Sunday, December 28, 2008

Poetry; The Sparrow; by P.L.Dunbar;

THE SPARROW by Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872-1906)

A little bird, with plumage brown,
Beside my window flutters down,
A moment chirps its little strain,
Then taps upon my window-pane,

And chirps again, and hops along,

To call my notice to its song;
But I work on, nor heed its lay,
Till, in neglect, it flies away.
So birds of peace and hope and love
Come fluttering earthward from above,
To settle on life's window-sills,
And ease our load of earthly ills;
But we, in traffic's rush and din
Too deep engaged to let them in,
With deadened heart and sense plod on,
Nor know our loss till they are gone.

Paul Laurence Dunbar was the first African-American poet to garner national critical acclaim. Born in Dayton, Ohio, in 1872, Dunbar penned a large body of dialect poems, standard English poems, essays, novels and short stories before he died at the age of 33. His work often addressed the difficulties encountered by members of his race and the efforts of African-Americans to achieve equality in America. He was praised both by the prominent literary critics of his time and his literary contemporaries.
Dunbar was born on June 27, 1872, to Matilda and Joshua Dunbar, both natives of Kentucky. His mother was a former slave and his father had escaped from slavery and served in the 55th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment and the 5th Massachusetts Colored Calvary Regiment during the Civil War.
To read more about P.L.Dunbar please click here

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Reading; Buried in Clay;

Bowl made by Lilli.

Buried in Clay by Priscilla Masters;
One of Britain's most respected and prolific crime writers;
Quality writing;

A superbly crafted murder mystery and great plot;
'No art with potters can compare
We make our pots of what we potters are'
An anonymous Staffordshire potter
'...everyone that works in this place suffers more or less with coughs, and we are all stuffed up;
we have known a great many deaths from it' Scourer Fanny Wood, age 33

Flowers from my Garden;

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Today's Flowers;

Merry Christmas;

New South Wales Christmas Bush; Cerapetalum gummiferum;

Ceratopetalum .... from two Greek words: ceras, a horn and petalon, a petal, referring to the petal shape of one species.
gummiferum .... gum bearing, alluding to the richly exuded from cut bark.
The NSW Christmas bush is generally a large shrub or small tree and in cultivation it rarely grows to more than four to five metres high. The leaves are up to 70mm long and are divided into three leaflets which are finely serrated and the new growth is often pink or bronze coloured. Ceratopetalum gummiferum is widespread over the east coast of New South Wales, commonly growing in open forests on sandstone hillsides.
In cultivation the plant must have a well drained but moist position, in sun or semi shade. Annual feeding with a slow release fertiliser is beneficial.
Towards the end of December this hardy and reliable plant puts on a great display of red 'flowers' that I admire so much - however all is not what it seems. The true flowers are white in colour and fairly insignificant and are seen in late spring to early November.
After pollination by flies and native bees, the sepals, which are the outer series or whorl of flora leaves that protect the flower bud, enlarge and turn deep pink to red in colour enclosing the fruit, a single seed, a nut and the whole fall when ripe.
When sowing, the whole fruit with calyx lobes attached should be sown for best results.
Plants known in other Australian states as Christmas Bush are entirely different and have no connection with Ceratopetalum.

From australian plants online, Jeff Howes.
For more flowers around the world please click on

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

La Musica;

The very best of Kiri Te Kanawa; Hoki Hoki Tonu Mai; Maori Song.
George Bizet; L'Arlesienne Suites.
Suite No 1 arranged by Bizet;
Suite No 2 arranged by Ernest Guiraud after George Bizet's death.
Vincenzo Bellini; Norma, Opera in two acts, based on an old French story.
Philippa Giordano sings Casta Diva.
Sympathique; Pink Martini; Amado Mio.
Blackmores Night; Ghost of a Rose.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Today's Flowers;

Today's Flowers;




and Asters flowering now in my garden.Please click pictures for details.
For more flowers around the world please go to
Photos T.S.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Reading; The Law of Dreams;

The LAW of DREAMS by Peter Behrens;

A great book to read:

It is 1846 and Ireland is dying of hunger. The people on the mountain are being removed' easily, like shavings swept off a table'.

A novel that animates the past....

Stunningly lyrical....

Absorbing and unsparing...

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Today's Flowers;

For Today's Flowers I have chosen small, unusual flowers.

A flowering bract of the Alexandra Palm.

