Thursday, 19 October 2017

ROSE

"But he that dares not grasp the thorn, Should never crave the rose." - Anne Bronte

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

OAR

oar |ɔː| noun
a pole with a flat blade, used to row or steer a boat through the water: She pulled hard on the oars.
• an oarsman; a rower: I was stroke oar and John was in the bow.
verb [with object]
propel with or as if with oars; row: Oaring the sea like madmen |
[no object, with adverbial of direction] : Oaring through the weeds.
ORIGIN
Old English ār, of Germanic origin; related to Danish and Norwegian åre .

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

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

DION, GREECE

Dion or Dio (Ancient Greek: Δίον, Greek: Δίο, Latin: Dium) is a village and a former municipality in the Pieria regional unit, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform, it is part of the municipality Dio-Olympos, of which it is a municipal unit. It is located at the foot of Mount Olympus. It is best known for its great ancient Macedonian sanctuary of Zeus and city, much of which is visible in the Archaeological Park of Dion and the Archaeological Museum of Dion.

The ancient city owes its name to the most important Macedonian sanctuary dedicated to Zeus (Dios, "of Zeus"), leader of the gods who dwelt on Mount Olympus; as recorded by Hesiod's "Catalogue of Women", Thyia, daughter of Deucalion, bore Zeus two sons, Magnes and Makednos, eponyms of Magnetes and Macedonians, who dwelt in Pieria at the foot of Mount Olympus.

Hence from very ancient times, a large altar had been set up for the worship of Olympian Zeus and his daughters, the Muses, in a unique environment characterised by rich vegetation, towering trees, countless springs and a navigable river. For this reason Dion was the "sacred place" of the Ancient Macedonians. It was the place where the kings made splendid sacrifices to celebrate the new year of the Macedonian calendar at the end of September. In the Spring, purification rites of the army and victory feasts were held.

A city was built adjacent to the sacred sites that acquired monumental form during the reigns of Alexander the Great's successors and Cassander took a great interest in the city erecting strong walls and public buildings, so that in Hellenistic times Dion was renowned far and wide for its fortification and splendid monuments. Dion and its sanctuary was destroyed in 219 BC by Aetolian invaders but was immediately rebuilt by Philip V. Many of the dedications from the sanctuary that had been destroyed were buried in pits, including royal inscriptions and treaties, and these have been discovered recently.

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

Monday, 16 October 2017

Thursday, 12 October 2017

'FIREFIGHTER' ROSE

Bred by Joseph Orard prior to 1998 and introduced to Australia in 2009 is Rosa 'Firefighter', a glorious rose with tall single stems of the most highly fragrant dark red rose which is suitable to work with in floral art and yet easy to grow in the open garden will be a joy to all rose gardeners. An added bonus is that it has few thorns.

The name of this rose, 'Firefighter' honours the work our firefighters do here in Australia and as it states on the plant label: “This rose is so named as to remember those men and women who risk their lives daily to protect ours”.

The generally sunny, dry and hot conditions of the Australian garden are particularly well suited to planting roses and roses flourish in our gardens when you take measures to provide the following:

1) Watering: Roses are very deep rooted plants and require one good, deep soaking at least every 10 days in hot and dry conditions;
2) Feeding: Because roses flower throughout all but the Winter season, they should be regularly fertilised with quality (preferably organic) fertiliser which contains a balance of major nutrients (NPK) and trace elements. The fertiliser should be applied at least once a month – small amount often – with fortnightly applications of liquid seaweed over the foliage.
3) Pruning:  During Winter, 70% of the rose plant should be pruned and all old wood removed back to the crown and the bush pruned to shape. During the flowering seasons, 25% of all flowering stems should be cut back after flowering to encourage strong re-growth.
4) Mulching: Particular attention to application of lucerne or pea straw directly around the root-zone of each rose will enhance the overall health of the rose and then the whole bed should be mulched to 75mm with any other mulch medium available.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

