Saturday, 30 September 2017


The Darebin Parklands in Fairfield are home to a large variety of native birds. Here are some of them, photographed in Spring.

This post is part of the Weekend Green meme,
and also part of the Saturday Critters meme,
and also part of the I'd Rather Be Birdin' meme,
and also part of the Camera Critters meme.
The red-rumped parrot (Psephotus haematonotus), also known as the red-backed parrot or grass parrot, is a common bird of south-eastern Australia (male)

The galah (Eolophus roseicapilla), also known as the rose-breasted cockatoo, galah cockatoo, roseate cockatoo or pink and grey, is one of the most common and widespread cockatoos, and it can be found in open country in almost all parts of mainland Australia.

The Australian wood duck, maned duck or maned goose (Chenonetta jubata) is a dabbling duck found throughout much of Australia (female top; male bottom)

The masked lapwing (Vanellus miles), also known as the masked plover and often called the spur-winged plover or just plover in its native range, is a large, common and conspicuous bird native to Australia, particularly the northern and eastern parts of the continent, New Zealand and New Guinea

The common bronzewing (Phaps chalcoptera) is a species of medium-sized, heavily built pigeon. Native to Australia and one of the country's most common pigeons, the common bronzewing is able to live in almost any habitat (male)

The eastern rosella (Platycercus eximius) is a rosella native to southeast of the Australian continent and to Tasmania

The rainbow lorikeet (Trichoglossus moluccanus) is a species of parrot found in Australia. It is common along the eastern seaboard, from northern Queensland to South Australia. Its habitat is rainforest, coastal bush and woodland areas

On the right is the the little pied cormorant, little shag or kawaupaka (Microcarbo melanoleucos) is a common Australasian waterbird, found around the coasts, islands, estuaries, and inland waters of Australia, New Guinea, New Zealand, Malaysia, and Indonesia. On the left is a noisy miner (Manorina melanocephala), which is a bird in the honeyeater family, Meliphagidae, and is endemic to eastern and south-eastern Australia

The Australian magpie (Cracticus tibicen) is a medium-sized black and white passerine bird native to Australia and southern New Guinea
The Australian white ibis (Threskiornis moluccus) is a wading bird of the ibis family, Threskiornithidae. It is widespread across much of Australia
The Australasian swamphen (Porphyrio melanotus), family Rallidae, is a species of swamphen occurring in eastern Indonesia, the Moluccas, Aru and Kai Islands, as well as in Papua New Guinea and Australia. It is also found in New Zealand where it is known as the Pūkeko, derived from the Māori language

Friday, 29 September 2017

Thursday, 28 September 2017


The three-cornered leek (Allium triquetrum) is an invasive weed in the Amaryllidaceae family, which is native to the Mediterranean and which can carpet large areas very quickly because of its rapidly germinating seeds that quickly form a dense clump of leaves and flowers. Both the English name and the specific epithet triquetrum refer to the three-cornered shape of the flower stalks. In New Zealand this plant is known as "onion weed".

Pretty though this three-cornered leek may be, don't be tempted to pick it as a cut flower because it does reek strongly of an oniony smell! However, you can pick it for eating, as all parts of the plant are edible. The leaves and flowers can be added to salads, and the bulbs can be substituted for garlic. The taste can be described as subtly flavoured like a leek or a spring onion. It may be consumed raw or cooked.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday, 27 September 2017


We are very lucky in Melbourne to be surrounded by beautiful, lush countryside, only a relatively short driving time out of the City. Just half an hour’s drive from Melbourne, the Yarra Valley is home to around eighty of Victoria’s best small wineries. Wine country starts in outer suburbia north of the Maroondah Highway just before Lilydale. North of Lilydale, one can check out wineries along or near three routes – the Warburton Highway to the east, the Maroondah Highway to Healesville, and the Melba Highway, heading north past Yarra Glen.

