Friday, 21 July 2017

MELBOURNE SUNRISE

These are taken from Princes Bridge, looking towards the East (obviously!)...

This post is part of the Skywatch Friday meme,
and also part of the Friday Photo Journal meme,
and also part of the Orange you Glad It's Friday meme,
and also part of the My Town Shootout meme.



Thursday, 20 July 2017

MELBOURNE STREET TREES 183 - ASH

Fraxinus excelsior — known as the ash, or European ash or common ash to distinguish it from other types of ash — is a flowering plant species in the olive family Oleaceae. It is native throughout mainland Europe east to the Caucasus and Alborz mountains. The northernmost location is in the Trondheimsfjord region of Norway. The species is widely cultivated and reportedly naturalised in New Zealand and in scattered locales in the United States and Canada.

It is a large deciduous tree growing to 12–18 m (exceptionally to 43 m) tall with a trunk up to 2 m (exceptionally to 3.5 m) diameter, with a tall, narrow crown. The bark is smooth and pale grey on young trees, becoming thick and vertically fissured on old trees. The shoots are stout, greenish-grey, with jet black buds (which distinguish it from most other ash species, which have grey or brown buds). The leaves are opposite, 20–35 cm long, pinnately compound, with 7-13 leaflets with coarsely serrated margins, elliptic to narrowly elliptic, 3–12 cm long and 0.8–3 cm broad and sessile on the leaf rachis. There are no stipules. These features distinguish ash from mountain ash (Sorbus aucuparia) in which the leaves are alternate with paired stipules.

The leaves are often among the last to open in spring, and the first to fall in autumn if an early frost strikes; they have no marked autumn colour, often falling dull green. The flowers are borne in short panicles, open before the leaves, and have no perianth. The female flowers are somewhat longer than the male flowers, dark purple, without petals, and are wind-pollinated. Both male and female flowers can occur on the same tree, but it is more common to find all male and all female trees. A tree that is all male one year can produce female flowers the next, and similarly a female tree can become male. The fruit is a samara 2.5–4.5 cm long and 5–8 mm broad, often hanging in bunches through the winter; they are often called 'ash keys'. If the fruit is gathered and planted when it is still green and not fully ripe, it will germinate straight away, however once the fruit is brown and fully ripe, it will not germinate until 18 months after sowing (i.e. not until two winters have passed).

The resilience and rapid growth of ash made it an important resource for smallholders and farmers in the past. It was probably the most versatile wood in the countryside with wide-ranging uses. Until World War II the trees were often coppiced on a ten-year cycle to provide a sustainable source of timber for fuel and poles for building and woodworking.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.






Wednesday, 19 July 2017

BUTCHERBIRD

The Grey Butcherbird (Cracticus torquatus) is a widely distributed species endemic to Australia. The grey butcherbird occurs in a range of different habitats including arid, semi-arid and temperate zones. The grey butcherbird is found across southern Australia, but is absent from the deserts of central Australia and the monsoon tropics of northern Australia.

It has a characteristic "rollicking" birdsong. It appears to be adapting well to city living, and can be encountered in the suburbs of many Australian cities including Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. The grey butcherbird preys on small vertebrates including other birds. Other birds in the same family include the Australian magpie, the currawongs, woodswallows and other members of the butcherbird genus Cracticus.

The grey butcherbird is a small grey, black and white bird with a weight of 90 grams, a body length between 27-30cm and a wing span expanding 37-43cm. The grey butcherbird is smaller than the Pied Butcherbird (Cracticus nigrogularis). The adult grey butcherbird has a black head, top and sides; and a white chin and throat through to the lower hindneck. The upper body is mostly dark grey with streaks of narrow white bands that extends across the uppertail-coverts at the base of the tail. The uppertail is black with narrow white tips. The wings are grey with large areas of white and the underside of the wing is also white. The tip of the beak has a slight downwards hook. Both the male and female grey butcherbirds are similar in appearance, but the female is slightly smaller in size.

The grey butcherbird usually breed in single territorial pairs from July to January. Both sexes defend their territories and nest throughout the year. The female incubates the eggs, while the nestlings and fledglings are fed by both parents. The nest is a shallow, bowl-shaped made from sticks and twigs. The nest is lined with grasses and other soft fibres. Nests are normally located within 10m of the ground.

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, 18 July 2017

SOUTHBANK AT NIGHT

Southbank is an inner urban neighbourhood of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 1 km south of Melbourne's central business district. Its local government area are the Cities of Melbourne and Port Phillip. At the 2011 Census, Southbank had a population of 11,235.

Southbank was formerly an industrial area and part of South Melbourne. It was transformed into a densely populated district of high rise apartment and office buildings beginning in the early 1990s, as part of an urban renewal program. With the exceptions of the cultural precinct along St Kilda Road, few buildings built before this time were spared by redevelopment.

Today Southbank is dominated by high-rise development. It is one of the primary business centres in Greater Melbourne. Southbank Promenade and Southgate Restaurant and Shopping Precinct, on the southern bank of the Yarra River, extending to Crown Casino, is one of Melbourne's major entertainment precincts. The flame show outside the Casino at night is very popular with visitors to our City.

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, 17 July 2017

WILD BIRDS

Some birds one finds in parks, reserves and pockets of natural bushland found around Melbourne. Many different types of duck, dusky moorhens, purple swamphens, and Eurasian coots, amongst others.

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.



Saturday, 15 July 2017

WINTER MORNING

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




Friday, 14 July 2017

CITY SKYLINE FROM FAIRFIELD

A view of the City skyline from Darebin Parklands, about 8 km NE of the CBD.

This post is part of the Weekend Green meme,
and also part of the Skywatch Friday meme,
and also part of the Orange you Glad It's Friday meme.



Thursday, 13 July 2017

MELBOURNE STREET TREES 182 - PRUNUS

Prunus mume is an Asian tree species classified in the Armeniaca section of the genus Prunus subgenus Prunus. Its common names include Chinese plum and Japanese apricot. The flower is usually called plum blossom. This distinct tree species is related to both the plum and apricot trees. Although generally referred to as a plum in English, it is more closely related to the apricot. In Chinese, Japanese and Korean cooking, the fruit of the tree is used in juices, as a flavouring for alcohol, as a pickle and in sauces. It is also used in traditional medicine.
The tree's flowering in late winter and early spring is highly regarded as a seasonal symbol. It is flowering now in Melbourne, which is a little early! Our July is equivalent to the Northern Hemisphere January. Nevertheless, it does look splendid...

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.





Wednesday, 12 July 2017

COBURG LAKE

Coburg Lake Reserve is a popular district level park in Melbourne's Northern suburbs, offering a great variety of activities including picnicking, playgrounds, barbecue facilities, walking and bike paths and nature play all set in a beautiful heritage setting overlooking Coburg Lake.

Several playgrounds are located throughout the park. These are nestled amongst the gardens and next to the lake. If you like to watch wildlife you will love the Coburg Lake Reserve. Ducks, swans and native birds can be observed here.

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