Thursday, 31 August 2017


Spring is here in the Southern Hemisphere and we have had a wonderful day. Although frosty in the morning, the weather soon warmed up and in the blue sky the sun was warm. All sorts of flowers are blooming in the gardens and parks and a walk in the Parklands was a welcome diversion.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme,
and also part of the Friday Photo Journal meme,
and also part of the My Town Shootout meme.


Pink echium 
Wild plum


Daisy mums 

Nectarine blossom



Mauve hibiscus


Wednesday, 30 August 2017


Dindymus versicolor (Harlequin Bug) mating on Angelica seed heads. This is a species of cotton stainer bug (red bug), found in south-eastern Australia and Tasmania. In North Central districts of Victoria it is sometimes colloquially known as the "Sex Beetle". An attractive insect, up to 12 mm long with a black head and bands on the fore-wing, and orange/red elsewhere. When the wings are folded, two red triangles appear. Legs are relatively long.

These sucking insects have a reputation as a pest in the garden, damaging a wide range of plants. They are known to damage a variety of crops and ornamentals. The New South Wales Department of Primary Industries (Agriculture) report they attack cotton, pome fruits, stone fruits, fig, grape, kurrajong, strawberry, vegetables, wisteria, dahlia and violets. In winter they find shelter in dark shady places such as under compost, timber, hedges and fence palings.

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.

Tuesday, 29 August 2017


Flinders Street Railway Station is a railway station on the corner of Flinders and Swanston Streets in Melbourne, Australia. It serves the entire metropolitan rail network. Backing onto the city reach of the Yarra River in the heart of the city, the complex covers two whole city blocks and extends from Swanston Street to Queen Street. Flinders Street is served by Metro's suburban services, and V/Line regional services to Gippsland. It is the busiest station on Melbourne's metropolitan network, with some 92.6 million passenger movements recorded in 2011/12.

It was the first railway station in an Australian city and the world's busiest passenger station in the late 1920s. The main station building, completed in 1909, is a cultural icon of Melbourne, with its prominent dome, arched entrance, tower and clocks one of the city's most recognisable landmarks. It is listed on the Victorian Heritage Register. The Melburnian idiom "I'll meet you under the clocks" refers to the row of clocks above the main entrance, which indicate the time-tabled time of departure for trains on each line; another idiom, "I'll meet you on the steps", refers to the wide staircase underneath these clocks. Flinders Street Station is responsible for two of Melbourne's busiest pedestrian crossings, both across Flinders Street, including one of Melbourne's few pedestrian scrambles.

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.

Monday, 28 August 2017


Some recent rain and cool weather have reminded us that Winter is not yet over, despite the blooming wattles and the clusters of blossom on the plum trees. The Darebin Creek is carrying quite a bit more water through the Parklands at Fairfield.

This post is part of the Through my Lens meme,
and also part of the Seasons meme.

Sunday, 27 August 2017


A perfect end for a wintry day which included rain, hail, sun, wind and cold temperatures...

This post is part of the My Sunday Best meme,
and also part of the My Sunday Photo meme,
and also part of the Photo Sunday meme.

Friday, 25 August 2017


A bonus for early risers is the enjoyment of the dawn and the brilliance of the sunrise. The birds seem to like this time of day too...

This post is part of the Skywatch Friday meme,
and also part of the Friday Photo Journal meme,
and also part of the Orange you Glad It's Friday meme,
and also part of the My Town Shootout meme.

Thursday, 24 August 2017


Leptospermum is a genus of flowering trees and shrubs in the family Myrtaceae, which is native to Australia, New Zealand. Called "tea tree" because Captain James Cook in the 18th century brewed a tea from the leaves and gave it to his crew as a scurvy preventative. These are substantial and useful plants all year round; soft and casual looking (never rigid or formal). Most make a display of five-petalled single flowers (somewhat like tiny wild roses) along stems among the small leaves. Petals surround a hard central cone or cup that matures to a woody seed capsule that hangs on for a long time after the petals drop. Flowers are typically white, pink, or red.

Shown here is the hybrid 'Burgundy Queen'. Few drought resistant shrubs can rival the colour of 'Burgundy Queen.' Everything about it is majestic and burgundy. Its profuse, fully double flowers are intense dark burgundy, and the fine foliage of this large shrub is also burgundy flushed. It originates from New Zealand where it grows in a wide range of areas from peaty bogs to coastal and montane regions. So, it is surprisingly adaptable, especially to arid sites and soils.

Tea tree is a large shrub to small tree that develops an untamed grace when allowed to maintain its naturally irregular form. Bloom time is variable. South of the equator it blooms from Spring through to Summer, but in the southwestern United States it tends to bloom from Autumn to Spring. The double burgundy blooms are small and densely line the branches.

Tea tree grows quickly if given full to partial sun and acid to neutral soil with average to good drainage. It will withstand arid coastal and inland conditions but grows more vigorously if well-watered. In highly arid regions, it is best to provide protection from hot afternoon sun. Use tea tree to flesh out mixed borders and dry gardens. It is excellent for erosion control but not in wildfire hazard zones as it is oil-rich and volatile. Allow tea trees to grow naturally. Many a well-intentioned gardener has “tidied" them up with shears or clippers thus spoiling their natural shape while creating more long-term maintenance for these otherwise carefree plants.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday, 23 August 2017


Ballarat is a city located on the Yarrowee River in the Central Highlands of Victoria, Australia. The city is approximately 105 kilometres west-north-west of the state capital, Melbourne, with a population of some 101,686. It is the third largest population for an inland city in Australia. Locals are known as 'Ballaratians'.

