Friday, July 29, 2011

It's Another Mid-Winter Flower Flaunt On This Skywatch Friday

Only a couple of days left in this mid-Winter month of July and the weather continues to be sunny and mild.

In the last couple of weeks there have been some controlled burn-offs around our city, including one that was set at the base of the ranges that surround my home.  These controlled burn-offs are a common sight here in winter, especially after a long and intense wet season.  They are deliberately lit by council workers and our Fire Service, who work together in an effort to reduce the risk of wildfires and maintain fire breaks around our city. 

This year's wet season created a lot of huge amount of grass growing on the hill slopes, and after the cyclones we experienced as well, there was also a lot of debris laying on the ground from broken branches and fallen trees.  Now that we are in our drier months, the risk of bushfire is quite high.  Summertime is not the only time of year here when there is danger of  fire.

As I left work during the week I could see the burn-off in the distance in the outlying ranges where I live.  So here's the view as I travel the 30 kilometres towards my home from my workplace.

Just left work ... and I'm heading towards my home in those hills in the distance.

 A bit further on now ... and I'm on the highway going south.

I've turned off the highway now and I'm heading into my outlying rural suburb that sits at the foot of this extensive system of ranges. 

The fire is actually a few kilometres away from our suburb here in the foothills and will not reach us.  It will continue to burn for a couple weeks as it makes its way through the mountain ranges in the background.  Luckily for us, the prevailing wind is blowing in the other direction.

When I reach my home in amongst the foothills to the right of the photo above, I can no longer actually see the bushfire from my property.  There was however a tinge of red over the landscape as the sun set.

Now to what's blooming around my place today.  The only new blooms to be seen at the moment are the tiny, delicate and rather inconspicuous flowers of the Serissa foetida.

I thought I would present photos of my other mid-Winter blooms in a slidebox presentation today, in an effort not to be too boring showing the same 'ole same 'ole.  

Click to play this Smilebox scrapbook
Create your own scrapbook - Powered by Smilebox
Scrapbook design personalized with Smilebox

For loads more Flaunt Your Flowers On Friday posts, go and visit Tootsie at Tootsie Time

I'm also joining in the Skywatch Friday  meme today.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Mosaic Monday... Crooning 'Bout The Birds And The Bees

For some inexplicable reason, an old crooner's song came to my mind this week as I was musing on a topic for this week's MM post.  Don't ask me why!  But sing along if you know the melody ...

Let me tell ya 'bout the birds ...

... and the bees

The flowers ...

... and the trees

The moon up above ...

... and a thing called love.

I love our winters!  Of course I'm slightly off topic when it comes to the actual subject of the song (wink, wink, say no more!) but what the heck ... the words certainly match everything I love about this time of year here in the tropics.

The bird song fills the air all through the day.  They seem to love this time of year as much as I do!
There have been many Figbirds around lately and I managed to get a closer shot of one of the females this week.

There have been several of the Blue-Banded Bees busy at work collecting pollen from the Salvias, the Begonias, the Torenias and the Streptocarpus ... obviously big favourites with these native bees.

This is the time of the year when my annuals are blooming.  I was a little late with the planting up this year, but they're started now and on the way to producing a fabulous show.

The Palm Trees come into their own at this time of year when the flowering trees are resting up.  Of course some of the usual winter-flowering trees are also having a rest courtesy of the horrid battering they received earlier in the year.  As I wander around the place in the early morning I'm often captivated by the play of light in the fronds of the various palms.

The moon's been hanging around in the daytime sky lately, which is always a fascinating sight.

The days are quite short with first light around 6.30 am and sunset by 6.00 pm.  Both the sunrises and sunsets have been something to see in these winter months.  As I said, I love the wintertime!  It's a glorious time of the year.

(Just a quick aside.   I swear I can hear Deano ... Dino Paul Crocetti to his family or Dean Martin to his adoring fans ... singing that birds and bees song in my head every minute of the day since I thought of it!!  Don't you hate that?)

Anyway, for far more sensible posts for this Mosaic Monday, please go and visit Mary at Little Red House

Friday, July 22, 2011

It's Another Mid-Winter Friday Flower Flaunt.

