Monday, 31 October 2016

Friday, 28 October 2016

DESKTOP 1186 - HEMLOCK FEAST

A hoverfly (insect family Syrphidae) feasts on the flowers of the hemlock (Conium maculatum).

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

Thursday, 27 October 2016

DESKTOP 1185 - RUE

Ruta graveolens, commonly known as rue, common rue or herb-of-grace, is a species of Ruta in the family Rutaceae, grown as an ornamental plant and as a herb. It is native to the Balkan Peninsula. It is now grown throughout the world in gardens, especially for its bluish leaves, and sometimes for its tolerance of hot and dry soil conditions. It is also cultivated as a medicinal herb, as a condiment, and to a lesser extent as an insect repellent.
For more information, see here "All About Rue"

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

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

DESKTOP 1183 - BROOME, AUSTRALIA

Broome is a coastal, pearling and tourist town in the Kimberley region of Western Australia, 2,240 km north of Perth. The urban population is estimated at 14,776, growing to over 45,000 per month during the tourist season. Broome International Airport provides transport to several domestic destinations.

Cable Beach is situated 7 km from town along a bitumen road and is named in honour of the Java-to-Australia undersea telegraph cable which reaches shore there. The beach itself is 22.5 km long with white sand, washed by tides that can reach over 9 m. The beach is almost perfectly flat. Caution is required when swimming from November to March as box jellyfish are present during those months. There have been cases where crocodiles have been sighted off the shore, but this is a rarity and measures are taken to prevent these situations.

Four wheel drive vehicles may be driven onto the beach from the car park. This allows people to explore the beach at low tide to a much greater extent than would be possible on foot. Sunset camel rides operate daily along the beach.

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.


Thursday, 20 October 2016

DESKTOP 1178 - HOVERFLY ON HAWKWEED

Hoverflies, sometimes called flower flies, or syrphid flies, make up the insect family Syrphidae. As their common name suggests, they are often seen hovering or nectaring at flowers; the adults of many species feed mainly on nectar and pollen, while the larvae (maggots) eat a wide range of foods. In some species, the larvae are saprotrophs, eating decaying plant and animal matter in the soil or in ponds and streams.

About 6,000 species in 200 genera have been described. Hoverflies are common throughout the world and can be found on all continents except Antarctica. Hoverflies are harmless to most other animals, despite their mimicry of more dangerous wasps and bees, which wards off predators.

Hieracium known by the common name hawkweed and classically as hierakion (from ancient Greek ιεράξ, hierax 'hawk'), is a genus of the sunflower family Asteraceae, and closely related to dandelion (Taraxacum), chicory (Cichorium), prickly lettuce (Lactuca) and sow thistle (Sonchus), which are part of the tribe Cichorieae. Hawkweeds, with their 10,000+ recorded species and subspecies, do their part to make Asteraceae the second largest family of flowers.

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

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

DESKTOP 1177 - OTHONOI, GREECE

Othonoi (Greek: Οθωνοί, Italian: Fanò) is an island and a former community of the Ionian Islands, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality of Corfu, of which it is a municipal unit. It is the westernmost point of Greece, located northwest of Corfu. Population 392 (2011). It is the biggest of the Diapontia Islands. In the 19th century the island used to be the capital of the Diapontia Islands municipality, which also included nearby islands of Ereikoussa, Mathraki,islets and rocks of Diakopo, Diaplo, Karavi, Kastrino, Leipso, Ostrako, Plaka, Plateia and Tracheia. Othoni is about 47 nautical miles from Santa Maria di Leuca cape, Italy.

According to a legend, in the ancient times it was the island of nymph Calypso who lived in a large cave. Odysseus fell in love and remained like a prisoner there for seven years. Homer called thιs island Ogygia. In the Odyssey one reads that there was a strong scent of cypress on this island. Othonoi is a place with many of these trees and on a hot day one may smell their resin. Odysseus left Ogygia by raft, which sank at Scheria on the island of Corfu. This is an extra element that justifies the legend of Othonoi being Ogygia, because of the short distance that separates the two islands.

Most beaches on the island are accessible by boat, including Ammos, Molos, Kamini, Kanoula, Kontoskes, Rogi, Fyki, Xilosermi, and Aspri Ammos (photo). It is a well known island for underwater photography because of the peculiar geomorphology of the seabed and the many caves. Othoni was frequently visited by the French naturalist Jacques Cousteau and his exploratory vessel Calypso.

This post is part of the Travel Tuesday meme,
and also 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, 18 October 2016

DESKTOP 1176 - MONEMVASIA, GREECE

Monemvasia (Greek: Μονεμβασία) is a town and a municipality in Laconia, Greece. The town is located on a small island off the east coast of the Peloponnese. The island is linked to the mainland by a short causeway 200m in length. Its area consists mostly of a large plateau some 100 metres above sea level, up to 300 m wide and 1 km long, the site of a powerful medieval fortress. The town walls and many Byzantine churches remain from the medieval period. The seat of the municipality is the town Molaoi.

