Wednesday, 21 October 2015


Papaver somniferum, the opium poppy, is the species of plant from which opium and poppy seeds are derived. Opium is the source of many drugs, including morphine (and its derivative heroin), thebaine, codeine, papaverine, and noscapine.

The Latin botanical name means the "sleep-bringing poppy", referring to the sedative properties of some of these opiates. The opium poppy is the only species of Papaveraceae that is an agricultural crop grown on a large scale. Other species, Papaver rhoeas and Papaver argemone, are important agricultural weeds, and may be mistaken for the crop.

This poppy is also valuable for ornamental purposes, and has been known as the "common garden poppy", referencing all the group of poppy plants. Poppy seeds of Papaver somniferum are an important food item and the source of poppy seed oil, a healthy edible oil that has many uses.

This post is part of the Ruby 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.

Monday, 19 October 2015


The chickpea or chick pea (Cicer arietinum) is a legume of the family Fabaceae, subfamily Faboideae. It is also known as gram, or Bengal gram, garbanzo or garbanzo bean, and sometimes known as Egyptian pea. Its seeds are high in protein. It is one of the earliest cultivated legumes: 7,500-year-old remains have been found in the Middle East.

Chickpeas are a nutrient-dense food, providing rich content (> 20% of the Daily Value, DV) of protein, dietary fibre, folate, and certain dietary minerals such as iron and phosphorus. Thiamin, vitamin B6, magnesium, and zinc contents are moderate, providing 10-16% of the DV. Chickpeas have a protein digestibility corrected amino acid score of about 0.76, which is higher than many other legumes and cereals.

Compared to reference levels established by the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization and World Health Organization, proteins in cooked and germinated chickpeas are rich in essential amino acids such as lysine, isoleucine, tryptophan, and total aromatic amino acids. A 100-g serving of cooked chickpeas provides 164 kilocalories (690 kJ). Carbohydrates make up 68% of calories, most of which (84%) is starch, followed by total sugars and dietary fibre.  Lipid content is 3%, 75% of which is unsaturated fatty acids for which linoleic acid comprises 43% of total fat.

Here is a recipe for chickpeas.

This post is part of the Monday Mellow Yellows meme,
and also part of the Macro Monday meme.

Thursday, 15 October 2015


Prunus can be deciduous or evergreen trees or shrubs with showy flowers in spring, and often good autumn foliage colour. Some have edible fruit in autumn, and a few species have ornamental bark.

Prunus × subhirtella 'Rosea'  is a small deciduous tree of spreading habit with ovate leaves turning yellow in autumn, and pale pink, semi-double flowers opening during mild weather from late autumn to early spring.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday, 14 October 2015


Naxos (Greek: Νάξος, pronounced [ˈnaksos]) is a Greek island—at 429 km2) the largest of the Cyclades island group in the Aegean. It was the centre of archaic Cycladic culture. The island is famous as a source of emery, a rock rich in corundum, which until modern time was one of the best abrasives available.The largest town and capital of the island is Chora or Naxos City, with 6,533 inhabitants (2001 census). The main villages are Filoti, Apiranthos, Vivlos, Agios Arsenios, Koronos and Glinado.

Illustrated is the site of the ruins of the temple of Apollo with the surviving grand entrance way, known locally as "Portara" (=big door). The building of the temple was begun in 530 BC by the tyrant Lygdamis, who said he would make Naxos's buildings the highest and most glorious in Greece. Only the walls were mostly completed when he was overthrown in 506 BC; the temple was never finished.

This post is part of the Wednesday Waters meme,
and also 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.

Monday, 12 October 2015


Passiflora, known also as the passion flowers or passion vines, is a genus of about 500 species of flowering plants, the namesakes of the family Passifloraceae. They are mostly vines, with some being shrubs, and a few species being herbaceous. The monotypic genus Hollrungia seems to be inseparable from Passiflora, but further study is needed.

Nine species of Passiflora are native to the USA, found from Ohio to the north, west to California and south to the Florida Keys. Most other species are found in South America, Eastern Asia, and Southern Asia, New Guinea, four or more species in Australia and a single endemic species in New Zealand. New species continue to be identified: for example, P. pardifolia and P. xishuangbannaensis have only been known to the scientific community since 2006 and 2005, respectively.

Some species of Passiflora have been naturalised beyond their native ranges. For example, Blue Passion Flower (P. caerulea) now grows wild in Spain. The purple passionfruit (P. edulis) and its yellow relative P. flavicarpa have been introduced in many tropical regions as commercial crops. A number of species of Passiflora are cultivated outside their natural range because of their beautiful flowers. Hundreds of hybrids have been named; hybridising is currently being done extensively for flowers, foliage and fruit.

This post is part of the Monday Mellow Yellows meme,
and also part of the Macro Monday meme.

Saturday, 10 October 2015


Tooradin is a town in Victoria, Australia, 57 km south-east of Melbourne's central business district. Its local government area is the City of Casey. At the 2011 census, Tooradin had a population of 1359. The town has some attractions such as Sawtell's Inlet, and an old historic weatherboard Fishermans Cottage. It is a popular stopping place for people travelling to Phillip Island.

This post is part of the Skywatch Friday meme,
and also part of the Saturday Silhouettes meme.

Friday, 9 October 2015


The noisy miner (Manorina melanocephala) is a bird in the honeyeater family, Meliphagidae, and is endemic to eastern and south-eastern Australia. This miner is a grey bird, with a black head, orange-yellow beak and feet, a distinctive yellow patch behind the eye and white tips on the tail feathers. Males, females and juveniles are similar in appearance, though young birds are a brownish-grey.

As the common name suggests, the noisy miner is a vocal species with a large range of songs, calls, scoldings and alarms, and almost constant vocalisations particularly from young birds. Noisy miners are gregarious and territorial; they forage, bathe, roost, breed and defend territory communally, forming colonies that can contain several hundred birds. Each bird has an 'activity space' and birds with overlapping activity spaces form associations called 'coteries', the most stable units within the colony. The birds also form temporary flocks called 'coalitions' for specific activities such as mobbing a predator.

Foraging in the canopy of trees and on trunks and branches and on the ground, the noisy miner mainly eats nectar, fruit and insects. Most time is spent gleaning the foliage of eucalypts, and it can meet most of its nutritional needs from manna, honeydew and lerp gathered from the foliage.

This post is part of the Friday Greens meme,
and also part of the Saturday Critters meme,
and also part of the Camera Critters meme.