Tuesday, 28 February 2017


The North York Moors is a national park in North Yorkshire, England, containing one of the largest expanses of heather moorland in the United Kingdom. It covers an area of 1,430 km2, and has a population of 23,380. The North York Moors became a National Park in 1952, through the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act of 1949.

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 February 2017


The purple mangosteen (Garcinia mangostana), colloquially known simply as mangosteen, is a tropical evergreen tree believed to have originated in the Sunda Islands and the Moluccas of Indonesia. It grows mainly in Southeast Asia, southwest India and other tropical areas such as Puerto Rico and Florida, where the tree has been introduced. The tree grows from 6 to 25 m.

The fruit of the mangosteen is sweet and tangy, juicy, somewhat fibrous, with fluid-filled vesicles (like the flesh of citrus fruits), with an inedible, deep reddish-purple coloured rind (exocarp) when ripe. In each fruit, the fragrant edible flesh that surrounds each seed is botanically endocarp, i.e., the inner layer of the ovary. Seeds are almond-shaped and sized. The purple mangosteen belongs to the same genus as the other, less widely known, mangosteens, such as the button mangosteen (G. prainiana) or the charichuelo (G. madruno).

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.

Thursday, 23 February 2017


A bouquet of seasonal Australian wildflowers, now in bloom in Melbourne.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Tuesday, 21 February 2017


Malta, officially known as the Republic of Malta (Maltese: Repubblika ta' Malta), is a Southern European island country consisting of an archipelago in the Mediterranean Sea. It lies 80 km south of Italy, 284 km east of Tunisia, and 333 km north of Libya. The country covers just over 316 km2, with a population of just under 450,000, making it one of the world's smallest and most densely populated countries.

The capital of Malta is Valletta, which at 0.8 km2, is the smallest national capital in the European Union. Malta has two official languages: Maltese and English. Malta's location has historically given it great strategic importance as a naval base, and a succession of powers, including the Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Moors, Normans, Sicilians, Spanish, Knights of St. John, French and British, have ruled the islands.

King George VI of the United Kingdom awarded the George Cross to Malta in 1942 for the country's bravery in the Second World War. The George Cross continues to appear on Malta's national flag. Under the Malta Independence Act, passed by the British Parliament in 1964, Malta gained independence from the United Kingdom as an independent sovereign Commonwealth realm, officially known from 1964 to 1974 as the State of Malta, with Elizabeth II as its head of state.

The country became a republic in 1974, and although no longer a Commonwealth realm, remains a current member state of the Commonwealth of Nations. Malta was admitted to the United Nations in 1964 and to the European Union in 2004; in 2008, it became part of the Eurozone.

Malta has a long Christian legacy and its Archdiocese of Malta is claimed to be an apostolic see because, according to Acts of the Apostles, St Paul was shipwrecked on "Melita", now widely taken to be Malta. Catholicism is the official religion in Malta. Malta is a popular tourist destination with its warm climate, numerous recreational areas, and architectural and historical monuments, including three UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum, Valletta, and seven Megalithic Temples, which are some of the oldest free-standing structures in the world.

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, 16 February 2017


Nymphaea violacea, also known as blue lily, is a waterlily in the genus Nymphaea, and the family Nymphaeaceae. Nymphaea violacea is found in Australia, particularly in the Kimberleys and in northern parts of Queensland and the Northern Territory.

The flowers are violet, blue or white. The waterlily is a bush tucker of the Aborigines in northern Australia. The tuber, stem, flowers and seeds are all edible.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday, 15 February 2017


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 Our World Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Travel Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Wordless Wednesday meme,
and also part of the Wednesday Waters meme.

Tuesday, 14 February 2017


Niagara Falls is the collective name for three waterfalls that straddle the international border between Canada and the United States; more specifically, between the province of Ontario and the state of New York. They form the southern end of the Niagara Gorge. From largest to smallest, the three waterfalls are the Horseshoe Falls, the American Falls and the Bridal Veil Falls. The Horseshoe Falls lies on the border of the United States and Canada, with the American Falls entirely on the American side, separated by Goat Island. The smaller Bridal Veil Falls are also on the American side, separated from the other waterfalls by Luna Island.

