Thursday, 18 January 2018

HIPPEASTRUM

Hippeastrum is a genus of about 90 species and over 600 hybrids and cultivars of perennial herbaceous bulbous plants. They generally have large fleshy bulbs and tall broad leaves, generally evergreen, and large red or purple flowers. Hippeastrum is a genus in the family Amaryllidaceae.

The name Hippeastrum, given to it by William Herbert, means "Knight's-star-lily", although precisely what Herbert meant by the name is not certain. For many years there was confusion among botanists over the generic names Amaryllis and Hippeastrum, one result of which is that the common name "amaryllis" is mainly used for cultivars of this genus, often sold as indoor flowering bulbs particularly at Christmas in the northern hemisphere. By contrast the generic name Amaryllis applies to bulbs from South Africa, usually grown outdoors. The genus is native to tropical and subtropical regions of the Americas from Argentina north to Mexico and the Caribbean.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

BEGONIA

Begonia is a genus of perennial flowering plants in the family Begoniaceae. The genus contains 1,795 different plant species. The begonias are native to moist subtropical and tropical climates. Some species are commonly grown indoors as ornamental houseplants in cooler climates. In temperate climates some species are cultivated outside in summertime for their bright colourful flowers, which have sepals but no petals.

With 1,839 species, Begonia is the fifth-largest angiosperm genus. The species are terrestrial (sometimes epiphytic) herbs or undershrubs, and occur in subtropical and tropical moist climates, in South and Central America, Africa, and southern Asia. Terrestrial species in the wild are commonly upright-stemmed, rhizomatous, or tuberous.

The plants are monoecious, with unisexual male and female flowers occurring separately on the same plant; the male contains numerous stamens, and the female has a large inferior ovary and two to four branched or twisted stigmas. In most species, the fruit is a winged capsule containing numerous minute seeds, although baccate fruits are also known. The leaves, which are often large and variously marked or variegated, are usually asymmetric (unequal-sided).

The genus name Begonia, coined by Charles Plumier, a French patron of botany, and adopted by Linnaeus in 1753, honours Michel Bégon, a former governor of the French colony of Saint-Domingue (now Haiti). The hybrid below is a vigorous perennial growing in our garden and is the Begonia 'Dragon Wing Red" variety.

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, 16 January 2018

METÉORA, GREECE

The Metéora (Greek: Μετέωρα, pronounced [mɛˈtɛoɾɐ], lit. "middle of the sky", "suspended in the air" or "in the heavens above" — etymologically related to "Meteorite") is one of the largest and most important complexes of Eastern Orthodox monasteries in Greece, second only to Mount Athos. The six monasteries are built on natural sandstone rock pillars, at the northwestern edge of the Plain of Thessaly near the Pineios river and Pindus Mountains, in central Greece.

The nearest town is Kalambaka. The Metéora is included on the UNESCO World Heritage List. All of the monasteries that are located at Metéora are perched on high cliffs and accessible by staircases cut into the rock formations. They were created to serve monks and nuns following the teachings of the Greek Orthodox Church. Much of the architecture of these buildings is Athonite in origin. Of the six intact monasteries, the Holy Monastery of St. Stephen and Monastery Roussanou are inhabited by nuns.

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, 15 January 2018

IN OUR GARDEN

It takes a lot of work to keep a garden green and flourishing, but it is worth it in the end when you see the great results of your toil. No pain, no gain...

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,
and also part of the Ruby Tuesday meme.

Sunday, 14 January 2018

MELBOURNE MORNING

Looking towards the East down Bourke St from Queen St, one early morning with only a few early birds around...

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, 13 January 2018

MELBOURNE REFLECTIONS

Melbourne by night, reflected in the waters of the Yarra River. I rather like the City of Melbourne logo, which I've added on the photo. What do you think of it?

This post is part of the Weekend Reflections meme.

Friday, 12 January 2018

PARKLANDS MOONSET

The moon setting in the West at the Darebin Parklands in the Melbourne suburb of Fairfield.

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



Thursday, 11 January 2018

WATER GUM

Tristaniopsis laurina, the Water Gum or Kanooka is a tree native to Australia, where it usually grows near the eastern coastline and along the banks of streams, where the trunks and branches tend to be shaped in the direction of the current and give an indication of the flood height.

Tristaniopsis laurina has a slow rate of growth, and usually reaches a height of 4–9m. The tree is multi-branched, and may be pruned to maintain a compact shape. It can grow to be 39 m tall in native habitats. The flowers are bright yellow and have a distinctive (and to some, an unpleasant odour). They attract honeybees as well as small native species of bee. They usually come out in the late spring or early summer.

The Water Gum is cultivated as an ornamental tree by plant nurseries, for use in gardens and civic landscaping. It is popular, being easy to grow and forming a good shade tree. Many are planted as street trees, especially in Sydney and Melbourne.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.






Wednesday, 10 January 2018

ASTER

Aster is a genus of flowering plants in the family Asteraceae. Its circumscription has been narrowed, and it now encompasses around 180 species, all but one of which are restricted to Eurasia; many species formerly in Aster are now in other genera of the tribe Astereae.

The name Aster comes from the Ancient Greek word ἀστήρ (astḗr), meaning "star", referring to the shape of the flower head. Many species and a variety of hybrids and varieties are popular as garden plants because of their attractive and colourful flowers.

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, 9 January 2018

HONG KONG, CHINA

Hong Kong (Chinese: 香港), officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China, is an autonomous territory on the eastern side of the Pearl River estuary in East Asia, south of the mainland Chinese province of Guangdong, and east of the former Portuguese colony and fellow special administrative region of Macau. With around 7.3 million Hongkongers of various nationalities in a territory of 1,104 km2, Hong Kong is the fourth-most densely populated region in the world.

Hong Kong was formerly a colony of the British Empire, after the perpetual cession of Hong Kong Island from Qing China at the conclusion of the First Opium War in 1842. The colony expanded to the Kowloon Peninsula in 1860, and further acquired a 99-year lease of the New Territories from 1898. Hong Kong was later occupied by Japan during the Second World War, until British control resumed in 1945. The territory was returned to China under the framework of the Sino-British Joint Declaration, signed by the United Kingdom and China in 1984 and marked with the transfer of sovereignty over Hong Kong in 1997, when it became a special administrative region of the People's Republic of China.

Under the principle of "one country, two systems", Hong Kong maintains a separate political and economic system apart from China. Except in military defence and foreign affairs, Hong Kong retains independent executive, legislative, and judiciary powers. Nevertheless, Hong Kong does directly develop relations with foreign states and international organisations in a broad range of "appropriate fields", being actively and independently involved in institutions such as the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum and the World Trade Organization.

Hong Kong is one of the world's most significant financial centres, holding the highest Financial Development Index score and consistently ranking as the world's most competitive and freest economic areas. As the seventh-largest trading entity in the world, its legal tender, the Hong Kong dollar, is the 13th-most traded currency. Hong Kong's tertiary sector dominated economy is characterised by competitive simple taxation and supported by its independent judiciary system.

Although the city boasts one of the highest per capita incomes in the world, it suffers from severe income inequality. Hong Kong features the most skyscrapers in the world, surrounding Victoria Harbour, which lies in the centre of the city's dense urban region. It has a very high Human Development Index ranking and the world's longest life expectancy. Over 90% of its population makes use of well-developed public transportation. Seasonal air pollution with origins from neighbouring industrial areas of mainland China, which adopts loose emissions standards, has resulted in a high level of atmospheric particulates in winter.

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.