ATHENS, GREECE

Athens (Modern Greek: Αθήνα, Athína; Ancient Greek: Ἀθῆναι, Athēnai) is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world's oldest cities, with its recorded history spanning around 3,400 years, and the earliest human presence around the 11th–7th millennium BC. Classical Athens was a powerful city-state that emerged in conjunction with the seagoing development of the port of Piraeus. A centre for the arts, learning and philosophy, home of Plato's Academy and Aristotle's Lyceum, it is widely referred to as the cradle of Western civilisation and the birthplace of democracy, largely due to the impact of its cultural and political achievements during the 5th and 4th centuries BC on the rest of the then known European continent.

Today a cosmopolitan metropolis, modern Athens is central to economic, financial, industrial, political and cultural life in Greece. In 2012, Athens was ranked the world's 39th richest city by purchasing power and the 77th most expensive in a UBS study. Athens is recognised as a global city because of its geo-strategic location and its importance in finance, commerce, media, entertainment, arts, international trade, culture, education and tourism. It is one of the biggest economic centres in southeastern Europe, with a large financial sector, and features the largest passenger port in Europe, and the third largest in the world. According to Eurostat in 2004, the Athens Larger Urban Zone (LUZ) was the 7th most populous LUZ in the European Union (the 5th most populous capital city of the EU), with a population of 4,013,368. Athens is also the southernmost capital on the European mainland.

The heritage of the classical era is still evident in the city, represented by ancient monuments and works of art, the most famous of all being the Parthenon, considered a key landmark of early Western civilisation. The city also retains Roman and Byzantine monuments, as well as a smaller number of Ottoman monuments. Athens is home to two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Acropolis of Athens and the medieval Daphni Monastery.

Landmarks of the modern era, dating back to the establishment of Athens as the capital of the independent Greek state in 1834, include the Hellenic Parliament (19th century) and the Athens Trilogy, consisting of the National Library of Greece, the Athens University and the Academy of Athens. Athens was the host city of the first modern-day Olympic Games in 1896, and 108 years later it welcomed home the 2004 Summer Olympics. Athens is home to the National Archaeological Museum, featuring the world's largest collection of ancient Greek antiquities, as well as the new Acropolis Museum.

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, 9 October 2017

COMING UP ROSES

Rose time has begun in Melbourne gardens. Spring is here.

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.

Friday, 6 October 2017

ICE PLANT

Aptenia cordifolia is a species of succulent plant in the ice plant family known by the common names heartleaf ice plant and baby sun rose. Perhaps the most common plant seen under this name is actually Aptenia 'Red Apple', a hybrid with red flowers and bright green leaves, whose parents are A. cordifolia and A. (Platythyra) haeckeliana. The true species of A. cordifolia has magenta purple flowers and more heart-shaped, mid-green, textured leaves.

Native to southern Africa, this species has become widely known as an ornamental plant. It is a mat-forming perennial herb growing in flat clumps on the ground from a woody base. Stems reach up to about 60 centimetres long. The bright green leaves are generally heart-shaped and up to 3 centimetres long. They are covered in very fine bumps. Bright pink to purplish flowers appear in the leaf axils and are open during the day. The fruit is a capsule just over a centimetre long.

The hybrid, Aptenia 'Red Apple', has, in some areas, escaped cultivation and now grows as an introduced species. Its far more vigorous growth and ability to root from small bits of stem makes it a poor choice for planting adjacent to wild lands as it can overwhelm native plants.

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

Thursday, 5 October 2017

COAST WATTLE

Acacia longifolia is a species of Acacia native to southeastern Australia, from the extreme southeast of Queensland, eastern New South Wales, eastern and southern Victoria, and southeastern South Australia. Common names for it include Long-leaved wattle, Acacia Trinervis, Aroma Doble, Golden Wattle, Coast Wattle, Sallow Wattle and Sydney Golden Wattle. It is not listed as being a threatened species, and is considered invasive in Portugal and South Africa.

