Thursday, 30 October 2008

SkyWatch Friday

SkyWatch Friday;

YURAYGIR is a national park in New South Wales (Australia), 482 km northeast of Sydney.

Yuraygir is a water wonderland with isolated beaches, quiet lake systems and striking scenery. The park is less than an hour's drive from Grafton, Maclean and Coffs Harbour, on the north coast of New South Wales. Covering 60 km of coastline, it extends from the tidal lakes at the mouth of the Clarence River, to the Corindi River in the south.

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Photo: T.S.

Saturday, 25 October 2008

Come for a stroll...

into my spring garden;

Early morning, it is going to be a fine day...
Please click the pictures for details.

First we have a look at the Agapanthus. They are just starting to flower. Some are still tight and secure in their "sleeping bags"... yes, most of them I have grown from seed over the years. Most of the time they do all the work. They scatter the seed and I can collect the seedlings grow them on in pots and when they are big enough plant them out into the garden.

The Agapanthus are an attractive bunch at any stage...

Agapanthus ("Lily of the Nile") is a genus of flower plants with six to ten species depending on how the different species are classified. They are all herbaceous perennial plants native to South Africa. They have been placed either in the family Alliaceae, or separated into their own monogeneric family Agapanthaceae (e.g. Indices Nominum Supragenericorum Plantarum Vascularium).
Members of the genus have funnel-shaped
flowers, in varying shades of blue colors with white flowering forms occurring. The species have been hybridized to produce additional colors in plants under cultivation. The flowers are produced in many-flowered cymes on long, erect stems called scapes, which can grow up 1 m long. The basal leaves are curved, lanceolate, and are up to 60 cm long.

Come we go past the Melaleuca, its papery bark is nice to touch...

Look here grows a Hoya. She has found her way under the canopy of a Wisteria...

This old fashioned climbing rose is still out in full force displaying its bunches of sweeties...

Ah, my little helper...where are your companions?

Have you seen the tall Lilies, no unfortunately they are not yet in flower, perhaps next week...
colour...white and beautifully scented...

We are going down see...

the new fronds of the upside down fern...yes, this is a very hardy fern, it thrives in a moist, shady spot... but it doesn't really mind the sun.

Oh, look here a praying mantis in the Jasmin...a typical Aussie...upside down...

Look at the tiny bunches of grapes....when are they ripe.... if the weather is favourable at the end of December...yum...

I like the Coreopsis they look so cheerful. Yes they are ever present in spring through early summer...

You should not leave before you had a look at my day lilies. "Bold encounter" is one of the new ones I planted last winter...

Let me have a look at this wonderful blue...this is the blue bog salvia. The easiest plant to grow. It prefers a wet or moist place but will also grow in a dry area. It has just started to bloom and will do so over the long, hot summer... it needs a bit of a haircut from time to time and it also likes to run....

Come this way... I think I have to go now...

Yes, I know it is time to go, but quickly have a look at those...

Come on, have a game with me...about time...

Believe it or not:
You have achieved success if you have lived well, laughed often and loved much." - Author Unknown

Organic tip of the week; white tea is supposed to be very good for you; it is also very nice to drink when it is brewed correctly.

White tea is tea manufactured by a process that uses relatively low heat and no rolling. The formative stage is an extended period of withering, during which enzymatic reactions progress under the right temperature, humidity and airflow. The key is to get the fresh leaves to mature properly with minimal oxidation. White tea usually contains buds and young tea leaves, which have been found to contain lower levels of caffeine than older leaves, suggesting that the caffeine content of some white teas may be slightly lower than that of green teas.

