Thursday, 29 December 2016


Eustoma, a genus of three species in the family Gentianaceae, grows natively in warm regions of the southern United States, Mexico, Caribbean and northern South America, mostly in grassland and in areas of disturbed ground. These flowers are commonly known as Lisianthus flowers.They are herbaceous annuals, growing to 15–60 cm tall, with bluish green, slightly succulent leaves and large funnel-shaped flowers growing on long straight stems: sometimes erect single stems, other times growing on branching stems that can rise to be a metre tall.

The flowers can grow up to 5-6 cm across and can be found in a variety of colours. They have been found in all shades of pink, purple, white, and blue. In addition, some are bicoloured and some are occasionally found in yellow or carmine-red. Lisianthus flowers are either single-flowered or double-flowered. Both types of flowers can be found in all ranges of the possible colours listed above.

Lisianthus flowers are tricky to grow and require some maintenance. They have tiny seeds that must be sown on the surface, not buried, and they must be planted in rich, well-drained soil and exposed to full sun. They must be kept moist but not overwatered: Overwatering may result in the growth and development of fungal diseases. Lisianthus flowers will begin to bloom in early summer and some will continue to bloom throughout the later months of the summer. When cut, Lisianthus flowers can last anywhere from two to three weeks in a vase.

Eustoma russellianum is particularly popular and has a number of cultivars that are grown for the cut-flower market. The cultivated flower is also often known as Lisianthus, Texas bluebell, prairie gentian, tulip gentian, or just gentian, although the last name can cause confusion with the related Gentiana plant genus. Eustoma is named after the Greek words eu, which means good, and stoma, which means mouth. Lisianthus on the other hand comes from the Greek words lissos, meaning smooth, and anthos, which means flower.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Tuesday, 27 December 2016


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 developed.

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, 25 December 2016


We had a scorcher of a Christmas Day here in Melbourne today, with the mercury rising to 37˚C. Needless to say many people enjoyed Christmas on the beach with picnic hampers, BBQs and seafood and salad meals. This is Brighton, a Melbourne suburb on the Port Phillip Bay. I hope you enjoyed your Christmas wherever you are.

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

Friday, 23 December 2016


Crataegus (from the Greek κράτος kratos strength and άκης akis sharp, referring to the thorns of some species) commonly called hawthorn, thornapple, May-tree, whitethorn, or hawberry, is a large genus of shrubs and trees in the family Rosaceae, native to temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere in Europe, Asia and North America.

The name "hawthorn" was originally applied to the species native to northern Europe, especially the common hawthorn C. monogyna, and the unmodified name is often so used in Britain and Ireland. The name is now also applied to the entire genus and to the related Asian genus Rhaphiolepis. The name haw, originally an Old English term for hedge, applies to the fruit.

This post is part of the Friday Greens meme.

Thursday, 22 December 2016


Clivia miniata (Natal lily, bush lily) is a species of flowering plant in the genus Clivia of the family Amaryllidaceae, native to damp woodland habitats in South Africa (Western Cape, Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal provinces) as well as in Swaziland. It is also reportedly naturalised in Mexico.

It grows to a height of about 45 cm, and flowers are red, orange or yellow, with a faint, but very sweet perfume. It is sometimes known in cultivation as "Kaffir lily". However, this name is also confusingly applied to the genus Schizostylis, and in any case is best avoided as it is considered an offensive ethnic slur in South Africa.

With a minimum temperature of 10 °C, in temperate regions C. miniata is normally cultivated as a houseplant. It has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit, along with the variety C. miniata var. citrina. It contains small amounts of lycorine, making it poisonous.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Tuesday, 20 December 2016


Pelion or Pelium (Modern Greek: Πήλιο, Pílio; Ancient Greek: Πήλιον. Pēlion) is a mountain at the southeastern part of Thessaly in central Greece, forming a hook-like peninsula between the Pagasetic Gulf and the Aegean Sea. Its highest summit, Pourianos Stavros, is 1,610 metres high. The Greek National Road 38 (GR-38) runs through the southern portion of the peninsula and GR-38A runs through the middle.

The mountain is thickly forested, with both deciduous and perennial forests, mainly of beech, oak, maple and chestnut trees, with plane tree groves surrounding sites with water. Pelion is considered one of the most beautiful mountains in Greece and is a popular tourist attraction throughout the year: Hiking trails and stone paths give access to springs, coves and numerous beaches, sandy or pebbly, set among lusciously green slopes. Pelion is an amply watered mountain with an abundance of springs, gorges, streams and rivulets; many streams are routed in carved-stone artificial beds to bring water to the villages and their thriving orchards. The higher elevations of the mountain receive enough snowfall so as to host skiing facilities that operate from Christmas to Easter.

