Friday, 29 May 2015


The red-rumped parrot (Psephotus haematonotus), also known as the red-backed parrot or grass parrot, is a common bird of south-eastern Australia, particularly in the Murray-Darling Basin. Red-rumped parrots are slim, elegant, moderate-sized parrots approximately 28 cm in length. The male's plumage is a bright emerald-green with yellow underparts, a brick-red rump and blue highlights on the wings and upper back. The female's plumage is less vibrant, with pale olive underparts, dull green wings and back and blue-black wingtips. The characteristic red rump is only found in the male.

Like many parrots, red-rumped parrots nest in tree hollows or similar places, including fenceposts and stumps. They lay 3-6 white eggs, Breeding usually takes place in spring (August to January), however, in the dryer inland areas, breeding can occur at any time of year in response to rainfall. Red-rumped parrots do well in aviaries and cages. They don't like to be in crowded spaces and will sometimes be aggressive towards other birds if they don't have enough space. Red-rumped parrots can also be hand reared, provided that they have a large cage and are taken out of their cage on a daily basis to prevent boredom, as it may result in the parrot pulling out its feathers to occupy itself.

This post is part of the Friday Greens meme.

Thursday, 28 May 2015


Xerochrysum viscosum (syn. Bracteantha viscosa (DC.) Anderb., Helichrysum viscosum Sieber ex Spreng., Helichrysum bracteatum var. viscosum Sieber ex DC., sticky everlasting) is a flowering plant in the family Asteraceae, native to Australia, growing in Victoria and New South Wales.

It is a sticky everlasting erect viscid herb. It is usually annual, though sometimes perennial, mainly flowers in spring and summer. The plant normally grows from 20–80 centimetres high, and is usually much branched. Inflorescence bracts are papery and yellow in colour.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday, 27 May 2015


The tamarillo (Solanum betaceum) is a small tree or shrub in the flowering plant family Solanaceae (the nightshade family). It is best known as the species that bears the tamarillo, an egg-shaped edible fruit. It is also known as the tree tomato, or tamamoro. The tamarillo is native to the Andes of Peru, Chile, Ecuador, Colombia and Bolivia. Today, it is still cultivated in gardens and small orchards for local production, and it is one of the most popular fruits in these regions. Other regions of cultivation are the subtropical areas throughout the world, such as Rwanda, South Africa, India, Hong Kong, China, United States, Australia, and New Zealand.

The plant is a fast-growing tree that grows up to 5 meters. Peak production is reached after 4 years, and the life expectancy is about 12 years. The tree usually forms a single upright trunk with lateral branches. The flowers and fruits hang from the lateral branches. The leaves are large, simple and perennial, and have a strong pungent smell. The flowers are pink-white, and form clusters of 10 to 50 flowers. They produce 1 to 6 fruits per cluster. Plants can set fruit without cross-pollination, but the flowers are fragrant and attract insects. Cross-pollination seems to improve fruit set. The roots are shallow and not very pronounced, therefore the plant is not tolerant to drought stress, and can be damaged by strong winds.

Tamarillos will hybridise with many other Solanaceae, though the hybrid fruits will be sterile, and unpalatable in some instances. The fruits are egg shaped and about 4-10 cm long. Their colour varies from yellow and orange to red and almost purple. Sometimes they have dark, longitudinal stripes. Red fruits are more acetous, yellow and orange fruits are sweeter. The flesh has a firm texture and contains more and larger seeds than a common tomato. The fruits are very high in vitamins and iron and low in calories (only about 40 calories per fruit).

Here is a recipe for tamarillo chutney, and here is one for tamarillo salad.

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.

Tuesday, 26 May 2015


A rainbow lorikeet (Trichoglossus haematodus) is a species of Australasian parrot found in Australia, eastern Indonesia (Maluku and Western New Guinea), Papua New Guinea, New Caledonia, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu. It is widespread in the Melbourne area. It is feeding on a native gum tree, Eucalyptus leucoxylon 'Rosea' or the "Red Flowering Yellow Gum", which is currently in bloom all over Melbourne.

This post is part of the Our World Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Ruby Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Wordless Wednesday meme.

Monday, 25 May 2015


In Spain, polychrome tile murals are a very common and attractive way to adorn a wall. One may see many beautiful murals both small and large covering walls in public spaces, public buildings, as well as in private homes. This tile mural created by Ceramica Sta Ana was found in one of the streets of Seville, Spain. It depicts the Feria de Abril.