White tea is a specialty of the Chinese province Fujian. The leaves come from a number of varieties of tea cultivars. The most popular are Da Bai (Large White), Xiao Bai (Small White), Narcissus and Chaicha bushes. According to the different standards of picking and selection, white teas can be classified into a number of grades, further described in the varieties section.
Ceylon White: A highly prized tea grown in Sri Lanka. Ceylon White tea can fetch much higher prices than black tea from the area. The tea has a very light liquoring with notes of pine and honey and a golden coppery infusion.
Darjeeling White: It has a delicate aroma and brews to a pale golden cup with a mellow taste and a hint of sweetness. This tea is particularly fluffy and light. A tea from Darjeeling, India.
Assam White: White tea production in the Assam region is rare. Much lighter in body than the traditional black teas, a white Assam yields a refined infusion that is naturally sweet with a distinct malty character.
African White: Produced in minuscule amounts in Malawi and Kenya, mostly as silver needles (Yin Zhen) type made of assamensis buds; usually higher in caffeine und richer in flavour than Chinese whites, sometimes approaching yellow teas, and often changing flavours in the cup.
White Puerh Tea: Harvested in the spring from plantations found high on remote mountain peaks of Yunnan Province, China. Incredibly labor intensive with each step processed by hand, these luxury whites are wonderfully rich in fragrance, and possess an alluring, sweet nectar-like quality. Wikipedia

Thank you for the visit and come again!

Copyright: T.S. Photos T.S.

Thursday, 23 October 2008

SkyWatch Friday

SkyWatch Friday;

Stormy clouds are the background for this climber,a Stephanotis with tight buds, is reaching out and up to the sky.

Today, one day later, The sky is blue, the stormy clouds have disappeared and the Stephanotis has opened some of its flowers. The scent is wonderful; Mister Dior or whatever your name is eat your heart out you can't beat this!
Please click on picture for details.

Stephanotis floribunda (Madagascar Jasmine, Waxflower, Hawaiian Wedding Flower) is a flowering climbing plant. Its trumpet shaped blooms are in season year-round, and are a popular component of bridal bouquets. It is vigorous climber, tough stemmed, bearing dark green leathery leaves, which grow in pairs at regular intervals along the vine. Stephanotis floribunda grows best in sunny, tropical conditions, or inside. They can grow from 2-6 meters, and are widely cultivated as garden plants.

The flowers are waxy, star-shaped and highly scented, about 3cm long, in clusters and are produced in summer. Flowers fade to yellow after several days. They are a favourite in weddings, used in bridal bouquets, corsages and decorations. Normally the plant has to be a little old and root bound to start flowering. Once it does, the result is very rewarding. The flowers are long-lasting and sweetly scented.Wikipedia

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Thursday, 16 October 2008

SkyWatch Friday;

SkyWatch Friday

Luzern is a beautiful small city with the bonus of a lake and mountains all around it. Please click pictures for a better view.

The Kapellbrücke ("Chapel Bridge" in German) is a 204 m (670 ft) long bridge crossing the Reuss River in the city of Lucerne in Switzerland. It is the oldest wooden bridge in Europe, and one of Switzerland's main tourist attractions.
The covered bridge, constructed in 1333, was designed to help protect the city of Lucerne from attacks. Inside the bridge are a series of paintings from the 17th century depicting events from Luzern's history. Much of the bridge, and the majority of these paintings, were destroyed in a 1993 fire, though it was quickly rebuilt.

Adjoining the bridge is the 140 feet tall Wasserturm (Water Tower), an octagonal tower made from brick, which has served as a prison, torture chamber, watchtower and treasury. Today the tower, which is part of the city wall, is used as the guild hall of the artillery association. The tower and the bridge are Lucerne's trademark and form the most photographed monument in the country.

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Last September I was visiting Luzern (Lucerne). My daughter and I thought we could do a spot of shopping. All the shops were closed for the day. The city was celebrating the day of a saint; Instead of shopping we went with one of the old ships and had a great outing on lake Vierwaldstaetten.

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Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Red Silk;

All the Hippeastrums are grown from seed collected over the years from the garden.

Please click the pictures to see more details.