Ballarat is arguably the most significant Victorian era gold rush boomtown in Australia. Just months after Victoria was granted separation from the state of New South Wales, the Victorian gold rush transformed Ballarat from a small sheep station to a major settlement. Gold was discovered at Poverty Point on 18 August 1851, and news quickly spread of rich alluvial fields where gold could easily be extracted. Within months, migrants from across the world had rushed to the district in search of gold.

Unlike many other gold boom towns, the Ballarat fields experienced sustained high gold yields for many decades, which can be evidenced to this day in the city's rich architecture. The Eureka Rebellion began in Ballarat, and the only armed rebellion in Australian history, the Battle of Eureka Stockade, took place on 3 December 1854. In response to the event the first male suffrage in Australia was instituted and as such Eureka is interpreted by some as the origin of democracy in Australia.

Other nationally significant heritage structures include the Ballarat Botanical Gardens (established 1857), the longest running lyric theatre building (Her Majesty's Theatre, established 1875), the first municipal observatory, established 1886, and the earliest and longest war memorial avenue (the Avenue of Honour, established between 1917 and 1919).

Proclaimed a city in 1871, its prosperity continued until late in the 19th century, after which its importance relative to both Melbourne and Geelong rapidly faded with the slowing of gold extraction. It is the commercial capital of the Central Highlands and the largest city in the Goldfields region of Victoria, as well a significant tourist destination. Ballarat is known for its history, culture and its well-preserved Victorian era heritage, with much of the city subject to heritage overlays. After a narrow popular vote the city merged with the town of Ballarat East in 1921, ending a long standing rivalry.

Many historic buildings exist in Ballarat, not the least of which are some fine hotels. Some of these have remained remarkably unchanged from Victorian times (albeit conserved and renovated for modern use (e.g. Craig's Royal Hotel built 1853), while others have undergone many transformations demolitions and rebuildings (e.g. George Hotel, first built 1851, then again in the 1880s and finally another grander building in 1902).

This post is part of the Travel Tuesday 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.
Lydiard St, Ballarat today

Lydiard St, Ballarat 1930s

Craig's Royal Hotel, today

Craig's Royal Hotel, 1907

George Hotel, today - the surviving third iteration of 1902

George Hotel, in the 1960s - the surviving third iteration of 1902

George Hotel, late 1880s - the lost second iteration of 1880s

The Lake View Hotel, today

The Lake View Hotel, 1880s

The Court House Hotel in Smythesdale (19 km West of Ballarat) goes way back to the mid 1850’s, originally a weatherboard building (see below) which burnt down after two years. However it was replaced by the majestic two storey Victorian hotel that stands today (above).

Original Court House Hotel, ca. late 1850s

Tuesday, 22 August 2017


Bacchus Marsh is a rural centre and regional locality in Victoria, Australia located approximately 57 kilometres north west of the state capital Melbourne and 15 kilometres west of Melton at a near equidistance to the major cities of Melbourne, Ballarat and Geelong. The population of the Bacchus Marsh urban area was 20,345 at the 2016 census. The State Suburb by the same name is home to 6,394 people and contains the central business district.

Bacchus Marsh is the largest rural area in the local government area of Shire of Moorabool. Traditionally a market garden area, producing a large amount of the region's fruits and vegetables in recent decades it has transformed into the main commuter town on the Melbourne-Ballarat corridor with its affordable starter homes proving popular. It was named after one of its original inhabitants, Captain William Henry Bacchus, who saw the great value of this locality as it was situated on two rivers — the Lerderderg and Werribee.

One of the first white men to reach the Bacchus Marsh valley was pastoralist Kenneth Scobie Clarke (c. 1806–79), a native of Sutherland in Scotland. Clarke was a manager for the Great Lake Company of Van Diemen’s Land and arrived in the Port Phillip District from George Town on 25 March 1836. Captain Bacchus credited Clarke as being the first man to shear sheep in Victoria, although the Hentys had arrived in Portland with their sheep some two years earlier.

On 29 November 1836, Clarke headed west from Port Phillip with a large flock of sheep, arriving in the Bacchus Marsh district a few days later. He built a hut on the west bank of the Lerderderg River near Darley, and lived there until early 1838. According to pastoralist George Russell, Clarke had acted on information obtained from Mr Aitken, an Edinburgh man, who was most put out when he discovered that Clarke had beaten him to the Pentland Hills run.

In 1838, Englishman Captain William Henry Bacchus (1782–1849, originally of the 2nd Royal Surrey Militia) and his son William Henry Bacchus junior (1820–87) also brought sheep from Tasmania and came to the district which now bears their name. On their arrival, Clarke made an arrangement with them and ceded his run, moving to the nearby hills known as the Pentlands. The then very swampy valley was not really suitable for sheep, as they were prone to footrot. Clarke stayed in the district until 1840 or 1841, and later went to New Zealand, where he died in 1879.

The township was originally known as Ballan, a Post Office opening under that name around July 1844 (Bacchus Marsh from July 1, 1850). The Bacchus Marsh Road District Board was proclaimed on 30 September 1856, with one of its first tasks being to construct a gravel road through the town, as at that time the road was barely passable in winter. Bacchus Marsh was created a district on 14 October 1862, and the Road Board was the governing body until the Shire of Bacchus Marsh was proclaimed on 23 January 1871. The railway came to Bacchus Marsh on 15 February 1887, and the through line to Ballarat was built in 1890.

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.