Thursday, 30 October 2014


Myosotis (from the Greek: "mouse's ear", after the leaf) is a genus of flowering plants in the family Boraginaceae that are commonly called forget-me-nots. Its common name was calqued from the French, ne m'oubliez pas and first used in English in c. 1532. Similar names and variations are found in many languages.

In 15th-century Germany, it was supposed that the wearers of the flower would not be forgotten by their lovers. Legend has it that in medieval times, a knight and his lady were walking along the side of a river. He picked a posy of flowers, but because of the weight of his armour he fell into the river. As he was drowning he threw the posy to his loved one and shouted "forget me not". It was often worn by ladies as a sign of faithfulness and enduring love.

The field forget-me-not (Myosotis arvensis) shown here is a low to short plant, softly hairy. Branched at the base. Basal leaves in lax rosette. Flowers bright grey-blue saucer shaped. 3 to 5 mm calyx closed in fruit the tube with numerous hooked hairs. It is a common garden plant with many beautiful blue flowers in Spring and Summer.

Field forget-me-not is usually an annual or biennial herb. Its success is based on its flexibility. The seeds can wait in the soil for a suitable time to sprout for up to 30 years and germinate when conditions become favourable.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday, 29 October 2014


Perth is the capital and largest city of the Australian state of Western Australia (WA). It is the fourth most populous city in Australia, with an estimated population of 1.97 million (on 30 June 2013) living in Greater Perth. Part of the South West Land Division of Western Australia, the majority of the metropolitan area of Perth is located on the Swan Coastal Plain, a narrow strip between the Indian Ocean and the Darling Scarp, a low coastal escarpment.

The first areas settled were on the Swan River, with the city's central business district and port (Fremantle) both located on its shores. Perth is formally divided into a number of local government areas, which themselves consist of a large number of suburbs, extending from Two Rocks in the north to Rockingham in the south, and east inland to The Lakes.

Perth was originally founded by Captain James Stirling in 1829 as the administrative centre of the Swan River Colony, and gained city status in 1856 (currently vested in the smaller City of Perth). The city is named for Perth, Scotland, by influence of Sir George Murray, then British Secretary of State for War and the Colonies.

The city's population increased substantially as a result of the Western Australian gold rushes in the late 19th century, largely as a result of emigration from the eastern colonies of Australia. During Australia's involvement in World War II, Fremantle served as a base for submarines operating in the Pacific Theatre, and a US Navy Catalina flying boat fleet was based at Matilda Bay. An influx of immigrants after the war, predominantly from Britain, Greece, Italy and Yugoslavia, led to rapid population growth. This was followed by a surge in economic activity flowing from several mining booms in the late 20th and early 21st centuries that saw Perth become the regional headquarters for a number of large mining operations located around the state.

This post is 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, 26 October 2014


St. Alexander's Church (Polish: kościół św. Aleksandra) is a Roman Catholic church on Three Crosses Square in Warsaw, Poland. The church was established by the grateful citizens of Warsaw to commemorate the tsar Alexander I of Russia, who conferred the Constitution to the Kingdom of Poland. It was constructed in the years 1818–25 in Neoclassical style. The foundation stone was laid on 15 June 1818 by Minister of State Treasury Jan Węgliński, replacing indisposed General Józef Zajączek, Namestnik of the Kingdom of Poland.

The temple was consecrated on 18 June 1826 by primate Wojciech Skarszewski and constructed on a circular ground plan covered by a dome, often referred to as the rotunda. The inspiration for the external shape of the shrine was Pantheon in Rome. The main altar was adorned with oil painting by Franciszek Smuglewicz depicting Crucifixion of Jesus. In 1886–95 the church was rebuilt in Neo-Renaissance style, resulting in a much larger building with two prominent towers and a large dome. The contest for the reconstruction design was announced on 14 April 1883 and the construction was entrusted to the author of the victorious design Józef Pius Dziekoński.The original rotunda was enlarged by adding three naves from the Ujazdowskie Avenue and two towers, enhancing the walls and the dome. The southern portico was embellished with relief of Blessing Christ among the Indigents and Cripples by Jan Kryński and sculptures by Teofil Gosecki.

With these changes, the building became one of the largest in Warsaw. During its existence the church has witnessed a number of historic events, including the 1912 funeral service for Bolesław Prus, who died a couple of blocks away in his apartment on ulica Wilcza (Wolf Street). The church was destroyed during World War II, in the course of the Warsaw Uprising. During the aerial bombardment by German Luftwaffe in the first days of September 1944, the church was hit by 9 bombs resulting in collapse of the dome, main nave and one of the towers (this enlarged form of the church is shown in the historic photo, last in the sequence below).

In the years after the war it stood as a ruin while debates were conducted over whether to rebuild it to its prewar appearance, or to its original appearance before reconstruction. In the end, the church was rebuilt between 1949 and 1952 in a form similar to its original design.

This post is part of the Spiritual Sundays meme,
and also part of the inSPIREd Sunday meme.

Saturday, 25 October 2014


Yarra Flats Park features 85 hectares of pastoral and heritage landscapes, natural bushland, wetlands, abundant birdlife and a number of informal picnic areas. There is a wood barbecue, picnic tables and shelters located near the car park.  Along the Main Yarra Trail is the Heidelberg School Artists Trail, which illustrates how artists a century ago (such as Condor, McCubbin and Streeton) interpreted the landscape.