The international boundary line was originally drawn through Horseshoe Falls in 1819, but the boundary has long been in dispute due to natural erosion and construction. Located on the Niagara River, which drains Lake Erie into Lake Ontario, the combined falls form the highest flow rate of any waterfall in the world that has a vertical drop of more than 50 m. Horseshoe Falls is the most powerful waterfall in North America, as measured by vertical height and flow rate.

The falls are 27 km north-northwest of Buffalo, New York, and 121 km south-southeast of Toronto, between the twin cities of Niagara Falls, Ontario, and Niagara Falls, New York. Niagara Falls were formed when glaciers receded at the end of the Wisconsin glaciation (the last ice age), and water from the newly formed Great Lakes carved a path through the Niagara Escarpment en route to the Atlantic Ocean. While not exceptionally high, the Niagara Falls are very wide. More than 168,000 m3 of water falls over the crest line every minute in high flow, and almost 110,000 m3 on average.

The Niagara Falls are famed both for their beauty and as a valuable source of hydroelectric power. Balancing recreational, commercial, and industrial uses has been a challenge for the stewards of the falls since the 19th century.

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,
and also part of the Wednesday Waters meme.

Sunday, 12 February 2017


Prespa is the name of two freshwater lakes in southeast Europe, shared by Albania, Greece, and the F. Y. Republic of Macedonia. Of the total surface area, 176.3 km2 belongs to the F.Y. Republic of Macedonia, 46.3 km2 to Albania and 36.4 km2 to Greece. They are the highest tectonic lakes in the Balkans, standing at an elevation of 853 m.

The Great Prespa Lake (Albanian: Liqeni i Prespës, Greek: Μεγάλη Πρέσπα, Limni Megáli Préspa, Macedonian: Преспанско Езеро, Prespansko Ezero) is divided between Albania, Greece and Macedonia. The Small Prespa Lake (Greek: Μικρή Πρέσπα, Mikri Prespa; Albanian: Prespa e Vogël) is shared only between Greece (138 km2 drainage area; 42.5 km2 surface area) and Albania (51 km2 drainage area; 4.3 km2 surface area).

The area contains three National Parks located in Albania, Greece, and the F. Y. Republic of Macedonia respectively. The largest town in the Prespa Lakes region is Resen in the F. Y. Republic of Macedonia. In 2014, the Ohrid-Prespa Transboundary Reserve between Albania and Macedonia was added to UNESCO's World Network of Biosphere Reserves.

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,
and also part of the Scenic Weekends meme.

Thursday, 9 February 2017


Dipodium roseum, commonly known as pink hyacinth orchid, in the family Orchidaceae is a leafless mycoheterotrophic orchid found in east and south-eastern Australia. The species was formally described in 1991. The type specimen was collected in Montrose in Victoria's Dandenong Ranges. The species was previously included in a wider circumscription of Dipodium punctatum.

For most of the year, plants are dormant and have no above-ground presence. Below the ground lie fleshy roots. Flower spikes ranging from 30 to 90 cm in height appear between December and April. These racemose inflorescences have 15 to 40 pink flowers with small darker spots. The sepals and petals are strongly recurved and the three-lobed labellum is pink with dark lines and a band of mauve hairs. A rare white-flowering form also exists.

Pollination of this species, as for all species in the genus, is by native bees and wasps. No leafless species of Dipodium has been sustained in cultivation due to the inability to replicate its association with mycorrhizal fungi in a horticultural context. I.e. it needs the wild underground fungi to nourish it as it has no leaves and cannot photosynthesise.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday, 8 February 2017


Elounda (Greek: Ελούντα), alternative transliterations Elounta or Elouda, is a small fishing town on the northern coast of the island of Crete, Greece. It is part of the municipality of Agios Nikolaos, until recently (2010) belonging to the prefecture of Lasithi and as of the passage of new legislation, the periphery of Crete.