The town's name derives from two Greek words, mone and emvasia, meaning "single entrance". Its Italian form, Malvasia, gave its name to Malmsey wine. Monemvasia's nickname is the Gibraltar of the East, or The Rock.

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, 17 October 2016

DESKTOP 1175 - AUTUMN

This is especially for the Northern Hemisphere readers, who are definitely seeing Autumn shades at this time!

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

Friday, 14 October 2016

DESKTOP 1172 - BROCCOFLOWER

Broccoflower refers to either of two edible plants of the species Brassica oleracea with light green heads. There are two forms of Brassica oleracea that may be referred to as broccoflower, both of which are considered cultivars of cauliflower (Brassica oleracea var. botrytis) because they have inflorescent meristems rather than flower buds when harvested. One is shaped like regular cauliflower, the other has a spiky appearance and is called Romanesco broccoli. They share a curd color that is a similar hue to that of broccoli.

Romanesco broccoli, also known as Roman cauliflower, Broccolo Romanesco, Romanesque cauliflower or simply Romanesco, is an edible flower bud of the species Brassica oleracea. First documented in Italy, it is chartreuse in color. Romanesco has a striking appearance because its form is a natural approximation of a fractal. When compared to a traditional cauliflower, its texture as a vegetable is far more crunchy, and its flavour is not as assertive, being delicate and nutty. It has been grown in Italy since the 16th Century.

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

Thursday, 13 October 2016

DESKTOP 1171 - KENILWORTH IVY

Cymbalaria muralis, with common names ivy-leaved toadflax, Kenilworth ivy, coliseum ivy, Oxford ivy, mother of thousands, pennywort, wandering sailor, is a flowering plant native to Mediterranean Europe and widely naturalised elsewhere. It is in the Plantaginaceae family.

It spreads quickly, growing up to 5 cm tall – it commonly grows in rock and wall crevices, and along footpaths. The leaves are evergreen, rounded to heart-shaped, 2.5 to 5 cm long and wide, 3–7-lobed, alternating on thin stems. The flowers are very small, similar in shape to snapdragon flowers. Flowers from May to September in the Northern Hemisphere.

This plant has an unusual method of propagation. The flower stalk is initially positively phototropic and moves towards the light. After fertilisation, it becomes negatively phototropic and moves away from the light. This results in seed being pushed into dark crevices of rock walls, where it is more likely to germinate.

Cymbalaria muralis is native to south and southwest Europe, the southern Alps, eastern Yugoslavia, southern Italy and Sicily. It has spread throughout the world as an invasive plant, including the United States, Australia and the British Isles.


This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

DESKTOP 1170 - NINETY MILE BEACH

The Ninety Mile Beach is a sandy stretch of beach on the south-eastern coastline of the East Gippsland region of Victoria in Australia. The beach faces Bass Strait and backs the Gippsland Lakes. The beach is just over 151 kilometres (94 mi) in length, running north-eastward from a spit near Port Albert to the man-made channel at Lakes Entrance. Behind the beach are long sandy dunes that separate the Gippsland Lakes from Bass Strait.

The beach is an uninterrupted stretch of untamed coastline; it does not have any rocky headlands or platforms, and offshore there are only a few ribbons of reef which are periodically covered by sand. In the northern section, the beach runs along a sandbar on what amounts to a series of tidal islands. Behind this are several large lakes and numerous shallow littoral lagoons. The three main lakes are Lake King, Lake Victoria and Lake Wellington, partially contained within The Lakes National Park.

This post is part of the Travel Tuesday meme,
and also 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, 11 October 2016

DESKTOP 1169 - THESSEION, ATHENS

On the North side of the Western section of the Agora of ancient Athens stands the temple of the Thesseion, one of the best preserved ancient temples in Greece. It was built about 449 BC, by the architect Ictinus (who also designed the Parthenon on the Acropolis). The Thesseion has 34 Doric columns and its frieze depicts the labours of Hercules.

Originally dedicated to Hephaestus, the god of metallurgy and the practical crafts, the temple was surrounded by forges and foundries. In the Roman period it was surrounded by gardens. During the 14th century AD, the temple was converted into the church of St George. It is now restored and is part of the archaeological site of the ancient Athenian Agora.

