Thursday, 30 June 2016

DESKTOP 1066 - JONQUILS

Narcissus jonquilla (Jonquil, Rush daffodil) is a bulbous flowering plant, a species of Narcissus (daffodil) that is native to southwestern Europe and northern Africa, but has naturalised throughout Europe and the United States. It bears long, narrow, rush-like leaves (hence the name "jonquil", Spanish junquillo, from the Latin juncus = "rush"). It is in the Amaryllidaceae family of plants.

In Spring it bears heads of up to 5 scented yellow or white flowers. It is a parent of numerous varieties within Division 7 of the horticultural classification. Division 7 in the Royal Horticultural Society classification of Narcissus includes N. jonquilla and N. apodanthus hybrids and cultivars that show clear characteristics of those two species.

N. jonquilla has been cultivated since the 18th century in France as the strongest of the Narcissus species used in Narcissus Oil, a component of many modern perfumes. Like other members of their family, narcissi produce a number of different alkaloids, which provide some protection for the plant, but may be poisonous if accidentally ingested. This property has been exploited for medicinal use in traditional healing and has resulted in the production of galantamine for the treatment of Alzheimer's dementia.

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

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

DESKTOP 1065 - SYMI, GREECE

Symi also transliterated Syme or Simi (Greek: Σύμη) is a Greek island and municipality. It is mountainous and includes the harbour town of Symi and its adjacent upper town Ano Symi, as well as several smaller localities, beaches, and areas of significance in history and mythology. Symi is part of the Rhodes regional unit. The shipbuilding and sponge industries were substantial on the island and, while at their peak near the end of the 19th century, the population reached 22,500.

Symi's main industry is now tourism and the permanent population has declined to 2,500, although numbers swell in the summer months. The seas around the island are teeming with numerous pleasure craft, boats of every kind, as well as luxurious yachts.

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.

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

DESKTOP 1064 - PERTH

Perth is the capital and largest city of the Australian state of Western Australia. It is the fourth-most populous city in Australia, with an estimated population of 2.02 million (as of 30 June 2014) living in Greater Perth. Perth is part of the South West Land Division of Western Australia, with the majority of the metropolitan area of Perth 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. As part of Perth's role as the capital of Western Australia, the state's Parliament and Supreme Court are located within the city, as is Government House, the residence of the Governor of Western Australia.

Perth was originally founded by Captain James Stirling in 1829 as the administrative centre of the Swan River Colony. It gained city status (currently vested in the smaller City of Perth) in 1856, and was promoted to the status of a Lord Mayorality in 1929. The city is named after Perth, Scotland, by influence of Sir George Murray, then British Secretary of State for War and the Colonies. The city's population increased substantially as a result of the Western Australian gold rushes in the late 19th century, largely as a result of emigration from the eastern colonies of Australia.

Perth became known worldwide as the "City of Light" when city residents lit their house lights and streetlights as American astronaut John Glenn passed overhead while orbiting the earth on Friendship 7 in 1962. The city repeated the act as Glenn passed overhead on the Space Shuttle in 1998. Perth came 8th in the Economist Intelligence Unit's August 2015 list of the world's most liveable cities, and was classified by the Globalisation and World Cities Research Network in 2010 as a world city.

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, 26 June 2016

DESKTOP 1062 - OXALIS

Oxalis pes-caprae (Bermuda buttercup, African wood-sorrel, Bermuda sorrel, buttercup oxalis) flower.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme,
and also part of the Today's Flowers meme,
and also part of the I Heart Macros meme.

Saturday, 25 June 2016

DESKTOP 1061 - COMO BEACH, PERTH

These larger than life silhouette sculptures stand on the Swan River foreshore, just across the River from the Perth CBD, in the suburb of Como. This area is just a little difficult to reach, being separated from the residential area by the busy Mitchell Freeway. A pedestrian overpass must be used.

There are nine representations of the good people of the area, all in black. This includes older people, children, and families. The silhouettes themselves contain 'cutouts', with shapes of local landmarks. The intent of the artwork is to represent the history, environment, and community of the region. The artists who created the works are Danka Scholtz von Lorenz and Jason Hirst.

My favourite piece is shown here: Two children looking out towards the river, the little girl looking pensive or apprehensive, and the boy more confident and somewhat protective, whispering a word of reassurance perhaps. The archetypal male/female couple in evolution...

This post is part of the Skywatch Friday meme,
and also part of the Orange you Glad It's Friday meme,
and also part of the Saturday Silhouettes meme,
and also part of the Scenic Weekends meme.


Friday, 24 June 2016

DESKTOP 1060 - WINTER'S WAND

In Melbourne's stately, old parks the European trees have lost their leaves as Winter advances. The grass is green as the rain has been frequent and plentiful these last few weeks. And that's when the sky turns a leaden grey.

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

Thursday, 23 June 2016

DESKTOP 1059 - OSTEOSPERMUM

Osteospermum the daisybushes is a genus of flowering plants belonging to the Calenduleae, one of the smaller tribes of the sunflower/daisy family Asteraceae. There are about 50 species, native to Africa, 35 species in southern Africa, and the southwestern Arabian Peninsula. They are half-hardy perennials or sub-shrubs. Therefore they do not survive outdoor wintry conditions, but there is still a wide range of hardiness.

