Thursday, 28 February 2013


Lobularia maritima syn. Alyssum maritimum, common name sweet alyssum or sweet alison, also commonly referred to as just alyssum (from the genus Alyssum in which it was formerly classified) is a species of low-growing flowering plant in the family Brassicaceae
The genus name Lobularia comes from the a Greek word meaning "small pod", referring to the shape of the fruits. The name of the species maritima refers to its preferred coastal habitat.

It is an annual plant (rarely a short-lived perennial plant) growing to 5–30 cm tall by 20–30 cm broad. The stem is very branched, with dense clusters of small flowers. The leaves are 1–4 cm long and 3–5 mm, broad, alternate, sessile, quite hairy, oval to lanceolate, with an entire margin.The flowers are about 5 millimetres in diameter, sweet-smelling, with four white rounded petals (or pink, rose-red, violet and lilac) and four sepals. The six stamens have yellow anthers.

The flowers are produced throughout the growing season, or year-round in areas free of frost. They are pollinated by insects (entomophily). The fruits are numerous elongated seedpods rather hairy, oval to rounded, each containing two seeds. The dispersal of seed is effected by the wing (anemochory).

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday, 27 February 2013


Torquay is a township in Victoria, Australia, which faces Bass Strait, 21 km. south of Geelong and is the gateway to the Great Ocean Road. It is bordered on the west by Spring Creek and its coastal features include Point Danger and Zeally Bay. At the 2006 census, Torquay had a population of 6,695.

The Torquay area is famous for its surf beaches, with Jan Juc and the world famous Bells Beach located on the town's south-west outskirts. It was home to the popular Offshore Festival in the late 1990s. Many of the world's most famous surf companies have their home in Torquay, including Rip Curl, Piping Hot and Quiksilver- all of which make up part of the Surf Coast Plaza, which provides shopping and eating, as well as the Surf World Museum. Torquay's population usually triples between January and end of February, when the school holidays end; the town also hosts end of year Schoolies week celebrations, joint with Lorne, Victoria's most active Schoolies destination.

This post is part of the Water World Wednesday meme,
and also part of the Outdoor Wednesday meme.

Tuesday, 26 February 2013


Gomphrena globosa, commonly known as globe amaranth or bachelor button, is an annual plant that grows up to 60 cm in height. The true species has magenta bracts, and cultivars have colours such as purple, red, white, pink, and lilac.Its native range is in Brazil, Panama and Guatemala.

In Trinidad the flowers are boiled to make a tea which is used for baby gripe, oliguria, cough and diabetes; cooling. In Hawaii, it is commonly used in long-lasting leis since it retains its shape and colour after drying.This flower is used to make a garland for Brother's Day in Nepal. The garland is put around the brother's neck by their sister for protection.

This post is part of the Nature Footsteps Floral Macros meme.

Monday, 25 February 2013


The rising sun can make the Eastern horizon an oriflamme of orange magnificence on some mornings. The benefits of getting up early...

This post is part of the Mandarin Orange Monday meme.

Sunday, 24 February 2013


Coober Pedy is a town in the Northern part of  South Australia, 846 kilometres north of Adelaide on the Stuart Highway. According to the 2011 census, its population was 1,695 (953 males, 742 females, including 275 indigenous Australians). The town is sometimes referred to as the "opal capital of the world" because of the quantity of precious opals that are mined there.

Coober Pedy is renowned for its below-ground residences, called "dugouts", which are built due to the scorching daytime heat. The name 'Coober Pedy' comes from the local Aboriginal term kupa-piti, which means 'white man's hole'. Opal was found in Coober Pedy on 1 February 1915; since then the town has been supplying most of the world's gem-quality opal. Coober Pedy today relies as much on tourism as the opal mining industry to provide the community with employment and sustainability. Coober Pedy has over 70 opal fields and is the largest opal mining area in the world.