The lacy, yellow Flowers of the Herb Rue.

Dainty pink flowers of the Rondeletia shrub.

For more flowers please go to

Photos from my garden.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Song of Innocence; The house;

Naive Painting by Willi Keller;

The house is build of wood. Where the reddish wood stain has worn off it shows aged, silvery markings. The windows under a protruding roof, give it the appearance of an old woman, eyes twinkling from under a tightly knotted kerchief. The house is alive it makes particular noises at particular times. It creaks, deeply sighs, occasionally it also laughs. More often though it moans and wails especially in winter with a heavy load of snow pressing on its low roof.
In summertime the house looked festive and pretty, dressed up with window boxes densely planted with pink and red Geraniums mingled with prickly Asparagus fern lolling over the rims in graceful swags. The window displays were a summer highlight we always looked forward to. As soon as the weather got warmer and the fear of frost was over we lugged all the window boxes from the cellar and placed them outside the windows. The plants were cut back severely to their last eye, thoroughly watered and fertilized.

From late spring through summer until autumn the geraniums flowered in abundance with little help from us, only the removals of spend flower heads and once a week watering. Most houses in the village featured window boxes. Some were planted with big, bold pansies or petunias in red and white their most popular colours. The most beautiful were the Fuchsias displaying their flowers with their ballerina skirts from the darkest purple to the softest pink.
From the entrance leads a fairly steep, wooden staircase up to the living quarters.
The living room has two big windows in front and a small one at one side of the room. In the middle of a thick, dark red carpet stands a wooden table an embroidered tablecloth spread over it; an ornate crystal vase holds a few sprigs of flowers or in winter twigs of fir. The scent of Mimosa, small, fluffy and delicate flower balls linger on.

Mimosa didn’t grow in our garden. My mother said, they were imported from Nice an alluring name suitable to these fragrant sunshine yellow flowers. Wooden chairs with elaborately carved backs completed the setting. Along one wall is a sofa which doubles as a bed for visitors staying over night an occasion that didn’t happen often. My fathers’ appellation for this corner was the boudoir. The sofa was opulent, embellished with a fancy throw ornate with whorls and leaves in gold and silver threads. Plump, fat cushions with tassels, flounces and ruffles, ruched and embroidered in silks were arranged in drifts.
Opposite The dresser contained my mothers nice glasses and china used only for guests or at Christmas. On top of the dresser was the wedding photo in a silver frame of my parents. They were somber looking towards a future they had not yet experienced together, my mother holding tightly a bunch of roses.
The sewing machine, when not in use served as a small table. It took up the other corner together with a gramophone that gave its best in entertaining us with frivolous operettas and famous arias.

The records were heavy and shattered easily when I was unfortunate to drop one. Sometimes the needles scratched the record and then there were little hiccups in the music. These incidents didn’t lower my enthusiasm.
The big, black stove with shiny brass trimmings keeps us warm and comfortable in the long, freezing winter month. It has two openings with small doors and one drawer for the ashes. The upper opening was used to keep food warm or to roast apples.
The top of the stove was used to keep the nightclothes and the cherry stone bags warm to take to bed, as none of the bedrooms had heating. On Sundays the yeasty cake mixture was also left there to rise. Once, I had just received a beautiful doll for Christmas I used the top opening of the stove as a hospital for my doll, when I took her out the doll had a big hole at the back of her head and her bottom where the heat of the stove had touched it. The doll was made from celluloid and melted.
In front of the big windows my parents had each an armchair with a small, carved table. I was not allowed to use the chairs I had my own little chair and table.
The walls were hung with hunt trophies. One red and one black squirrel with soft bushy tails mounted on branches in a never changing pose looked at you with a rigid stare.

An owl with mournful, unblinking eyes and dusty plumage made ready to fly off. There were also many different sizes of antlers and horns of chamois. Each had its own plaque neatly written with the dates and location where the animals came from. My mother would have preferred pictures however every year a few more trophies were added to the collection. With time my mother didn’t object anymore, I guess she got used to them. I liked them and didn’t mind cleaning them from time to time with a soft moist cloth.
In autumn when my father went hunting, he send home by train one or two roebucks or chamois. There were always many of these animals laying on the platform of the station. Each had the address of the family it went to around its neck. I went between the dead animals in a matter of fact way trailing my hands over their soft furs and looking at their dull staring eyes. I didn’t feel sorry for them, it was just the way it was and I didn’t think about these animals how they felt when they were alive.