Believe it or not:
Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life. - Berthold Auerbach

Organic Tip of the week:
To help the environment from being more polluted please buy,
recycled papers, non chlorine bleached

writing paper
printing paper
toilet paper
paper towels
paper napkins
For more information please go to Environmentally Friendly Papers.

Happy and sunny days!

Sunday, 12 October 2008

" LAPCPADPOUB Day" Tommy the Manx;

hosted by Happymouffetart

A Satire; (Tommy himself was a bit a satirist!)

Tommycat; 1974 - 1986;

Harry ; ”Hi Tom hows’it going, still roaming the fields?

Tom; “still feel the old leg, since the accident I had,

Harry; Oh yea, that was pretty bad. Better to avoid the High Way when coming over,

Tom; Not going that far any more, or I take the Rover!
And how is the family, by the way?

Harry; Not bad; they are so far okay. There is just that one thing
That bothers me…

Tom; Harry, what could that be?

Harry; the young ones drink to much…Coca Cola ;
It’s awful stuff, smells horrible and is black.

Tom; What is it made of?

Harry; I don’t know…I guess water and burnt sugar, it’s just yuck.

Tom; No have not heard of this’ but milk ain’t milk anymore
either since they have taken out the cream.
Oh yes, that was so clever; how we get duped for ever
and ever.

Harry; Ah, Tom, build a bridge and get over it, that’s just life.
By the way how’s the family.

Tom; Yea, they went to Brissi, World Exhibition. Could have
Gone too. Na, nothing important, they are back

Harry; Spring is early this year, Tom;

Tom; Yea, it’s not what it used to be…

Harry; Well, I better go,

Tom; Harry, be careful along the Highway,

Harry; mmm… I walk along the river bank…See you around Tom, old chap…
Bye Harry.”

Copyright T.S.
Photo T.S.

Thursday, 9 October 2008

SkyWatch Friday

SkyWatch Friday;

Native crested pigeon (Ocyophaps lophotes) listening to ABC Radio FM "Morning has Broken" and enjoying SkyWatch.

Photo T.S.

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Sunday, 5 October 2008

Ring-a-ring o'Rosies, A Pocket full of Posies

Ring around the rosy
A pocketful of posies"
Ashes, Ashes"We all fall down!

Ring-a-Ring o'Rosies
A Pocket full of Posies"
A-tishoo! A-tishoo!"We all fall Down!

Cecil Brunner Rose, grows as a standard here. The gentle pink flowers perfume the garden with their warm,evocative scent remaining you of happy summer days.

Click on pictures to see more details.

Ring Around the Rosy Rhyme
Origins of "Ring around the rosy" in English History
Connections to the Bubonic Plague (Black Death)?The words to the Ring around the rosy children's ring game have their origin in English history . The historical period dates back to the Great Plague of London in 1665 (bubonic plague) or even before when the first outbreak of the Plague hit England in the 1300's. The symptoms of the plague included a rosy red rash in the shape of a ring on the skin (Ring around the rosy). Pockets and pouches were filled with sweet smelling herbs ( or posies) which were carried due to the belief that the disease was transmitted by bad smells. The term "Ashes Ashes" refers to the cremation of the dead bodies! The death rate was over 60% and the plague was only halted by the Great Fire of London in 1666 which killed the rats which carried the disease which was transmitting via water sources. The English version of "Ring around the rosy" replaces Ashes with (A-tishoo, A-tishoo) as violent sneezing was another symptom of the disease.

We recommend the following site for comprehensive information regarding the Bubonic Plague.

Views of the Sceptics.

The connection between this Rhyme was made by James Leasor in 1961 in his non-fiction book ' The Plague and the Fire. Some people are sceptical of the plague interpretations of this rhyme, many stating that words in the rhyme cannot be found in Middle English. The sceptics must be referring to the later version of the rhyme, possibly with American origins, the English version is "Ring a ring o' rosies" using the Middle English "o" as a shortening of the word "of". The written word " posies" is first mentioned in a poem called 'Prothalamion or A Spousal Verse' by Edmund Spenser (1552-1599). We believe that this addresses the views of the sceptics.