When we visited Cobber Pedy, we stayed in an underground motel, shopped in underground shops and visited this underground church.  Dug out in the side of a hill, it is peaceful and a wonderful place for reflection. As the last two photos show, the dugouts are constructed with a special machine that drills large holes in the rock. Drilling holes next to each other enlarges the dugout.

Psalm 92:
15: To shew that the Lord is upright: He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.

This post is part of the Psalm Sunday meme.

Saturday, 23 February 2013


In the recent Chinese New Year celebrations, there was plenty of opportunity to try out the colour range reproduction of one's camera. Here si a stall selling parasols at the Southbank Crown Chinese New Year Festival, Hawkers' Bazaar.

This post is part of the Weekly TopShot meme,
and also part of the Pink Saturday meme.

Friday, 22 February 2013


"What is the good of your stars and trees, your sunrise and the wind, if they do not enter into our daily lives?" - E. M. Forster

This post is part of the Skywatch Friday meme.

Thursday, 21 February 2013


Verbena (vervain), is a genus in the family Verbenaceae. It contains about 250 species of annual and perennial herbaceous or semi-woody flowering plants. The majority of the species are native to the Americas and Europe.

Hybrid verbena in the Donalena™ Twinkle series shown here, are vigorous, warm season, tender perennials that are grown as annual bedding plants in colder regions. They are heat-tolerant and bear large mottled flowers in many-flowered clusters. These low, mounding and trailing, ever-blooming plants have broad, quilted dark green leaves with toothed edges

These butterfly favourites produce many rounded clusters of unusual tubular five-lobed flowers with wide-flaring tips that are white mottled and streaked in shades of red, pink and purple. Donalena™ Twinkle verbena is will continue blooming if regularly deadheaded and cut back in late summer. They bloom all year in climates with mild winters and all summer in temperate locations.

Like many other verbenas, these tolerate drought, heat and humidity. They prefer full sun and moderately fertile, amply drained soil. Too much shade results in leggy sparsely flowered plants. Powdery mildew is a problem for most Verbena, good airflow and care will help plants stay healthy. Plant Donalena™ Twinkle verbena in containers, hanging baskets, along walkways, and borders.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013


Mytilene (Greek: Μυτιλήνη; Mytilini in Modern Greek) is a town and a former municipality on the island of Lesbos, North Aegean, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality Lesbos, of which it is a municipal unit. It is the capital of the island of Lesbos. Mytilene, whose name is pre-Greek, is built on the southeast edge of the island. It is also the seat of a metropolitan bishop of the Orthodox church.

Mytilene has a port with ferries to the nearby islands of Lemnos and Chios and Ayvalık and at times Dikili in Turkey. The port also serves the mainland cities of Piraeus, Athens and Thessaloniki.The city produces ouzo. There are more than 15 commercial producers on the island.The city exports sardines harvested from the Bay of Kalloni and olive oil and woodwork.

This post is part of the Water World Wednesday meme,
and also part of the Outdoor Wednesday meme.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013


Gladiolus (from Latin, "little sword", the diminutive of gladius, a sword) is a genus of perennial bulbous flowering plants in the iris family, Iridaceae. It is sometimes called the 'sword lily', but usually by its generic name (plural gladioli, gladioluses, glads). The genus is distributed in Mediterranean Europe, Asia, Tropical Africa and South Africa. The centre of diversity of the genus is located in the Cape Floristic Region, where most species were discovered. The genera Oenostachys, Homoglossum, Anomalesia and Acidanthera, traditionally considered independent entities, currently are included in Gladiolus.

There are 160 species of Gladiolus endemic in southern Africa and 76 in tropical Africa. The flowers of unmodified wild species vary from very small to perhaps 40 mm across, and inflorescences bearing anything from one to several flowers. The spectacular giant flower spikes in commerce are the products of centuries of hybridisation, selection, and perhaps more drastic manipulation.

This post is part of the Nature Footsteps Floral Macros meme,
and also part of the Ruby Tuesday meme.