The meat would be cooked in red wine, juniper berries, laurel leaves and other herbs to make a tasty sauce. When ready the meat was ladled into preserving jars and kept on shelves until winter when it was consumed with much relish.
Our dining room was tiny. There were two corner benches, a smallish table and two more chairs, a potbelly stove and also a sofa that could be converted into a bed. This room had one odd, huge window that extended along the whole wall. As the roof was protruding this big window let in a lot of daylight and made the small room to look like an enclosed veranda. Behind the dining room door hung my fathers’ guns.

The bedroom of my parents was the most elaborately furnished, with mahogany beds, wardrobes, dresser and night tables. The room was so full one could hardly move. It had only one small window that was shaded by the overhanging roof and as it got practically no sunshine the room was kept in perpetual mourning. My father naming it the funeral parlour didn’t amuse my mother; she thought it was not funny. My father gave all the rooms names, made even small labels to stick onto doors. My room was the sparrows’ nest and the dining room was the noble one. He liked to tease my mother.
The kitchen was my favourite. The window was facing south and made the kitchen sunny and comfortable in summer and warm and cozy in winter as the big wood heated range was never without fire. It included a big copper container to heat water we called “the ship”. In the warm summer month my mother cooked on a small electric range. The floor was laid in dark red hexagonal tiles that in summer were nice and cool to the bare feet. In winter a Persian carpet, its once brilliant colours not distinguishable any more was placed over the tiles. I liked the kitchen best in summer. The shutters were half closed, the window open, a soft breeze slightly fanning white, filmy curtains. When I came from the stark sunlit outside into this cool and caressing light, the smell of warmth and well being embraced me and I felt utterly happy.
I wished everything would stay like this forever and ever. I felt it especially when I returned from a holiday for a couple of month with more or less strange people. The very familiarity of the kitchen brought an ache to my heart. I was back home and nothing had changed. The old dresser with its fading blue paint, the cupboard with its flowery mousseline curtain, my mother took the doors off because they always jammed. The porcelain sink with little chinks around the rim, the pots and pans neatly arranged above the polished, wood fired range. The small table spread with its usual blue and white cloth, everything was there waiting.
Downstairs was the laundry with a bathroom. There was a big copper to boil the laundry and heat water once a week for our bath. Two sinks to do the washing and rinsing of the laundry. My mother did the laundry usually once a month. It used to be very hard work and a long day. Sometimes a woman from the village, a friend came and helped and my mother helped her in return.

Every Saturday we had our bath. I had mine in a big zinc tub up in the kitchen before the hot stove. My mother and my father had theirs together in the big bathtub downstairs in the laundry. They had a lot of fun together. When I tried to join them I was shut out and all I could hear was their splashing and my mothers’ delightful laughter. After their bath they appeared scrubbed with rosy, smug faces.

As long as I know I always liked the garden. We had two gardens to look after. One was to grow vegetables the other was for flowers my mothers passion. A paling fence surrounded the flower garden. The wood was grey and silvery smooth to the touch from years in sun, rain and snow. Near the gate in the left corner grew a rosebush. It was very old and gnarled yet bloomed every year with the sweetest scented snow-white roses with golden yellow centers. The roses once open wilted soon yet there was such a succession of opening buds it seemed to be bedecked in roses all summer long. The blooms were double, small, swarming with insects. I loved that rosebush. I buried my nose into the open flowers and sometimes a small black insect crawled up my nose and made me sneeze.

We had clumps of wine red, blowsy peonies of which I always thought to be the mothers of all the other flowers. They sort of looked stout and stern; they didn’t have an alluring scent yet they were always there for comfort. We also had long rows of pristine white Madonna lilies growing. Their heavy, plump buds were a challenge, when I was small I praised them open to look at the inside. My mother was not amused and my curiosity was cured with a few stinging slaps.
Golden Solidago flowered all summer along the fence. My mother wanted to ban it from the garden she said it was just a weed. I thought it was beautiful, so tall with its swishing yellow heads kissed by the sun. Somehow I persuaded my mother to leave it alone and so it bloomed every summer.
I didn’t like changes. I wanted everything to stay as it always was. I didn’t know that changes were part of life. Changes were frightening and I didn’t like to acknowledge them.
The garden beds along the fence were closely planted with asters in hues from purple to pink and dark red. Stiff, tall Zinnias holding their colourful heads high above the others asked for special attention. Poppies with vulnerable papery petals and sky-blue Forget-me-not intermingling, most of them grew on their own volition, from their freely scattered seeds.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Today's Flowers;

My choice for Today's Flowers are some of my favourites in the garden.

