Thursday, 16 November 2017


Hebe is a genus of plants in the Plantaginaceae family native to New Zealand, Rapa in French Polynesia, the Falkland Islands, and South America. It includes about 90 species and is the largest plant genus in New Zealand. Apart from H. rapensis (endemic to Rapa), all species occur in New Zealand. This includes the two species, H. salicifolia and H. elliptica, that have distributions extending to South America.

The genus is named after the Greek goddess of youth, Hebe. There are differing classifications for the genus and some botanists include Hebe, together with the related Australasian genera Chionohebe, Derwentia, Detzneria, Parahebe, Heliohebe and Leonohebe, in the larger genus Veronica (hence its common name 'Shrubby veronica').

Hebe has four perpendicular rows of leaves in opposite decussate pairs. The flowers are perfect, the corolla usually has four slightly unequal lobes, the flower has two stamens and a long style. Flowers are arranged in a spiked inflorescence. Identification of Hebe species is difficult, especially if they are not in flower.

The plants range in size from dwarf shrubs to small trees up to 7 metres, and are distributed from coastal to alpine ecosystems. Large-leaved species are normally found on the coast, in lowland scrub and along forest margins. At higher altitudes smaller-leaved species grow, and in alpine areas there are whipcord species with leaves reduced to thick scales.

Hebes are grown in many gardens and public areas; they attract butterflies. Hebes cope with most soil types, and can be propagated easily from both seed and cuttings. Wild Hebe hybrids are uncommon; however, there are many cultivated hybrids, such as the one shown here.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday, 15 November 2017


Snips and snails, and puppy dogs' tails,
That's what little boys are made of...

This post is part of ABC Wednesday meme,
and also part of the Outdoor Wednesday meme,
and also part of the Wordless Wednesday meme.

Tuesday, 14 November 2017


Maine is the northernmost state in the New England region of the northeastern United States. Maine is the 39th most extensive and the 9th least populous of the U.S. states and territories. It is bordered by New Hampshire to the west, the Atlantic Ocean to the southeast, and the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick and Quebec to the northeast and northwest respectively.

Maine is the easternmost state in the contiguous United States, and the northernmost east of the Great Lakes. It is known for its jagged, rocky coastline; low, rolling mountains; heavily forested interior, and picturesque waterways; and also its seafood cuisine, especially clams and lobster. There is a humid continental climate throughout the state, even in coastal areas such as its most populous city of Portland. The capital is Augusta.

Portland Head Light, informally known as the Cape Elizabeth Lighthouse, is a historic lighthouse in Cape Elizabeth, Maine. The light station sits on ahead of land at the entrance of the primary shipping channel into Portland Harbor, which is within Casco Bay in the Gulf of Maine. Completed in 1791, it is the oldest lighthouse in the state of Maine. The light station is automated, and the tower, beacon, and foghorn are maintained by the United States Coast Guard, while the former lighthouse keepers' house is a maritime museum within Fort Williams Park.

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, 13 November 2017


We live close to the Darebin Parklands in suburban Melbourne and it's wonderful to be able to enjoy the bush only a 10-minute walk away. Spring means warm weather, new growth, baby animals and lots of chicks for the wild birds of the reserve...

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


Welcome to the meme, "My Sunday Best", which is a photographic and creative meme that allows you to showcase your talents in imaging. Every Sunday, you can post here showing an image you have created using your camera, (and/or) image processing software, and/or painting and drawing in the conventional way and have scanned in.

The rules are simple:
1) Create your image and post it up on your blog;
2) Put the "My Sunday Best" logo image link somewhere on your post so people can click and come by here;
3) Leave a comment here once you have posted;
4) Visit other posters' blogs and be amazed with their creativity!

Please do not use this meme to advertise your goods or services. This is a creative meme and any inappropriate links or comments shall be removed immediately!
Melbourne after dark - a ramp leading to one of the main throughways that go from Southbank to the City.

This post is also part of the My Sunday Photo meme,
and also part of the Photo Sunday meme.

Saturday, 11 November 2017


On the banks of the Darebin Creek in suburban Melbourne, the seaside daisy (Erigeron karvinskianus) blooms.

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

Thursday, 9 November 2017


The Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival is the name of an Australian Thoroughbred horse racing series held annually in Melbourne during October and November each year. Although racing in Australia is held every day except Christmas Day, the Group One races in Melbourne are held almost exclusively throughout the carnival, which is traditionally placed between the football and cricket seasons. During the winter (where football is dominant), and summer (where cricket is dominant), racing takes a 'back seat' position in relation to the cricket or football in terms of media coverage and attendances. However, in spring and autumn, the mass media turns its attention to the racing. There is also a Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival, a time where Group One races are also held.

The Victoria Racing Club's meetings attract the most attention from the media and the wider community.
The Victoria Derby is held on the Saturday before the Melbourne Cup. It is a set-weights race for three-year-old horses. There are also other major races held on this day as well, making it the biggest day in racing.
The Melbourne Cup handicap race is held on the first Tuesday in November, and is a public holiday in Victoria, but the Cup is witnessed by those all around Australia as well as internationally.
The VRC Oaks race is held on the Thursday following the Cup. It is a three-year-old fillies race, and traditionally it has been known as 'ladies' day'.
The VRC Stakes day is held on the Saturday following the Oaks, and traditionally it has been known as 'family day'.

The carnival, and particularly the Melbourne Cup attracts the interest of many people otherwise uninterested in horse racing, and special forms of very low-stake gambling are often used for this event. One common form for groups such as office staff is the "sweep", where each participant adds a small fee to a "pot" and draws the name of a horse like a raffle. Prize money is distributed to the person who draws the winning horse (occasionally smaller prizes are awarded to placegetters and the last-placing horse). A more complex and high-stakes form of the sweep is the "Calcutta", often held as a fundraising event for community organisations, which begins as in the sweep (though usually with a much higher initial stake), but which allows ticket holders to trade their tickets through an auction system.

Each major race day over the Melbourne Cup Carnival has a dedicated flower. Men will often wear designated flower in their buttonhole, and coordinate the respective colour with their shirt or tie. Women may also choose to incorporate the flower into their outfit, whether it be inspiration from the colour, wearing as a corsage or a hair accessory. For example, the Pink Rose is the dedicated flower for Crown Oaks Day. Many believe that wearing the right flower can bring good luck...

Here at the Crown Casino, the floral display of the foyer mirrors the Crown Oaks Day dedicated flower, the pink rose. In various other parts of the Casino and hotel similar floral displays feature this special flower.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday, 8 November 2017


The rose as symbol of love is well-known. It was sacred to Aphrodite, the ancient Greek goddess of love and beauty, and carried the message of "I love you" from sender to receiver, something every Valentine knows.

However, it is also used as a sign of silence and secrecy. The words sub rosa "under the rose" refer to the demand for discretion whenever a rose was hung from the ceiling at a meeting - hence the ceiling roses of Victorian homes. In the Mysteries roses were sacred to Isis. It is also the flower of her son Harpocrates or younger Horus, the god of silence.

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.