Thursday, 19 October 2017

DESKTOP 1542 - APPLE BLOSSOM

The apple tree (Malus domestica) is a deciduous tree in the rose family (Rosaceae) best known for its sweet, pomaceous fruit, the apple. It is cultivated worldwide as a fruit tree, and is the most widely grown species in the genus Malus. The tree originated in Central Asia, where its wild ancestor, Malus sieversii, is still found today.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

DESKTOP 1540 - MAJORCA, SPAIN

Majorca, also spelt Mallorca, is the largest island in the Balearic Islands, which are part of Spain and located in the Mediterranean. The capital of the island, Palma, is also the capital of the autonomous community of the Balearic Islands. The Balearic Islands have been an autonomous region of Spain since 1983] The Cabrera Archipelago is administratively grouped with Majorca (in the municipality of Palma). The anthem of Majorca is La Balanguera.

Like the other Balearic Islands of Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera, the island is an extremely popular holiday destination, particularly for tourists from Germany and the United Kingdom. The international airport, Palma de Mallorca Airport, is one of the busiest in Spain; it was used by 26.3 million passengers in 2016. The name derives from Latin insula maior, "larger island"; later Maiorica, "the larger one" in comparison to Menorca, "the smaller one".

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

Saturday, 14 October 2017

DESKTOP 1537 - DUCKPOND

The Chestnut Teal duck is darker and a slightly bigger bird than the Grey Teal. In flight, the wedge-shaped white patch on both the upperwing and underwing is obvious. The male Chestnut Teal has a white patch on the flank which can also be seen in flight. The male is a dark bird with a very dark glossy-green head.On the water, the Chestnut Teal is a small, dark duck which floats high.

The male has a glossy-green head and a white flank patch. The female and juvenile male are similar to the drab Grey Teal, but are darker and lack the white throat. Most common in brackish coastal lagoons, saltwater estuaries and the lower reaches of creeks around the coast, the Chestnut Teal is distributed in south-eastern and south-western Australia. Vagrants may occur elsewhere. Tasmania and southern Victoria are the species' stronghold.

This post is part of the Weekend Reflections meme,
and also part of the Saturday Critters meme,
and also part of the I'd Rather Be Birdin' meme,
and also part of the Camera Critters meme.

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

DESKTOP 1534 - NATURE

"Nature always wears the colors of the spirit." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

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,
and also part of the My Town Shootout meme.

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

DESKTOP 1533 - IKARIA, GREECE

Icaria, also spelled Ikaria (Greek: Ικαρία), is a Greek island in the Aegean Sea, 10 nautical miles (19 km) southwest of Samos. According to tradition, it derives its name from Icarus, the son of Daedalus in Greek mythology, who was believed to have fallen into the sea nearby. Administratively, Icarian forms a separate municipality within the Ikaria regional unit, which is part of the North Aegean region. The principal town of the island and seat of the municipality is Agios Kirykos. The historic capitals of the island include Oenoe and Evdilos (the latter shown here).

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.

Thursday, 5 October 2017

DESKTOP 1528 - PIGFACE

Mesembryanthemum (meaning "midday flowering" in Greek) is a genus of flowering plants native to Southern Africa. Fig marigold or Icicle plant is a name for any of several South African taxa of Mesembryanthemum which are cultivated as ornamental plants for their showy pink or white flowers. "Pebble plant" or "Ice plant" are other but rather ambiguous common names, usually referring to other Aizoaceae.

The plant is characterised by long-lasting clusters of flower heads. Flowers of Mesembryanthemum protect their gametes from night-time dews or frosts but open in sunlight. There is an obvious evolutionary advantage to doing this; where sun, dew, frost, wind or predators are likely to damage exposed reproductive organs, closing may be advantageous during times when flowers are unlikely to attract pollinators.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

DESKTOP 1527 - MIMOSA

Mimosa is the name that the Australian wattle tree with delicate fern-like leaves and yellow flowers (Acacia dealbata, family Leguminosae) is known in Europe.

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

DESKTOP 1526 - HÓRA SFAKÍON, GREECE

Hóra Sfakíon (Greek: Χώρα Σφακίων) or Sfakia (Σφακιά) is a town on the south coast of Crete, Greece. It is the capital of the remote and mountainous region of Sfakiá, and is a small town of just 265 inhabitants (2011 census). It lies on the south coast near the end of the Imbros Gorge, 74 km south of Chania. It has two small harbours, where the ferry boats from Agia Roumeli dock, which in the summer bring the hikers from the Samaria Gorge to take buses back to the northern coast. From Hóra Sfakíon ferries also go to the nearby coastal town of Loutro and the island Gavdos.

