Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Wildlife on Wednesday ... The Water Dragon.

I've been away for a little while visiting with family, and while down in my home state's capital city I visited the wonderful Roma Street Parklands.  It's a favourite spot of mine and I try to visit there at least once a year when I pop down to Brisbane.

Again this visit I spotted an incredible number of Water Dragons sunning themselves in various corners, nooks and crannies of the Parklands.  These are magnificent looking creatures and I thought I would share some of the shots I managed to take of just a few of them.

This is the Eastern Water Dragon or Physignathus lesueurii, which grows to around 80 to 90 cms in length, making it rather a large lizard.

This creature has shades of grey or brown with a series of black bands on the back and tail.  What great camouflage!

There's a black stripe on the side of the head behind the eyes which makes it look rather distinguished.

They're semi-aquatic lizards, found around creeks, lakes and rivers.  They're not called 'Water Dragons' for nothing.  They do seem to love the water.  At the Parklands I spotted quite a few around the man-made ponds and streams.  Apparently they can stay submerged for around half an hour.

This one was enjoying the sun's warm rays beside the Bromeliad Garden pond.  You could walk by and almost not notice it, as it blends in so well with the wooden plank walkway.

There are enlarged scales which form a crest down the middle of the head, back and tail.  Doesn't it look rather fierce close up?

The legs are long and powerful and flattened on the sides to assist with swimming.  They have extremely long toes with rather sharp claws.

Such an impressive creature! 

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Flower Flaunt Friday ... Heading Towards The End Of Summer.

Even though the Summer season supposedly finishes at the end of February, our Summer weather will continue for a lot longer yet.  I'm really looking forward to the change now as I've planted out a few more of the bald spots around the place and I'm hoping these little newbies will start taking off when things cool down.

One of the new babies in one of the driveway garden beds is this gorgeous Abutilon.  There was no varietal name attached, so I'm just calling it Abutilon 'Apricot Angel'!  I think it suits.  I've also planted up a very pretty pinker version and a creamy lemony one.  Hopefully they will both bloom very soon.

Here's another newbie to the driveway garden bed.  It's Ixora 'Twilight Glow'.  I have had one of these growing in a large pot out in my courtyard garden and I've also been pleased with the colour of the flowers. I couldn't resist adding it down beside the driveway.  I think it will add much needed colour in a rather barren spot.

One of the new plants under the recently finished new pergola out in the courtyard is this Wrightia antidysenterica 'Arctic Snow'.  Again, I've had one of these growing in a large pot out in the courtyard itself and I really wanted another splash of white under the pergola.  It was the perfect choice.

Elsewhere around the place ...

... this lovely Pentas really pairs well with the Caladium 

... and the Justicia brandegeana goes well with the Iresine herbstii.

I also love the contrast between this white Pentas and the lovely Cordyline 'Red Wings'.

One of the things I'm enjoying most about the summer garden right now, is the perfume wafting around in the early mornings from the gorgeous Fiddlewood tree flowers.  The flowers tend to go unnoticed unless you're right up close to the tree, as they're not all that large, but you can not miss the beautiful sweet perfume from these flower sprays.

I'll finish up today with two of my favourite sights at the moment.

This patch of Portulacas is such a cheery sight ...

... and the flowerhead on this self-seeding Celosia is just stunning.

(I've posted a little early this week, as I'm off to a family re-union but I didn't want to miss flaunting time!    Yet another hopeless gardening blogger, lol!)

I'm joining Tootsie for Fertilizer Friday / Flaunt Your Flowers  her meme,

and Nix's meme Floral Friday Fotos

Friday, February 17, 2012

Flower Flaunt ... On This Late Summer's Friday.

I'm spending far more time indoors (mostly in the air-conditioning) when I'm at home these days, than out in the garden.  It's far too hot and muggy outside, and that summer sun has a real sting in its tail these days.  Thankfully there are few plants providing some colour in the garden without much help from me.

Finally, there's a bloom on one of my Hibiscus schizopetalus shrubs, which were both almost slaughtered during the pergola repair work not long ago.