The road into Elounda from Agios Nikolaos is approximately 12 km in length and follows the shore as it climbs to the top of a small mountain. On a clear day it is possible to see the whole of Mirabello Bay and all the way to the eastern tip of Crete. The small fishing village of Plaka (Lasithi), which overlooks the island of Spinalonga and the Kolikithia Peninsula, can be reached a mere 5 km from the main square of Elounda heading north away from Agios Nikolaos.

Agios Nikolaos is also the closest major town to the former leper colony of Spinalonga (Greek: Σπιναλόγκα), located on an island officially named Kalydon (Greek: Καλυδών). Elounda is a famous tourist attraction, heavily visited by VIPs for its seaside luxury resorts. Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou used to spend his summers in Elounda; today, it is visited almost every year by the royal family of Saudi Arabia.

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,
and also part of the Travel Tuesday meme.

Tuesday, 7 February 2017


Afytos is a village close to Thessaloniki, Northern Greece, on the Westernmost promontory of the Halkidiki peninsula. The whole area is beautiful, with wonderful beaches, lush vegetation, and is dotted with picturesque villages and towns.

Afytos has a rich history which dates back thousands of years.The village has a preservation order on existing buildings and also on future developments, so the charm of this village will not be lost. When visiting Afytos you’ll see the cobbled streets of an old-world village, set on a hillside above a beautiful bay. The sand on the beaches is fine and white and the waters azure.

The village has many hotels, pensions, tourist shops, and restaurants, and though there's a fairly steep path in between, there are tavernas and a beach bar down by the seashore, so you needn't come back to the village for lunch if you are swimming. After your meal at the water's edge, go right to the northern end of the beach and you're rewarded with the sight of a semi-secret cove. Quiet, sheltered and ideal for an afternoon of undisturbed fun in the sun. Back in Afytos, the evenings are low key – focussed on the few bars and traditional tavernas. All in all a perfect place for a great holiday.

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, 6 February 2017


Making hay in Lara, close to Melbourne, Australia.

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

Thursday, 2 February 2017


Hydrangea paniculata (panicled hydrangea) is a species of flowering plant in the family Hydrangaceae native to southern and eastern China, Korea, Japan and Russia (Sakhalin). It was first formally described by Philipp Franz von Siebold in 1829. It is a deciduous shrub or small tree, 1–5 m tall by 2.5 m broad, growing in sparse forests or thickets in valleys or on mountain slopes.

The leaves are broadly oval, toothed and 7–15 cm long. In late summer it bears large conical panicles of creamy white fertile flowers, together with pinkish white sterile florets. In cultivation it is pruned in spring to obtain larger flower heads. Numerous cultivars have been produced, of which H. paniculata Pink Diamond 'Interhydia' has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit. Other cultivars include: 'Grandiflora', 'Kyushu', 'Praecox', 'Unique'.

H. paniculata is sometimes smoked as an intoxicant, despite the danger of illness and/or death due to the cyanide present as cyanogenic glycosides.

 This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday, 1 February 2017


The Geelong metropolitan area is the second most populated area in the Australian state of Victoria and the largest non-capital city. Located 75 kilometres south-west of the state capital, Melbourne, the port city is situated around Corio Bay and the Barwon River. The metropolitan area runs from the plains of Lara in the north to the rolling hills of Waurn Ponds to the south, with the bay to the east and hills to the west, an area with an estimated population of 160,891 people.

It is the administrative centre for the City of Greater Geelong municipality which covers the urban and surrounding areas and is home to over 181,000 people. An inhabitant of Geelong has been known as a Geelongite, or a Pivotonian, in the past. Geelong was named in 1827, with the name derived from the local Wathaurong Aboriginal name for the region, Jillong, thought to mean "land" or "cliffs".

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.