Pedestrian and cyclist access is available from various points in the park at all times. Vehicle entry is available from The Boulevard, East Ivanhoe (Melway 32 B6).
Car park gates are open 6am to 6pm, extending to 9pm during daylight savings.
Dogs are permitted in the park but must remain on a leash at all times. Dogs are not permitted within the (fenced) Annulus Billabong Wildlife Sanctuary.

This post is part of the Scenic Weekends meme,
and also part of the Shadow Shot Sunday meme.

Friday, 24 October 2014


Council House is a 13-storey office building on St Georges Terrace in Perth, Western Australia. Located beside Stirling Gardens and Government House in the city's central business district, the 47.9-metre building was designed by Howlett and Bailey Architects and opened by The Queen in 1963, after Perth hosted the 1962 British Empire and Commonwealth Games. For most of its history, it has served as the headquarters for the City of Perth.

Built in a modernist style, the building has been the subject of vigorous public debate about its heritage value. Some parties, such as the Royal Australian Institute of Architects, consider the building to be an important example of modernist architecture in the city, whilst others consider it ugly. These conflicting views led to animosity in the 1990s, when the State Government refused to heritage list the property, and instead recommended its demolition. Despite this, the City of Perth opted to renovate the tower and keep it as its headquarters. Following this, the building was admitted to the State's Heritage Register.

The building has divided the public over the years, with some branding the building an "eyesore" and a "hideous folly", whereas others considered it a "classic example of 1960s architecture and an important reminder of Perth's past" and a "unique building". It has been suggested by Associate Ralph Hoare from the Australian Institute of Architects said the building should never have been built on St Georges Terrace, having been built in the "wrong place".

The outside of the building was fitted with over 22,000 LED lights which were officially turned on on 7 April 2010. The LEDs located on the roof, "T" window structures, and bulkheads are able to be individually computer controlled and coloured. The lights were installed at a cost of $1.08 million. My friend in Perth who was showing me the building and explaining its history, summed it all up by saying: "If you put lipstick on a pig, it's still a pig!"...

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

Thursday, 23 October 2014


Fothergilla ‘Mount Airy’ is a hybrid Fothergilla cultivar that was discovered by plantsman Michael A. Dirr at the Mt. Airy Arboretum in Cincinnati, Ohio. This is a vigorous deciduous shrub that grows 1.5 m tall and is noted for its profuse spring flowering, excellent summer foliage, excellent Autumn colour and consistently upright habit.

Terminal, bottlebrush-like spikes (2-5 cm long) of tiny, fragrant, apetulous, white flowers bloom in mid- to late Spring after the foliage emerges. Flower colour comes from the dense clusters of showy stamens (white filaments and yellowish anthers). Flowers have a honey-scented frangance. Leathery, ovate to obovate leaves (4-10 cm long) are dark green above and bluish gray beneath.

Foliage turns excellent shades of yellow, orange and red-purple in Autumn. Genus name honours Dr. John Fothergill, 18th century English physician and early collector of American plants. ‘Mount Airy’ may be a cross between two southeastern U. S. natives, F. gardenii and F. major. It is taller than the former but shorter than the latter.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014


The Outback is the vast, remote, arid area of Australia. The term "the outback" is generally used to refer to locations that are comparatively more remote than those areas named "the bush" which, colloquially, can refer to any lands outside the main urban areas.

Because of the low and erratic rainfall over most of the outback, combined with soils which are usually not very fertile, inland Australia is relatively sparsely settled. More than 90 percent of Australians live in urban areas on the coast. The total population of the Outback in Australia declined from 700,000 in 1996 to 690,000 in 2006. Largest decline was noted in Outback NT, while Kimberley and Pilbara showed population increase during the same period. The sex ratio is 104 males for 100 females and 17% of the total population is indigenous.

Other than agriculture and tourism, the main economic activity in this vast and sparsely settled area is mining. Owing to the complete absence of mountain building and glaciation since the Permian (in many areas since the Cambrian) ages, the outback is extremely rich in iron, aluminium, manganese and uranium ores, and also contains major deposits of gold, nickel, iron, lead and zinc ores. Because of its size, the value of grazing and mining is considerable.

There is much beauty within the Outback, with vast, unspoilt tracts of land, desert and scrubland, hidden oases and watercourses, striking rock formations, unusual vegetation, striking soil and mineral colours, our native animals, and amazing vistas at sunrise and sunset. There is terror also, with droughts, bushfires, floods and other natural disasters...

This post is 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.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014


Springtime and an afternoon rendezvous in the park makes the stuff that memories are made of...

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

Monday, 20 October 2014


The first image was taken on a sunny Winter's day. A few months later the image was processed with several Photoshop filters to give the following two versions. I usually work through effects using multiple layers, sometimes as many as 20-30, before I arrive at the result I like. The last image with the almost 3D effect was achieved using a blend of blurred and sharpened layers.

This post is part of the Monday Mellow Yellows meme,
and also part of the Mandarin Orange Monday meme,
and also part of the Nature Footsteps Inspiring Photography meme,
and also part of the Blue Monday meme.