It is a tree that grows very quickly reaching 7–10 m in five to six years. This tree is widely cultivated in subtropical regions of the world. Its uses include prevention of soil erosion, food (flowers, seeds and seed pods), yellow dye (from the flowers), green dye (pods) and wood. The flower colour derives from the organic compound kaempferol. The tree's bark has limited use in tanning, primarily for sheepskin. It is useful for securing uninhabited sand in coastal areas, primarily where there are not too many hard frosts. It is a highly attractive small tree or large rounded shrub.

There is a striking flower display in late winter when nearly the entire plant is covered in flowers. It tolerates a range of soils provided they are not overly alkaline. Grows best in full sun, may get a bit thin and stretched in shaded conditions. Frost tolerant. Borers may be an issue in older trees. Other useful applications include erosion control and windbreaks, it is a low maintenance plant. This species is a nitrogen fixer. Heavy flowering provides resources for a wide range of invertebrates, particularly bees. Seed pods and seeds are eaten by parrots. Older plants attract wood boring insects.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.



Wednesday, 4 October 2017

MELBOURNE MUSEUM

Melbourne Museum is adjacent to the Royal Exhibition Building. It was designed by Denton Corker Marshall Architects and finished construction in 2001. It was commissioned by the Victorian Government Office of Major Projects on behalf of Museums Victoria. The museum is a rich response to Melbourne’s urban condition, and provides a place for education, history, culture and society to engage with each other in a contemporary setting. It is now an important part of Melbourne’s soft infrastructure.It is the largest museum in the Southern Hemisphere, and is a venue of Museum Victoria, which also operates the Immigration Museum and Scienceworks Museum.

The museum has seven main galleries, a Children's Gallery and a temporary exhibit gallery on three levels, Upper, Ground and Lower Level and was constructed by Baulderstone Hornibrook.The Touring Hall is where temporary exhibits are displayed. Past exhibits include mummies from Egypt and dinosaurs from China. The Big Box is part of the Children's Gallery. In addition, the museum has other facilities such as the Sidney Myer Amphitheatre and The Age Theatre. The Discovery Centre, on the Lower Level, is a free public research centre. The museum also has a cafe and a souvenir shop.The IMAX Theatre, which is situated on the Lower Level is also part of the museum complex. It shows movies, usually documentary films, in 3-D format.

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, 3 October 2017

LAS VEGAS, USA

Las Vegas (Spanish for "The Meadows"), officially the City of Las Vegas and often known simply as Vegas, is the 28th-most populated city in the United States, the most populated city in the state of Nevada, and the county seat of Clark County. The city anchors the Las Vegas Valley metropolitan area and is the largest city within the greater Mojave Desert.

Las Vegas is an internationally renowned major resort city, known primarily for its gambling, shopping, fine dining, entertainment, and nightlife. The Las Vegas Valley as a whole serves as the leading financial, commercial, and cultural centre for Nevada. The city bills itself as The Entertainment Capital of the World, and is famous for its mega casino–hotels and associated activities. It is a top three destination in the United States for business conventions and a global leader in the hospitality industry, claiming more AAA Five Diamond hotels than any other city in the world.

Today, Las Vegas annually ranks as one of the world's most visited tourist destinations. The city's tolerance for numerous forms of adult entertainment earned it the title of Sin City, and has made Las Vegas a popular setting for literature, films, television programs, and music videos.

Las Vegas was settled in 1905 and officially incorporated in 1911. At the close of the 20th century, it was the most populated American city founded within that century (a similar distinction earned by Chicago in the 1800s). Population growth has accelerated since the 1960s, and between 1990 and 2000 the population nearly doubled, increasing by 85.2%. Rapid growth has continued into the 21st century, and according to a 2013 estimate, the population is 603,488 with a regional population of 2,027,828.

"Las Vegas" is often used to describe areas beyond official city limits—especially the areas on and near the Las Vegas Strip, which is actually located within the unincorporated communities of Paradise, Winchester, and Enterprise.