The photo is of Agia Kyriaki, a small coastal village with a port serving the village of Trikeri. The village has an Aegean Sea atmosphere similar to an island. The habitation on this village began in 1785 with first resident being a boat owner named Hatzilemonis.

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, 19 December 2016


Frosty the Snowman says "Merry Christmas!"

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

Sunday, 18 December 2016


In Australia we call "candy" by another name, that is: "Lollies"!

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

Thursday, 15 December 2016


Christmas lilies (so are the Northern Hemisphere "Easter lilies" called Downunder!) and poinsettias in a very festive arrangement.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday, 14 December 2016


Perth is the capital and largest city of the Australian state of Western Australia (WA). It is the fourth most populous city in Australia, with an estimated population of 1.97 million (on 30 June 2013) living in Greater Perth. Part of the South West Land Division of Western Australia, the majority of the metropolitan area of Perth is located on the Swan Coastal Plain, a narrow strip between the Indian Ocean and the Darling Scarp, a low coastal escarpment.

The first areas settled were on the Swan River, with the city's central business district and port (Fremantle) both located on its shores. Perth is formally divided into a number of local government areas, which themselves consist of a large number of suburbs, extending from Two Rocks in the north to Rockingham in the south, and east inland to The Lakes.

This post is part of the Wednesday Waters 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, 13 December 2016


The Swan River is a river in the south west of Western Australia. Its Aboriginal Noongar name is the Derbarl Yerrigan. The river runs through the metropolitan area of Perth, Western Australia's capital and largest city. This photo is taken from Charles Paterson Park, on the East bank of the river, about 3 km from the CBD.

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, 12 December 2016


A collage of gerberas and daisies on a background of copper sulphate ("blue vitriol") crystals.

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

Thursday, 8 December 2016


The poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima) is a culturally and commercially important plant species of the diverse spurge family that is indigenous to Mexico and Central America. It is particularly well known for its red and green foliage and is widely used in Christmas floral displays. It derives its common English name from Joel Roberts Poinsett, the first United States Minister to Mexico, who introduced the plant into the United States in 1825.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday, 7 December 2016


Valencia, is the capital of the autonomous community of Valencia and the third largest city in Spain after Madrid and Barcelona, with around 800,000 inhabitants in the administrative centre. Its urban area extends beyond the administrative city limits with a population of around 1.5–1.6 million people. Valencia is Spain's third largest metropolitan area, with a population ranging from 1.7 to 2.5 million. The Port of Valencia is the 5th busiest container port in Europe and the busiest container port on the Mediterranean Sea. The city is ranked at Gamma in the Globalization and World Cities Research Network.

Valencia was founded as a Roman colony by the consul Decimus Junius Brutus Callaicus in 138 BC, and called Valentia Edetanorum. In 711 the Muslims occupied the city, introducing their language, religion and customs; they implemented improved irrigation systems and the cultivation of new crops as well, being capital of the Taifa of Valencia. In 1238 the Christian king James I of Aragon reconquered the city and divided the land among the nobles who helped him conquer it, as witnessed in the Llibre del Repartiment. He also created a new law for the city, the Furs of Valencia, which were extended to the rest of the Kingdom of Valencia. In the 18th century Philip V of Spain abolished the privileges as punishment to the kingdom of Valencia for aligning with the Habsburg side in the War of Spanish Succession.

Valencia was the capital of Spain when Joseph I moved there the Court in summer of 1812, and was capital of Spain between 1936 and 1937 during the Second Spanish Republic. The city is situated on the banks of the Turia, on the east coast of the Iberian Peninsula, fronting the Gulf of Valencia on the Mediterranean Sea. Its historic centre is one of the largest in Spain, with approximately 169 hectares; this heritage of ancient monuments, views and cultural attractions makes Valencia one of the country's most popular tourist destinations. Valencia is integrated into an industrial area on the Costa del Azahar (Orange Blossom Coast). Valencia's main festival is the Falles. The traditional Spanish dish, paella, originated in Valencia.