Let's see what's in flower this mid-Winter's Friday here at my place here in the north-east of Australia.  As I don't really have lovely garden beds or borders, there won't be vista shots or garden views.  I can however show off some of the blooms on display right now on the potted plants or shrubs out in my garden.

In the courtyard, I'm very pleased to finally see the bracts and flowers of this dwarf variegated Bougainvillea. 

It has done nothing for nearly a year now, other than sit quite happily in a huge container under an Aralia. It's the slowest growing plant I think I've ever had.  But, despite being quite short and stunted, this climber is showing its first bracts.  They start off as white, then they develop a pink tinge around the edges.  The flowers are in the middle and remain closed today.

The Lonicera japonica or Japanese Honeysuckle, which was a new plant this year, has showed it's first spray of flowers.  These dainty tubular flowers begin as pure white in colour and then turn a buttery yellow.  They are gorgeous and have such a beautiful fragrance.  I can't believe this little plant has already flowered.

The Violas are showing their first blooms for the year.

There are blooms appearing on the two Impatiens hawkeri or New Guinea Impatiens I planted under the Cycas revoluta a little while ago.  Both these New Guinea Impatiens are from the 'Celebrette' series, but I can't remember the specific varietal name.  They do have these lovely pale pink blooms with a darker pink blush.

My great survivor, a Pelargonium from the 'Caliente' series (again I don't know the specific varietal name) is still throwing up lovely flower sprays.

My favourite Salvia splendens hybrids, the 'Dusky Hues' series is starting to grow taller and taller.  Fabulous colours!

The winter-blooming Rhododendron simsii or Azalea indica is gradually showing more and more blooms.

In the shadehouse, my white Impatiens hawkeri is finally blooming again.

The Aechmea gamosepala or Matchstick Bromeliad still has its' one lovely flower spike.

There's always a Hibiscus flower to be seen somewhere in the garden.  This is Hibiscus rosa-sinensis 'Roseflake'.

This winter-blooming Azalea shrub is putting on a very pretty display right now.  I'm not sure of the varietal name for this, but someone suggested it could possibly be a Satsuki Azalea as it is a dwarf-sized shrub and has never grown any taller than a metre in height.  Whatever it is, it's a welcome sight in our winter time.

There's also always Pentas blooms somewhere to be seen.

The Euphorbia pulcherrimas continue to bloom.

Finally, a shot of my favourite Torenia fournieri.

For loads of fabulous Fertiliser Friday / Flaunt Your Flowers posts, please visit our host Tootsie at Tootsie Time

I'm also joining Today's Flowers where you can see some beautiful flowers blooming in gardens all over the world.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Mosaic Monday ... A Likely Pair.

These two Laughing Kookaburras have been spending a whole lot of time together.  I have spotted them perched in trees together or sitting on the verandah railing together.  They definitely seem to like each other's company.

It's hard to tell male and females apart in this bird species, but I'm thinking that these two might just be a couple.   A male and female Kookaburra will pair for life, so this may be the beginning of a great love story!

I'm joining Mary for her Mosaic Monday meme today, so make sure you visit to see some fabulous mosaic posts.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Time To Flaunt Some Flowers

Let's see what's blooming around our mid-Winter garden right now.

There's a bit of purple!
 Plectranthus 'Mona Lavender'

Gomphrena globosa 'Purple Buddy'

Petunia ... unknown variety.

dwarf Angelonia angustifolia

There's a smattering of pink.


Antirrhinum 'Strawberry Crush'.

Wonder of wonders ... there are just a few flowers on my poor damaged Tabebuia impetiginosa.  They are a welcome and unexpected sight.
There's a flash of yellow.

Viola 'Petite Citrus'


There's also some wonderful shades of plum and burgundy.
The first buds on my Salvia splendens 'Dusky Hues'.


Look!  Isn't this wonderful?  Peeping out from my neighbour's white Bauhina ...
... the very first blooms on their tree, and I get to enjoy them too as the tree hangs over my fence.

For some terrific Flaunt Your Flowers posts, please go and visit Tootsie at Tootsie Time

I'm also joining Today's Flowers

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