Hóra Sfakíon is a small village with a main harbourfront of tavernas, two minimarkets, a butcher, and a bakery. There is a quiet local beach immediately west of the village, and several pebbly beaches nearby. Hóra Sfakíon has a variety of tourist accommodations: rooms, studios, and apartments. The local economy is based on tourism, fishing, olive-oil production, and sheep and goat herding. Hóra Sfakíon prospered during the Venetian and Turkish occupations and up to the 18th century carried on a flourishing trade with its own small fleet. It was said to have had a hundred churches, but it suffered badly from wartime bombardment during the Battle of Crete and the Allied evacuation that followed.

Hóra Sfakíon is famous as one of the centres of resistance against the occupying forces of both the Venetians and the Turks. The impenetrable White Mountains to the north combined with the rocky beaches on the south helped the locals fight off all invaders. Anopolis, a village near Hóra Sfakíon, is the birthplace of one of the most celebrated Cretan revolutionaries, Daskalogiannis.

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.

Saturday, 30 September 2017

DESKTOP 1523 - ERIGERON DAISY

Erigeron karvinskianus is a species of flowering plant in the family Asteraceae known by the common names Mexican fleabane, Latin American fleabane, Santa Barbara daisy, Spanish daisy, Karwinsky’s fleabane, or bony-tip fleabane. Erigeron karvinskianus is native to much of Mexico, Central America, Colombia and Venezuela, and is naturalized in many other places, including parts of Africa and Europe, Australia, Hong Kong, Chile and the west coast of the United States.

Erigeron karvinskianus is a vigorous, spreading perennial plant growing from woody rhizomes to a maximum height of 15 cm. Its leaves are located along the stem, the basal leaves dying off as the plant bolts. They are sometimes slightly toothed or lobed near the tips. The inflorescences hold one or more flower heads which are each about 1 cm wide. They have golden yellow disc florets in the center surrounded by a fringe of up to 80 white to pinkish ray florets.

Erigeron karvinskianus is also cultivated for its daisy-like blooms, and is often confused with the closely related true daisy Bellis. It is frequently grown in crevices in walls or paving, where it rapidly spreads to provide a carpet of flowers. It has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit. It was used to colonise the concrete terraces of the football stadium (Estadio_Azteca) built in Mexico City for the 1970 World Cup.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Thursday, 28 September 2017

DESKTOP 1521 - CALLERY PEAR

Pyrus calleryana, the Callery pear known in the USA as the Bradford Pear, is a species of pear native to China and Vietnam, in the family Rosaceae. It is a deciduous tree growing to 5 to 8 m tall, often with a conic to rounded crown. The leaves are oval, 4 to 8 cm long, glossy dark green above, and slightly paler below.

The white, five-petaled flowers are about 2 to 2.5 cm in diameter. They are produced abundantly in early spring, before the leaves expand fully. The fruits of the Callery pear are small (less than one cm in diameter), and hard, almost woody, until softened by frost, after which they are readily taken by birds, which disperse the seeds in their droppings. In summer, the foliage is dark green and very smooth, and in autumn the leaves commonly turn brilliant colours, ranging from yellow and orange to more commonly red, pink, purple, and bronze.

Callery pears are remarkably resistant to disease or blight though they are regularly killed by strong winds, ice storms, heavy snow, or limb loss due to their naturally excessive growth rates. Some cultivars, such as 'Bradford', are particularly susceptible to storm damage. The species is named after the Italian-French sinologue Joseph-Marie Callery (1810–1862) who sent specimens of the tree to Europe from China.

The initial symmetry of several cultivars led to their attempted use in settings such as industrial parks, streets, shopping centres, and office parks. As such they proved so successful that they are deemed an invasive species, outcompeting many native plants and trees. Their dense clusters of white blossoms are conspicuous and very pretty in early spring, however their smell is commonly found unpleasant by many people (me included!). The smell is often described as 'fishy' and 'putrid'.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

DESKTOP 1520 - LILY

Lilium (members of which are true lilies) is a genus of herbaceous flowering plants growing from bulbs, all with large prominent flowers, all commonly known as "lily". Lilies are a group of flowering plants which are important in culture and literature in much of the world. Most species are native to the temperate northern hemisphere, though their range extends into the northern subtropics. Many other plants have "lily" in their common name but are not related to true lilies.

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

DESKTOP 1519 - SKOPELOS, GREECE

Skopelos (Greek: Σκόπελος) is a Greek island in the western Aegean Sea. Skopelos is one of several islands which comprise the Northern Sporades island group, which lies east of the Pelion peninsula on the mainland and north of the island of Euboea. It is part of the Thessaly region. Skopelos is also the name of the main port and the municipal centre of the island. The other communities of the island are Glossa and Neo Klima (Elios).