Crucifix Orchids
Epidendrum radicans
E. radicans

Perhaps the most diagnostic characteristic of E. radicans is its tendency to sprout roots all along the length of the stem; most other crucifix orchids only produce roots near the base. Additionally, E. radicans flowers are
resupinate, unlike the members of the Epidendrum secundum complex, E. fulgens, and many other crucifix orchids. E. radicans also differs from E. secundum by bearing no nectar in the flower.For more flowers please go to

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Reading; Bone China;

Bone China by Roma Tearne;
first published 2008

A compelling story about a family from Sri Lanka, who has been torn apart by a civil war.

He who never leaves his country is full of prejudices. Carlo Goldoni.

Photos T.S. Top photo taken Botanical Gardens Cairns.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Today's Flowers;

It is Daylily time in my garden!
Please click on pictures for details;

Maleny Debutante

Ash Rose;

Master Plan;

Water Witch; Mini;

Daylily is the common name of the species, hybrids and cultivars of the genus Hemerocallis. These flowers of this plants are highly diverse in colour and form, often resulting from hybridization by gardening enthusiasts, the thousands of registered cultivars are appreciated and studied by international Hemerocallis societies.[1] Once considered part of the Liliaceae family, such as Lilium (true lilies), the genus name was given to the family Hemerocallidaceae in later circumscriptions.
If you like to know more about Daylilies please go to Daylily at http://Wikipedia.
For more Flower pictures please go to
All photos from my garden.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Australian Poetry

Dorothea MacKellar (1885 - 1968)

Dorothea McKellar was born in Sydney in 1858 into a well-established, wealthy family, and was educated privately at the University of Sydney. At 19 years old she wrote a poem, 'My Country', the second verse of which is perhaps the best known stanza in Australian poetry. Her family owned substantial properties in the Gunnedah district of New South Wales and it is in this town which claims her as their own, there a statue of her on horseback has been erected. Dorothea died in 1968

In a Southern Garden by Dorothea MacKellar

WHEN the tall bamboos are clicking to the restless little breeze,
And bats begin their jerky skimming flight,
And the creamy scented blossoms of the dark pittosporum trees,
Grow sweeter with the coming of the night.
And the harbour in the distance lies beneath a purple pall,
And nearer, at the garden’s lowest fringe,
Loud the water soughs and gurgles ’mid the rocks below the wall,
Dark-heaving, with a dim uncanny tinge
Of a green as pale as beryls, like the strange faint-coloured flame
That burns around the Women of the Sea:
And the strip of sky to westward which the camphorlaurels frame,
Has turned to ash-of-rose and ivory—
And a chorus rises valiantly from where the crickets hide,
Close-shaded by the balsams drooping down—
It is evening in a garden by the kindly water-side,
A garden near the lights of Sydney town!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Today's Flowers;

Today's flowers are a Daylily, not yet fully awake, cradling a Jacaranda blossom. It is early morning 4.35 AM . Summer is approaching, the scent of Brugmansia and Jasmin linger in the balmy morning air.

This sweet Rose has emerged from the bush of Buff Beauty which has done a disappearing act.
It is a dark red,velvety princess with a subtle scent.

My trusty Pearl Dior flowers with abundance this year.
Bog Salvias are stretching towards the sky and rivalling its colour.

Some of the Hippeastrums or Amaryllis have already made big seed heads.
For more flowers go to

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Song of Innocence: The Railwaystation;