On October 1, 2017, a mass shooting occurred at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival on the Las Vegas Strip in Paradise, Nevada. During the closing performance by singer Jason Aldean at a packed outdoor concert, a gunman located on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel and casino across Las Vegas Boulevard opened fire into the festival crowd.

The shooter was identified as 64-year-old Stephen Craig Paddock, who lived in Mesquite, Nevada. He was found dead in his hotel room with a self-inflicted gunshot wound. With at least 60 fatalities (including the perpetrator) and 527 injuries, the shooting surpassed the 2016 Orlando nightclub shooting as the deadliest shooting by a single gunman in United States history.

Unfortunately, this is the second mass shooting in recent history in Las Vegas. The 2014 Las Vegas shootings occurred on June 8, 2014 in northeastern Las Vegas, Nevada, when a married couple, Jerad and Amanda Miller, committed a shooting spree in which five people died, including themselves. The couple, who espoused extreme anti-government views, first killed two Las Vegas police officers at a restaurant before fleeing into a Walmart, where they killed an intervening armed civilian. The couple died after engaging responding officers in a shootout; police shot and killed Jerad, while Amanda committed suicide after being wounded.

It is sad to see these mass shootings being repeated every now and then in the USA, in large cities and small towns. Looking worldwide, the USA leads in such violence and it seems that its, history, its laws and powerful lobbying perpetuate the problem. An interesting case is made here. One can only sympathise with the plight of the family and friends of the victims in these tragic circumstances and hope against hope that something may be done about these outrages by US lawmakers.

The USA could have been and should have been the best country in the world to live in. When we visited there several times in the 1990s and up to the early 2000s we were amazed by the country and its people. It is sad to see it slipping into a downward spiral simply because a few bad apples are ruining the whole crop and nobody is willing to take those bad apples out of the bushels...

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.




Sunday, 1 October 2017

TREASURES FROM TRASH

“Comfort and prosperity have never enriched the world as much as adversity has.” - Billy Graham

Every so often one reads a snippet in the news, or sees something on the internet and is struck by its contents. This happened to me the other day when I read about the “Landfill Harmonic Orchestra” of Paraguay (La Armonía del Vertedero - Orquesta de Instrumentos Reciclados de Cateura). This was a poignant and inspiring video that made me stop, think and recontextualise my everyday existence and the “problems” I deal with every day.

The Landfill Orchestra is a children’s music group in Cateura, Paraguay, whose instruments are made from trash that has been dumped in the landfill.  A cello made from an oil can and pieces of wood, that were thrown in the rubbish; a saxophone made of spoons and buttons, violins made of tin cans and pieces of thrown-away wood. These instruments are made by Nicolas, a “recycler” who has no previous experience making musical instruments. He is like many others in Cateura who live a hand-to-mouth existence, sorting through trash and recycling in the slum by the garbage dump in Cateura.

Inspired by this initiative and resourcefulness in the face of adversity, Maestro Luis Szaran, director of “Sounds of the Earth” formed the “recycled orchestra” comprising children living near the rubbish dump. The guiding light of these children is hope and the inspiration to become better people. Making music with their recycled instruments teaches them to be good people not only to be musicians. To work together in order to make order out of chaos, pleasure out of pain, companionship out of isolation, creativity out of destruction and peace out of strife is a means of building a better world for themselves.

This group is worthy of support and encouragement. You can do this in a very real and substantive manner – visit their YouTube channel to find out how.

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, 29 September 2017

CONTRAIL

Contrail |ˈkɒntreɪl| noun (chiefly North American): another term for vapour trail.
ORIGIN 1940s: abbreviation of condensation trail.

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


Thursday, 28 September 2017

SCHIZANTHUS

Schizanthus also called butterfly flower, fringeflower, poor-man's-orchid, is a genus of plants in the Solanaceae (nightshade) family. They are annual or biennial herbaceous plants, with attractive flowers. The genus includes species native to Chile and Argentina, many species are adventitious in other parts of the world such as New Zealand and the United States.