The geography of Skopelos includes two mountains over 500 m; Delphi (681 m) in the centre of the island, and Palouki (546 m) in the southeast. With an area of 96 square kilometres, Skopelos is slightly larger than Mykonos (85 km2) and Santorini (73 km2). The nearest inhabited islands are Skiathos to the west and Alonissos to the east.

According to legend, Skopelos was founded by Staphylos (Greek for grape), one of the sons of the god Dionysos and the princess Ariadne of Crete. Historically, in the Late Bronze Age the island, then known as Peparethos or Peparethus (Ancient Greek: Πεπάρηθος), was colonised by Cretans, who introduced viticulture to the island. Perhaps because of the legend of its founding by the son of the god of wine, the island was known throughout the ancient Greek cities of the Mediterranean Sea for its wine. The play "Philoctetes" (first performed at the Festival of Dionysus in 409 BC) by Sophocles includes a wine merchant lost on his way to "Peparethos, rich in grapes and wine".

The economy of Skopelos is now fully dependent on the tourism industry which supports construction and other development-related industries. Though tourism is greatest during the summer months, Skopelos is also a year round retirement destination for Northern Europeans. The popularity of the island with tourists increased due to the filming of "Mamma Mia!" on the island in September 2007.

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, 25 September 2017

Saturday, 23 September 2017

DESKTOP 1516 - BUTTERCUPS

Ranunculus repens, the creeping buttercup, is a flowering plant in the buttercup family Ranunculaceae, native to Europe, Asia and northwestern Africa. It is also called creeping crowfoot and (along with restharrow) sitfast.

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

Thursday, 21 September 2017

DESKTOP 1514 - RED CAMELLIA

Camellia is a genus of flowering plants in the family Theaceae. They are found in eastern and southern Asia, from the Himalayas east to Japan and Indonesia. There are 100–250 described species, with some controversy over the exact number. The genus was named by Linnaeus after the Jesuit botanist Georg Joseph Kamel, who worked in the Philippines, though he never described a camellia.

This genus is famous throughout East Asia; camellias are known as cháhuā (茶花) in Chinese, "tea flower", an apt designation, as tsubaki (椿) in Japanese, as dongbaek-kkot (동백꽃) in Korean and as hoa trà or hoa chè in Vietnamese. Of economic importance in the Indian subcontinent and Asia, leaves of C. sinensis are processed to create the popular beverage, tea. The ornamental Camellia japonica, Camellia oleifera and Camellia sasanqua and their hybrids are represented in cultivation by a large number of cultivars.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

DESKTOP 1512 - ROME, ITALY

Rome ( Italian: Roma; Latin: Rōma) is a city and special comune (named "Roma Capitale") in Italy. Rome is the capital of Italy and also of the Province of Rome and of the region of Lazio. With 2.9 million residents in 1,285.3 km2, it is also the country's largest and most populated comune and fourth-most populous city in the European Union by population within city limits. The urban area of Rome extends beyond the administrative city limits with a population of around 3.8 million. Between 3.2 and 4.2 million people live in Rome metropolitan area.

The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, within Lazio (Latium), along the shores of Tiber river. Vatican City is an independent country within the city boundaries of Rome, the only existing example of a country within a city: for this reason Rome has been often defined as capital of two states.

Rome's history spans more than two and a half thousand years, since its legendary founding in 753 BC. Rome is one of the oldest continuously occupied cities in Europe. It is referred to as "The Eternal City" (Latin: Roma Aeterna), a central notion in ancient Roman culture. In the ancient world it was successively the capital city of the Roman Kingdom, the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire, and is regarded as one of the birthplaces of Western civilisation. Since the 1st century AD, Rome has been considered the seat of the Papacy and in the 8th century it became the capital of the Papal States, which lasted until 1870. In 1871 Rome became the capital of the Kingdom of Italy, and in 1946 that of the Italian Republic.

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, 17 September 2017

DESKTOP 1510 - SOUNION TEMPLE

Cape Sounion (Modern Greek: Aκρωτήριο Σούνιο, transliterated Akrotírio Soúnio) is a promontory located 69 kilometres south-southeast of Athens, at the southernmost tip of the Attica peninsula in Greece. Cape Sounion is noted as the site of ruins of an ancient Greek temple of Poseidon, the god of the sea in classical mythology.