The Seville Fair (officially and in Spanish: Feria de abril de Sevilla, "Seville April Fair") is held in the Andalusian capital of Seville, Spain. The fair generally begins two weeks after the Semana Santa, or Easter Holy Week. The fair officially begins at midnight on Monday, and runs six days, ending on the following Sunday. During past fairs, however, many activities have begun on the Saturday prior to the official opening. Each day the fiesta begins with the parade of carriages and riders, at midday, carrying Seville's leading citizens which make their way to the bullring, La Real Maestranza, where the bullfighters and breeders meet.

For the duration of the fair, the fairgrounds and a vast area on the far bank of the Guadalquivir River are totally covered in rows of casetas (individual decorated marquee tents which are temporarily built on the fairground). These casetas usually belong to prominent families of Seville, groups of friends, clubs, trade associations and political parties. From around nine at night until six or seven the following morning, at first in the streets and later only within each caseta, there are crowds partying and dancing sevillanas, drinking Sherry, manzanilla or rebujito, and eating tapas.

This post is part of the Monday Murals meme,
and also part of the Monday Mellow Yellows meme.

Sunday, 24 May 2015


Two souvenirs from a far-eastern trip...

This post is part of the Weekend Reflections meme;
and also part of the Weekly TopShot meme,
and also part of the Shadow Shot Sunday meme;
and also part of the Weekend in Black and White meme.

 Shina No Yoru (China Nights) sung by Hibari Misora

Saturday, 23 May 2015


The falling leaves drift by the window
The autumn leaves of red and gold;
I see your lips, the summer kisses
The sun-burned hands I used to hold.

Since you went away the days grow long
And soon I'll hear old winter's song,
But I miss you most of all my darling
When autumn leaves start to fall...

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

Thursday, 21 May 2015


Arctotis is a genus of annual and perennial plants in the family Asteraceae. Arctotis is native to dry stony slopes in southern Africa. Some of the plants are alternatively placed in the genus Venidium. The common name is "African daisy", or "Gousblom" in Afrikaans. These plants have daisy-like composite flowers which tend to close in the late afternoon or in dull weather.

Numerous cultivars have been developed for garden use which stay open for longer, and are available in a wide range of colours. Tender perennials are often grown in temperate regions as half-hardy annuals. The garden hybrid Arctotis × hybrida hort. 'Flame' has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday, 20 May 2015


On February 20, 2007, tens of thousands of people packed Sydney Harbour's foreshore to witness a historic reunion of two queens of the sea. The Queen Elizabeth 2 and the Queen Mary 2 greeted each other with the sound of their whistles as the QE2 sailed past her sister ship docked at the Garden Island navy base.

The Queen Mary 2, one of the world's largest passenger cruise liners, majestically sailed through the harbour shortly before dawn, followed by a flotilla of boats and watched by thousands onshore. Too tall, at 23 storeys high, to sail under the Harbour Bridge and too long to berth at the International Terminal at Circular Quay, the $1 billion grand lady of the sea, on her maiden visit to Sydney, docked at the naval base.

In the evening, her sister ship, the QE2, was also welcomed by large crowds as she sailed through the harbour to dock at Circular Quay. As she passed near Garden Island, the QE2 sounded its whistles, prompting a similar response from her big sister and rapturous applause and cheers from those watching on the foreshore. It was a sight not seen in Sydney since the two ships' predecessors - the Queen Mary and the Queen Elizabeth - greeted each other in the harbour as troop carriers in 1941.

The 345-metre-long QM2 weighs in at 151,400 tonnes and caters for up to 3090 passengers with the help of 1253 crew.

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.

Sunday, 17 May 2015


The galah, Eolophus roseicapilla, also known as the rose-breasted cockatoo, galah cockatoo, roseate cockatoo or pink and grey, is one of the most common and widespread cockatoos, and it can be found in open country in almost all parts of mainland Australia.

It is endemic on the mainland and was introduced to Tasmania, where its distinctive pink and grey plumage and its bold and loud behaviour make it a familiar sight in the bush and increasingly in urban areas. It appears to have benefited from the change in the landscape since European colonisation and may be replacing the Major Mitchell's cockatoo in parts of its range.

The term galah is derived from gilaa, a word found in Yuwaalaraay and neighbouring Aboriginal languages.

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

Saturday, 16 May 2015


A few shots of the Yarra River by night on Boathouse Drive. The Morell Bridge was completed in 1899 by John Monash and J. T. N. Anderson, it is notable for being the first bridge in Victoria to be built using reinforced concrete. It was a rather cold night and I was shooting quickly without a tripod, hence the grainy images.

This post is part of the Weekend Reflections meme,

and also part of the Weekly TopShot meme.

Friday, 15 May 2015


Strolling into the local fruiterer's shop one can see why this is also called a GREENgrocer! There's green apples, avocadoes, capsicums, cucumbers, limes and okra, amongst other things...

This post is part of the Friday Greens meme.