Monday, 18 February 2013


Beneath the blazing sun's relentless heat
men and flocks are sweltering,
pines are scorched.
We hear the cuckoo's voice;
then sweet songs of the turtle dove
and finch are heard.
Soft breezes stir the air…

This post is part of the Nature Footsteps Inspiring Photography meme.

Sunday, 17 February 2013


Psalm 91:

3 Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.
4 He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.
5 Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;
6 Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.

This post is part of the Psalm Sunday meme.

Saturday, 16 February 2013


Climbing through the Southern Alps, State Highway 94 is one of the highest and most scenic state highways in New Zealand. The highest part of the road is at 940 metres above sea level. The Milford Road, part of SH94, takes you from Te Anau through Fiordland National Park to the major tourist gateway - Milford Sound.

Over one million people visit Fiordland every year and Milford Sound is one of their favourite destinations. A part of UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is no wonder that Milford Sound was described by Rudyard Kipling as the 'eighth wonder of the world'.One of the most incredible and frequently overlooked features of Milford Sound is the journey to get there.

Transit New Zealand looks after the Milford Road which provides the only road access to Milford Sound. It is therefore essential for Transit to keep this road safe and open all year round. In winter season (May to September) snow, ice and risk of avalanches make safe driving critical.

We visited this part of New Zealand in February 2003, in the middle of the Southern Summer. As you can see form the photos, there was still snow on the mountain peaks and Milford Sound was shrouded in clouds. It was all very beautiful nevertheless!

This post is part of the Weekend Reflections meme,
and also part of the Weekly TopShot meme.

Friday, 15 February 2013


Ballooning is a very popular activity in Melbourne in the Summer months, although it is more of a tourist activity than one the locals indulge in. Having said that, I woudln't mind having a go...

This post is part of the Skywatch Friday meme.

Thursday, 14 February 2013


Lewisia cotyledon is a species of flowering plant in the purslane family (Portulacaceae) known by the common names Siskiyou lewisia and cliff maids. It is native to southern Oregon and northern California, where it grows in rocky subalpine mountain habitat. It is an evergreen perennial growing from a thick taproot and caudex unit. It produces a basal rosette of many thick, fleshy oval- or spoon-shaped leaves up to 9 cm long. The Greek cotyledon ("shaped like a small cup", from kotulē ‘cup’) refers to the shape of the leaves.

Flowering from spring to summer, the inflorescence arises on one or more stems 10–30 cm tall, each stem bearing an array of up to 50 flowers. Near the flowers are small, pointed bracts tipped with resin glands. The flower has 7 to 13 petals, each about 1.5 centimeters long. The petals may be pale pink with darker veining, whitish with pinkish orange striping, or solid orange to yellow.This plant has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.

This post is part of the Floral Friday meme.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013


The Carnival of Venice is an annual festival, held in Venice, Italy. The Carnival ends with Lent, forty days before Easter on Shrove Tuesday (Fat Tuesday or Martedì Grasso), the day before Ash Wednesday.

It is said that the Carnival of Venice was started from a victory of the "Repubblica della Serenissima", Venice's previous name, against the Patriarch of Aquileia, Ulrico in the year 1162. In the honour of this victory, the people started to dance in San Marco Square. The festival grew in extent and magnificence, becoming particularly grand in the Renaissance.

The Carnival declined during the 18th century. After a long absence, the Carnival was revived in 1979. The Italian government decided to bring back the history and culture of Venice, and sought to use the traditional Carnival as the centerpiece of their efforts.

Today, approximately 3 million visitors come to Venice every year for the Carnival. One of the most important events is the contest for the best mask, placed at the last weekend of the Carnival. A jury of international costume and fashion designers votes for "La Maschera più bella".

These are some of my photographs from trip to Venice during the Carnival season of 1988...
This post is part of the Outdoor Wednesday meme,
and also part of the Our World Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Ruby Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Weekly TopShot meme.