The remains are perched on the headland, surrounded on three sides by the sea. The ruins bear the deeply engraved name of English Romantic poet Lord Byron (1788–1823). The site is a popular day-excursion for tourists from Athens, with the sunset over the Aegean Sea, as viewed from the ruins, a sought-after spectacle.

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.

Saturday, 16 September 2017

DESKTOP 1509 - BUTTERCUPS

Ranunculus is a large genus of about 600 species of plants in the Ranunculaceae family. Members of the genus include the buttercups, spearworts, and water crowfoots. The petals are often highly lustrous, especially in yellow species. Buttercups usually flower in the spring, but flowers may be found throughout the summer, especially where the plants are growing as opportunistic colonisers, as in the case of garden weeds.

The water crowfoots (Ranunculus subgenus Batrachium), which grow in still or running water, are sometimes treated in a separate genus Batrachium (from Greek βάτραχος batrachos, "frog"). They have two different leaf types, thread-like leaves underwater and broader floating leaves. In some species, such as R. aquatilis, a third, intermediate leaf type occurs. Ranunculus species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including Hebrew Character and small angle shades.

Some species are popular ornamental flowers in horticulture, with many cultivars selected for large and brightly coloured flowers. Ranunculus repens, the creeping buttercup shown here, is a flowering plant in the buttercup family Ranunculaceae, native to Europe, Asia and northwestern Africa, The flowers are bright golden yellow, 2–3 cm diameter, usually with five petals, and the flower stem is finely grooved.

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

Thursday, 14 September 2017

DESKTOP 1507 - LOROPETALUM

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.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

DESKTOP 1505 - AEGEAN SUNSET

The Aegean Sea (/ɪˈdʒiːən/; Greek: Αιγαίο Πέλαγος [eˈʝeo ˈpelaɣos] (About this sound listen); Turkish: Ege Denizi Turkish pronunciation: [eɟe denizi]) is an elongated embayment of the Mediterranean Sea located between the Greek and Anatolian peninsulas, i.e., between the mainlands of Greece and Turkey. In the north, it is connected to the Marmara Sea and Black Sea by the Dardanelles and Bosphorus.

The Aegean Islands are within the sea and some bound it on its southern periphery, including Crete and Rhodes. The sea was traditionally known as the Archipelago (in Greek, Αρχιπέλαγος, meaning "chief sea"), but in English the meaning of Archipelago has changed to refer to the Aegean Islands and, generally, to any island group.

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.

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

DESKTOP 1499 - INVERLOCH, AUSTRALIA

Inverloch is a seaside town located in Victoria, Australia. It is located 143 kilometres south east of Melbourne via the South Gippsland Highway on the Bass Highway at the mouth of Anderson Inlet, in the Bass Coast Shire of Gippsland, Victoria, Australia. Known originally for the calm waters of Anderson Inlet, it is now also known for the discovery of Australia's first dinosaur bone.

At the 2011 census it had a population of 4,960. Inverloch is a popular tourist destination, particularly for swimming, kitesurfing and windsurfing at the calm waters of Anderson Inlet. Fishing and surfing are also popular. The town was first named Andersons Inlet after Samuel Anderson, the first European to settle here. It was later renamed Inverloch after Loch Inver (Lake Entrance) in Scotland. The town is also home to a tennis club which is home to the some of Australia's greatest players.

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, 5 September 2017

DESKTOP 1498 - KAVALA, GREECE

Kavala (Greek: Καβάλα) is a city in northern Greece, the principal seaport of eastern Macedonia and the capital of Kavala regional unit. It is situated on the Bay of Kavala, across from the island of Thasos. Kavala is located on the Egnatia motorway and is a one and a half-hour drive to Thessaloniki (160 kilometres west) and forty minutes drive to Drama (37 km north) and Xanthi (56 km east). Its nickname is The cyan city (Η γαλάζια πόλη). 
 
The most important sights in the old town are the Castle, the Acropolis, the Imaret and the old Lighthouse at the end of Theodorou Pavlidou St, beneath which the rocks of Panayia are situated. The landmark of the Old City is the Mohamed Ali square, dominated by its statue, situated between the “konaki” (his house built at the end of the 18th century) and the church of Panayia, built in 1965 on the ruins of an older post-Byzantine three-aisled basilica. 
 
The modern town Kavala boasts a unique character reflecting its recent past: Neoclassical mansions and big tobacco warehouses evoke the memory of a distant past when a wealthy bourgeoisie was dominating the city. In the “Mecca of tobacco” as Kavala was named in the past, thousands of tobacco workers, male and female, earned their living. Palm trees line the esplanade of the port,where modern buildings and fish tavernas are side by side, while fish boats cast their reflection on azure waters. 
 
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.