of the Blue Monday meme.

Sunday, 27 September 2015


Christ Church is an Anglican church in the busy centre of Brunswick, just twenty minutes by tram to the north of the Melbourne CBD. The first part of the building was dedicated in 1857 and reached its final form in 1875, and has been used for weekly and daily worship since that time.

Christ Church has a proud tradition of Anglican worship in the Catholic tradition in the Northern Region of the Anglican Diocese of Melbourne, a diocese of the Anglican Church of Australia. Preaching and sacraments are at the centre of worship at Christ Church. Services at Christ Church blend the old and the new, drawing on the Book of Common Prayer (1662, revised 1928) and A Prayerbook for Australia (1995).

The parish is involved in the local community in various ways, including the Op Shop, Villa Rustica Cafe, inter-church activities with the other churches in the area, and through connections to Trinity College, and St Paul's Cathedral.

Christ Church is classified by the National Trust of Australia (Victoria) and is also listed on the State Government of Victoria Heritage database. Christ Church is a good example of Italian Renaissance architecture, although the campanile alone is of Romanesque design. The Nave was built in1857 (Architect: Purchas & Swyer, Builder: Peter Cunningham); The Transept, Chancel & Vestry in 1863-1864 (Architect: Smith & Watts, Builder: Dry & Co.); The Campanile in 1870-1871 (Architect: Smith & Watts, Builder: Martin & Peacock); The Apse in 1874-1875 (Architect: J. Wyatt, Builder: Pickering & Dolly).

This post is part of the Spiritual Sundays meme;
and also part of the inSPIREd Sunday meme;
and also part of the Scenic Weekends meme.