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, 26 September 2017


St Mary Star of the Sea is one of the most beautiful and historically significant churches in Australia. The foundation stone of St Mary's was laid in 1882 and the building was completed by 1900. Since 2002 restoration has been ongoing to restore the church to its original splendour. Built with seating for over 1,200 people, it has been described as the largest parish church in West Melbourne, in Victoria, or even in Australia.

The foundations of the current church were laid in June 1892. A young and as yet unknown architect, Edgar J. Henderson, tendered plans for a grandiose sandstone cruciform in the French Gothic style. At 175 feet long and 94 feet wide, the proposed church was criticised by Archbishop Carr for being too large, but parishioners embraced the ambitious project. Within a year, however, economic depression had wrought havoc on the project's finance. Remarkably, in the face of devastating poverty, parishioners managed to fund ongoing construction, and church was built in eight years.

Phillip Kennedy took over Henderson's architectural role, and the contrast between the church's exterior and interior can be attributed to his influence. Henderson's rose windows, battered plinths, cylindrical turrets, and soaring groined timber ceiling exemplify the French Gothic Revival. Kennedy's glossy marble and granite pillars, intricate marble fittings, and pink tinted walls, however, betray an Italianate influence.

On 18 February 1900, Cardinal Moran opened and blessed the new church to great fanfare, before an assembly of 1,400. Local Catholic newspaper The Advocate remarked that "The congregation has literally emerged from the worst ecclesiastical building in the colony to enter one of the finest." The church was finally completed in 1925. On 12 February, His Excellency Archbishop Cattaneo, Apostolic Delegate, dedicated the new marble high altar and consecrated the completed church.

Note that the spire of the church (the "Fitzgerald Tower") was never added. Here you can see the original architectural sketch including the tower.

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, 25 September 2017


Southern Cross Station is the most important rail terminal in Victoria and has been redeveloped into a world-class public transport interchange, with fast rail connections to regional Victorian centres and new facilities for rail, taxi and bus passengers. Now more than just a railway station, Southern Cross Station is a combination railway, shopping centre and bus terminal. The shopping centre includes supermarkets, DFO - Direct Factory Outlet and over 100 other shops, bars and restaurants.

On Spencer Street between Collins and La Trobe Streets at the western boundary of the central business district, it is the hub of the state's regional railway network, serving as a terminus for long-distance V/Line trains. It also serves the twice-daily Countrylink XPT service to Sydney, and The Overland to Adelaide three times per week. It has a bus station with 24-hour Skybus service to Melbourne airport.

Southern Cross is one of five stations forming the City Loop, a mostly underground railway that encircles the CBD. Southern Cross and Flinders Street are the only stations in the Loop that are above ground.

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

Sunday, 24 September 2017


Makes us happy!

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.

Saturday, 23 September 2017


In the Darebin Parklands, the waters of the Darebin Creek and the several ponds through the reserve offer a great environment for many species of waterfowl. Nesting boxes are also provided for these birds and many take advantage of these "apartments" as a secure place to raise their young. Here is a couple of chestnut teal ducks (Anas castanea). Chestnut teals are dabbling ducks found in Australia. They are protected under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974.

The chestnut teal is darker and a slightly bigger bird than the grey teal. The male has a distinctive green coloured head and mottled brown body. The female has a brown head and mottled brown body. The female is almost identical in appearance to the grey teal. The female chestnut teal has a loud penetrating "laughing" quack repeated rapidly nine times or more.

The chestnut teal is commonly distributed in south-eastern and south-western Australia, while vagrants may occur elsewhere. Tasmania and southern Victoria are the species’ stronghold, while vagrants can be found as far north as New Guinea and Lord Howe Island. The chestnut teal prefers coastal estuaries and wetlands, and is indifferent to salinity. This bird is an omnivore.

Chestnut teals form monogamous pairs that stay together outside the breeding season, defend the nest site and look after the young when hatched. Nests are usually located over water, in a down-lined tree hollow about 6–10 m high. Sometimes nests are placed on the ground, among clumps of grass near water. The young hatch and are ready to swim and walk within a day.