Annual or biennial, glandulous-pubescent herbaceous plants, with alternate, pinnatilobate or bipinnatisect leaves and attractive flowers, arranged at the end of stems. The flowers are zygomorphic and hermaphrodite. Plants in the Schizanthus genus are entomophilous, that is, they require that their pollen is transported from plant to plant by insects. The majority of Schizanthus species are pollinated by hymenoptera (bees, bumblebees and wasps). However, the species with white flowers (S. candidus, S. integrifolius and S. lacteus) are pollinated by moths, and Schizanthus grahamii is pollinated by hummingbirds.

Schizanthus species are cultivated in the horticulture trade and widely available as an ornamental plant for gardens. The flowers are available in a wide range of colours and sizes, and are delicately spotted and blotched like the smaller butterflies. The blooms on a well-grown plant are produced in such profusion as to completely cover it. For the garden the dwarfed varieties should be chosen as the tall sorts grow rather slender and crooked. The leaves are attractive with soft green, deeply cut and fern like that are often covered with fine hair.

This flower was used by Celia Sánchez in the Cuban Revolution to hide telegrams. A number of species are cultivated as ornamentals throughout the world, but perhaps the most used is Schizanthus × wisetonensis. Some cultivars of this species are "Angel Wings", "Disco", "Hit Parade", "Treasure Trove™ Lilac", "Treasure Trove™ Pure White", "Treasure Trove™ Pure Scarlet Shades" (the latter have been patented in the United States).

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

LAMB

"Mary had a little lamb,
Its fleece was white as snow;
And everywhere that Mary went,
The lamb was sure to go.

He followed her to school one day,
Which was against the rule;
It made the children laugh and play
To see a lamb at school..."

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

SORRENTO, ITALY

Sorrento (Neapolitan: Surriento) is a town and comune in Campania, southern Italy, with some 16,500 inhabitants. It is a popular tourist destination which can be reached easily from Naples and Pompeii, as it lies at the south-eastern end of the Circumvesuviana rail line. The town overlooks the Bay of Naples as the key place of the Sorrentine Peninsula, and many viewpoints allow sight of Naples itself, Vesuvius, and the Isle of Capri.

The Amalfi Drive (connecting Sorrento and Amalfi) is a narrow road that threads along the high cliffs above the Tyrrhenian Sea. Ferry boats and hydrofoils provide services to Naples, Amalfi, Positano, Capri and Ischia. Sorrento's sea cliffs and luxury hotels have attracted notable people, including Enrico Caruso and Luciano Pavarotti. Sorrento is famous for the production of limoncello, a digestif made from lemon rinds, alcohol, water and sugar. Other agricultural production includes citrus fruit, wine, nuts and olives. Wood craftsmanship is also well-developed in the area.

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.







Sunday, 24 September 2017

HAPPINESS

Is travelling for fun, and having your photo taken to remember those good times...

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.

Thursday, 21 September 2017

LOROPETALUM - CHINESE FRINGE FLOWER

Loropetalum is a genus of three species of shrubs or small trees in the witch-hazel family, Hamamelidaceae, native to China, Japan, and south-eastern Asia. The name Loropetalum refers to the shape of the flowers and comes from the Greek loron meaning strap and petalon meaning petal. Flowers are produced in clusters during spring and are similar to those of the closely related witch-hazel. Each flower consists of four to six (depending on species) slender strap shaped petals 1-2 cm long. Illustrated here is Loropetalum chinense var. rubrum, often called "Chinese Fringe Flower".

Plan your colours to begin with. This particular loropetalum looks great in a black pot for an oriental feel or try a bright contrasting colour for a real statement.As it’s low growing, plant it at the front of garden beds for maximum impact. Loropetalums in general prefer moist but well drained soils but are quite adaptable to less than ideal conditions. Pruning is generally not required, however, you can give a light trim after flowering to help keep them in your preferred shape. A feed with a slow release fertiliser in early spring is beneficial. They are ideal for low maintenance areas, rockeries and garden edges.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.