Monday, 20 November 2017

GIVE THANKS

Living in Australia where we celebrate no Thanksgiving holiday, I have had to educate myself regarding this North American tradition. My lessons in history had certainly made me aware of the reasons why this holiday was celebrated and its special significance to the US, especially.

We have forgotten to be grateful in our everyday lives and we don’t say “thank you” and really mean it, often enough. A family sitting around a table and enjoying a meal together, enjoying each other’s company and thanking God, providence, each other, and life, for all the benefits they enjoy on a daily basis is a wonderful thing.

I think more countries around the world should adopt such a day: A day that celebrates the harvest and other blessings of the past year in a family environment, where there is time to stop, reflect and be truly thankful for all the good things that we enjoy in our life often without a second thought. Thanksgiving is a great opportunity to exercise some gratitude and be truly thankful for what we have…

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

Sunday, 19 November 2017

UP TO THE MOON!

We often have balloons flying above our garden quite early on some mornings. A bonus when photographing the balloons aloft is a view of the crescent moon in the same frame... One of these days we'll take the plunge (or rather the rise?) and go on one of these contraptions! The views of the city below are quite stunning I'm told.

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, 18 November 2017

RELIC

After we are long gone, green will prevail...

This post is part of the Weekend Green meme

Thursday, 16 November 2017

FEIJOA FLOWERS

Acca sellowiana, a species of flowering plant in the myrtle family, Myrtaceae, is native to the highlands of southern Brazil, eastern Paraguay, Uruguay, and northern Argentina, and Colombia. It is widely cultivated as a garden plant and fruiting tree in New Zealand, and can be found as a garden plant elsewhere such as in Australia, Azerbaijan, West part of Georgia, South part of Russia and South Africa. Common names include feijoa, pineapple guava and guavasteen.

It is an evergreen, perennial shrub or small tree, 1–7 metres in height, widely cultivated as a garden plant and fruiting tree. The German botanist Otto Karl Berg named feijoa after João da Silva Feijó, a Portuguese botanist born in the colony of Brazil. The flower petals are edible, with a flavour that is slightly sweet with hints of cinnamon. The most common use is as an addition to salads. They regularly are consumed by birds.

The fruit, maturing in autumn, is green, ellipsoid, and about the size of a chicken egg. It has a sweet, aromatic flavour. The flesh is juicy and is divided into a clear gelatinous seed pulp and a firmer, slightly granular, opaque flesh nearer the skin. The fruit falls to the ground when ripe and at its fullest flavour, but it may be picked from the tree prior to falling to prevent bruising.The fruit pulp resembles the closely related guava, having a gritty texture. The feijoa pulp is used in some natural cosmetic products as an exfoliant. Feijoa fruit has a distinctive, potent smell that resembles oil of wintergreen. The aroma is due to the ester methyl benzoate and related compounds that exist in the fruit.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.



Tuesday, 14 November 2017

SANTORINI SUNSET

Santorini (Greek: Σαντορίνη), classically Thera (Greek: Θήρα); is an island in the southern Aegean Sea, about 200 km southeast of Greece's mainland. It is the largest island of a small, circular archipelago which bears the same name and is the remnant of a volcanic caldera. It forms the southernmost member of the Cyclades group of islands, with an area of approximately 73 km2 and a 2011 census population of 15,550. The municipality of Santorini comprises the inhabited islands of Santorini and Therasia and the uninhabited islands of Nea Kameni, Palaia Kameni, Aspronisi, and Christiana. The total land area is 90.623 km2. Santorini is part of the Thira regional unit.

Santorini is essentially what remained after an enormous volcanic eruption that destroyed the earliest settlements on a formerly single island, and created the current geological caldera. A giant central, rectangular lagoon, which measures about 12 by 7 km, is surrounded by 300 m high, steep cliffs on three sides. The main island slopes downward to the Aegean Sea. On the fourth side, the lagoon is separated from the sea by another much smaller island called Therasia; the lagoon is connected to the sea in two places, in the northwest and southwest. The depth of the caldera, at 400m, makes it possible for all but the largest ships to anchor anywhere in the protected bay; there is also a newly built marina at Vlychada, on the southwestern coast. The island's principal port is Athinias.

The capital, Fira, clings to the top of the cliff looking down on the lagoon. The expansion of tourism has resulted in the growth of the economy and population. The major settlements include Fira (Phira), Oia, Emporio, Kamari, Perissa, Imerovigli, Pyrgos, and Therasia. Akrotiri is a major archaeological site, with ruins from the Minoan era. Santorini's primary industry is tourism, particularly in the summer months. Santorini was ranked world's top island for many other magazines and travel sites, including the Travel+Leisure Magazine, the BBC, as well as the US News.

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.
and also part of the ABC Wednesday meme.