This post is part of the Weekend Reflections meme,
and also part of the Saturday Critters meme,
and also part of the Camera Critters meme,
and also part of the I'd Rather Be Birdin' meme.

Friday, 22 September 2017


"There was never a night or a problem that could defeat sunrise or hope." - Bernard Williams

This post is part of the Skywatch Friday meme,
and also part of the Friday Photo Journal meme.

Thursday, 21 September 2017


Raphanus raphanistrum, the wild radish or jointed charlock, is a flowering plant in the family Brassicaceae. It is sometimes claimed to be the ancestor of the edible radish, Raphanus sativus. Native to Asia (or, according to some authorities, the Mediterranean), it has been introduced into most parts of the world, and is regarded as a damagingly invasive species in many areas, for example Australia. It spreads rapidly, and is often found growing on roadsides or in other places where the ground has been disturbed.

In southeastern USA, the pale yellow form is common, sometimes entirely taking over fields in wintertime. It is often erroneously identified as mustard. It is a significant source of pollen and nectar for a variety of pollinators, especially honey bees during the very early spring starting buildup. Female Andrena agilissima, mining bees, frequent this plant to obtain pollen and nectar. 

Wild radish grows as an annual or biennial plant, with attractive four-petalled flowers 30–40 mm across and varying in colour, usually from white to purple but sometimes light orange to yellow, often with colour shading within a single petal. It is frost hardy, and even hard freezes only temporarily interrupt bloom. It blooms in early spring to late summer with flowers very similar to those of the searocket, which is found in some of the same regions and is easily distinguished from it by having thinner, non-succulent stems and leaves. It has a single taproot which is similar to that of the cultivated radish but less enlarged.

The genome of wild radish is estimated to be ~515 Mb. Approximately 49% of the genome (254 Mb) has been sequenced. researchers found evidence of a past whole-genome triplication in wild radish followed by widespread gene loss, resulting in ~38,000 genes in the genome of the extant species.

While this species is mostly a weed of agricultural areas and habitation, Raphanus raphanistrum is also troublesome in natural vegetation in some areas. It is seen as an environmental weed in Victoria and Western Australia and during a recent survey was listed as a priority environmental weed in two Natural Resource Management regions. In Victoria, wild radish is listed as a major environmental weed in Kinglake National Park. It is also present in other conservation areas in this state (e.g. Organ Pipes National Park) and appears on environmental weed lists for Knox City, Boroondara City and the Colac-Otway Shire.

This species is used as a salad vegetable in Greece, Turkey and in Southern Italy. It is also blanched with other wild mustard greens and used as a cooked vegetable. It contains many vitamins, minerals, has antioxidant and iron chelating properties.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme,
and also part of the Weekend Green meme.

Wednesday, 20 September 2017


Historic Studley Park Boathouse, Kew, is only 10 minutes from the city centre and offers visitors the opportunity to dine in the restaurant, relax over a lighter meal in the indoor/outdoor café, or have a light snack from the kiosk while enjoying sweeping views of the Yarra River and natural bushland.

You can also hire row boats, canoes and kayaks from the oldest operating boathouse in Australia. Open every day of the year except Christmas Day. Kids love the place as there are activities, animals and wide open spaces to play in.

This post is part of the My Town Shootout 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.

Tuesday, 19 September 2017


Prominently located in Southbank on the Yarra River is the Crown Casino. It has earned itself a reputation as their slogan suggests, for being “A World of Entertainment”. Crown Casino has more then a dozen bars and clubs, numerous dining and shopping options, free entertainment and much more all within the opulent surrounds of the Crown complex. There is something to cater for everyone including some gambling, clubs, pubs and bars for the adults, and games, cinemas and shopping for all ages.

At night, on the boulevard, Crown Casino erupts into a riverside show of fireballs. These never fail to impress and wow visitors. When the weather is cooler the flames warm bystanders, people reporting they can even feel the heat from the other side of the river. The fireballs are the biggest in the world and explode in a show each hour between times that are subject to the season and weather conditions.

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.