The City of Arts and Sciences (Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias) shown below is an entertainment-based cultural and architectural complex in the city of Valencia, Spain. It is the most important modern tourist destination in the city of Valencia and one of the 12 Treasures of Spain. The City of Arts and Sciences is situated at the end of the former riverbed of the river Turia, which was drained and rerouted after a catastrophic flood in 1957. The old riverbed was turned into a picturesque sunken park. Designed by Santiago Calatrava and Félix Candela, the project underwent the first stages of construction in July 1996 and the finished "city" was inaugurated April 16, 1998 with the opening of L'Hemisfèric. The last great component of the City of Arts and Sciences, El Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia, was presented on October 9, 2005, Valencian Community Day.

This post is part of the Wednesday Waters 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, 6 December 2016


Giza is the third-largest city in Egypt. It is located on the west bank of the Nile, 5 km southwest of central Cairo. Along with Cairo Governorate, Shubra El-Kheima, Helwan, 6th October City and Obour, the five form Greater Cairo metropolis. The city of Giza is the capital of the Giza Governorate, and is located near the northeast border of this governorate in coordinates. It is located right on the banks of the River Nile.

The city's population was 2,681,863 in the 2006 national census, while the governorate had 6,272,571 at the same census. Its large population made it the world's second largest suburb in 2006, tied with Incheon, South Korea and Quezon City, Philippines, second only to Yokohama, Japan.

Giza is most famous as the location of the Giza Plateau: the site of some of the most impressive ancient monuments in the world, including a complex of ancient Egyptian royal mortuary and sacred structures, including the Great Sphinx, the Great Pyramid of Giza, and a number of other large pyramids and temples. Giza has always been a focal point in Egypt's history due to its location close to Memphis, the ancient capital. The Great Pyramid of Giza at one time was advocated (1884) as the location for the Prime Meridian, a reference point used for determining a base longitude.

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.

Sunday, 4 December 2016


The Werribee River is a perennial river of the Port Phillip catchment that is located on the plain West of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. The headwaters of a tributary, the Lerderderg River, are north of Ballan near Daylesford and it flows across the basalt plain, through the suburb of Werribee to enter Port Phillip.

A linear park follows the Werribee River along much of its course. In total the Werribee River completes a journey of approximately 110 kilometres. The river flows through the Werribee Gorge State Park before being utilised for irrigation of market gardens at Bacchus Marsh, then through Werribee where it is crossed by the Maltby By-pass. It then flows through the Werribee Open Range Zoo in Werribee Park, and finally the small coastal settlement of Werribee South before entering Port Phillip.

The Western Treatment Plant, a sewage treatment site, is located near the mouth of the river, and supplies irrigation needs to the zoo. The Werribee River Trail winds beside the Werribee River from Davis Creek in Tarneit to the Princes Highway in Werribee.

This post is part of the Weekend Reflections meme,
and also part of the Scenic Weekends meme,
and also part of the Our Beautiful World meme,
and also part of the My Sunday Photo meme.

Thursday, 1 December 2016


Anigozanthos is a small genus of Australian plants in the Bloodwort family Haemodoraceae. The 11 species and several subspecies are commonly known as kangaroo paw and catspaw depending on the shape of their flowers. A further species, previously identified as Anigozanthos fuliginosus and commonly known as the black kangaroo paw, has been transferred to its own monotypic genus and is now known as Macropidia fuliginosa.

The genus was first named by Jacques Labillardière in his work, Relation du Voyage à la Recherche de la Pérouse, issued in 1800. The French botanist collected and described the type species, Anigozanthus rufus, during the d'Entrecasteaux expedition's visit to Southwest Australia in 1792. In recent years a number of numerous hybrids and cultivars have been developed. Kangaroo paws are much in demand as house plants and as cut flowers.

These perennials are endemic to dry sandy, siliceous areas of southwest Australia, but they occur as well in a variety of other environments and soil types. They are grown commercially in Australia, the United States, Japan and Israel. The plant grows from short, underground, horizontal rhizomes. The length and the character of these may vary between the species: some are fleshy, others are fragile. The sap in the root system allows the plants to survive extreme dry spells. In summer, a number of species die back to the rhizome, growing back in autumn.

The tuberous flower buds are covered with coloured hairs, giving them a velvety aspect. These long furry hairs also determine the colour of the flower, which may range from almost black to yellow, orange and red. Some species are even dichromatic (as Anigozanthos manglesii). The tubular form of the flower bud resembles a kangaroo paw, hence its name. The flower tip spreads fanlike into six petals. Full-grown plants can have up to ten flowers at the end of each stalk.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.