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, 10 October 2016

DESKTOP 1168 - DENIM

Denim is a sturdy cotton warp-faced textile in which the weft passes under two or more warp threads. This twill weaving produces a diagonal ribbing that distinguishes it from cotton duck. The most common denim is indigo denim, in which the warp thread is dyed, while the weft thread is left white. As a result of the warp-faced twill weaving, one side of the textile is dominated by the blue warp threads and the other side is dominated by the white weft threads. This causes blue jeans to be white on the inside. The indigo dyeing process, in which the core of the warp threads remains white, creates denim's signature fading characteristics.

The name "denim" derives from French serge de Nîmes, meaning "serge from Nîmes". Denim was traditionally colored blue with indigo dye to make blue jeans, although "jean" formerly denoted a different, lighter, cotton fabric. The contemporary use of the word "jeans" comes from the French word Gênes, for Genoa, Italy, where the first denim trousers were made.

This post is 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.

Sunday, 9 October 2016

DESKTOP 1167 - SUGILITE

Sugilite, also known as lavulite, royal azel, cybeline, and wesselite, is a relatively rare pink to purple cyclosilicate mineral with the complex chemical formula KNa2(Fe, Mn, Al)2Li3Si12O30. Sugilite crystallises in the hexagonal system with prismatic crystals. The crystals are rarely found and the form is usually massive. It has a Mohs hardness of 5.5 to 6.5 and a specific gravity of 2.75 to 2.80. It is mostly translucent.

Sugilite was first described in 1944 by the Japanese petrologist Ken-ichi Sugi (1901–1948) for an occurrence on Iwagi Islet, Japan, where it is found in an aegirine syenite intrusive stock. It is found in a similar environment at Mont Saint-Hilaire, Quebec, Canada. In the Wessels mine in Northern Cape Province of South Africa, sugilite is mined from a strata-bound manganese deposit. It is also reported from Liguria and Tuscany, Italy; New South Wales, Australia and Madhya Pradesh, India.

Note: The mineral is commonly pronounced with a soft "g", as in "ginger". However, as with most minerals, its pronunciation is intended to be the same as the person it is named after; in this case, the Japanese name Sugi has a hard "g", as in "geese".

This post is part of the Our Beautiful World meme.

Friday, 7 October 2016

DESKTOP 1165 - GERANIUM LEAVES

Leaves of the wild geranium, Geranium sanguineum, family Geraniaceae.

This post is part of the Friday Greens meme.

Thursday, 6 October 2016

DESKTOP 1164 - CAPEWEED

Arctotheca calendula is a plant in the sunflower family commonly known as capeweed, plain treasureflower, cape dandelion, or cape marigold because it originates from the Cape Province in South Africa. It is also found in neighboring KwaZulu-Natal.

Arctotheca calendula is naturalised in California, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Australia, and New Zealand, and considered a noxious weed in some of those places. Arctotheca calendula is a squat perennial or annual which grows in rosettes and sends out stolons and can spread across the ground quickly. The leaves are covered with white woolly hairs, especially on their undersides. The leaves are lobed or deeply toothed. Hairy stems bear daisy-like flowers with small yellow petals that sometimes have a green or purple tint surrounded by white or yellow ray petals extending further out from the flower centers.

It is cultivated as an attractive ornamental groundcover but has invasive potential when introduced to a new area. The plant can reproduce vegetatively or via seed. Seed-bearing plants are most likely to become weedy, taking hold most easily in bare or sparsely vegetated soil or disturbed areas.

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

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

DESKTOP 1162 - KYTHIRA, GREECE

Kythira (Greek: Κύθηρα, also transliterated as Cythera, Kythera and Kithira) is an island in Greece lying opposite the south-eastern tip of the Peloponnese peninsula. It is traditionally listed as one of the seven main Ionian Islands, although it is distant from the main group. Administratively, it belongs to the Islands regional unit, which is part of the Attica region (although at large distance from Attica itself).

The island is strategically located between the Greek mainland and Crete, and from ancient times until the mid 19th century was a crossroads of merchants, sailors, and conquerors. As such, it has had a long and varied history and has been influenced by many civilisations and cultures. This is reflected in its architecture (a blend of traditional, Aegean and Venetian elements), as well as the traditions and customs, influenced by centuries of coexistence of the Greek, Venetian, and Ottoman cultures.

The rugged terrain of the island is a result of prevailing winds from the surrounding seas which have shaped its shores into steep rocky cliffs with deep bays. The island has many beaches, of various composition and size; only half of them can be reached by road through the mountainous terrain of the island. The Kythirian Straits are nearby. Here is the famous Kapsali beach, near the picturesque village of Kapsali. Restaurants and cafés line the beach and one can bathe in the crystal-clear waters of the quiet bay.

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, 2 October 2016

DESKTOP 1160 - AUTUMN LEAF

While we are beginning to see signs of Spring here in the Southern Hemisphere, in the Antipodes Autumn has begun to make its chilly presence felt. So here is something for all friends in the Northern Hemisphere: Happy Autumn!

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