Mussaenda philippica 'Bangkok Rose' is almost at the end of this blooming cycle.

Ixora 'Raywards Pink' is showing off its dusty pink flowers.

My dwarf Allamanda, Allamanda cathartica 'Sunee' is still covered in bright golden blooms.

Pseudomussaenda flava, known as White Wings, is showing its white bracts and yellow flowers.

Pentas lanceolatas are year-round bloomers here, so I'm lucky enough to see these gorgeous flowerheads all the time.

My favourite is this red Pentas with the variegated leaves.

Now here's my favourite Mussaenda.  This is Mussaenda philippica 'Aurore' with its stunning white bracts and teensy tiny orangey-yellow flowers.

Ixora coccinea is showing off blooms again, after being cut back drastically during the pergola repair work.
I've been missing its showy red flowers.

These Portulacas are adding a brilliant touch of colour to the rock garden bed.

Across the way from the Portulacas, these Cosmos sulphureus add brilliant splashes of sunshine to the place.

There's only a very few Delonix regia or Poinciana blooms left on all the Poinciana trees at the moment.  You have to look way up high to catch a glimpse of them.

Did you hear that?  Yep, I sure did.  It's the sound of rolling thunder just behind the hills.  It looks like we'll be getting a bit of a tropical thunderstorm this evening.  Fingers crossed we get some rain to cool things down a bit!

I'm joining Fertilizer Friday / Flaunt Your Flowers over at Tootsie's blog.  Do pop over and join in the fun.

I'm also joining Tina's Weekend Flowers

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A Splash Of Red ... Happy Valentine's Day.

Wishing you all a very Happy Valentine's Day.  Unfortunately I don't have Roses in my garden to share on this very special day, but there are a few lovely splashes of red in the garden to help celebrate this occasion.

Have a great day!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Yahooo ... I'm Back!

Well, that was a very interesting 36 hours!!!!

Google shut down my account while I was sleeping and I awoke to find I could no longer access my email, my blogs, my Google+ stream or my Picasa albums ... all of which were associated with my google account.  Apparently somebody out there was messing with my account ... what is wrong with these people who seem to love hacking into others accounts?    How I wish there were some serious consequences for those individuals!

Anyway, it seems everything is back to normal ... well for now anyway.  I was suffering from some serious withdrawal symptoms for a while.  But I can once again participate in the online gardening world.  Happy days!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Flower Flaunt Friday ... On A Steamy End-of-Summer Day.

Whoa!  Old Man Summer has ramped it up a notch or two in the last couple of weeks.  We've had very steamy sticky days where the mercury has climbed up to the mid-30 deg C mark (around 91-92 deg F).  It feels like you could wring the air around you like a damp rag and watch the waterdrops fall.  We've had some magnificent tropical thunderstorms in the evenings ... complete with resplendent lightning shows and crackling thunder.  The rain buckets down every few days, about 6 inches (154 mm) since the beginning of the month.

There's actually not all that many flowers to be see out in the garden right now.  The plants seem to have taken a break from blooming, as if it's all just too hard.  Thank heavens for the colour produced by these hardy heat-tolerant, sun-tolerant and humidity-tolerant few.

Torenia 'Violet Magic', 

Angelonia angustifolia,


Cosmos sulphureus,

purple Lagerstroemia indica,

pink Lagerstroemia indica,

Galphimia glauca and Ruellia tweediana,

Neomarica lonigfolia, 

and Anthurium.

I'm joining Fertilizer Friday / Flaunt Your Flowers

Floral Friday Fotos

Monday, February 6, 2012

Mosaic Monday ... It's Our End-of-Summer Month.

Only a few more official Summer sunrises to go now.  The end of Summer is drawing near ... February is our last Summer month ... but the hot, sticky and muggy conditions will carry on until at least mid-March.  It's not much fun getting out into the garden right now and I'm avoiding it as much as possible.

I can wander around in the early morning and in the evening when the sun goes down though, and when I do go out, there are some lovely flowers to see.  Here's just a few of the end-of-Summer blooms in my garden at present.

I'm joining Mary for her Mosaic Monday meme.

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