Thursday, 26 February 2015

OLD FENCE

An old post-and-rail fence using rails fitted into mortises in (split) posts with the ends of adjacent rails overlapping in the mortises. Although post-and-rail fences are the most iconic of Australian rural fences, they were expensive and required some skill to build successfully. This one is found in Warrandyte, an outer Melbourne suburb.

This post is part of the Good Fences meme.

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

SUBURBAN GARDEN

Gardens are commonplace in Melbourne homes and most householders have a green thumb or two, myself included. I am featuring some photos from our own back garden today, which gives us great joy and gladness. Gardening may be hard work, but the soul is gratified once one strolls in the lush, green garden...

This post is 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 ABC Wednesday meme,
and also part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.














Tuesday, 24 February 2015

CHINESE NEW YEAR

Chinese New Year's Day was on Thursday, February 19, 2015. This is the year of the Goat (sometimes called the year of the Ram/Sheep). Chinese New Year has a long tradition in Melbourne, and includes fifteen days of cultural festivities, starting with New Year's Eve and culminating two weeks later with a Lantern Festival. Feasting, firecrackers and the awakening of the dragon are just some of the traditional festivities in Melbourne's Chinatown and at Southbank.

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





Monday, 23 February 2015

CORNER, ELIZABETH & LONSDALE STS

Standing at the corner of Elizabeth and Lonsdale Sts in the City and watching the world go by until I see stars... :-)

This post is part of the Monday Mellow Yellows meme,
and also part of the Mandarin Orange Monday meme,
and also part of the Nature Footstep Digital Art Meme.








Sunday, 22 February 2015

GLASSHOUSE, BOTANIC GARDENS

The Tropical Glasshouse in Melbourne's Royal Botanic Gardens showcases plants from tropical regions around the globe, and displays some of the most important and spectacular tropical rainforest plants known to man.

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





Friday, 20 February 2015

JUPITER ON DISPLAY

Sky watchers in Melbourne will have noticed a very bright star in the Northern sky at night. That 'star' is in fact the planet Jupiter and it is only days from reaching opposition on Saturday 7 March 2015. Even if you are not familiar with the night sky, Jupiter’s brightness means that it is very easy to find. Jupiter will be the brightest star (-2.6 magnitude) you can see.

The term 'opposition' means that the planet Jupiter will rise as the Sun sets and then set as the Sun rises the following morning. For Jupiter, it coincides with the planets closest approach to the Earth, and means that the next few months are prime time for Jupiter watching. In fact, Jupiter is so large (approximately 1,200 Earth’s by volume) that even a reasonable pair of binoculars will resolve Jupiter as a disc plus show four of its largest ('Galilean') moons.

The Galilean moons are the four moons of Jupiter discovered by Galileo Galilei around January 1610. They are by far the largest of the moons of Jupiter. They are Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto and derive their names from the lovers of Zeus. However, in total there are 67 confirmed moons of Jupiter!

I took these photos from my bedroom window tonight. The first photo shows Jupiter in the upper centre of the image. For the close up of Jupiter I used a 30X optical zoom as well as an additional 30X digital zoom. A little brightness/contrast enhancement in Photoshop and voilĂ ! The labelled image of the sky is from the free astronomy application 'Stellarium'. I have added labels for the Galilean moons in the last image.

This post is part of the Skywatch Friday meme.




Thursday, 19 February 2015

MELBOURNE STREET TREES 104 - LAGERSTROEMIA

Lagerstroemia, commonly known as crepe myrtle, is a genus of around 50 species of deciduous and evergreen trees and shrubs native to the Indian Subcontinent, southeast Asia, northern Australia and parts of Oceania, cultivated in warmer climates around the world. It is a member of the Lythraceae, which is also known as the loosestrife family. The genus is named after the Swedish merchant Magnus von Lagerström, who supplied Carolus Linnaeus with plants he collected. These flowering trees are beautifully coloured and are often planted both privately and commercially. Popular varieties used in modern landscaping include the bright red Dynamite Crepe Myrtle, the deep pink Pink Velour Crepe and the purple Twilight Crepe Myrtle, which also has a bark that changes colours.

Crepe myrtles are chiefly known for their colourful and long-lasting flowers which occur in summer months. Most species of Lagerstroemia have sinewy, fluted stems and branches with a mottled appearance that arises from having bark that sheds throughout the year. The leaves are opposite, simple, with entire margins, and vary from 5–20 cm. While all species are woody in nature, they can range in height from over 30 metres to under one 30 cm, most, however are small to medium multiple-trunked trees and shrubs. The leaves of temperate species provide autumn colour.

Flowers are borne in Summer and Autumn in panicles of crinkled flowers with a crepe-like texture. Colours vary from deep purple to red to white, with almost every shade in between. Although no blue-flowered varieties exist, it is toward the blue end of the spectrum that the flowers trend, with no sight of orange or yellow except in stamens and pistils. The fruit is a capsule, green and succulent at first, then ripening to dark brown or black dryness. It splits along six or seven lines, producing teeth much like those of the calyx, and releases numerous, small, winged seeds.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.







Wednesday, 18 February 2015

PARKLANDS IN FAIRFIELD

Darebin Parklands is a great place to relax in and unwind. Feeding the ducks, having fun walking, jogging, having a picnic or barbeque, playing football, or simply sitting and enjoying the views and feeling refreshed is what it's all about.

This post is part of the Waterworld Wednesday meme,
and also part of the Outdoor Wednesday meme,
and also part of the ABC Wednesday meme.




Tuesday, 17 February 2015

CRASSULA IN THE BOTANIC GARDENS

We are very fortunate in Melbourne to have a world class horticultural institution in the form of the Royal Botanic Gardens. There is something to enjoy there each and every season and every day of the year. A couple of weeks ago we visited there and enjoyed amongst other things a splendid display of Crassula perfoliata in bloom.

Crassula perfoliata, also known as Crassula falcata, is given the common names 'airplane plant' and 'propeller plant' (because of the fanciful resemblance of the leaves to propellers). It is a succulent plant endemic to South Africa, from the Cape of Good Hope. The foliage is gray-green with striking texture, on plants that grow to 0.61 m tall. The flowers are tiny and scarlet red, that rise in dense clusters above the foliage for a month in summer. This is a choice plant for use in drought tolerant and succulent gardens, and in container gardens.

This plant flowers during summer (November to February). Plants are pollinated by butterflies and the seeds are dispersed by the wind. The plants grow on outcrops and ledges in full sun. Plants are initially solitary but may sometimes have up to three heads later. During wet conditions the leaves become very turgid and during dry spells they become flattened and tinged reddish.

It grows easily and is best planted on rockeries in full sunlight. It would be excellent for dry thicket gardens. In regions where frost is experienced, it is best grown in containers in a greenhouse, or on windowsills under controlled conditions. Propagation is easily effected by division, leaf cuttings or seed. Seed germinates within 3 weeks and plants should flower in the fourth year. Leaf cuttings can be made during spring or summer and rooted in clean sand. They must be kept moist. Sulphur should be applied as a fungicide to wounds.

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