Gladiolus undulatus from South Africa. Growing in freefall together with St.Johns wort and a Geranium.

The beautiful colourful leaves of a Canna are emerging after the cold of winter has gone.

Pickings for a posy...

Strange birds have made an appearance in my garden!

Ah, Birds of Paradise; I thought they looked familiar!

Beautiful Iris; here today, gone tomorrow...

Peruvian Morning-glory I have trained to grow as a standard.

The vegetable gardener has been busy too; The beans are coming along well; I am looking forward to a Salad Nicoise!
He grows the potatoes (Kipfler and Desiree at the moment) in pots; because they get quickly wet feet in our climate and collapse. This way they grow well. When the potatoes are ready to harvest all is tipped out and the soil replaced for a fresh crop. The old soil is left to rest and mixed with fresh soil and compost to be used with other crop; Rotation.

African Daisies are great from spring into summer.

Lotus leaves with the sky reflecting in the water.

Hibiscus rosa sinensis Cuban variety.

Believe it or not:
The price of apathy towards public affairs is to be ruled by evil men: Plato

Organic tip of the week; Garlic;
The humble Garlic is a must have ingredient in the kitchen!

Allium sativum commonly known as garlic, is a species in the onion family Alliaceae. Its close relatives include the onion, the shallot, the leek and the chive. Garlic has been used throughout recorded history for both culinary and medicinal purposes. It has a characteristic pungent, spicy flavor that mellows and sweetens considerably with cooking. A bulb of garlic, the most commonly used part of the plant, is divided into numerous fleshy sections called cloves. The cloves are used as seed, for consumption (raw or cooked), and for medicinal purposes. The leaves, stems (scape) and flowers (bulbils) on the head (spathe) are also edible and most often consumed while immature and still tender. The papery, protective layers of 'skin' over various parts of the plant and the roots attached to the bulb are the only parts not considered palatable.

Garlic is easy to grow and can be grown year-round in mild climates. In cold climates, cloves can be planted in the ground about six weeks before the soil freezes, and harvested in late spring. Garlic plants are not attacked by pests. They can suffer from pink root, a disease that stunts the roots and turns them pink or red. Garlic plants can be grown close together, leaving enough room for the bulbs to mature, and are easily grown in containers of sufficient depth.purposes. The leaves, stems (scape) and flowers (bulbils) on the head (spathe) are also edible and most often consumed while immature and still tender. The papery, protective layers of 'skin' over various parts of the plant and the roots attached to the bulb are the only parts not considered palatable.

Culinary uses:
Garlic is widely used around the world for its pungent flavor, as a seasoning or condiment. It is a fundamental component in many or most dishes of various regions including Eastern Asia, South Asia, South-East Asia, the Middle-East, Northern Africa, Southern Europe, and parts of South and Central America. The flavour varies in intensity and aroma with cooking methods. It is often paired with onion, tomato, or ginger. The parchment-like skin is much like the skin of an onion, and is typically removed before using in raw or cooked form. An alternative is to cut the top off the bulb, coat cloves of garlic by dribbling olive oil (or other oil based seasoning) over them and roast them in the oven. The garlic softens and can be extracted from the cloves by squeezing the (root) end of the bulb or individually by squeezing one end of the clove.
In some cuisine, the young bulbs are pickled for 3–6 weeks in a mixture of sugar, salt and spices. In
Eastern Europe the shoots are pickled and eaten as an appetizer.
Immature scapes are tender and edible. They are also known as 'garlic spears', 'stems', or 'tops'. Scapes generally have a milder taste than cloves. They are often used in
stir frying or prepared like asparagus. Garlic leaves are a popular vegetable in many parts of Asia. The leaves are cut, cleaned and then stir-fried with eggs, meat, or vegetables.
Mixing garlic with eggs and olive oil produces

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Copyright T.S. 08

Photos T.S. 08