Osteospermum are popular in cultivation, where they are frequently used in summer bedding schemes in parks and gardens. Numerous hybrids and cultivars have been grown with a wide range of tropical colors. Yellow cultivars tend to have a yellow center (sometimes off-white). Plants prefer a warm and sunny position and rich soil, although they tolerate poor soil, salt or drought well.

Modern cultivars flower continuously when watered and fertilised well, and dead-heading is not necessary, because they do not set seed easily. If planted in a container, soil should be prevented from drying out completely. If they do, the plants will go into "sleep mode" and survive the period of drought, but they will abort their flower buds and not easily come back into flower. Moreover, roots are relatively susceptible to rotting if watered too profusely after the dry period.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

DESKTOP 1057 - THE ALPS

The Alps are the highest and most extensive mountain range system that lies entirely in Europe, stretching approximately 1,200 kilometres across eight Alpine countries: Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Slovenia, and Switzerland. The Caucasus Mountains are higher, and the Urals longer, but both lie partly in Asia.

The mountains were formed over tens of millions of years as the African and Eurasian tectonic plates collided. Extreme shortening caused by the event resulted in marine sedimentary rocks rising by thrusting and folding into high mountain peaks such as Mont Blanc and the Matterhorn. Mont Blanc spans the French–Italian border, and at 4,810 m is the highest mountain in the Alps. The Alpine region area contains about a hundred peaks higher than 4,000 m, known as the "four-thousanders".

The altitude and size of the range affects the climate in Europe; in the mountains precipitation levels vary greatly and climatic conditions consist of distinct zones. Wildlife such as ibex live in the higher peaks to elevations of 3,400 m, and plants such as Edelweiss grow in rocky areas in lower elevations as well as in higher elevations. Evidence of human habitation in the Alps goes back to the Paleolithic era.

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, 19 June 2016

DESKTOP 1055 - RAINBOW LORIKEETS

I think we are lucky in Australia to have such spectacular looking birds like the Rainbow Lorikeets flying around our backyards!

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

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

DESKTOP 1051 - WINTRY CREEK

Darebin Creek in Winter. This waterway is part of the Darebin Parklands in suburban Melbourne, Australia.

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.

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

DESKTOP 1050 - COUNTRYSIDE

Victorian countryside near Melbourne, Australia.

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

Thursday, 9 June 2016

DESKTOP 1045 - HIBISCUS

Hibiscus is a genus of flowering plants in the mallow family, Malvaceae. It is quite large, containing several hundred species that are native to warm-temperate, subtropical and tropical regions throughout the world. Member species are often noted for their showy flowers and are commonly known simply as hibiscus, or less widely known as rose mallow. The genus includes both annual and perennial herbaceous plants, as well as woody shrubs and small trees. The generic name is derived from the Greek word ἱβίσκος (hibískos), which was the name Pedanius Dioscorides (ca. 40–90) gave to Althaea officinalis.
 
This post is part of the Floral Friday meme.

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

DESKTOP 1043 - PERTH, WESTERN AUSTRALIA

Perth is the capital and largest city of the Australian state of Western Australia. It is the fourth most populous city in Australia, with an estimated population of 1.74 million living in the Perth metropolitan area. The metropolitan area is located in the South West Division of Western Australia, between the Indian Ocean and a low coastal escarpment known as the Darling Range.

The central business district and suburbs of Perth are situated on the banks of the Swan River. Shortly after the establishment of the port settlement of Fremantle, Perth was founded on 12 June 1829 by Captain James Stirling as the political centre of the Swan River Colony. As the business and administration centre for the resource-rich state, Perth has grown consistently. Perth became known worldwide as the “City of Light” when city residents lit their house lights and streetlights as American astronaut John Glenn passed overhead while orbiting the earth on Friendship 7 in 1962. The city repeated the act as Glenn passed overhead on the Space Shuttle in 1998.

Perth is tied for eighth place in The Economist’s 2011 list of the world's most livable cities. Perth’s residents have traditionally enjoyed the highest standard of living of any of Australia’s big cities. Until recently, the reason for this has been that, for most occupations, wages were only a little less than could be found in cities such as Sydney and Melbourne while house prices in Perth were considerably lower than the other cities.

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

Monday, 6 June 2016

DESKTOP 1042 - CONTRAIL

contrail |ˈkɒntreɪl| = vapour trail (Origin: 1940s: abbreviation of condensation trail):
noun
A trail of condensed water from an aircraft or rocket at high altitude, seen as a white streak against the sky (also called "aviaticus" cloud).


This brings to mind travel and holidays in distant warm countries as the temperature drops here in wintry Melbourne...

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

Friday, 3 June 2016

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

DESKTOP 1037 - UDAIPUR, INDIA

Udaipur, also known as the City of Lakes, is a city, a Municipal Council and the administrative headquarters of the Udaipur district in the state of Rajasthan in Western India. It is located 403 kilometres southwest of the state capital, Jaipur, 248 kilometres west of Kota, and 250 kilometres northeast from Ahmedabad. Udaipur was the historic capital of the former kingdom of Mewar in Rajputana Agency.

Apart from its history, culture, and scenic locations, it is also known for its Rajput-era palaces. The Lake Palace, for instance, covers an entire island in the Pichola Lake. Many of the palaces have been converted into luxury hotels. It is often called the "Venice of the East" and is also nicknamed the "Lake City". Lake Pichola, Fateh Sagar Lake, Udai Sagar and Swaroop Sagar in this city are considered some of the most beautiful lakes in the state.

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,
and also part of the Travel Tuesday meme.