Monday, 13 November 2017

SEAFARERS BRIDGE, MELBOURNE

South Wharf’s striking pedestrian "Seafarers' Bridge" is fittingly named to reflect Melbourne’s rich maritime history. Officially named in late-2009, the bridge is popular with walkers and bike riders accessing Melbourne’s world-class Convention Centre and travelling to and from Docklands.The name was selected following a call for submissions from the community. More than 500 submissions were received.

The name draws on the rich maritime history of the area and is a fitting connection to the nearby "Mission to Seafarers" centre located at the bridge’s northern landing.The Mission to Seafarers is an international organisation which cares for the practical and spiritual welfare of seafarers of all nationalities and faiths.The Melbourne Mission, created in 1905, is a volunteer-managed facility providing a home away from home for approximately 12,000 seafarers visiting the Port of Melbourne annually.This bridge forms a vital connection between the city’s waterfront and the river-front.

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

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Saturday, 11 November 2017

CRESTED PIGEONS

The crested pigeon (Ocyphaps lophotes) is a bird found widely throughout mainland Australia except for the far northern tropical areas. It is the only member of the genus Ocyphaps. Only two Australian pigeon species possess an erect crest, the crested pigeon and the spinifex pigeon. The crested pigeon is the larger of the two species. The crested pigeon is sometimes incorrectly referred to as a topknot pigeon, but the topknot pigeon, Lopholaimus antarcticus has a red-brown crest that does not stand erect.

The length of the crested pigeon varies from 30 to 34 cm. Colouration is grey with tinges of brown and green. It has a feathered but slender, black spike on top of the head. It runs with the crest erect. The periorbital skin is bright orange. Wings have black stripes and are bronzed, while the primary feathers have colourful areas of brown, purple, blue, and green. Immature birds have duller colours with no bronzing on the wings. If startled, the crested pigeon takes to the air with a distinctive whistling 'call', the source of the noise can be attributed to the way the air rushes over a modified primary feather found on the wings

This post is 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.




Friday, 10 November 2017

SOUTHERN CROSS

Crux is a constellation located in the southern sky in a bright portion of the Milky Way. It is among the most easily distinguished constellations, as all of its four main stars have an apparent visual magnitude above +2.8, even though it is the smallest of all 88 modern constellations.

Its name is Latin for 'cross', and it is dominated by a cross-shaped or kite-like asterism that is sometimes known as the Southern Cross. Predominating is the first-magnitude blue-white star of Alpha Crucis or Acrux, being the constellation's brightest and most southerly member. Crux is followed by four dominate stars, descending in clockwise order by magnitude: Beta, Gamma (one of the closest red giants to Earth), Delta and Epsilon Crucis.

Many of these brighter stars are members of the Scorpius–Centaurus Association, a large but loose group of hot blue-white stars that appear to share common origins and motion across the southern Milky Way. The constellation contains four Cepheid variables that are each visible to the naked eye under optimum conditions. Crux also contains the bright and colourful open cluster known as the Jewel Box (NGC 4755) and, to the southwest, partly includes the extensive dark nebula, known as the Coalsack Nebula.

This post is part of the Skywatch Friday meme,
and also part of the Friday Photo Journal meme.



Thursday, 9 November 2017

PERSIAN LILAC TREE

Meliaceae, the mahogany family of flowering plants, of the order Sapindales, comprises 51 genera and about 575 species of trees and (rarely) shrubs, native to tropical and subtropical regions. Most members of the family have large compound leaves, with the leaflets arranged in the form of a feather, and branched flower clusters. The fruit is fleshy and coloured or a leathery capsule.

The China tree (Melia azedarach), also called chinaberry, bead tree, and Persian lilac, is an ornamental deciduous Asian tree with round yellow fruits, often cultivated in many tropical and warm temperate areas. The adult tree has a rounded crown, and commonly measures attains a height of 7-12 metres, however in exceptional circumstances M. azedarach can attain a height of 45 metres.

The flowers are small and highly fragrant, with five pale purple or lilac petals, growing in clusters. The fruit is a drupe, marble-sized, light yellow at maturity, hanging on the tree all winter, and gradually becoming wrinkled and almost white. The leaves are up to 50 cm long, alternate, long-petioled, 2 or 3 times compound (odd-pinnate); the leaflets are dark green above and lighter green below, with serrate margins.

It is a common ornamental street tree in Melbourne, but it must noted that fruits are poisonous to humans if eaten in quantity. However, like those of the Yew tree, these toxins are not harmful to birds, who gorge themselves on the fruit, eventually reaching a "drunken" state. Leaves have been used as a natural insecticide to keep with stored food, but must not be eaten as they are highly poisonous to humans. Today it is considered an invasive species as its seeds sprout easily and are transported by birds far and wide.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.