The Railwaystation;
We live near a railway station. Nearly everybody uses the railway, not many people own a car at that time. Most people travel in third class. The carriages are fitted with wooden benches. The small windows can be lowered with a leather strap. Every compartment carries white enamel signs written in bold black letters in three languages, not to spit onto the floor and not to lean out of the window. When I travel in the train I watch the people and try to guess which one will be the most likely to spit onto the floor. I like to lean far out of the window despite the warning. It is exhilarating to have the wind blow through my hair and I can barley catch my breath. The carriages smell of stale smoke and things I cannot identify. The wooden seats are shiny from all the people steadily polishing them with their backsides. At the front and back of the compartments above the seats hang always photos of trains that just entered a tunnel or travelled over a bridge high above a ravine.
At my railway station are many trains passing fast and without stop. Those are the luxury express trains with first and second-class carriages only. They transport people to the famous holiday resorts in the mountains. Their blurred faces behind the windows of the fast moving train are all identical.
As I live near the railway station I spend a lot of my free time there. I read my library books on a hard wooden bench that is provided for the passengers. The bench is placed outside in summertime beside the door of the waiting room that is mainly used in wintertime. The bench remains mostly empty of passengers because they travel in the morning to go to work, lunchtime and evening when they return and hurry home and don’t need a bench to rest.
Some times I help old mister Ernie, he is always there to help the stationmaster with the loading and unloading of boxes and whatever arrives by train and is stored in the warehouse until people come and pick it up. I stuff carbide into lanterns and wrinkle my nose at its foul smell. He warns me my nose will be a wrinkled little stub forever and that I will never find a husband. I don’t believe him and I don’t want a husband, but he says every girl wants a husband; I don’t argue and leave it at that. I water the red geraniums that flower from spring until late autumn in window boxes and big tubs in front of the station. They are the stationmasters pride and joy. He warns me not to over water as they like a rather dry soil. Generally the stationmaster is a taciturn man. He only talks to me when I ask him a question, which I do a lot, and not even then he answers, he makes a kind a noise in his throat that can mean anything yes or no, I don’t know, go away I haven’t time. It is difficult to decipher his murmurs but I am used to his ways.
Once I had a fall and I hit my head rather badly on the cobblestones. Old mister Ernie took out of his pocket a big silver five-franc piece and I thought he was giving it to me because I was hurt. However he only pressed it hard onto the bump that had grown from my forehead and after a minute he took it away and inspected the bump and said that will do and the big silver piece disappeared into his pocket again.
On the station grounds stands a heavy, wooden loading platform. It can be pushed on two wheels towards the train to load and unload livestock. I am always tempted to run on it to and fro like on a big seesaw.
It fell heavily and loudly on its ends, as I ran faster and faster it was a real racket to my delight. The stationmaster, very annoyed, came out of his office. His face angry, red, he told me in a stern voice to leave the ramp alone and to go home. I stood there and looked at him and I didn’t know what came over me as I stuck out my tongue as far as I could and I cocked a snook at him as well. He stood there amazed, like I had physically struck him. He was appalled by my bad behaviour; this had never happened I had always been courteous towards him. When he had collected himself he said, that I was rude and he didn’t want to see me around again and I should stay at home and as a final thought he added I tell your mother. I didn’t feel to good as my
conscience was burdened more by telling my mother than my deed. On this day my mother went over to the railway station to pick up her weekly train ticket she used to go to work. Anxiously I waited and prepared myself to be scolded and perhaps even slapped when she returned from her errand. My mother returned and talked about everyday things, how my school day was, had I finished my homework, she hoped it would be a sunny day tomorrow as she had her washday, she looked at me curiously and said your are very quiet has cat got your tongue or was it to busy all day long. I didn’t respond but I carried out my little chores with so much eagerness that my mother scrutinized me once more but left me alone as I didn’t respond.
The next morning, before I went to school, I went to the railway station to see the stationmaster and apologized for my bad behaviour. I said, that I didn’t know how it happened that my tongue had a will of its own. Bemused he looked at me, shook his head mumbled in his throat, dismissed me with a gesture of his hand and my misdemeanour was more or less forgotten.
Occasionally I was invited into his office. The desk in the office was not the usual one to sit at with a chair. It was very high and the stationmaster had to stand at it to write his reports. He usually handed me some crayons and paper to draw and I was allowed to take a chair and stand on it to reach the desk. On each side of a small table stood a chair. I took one of the chairs and placed it to reach the desk. The stationmaster came back into his office for his coffee break. Coffee cup in his hand and without a glance backwards he lounged himself in his customary chair that wasn’t there. There was a mighty crash, he was a big man, and the stationmaster sat on the floor the hot coffee spilled over him. It looked so comical and I was tempted to laugh but his stare, which followed the chair I was standing on, forbade it. He didn’t scold me but for a long time I was not invited back into his office.
Then something out of the ordinary happened. A luxury express train arrived like they always did. Yet it didn’t pass by as customary with flashing red carriages it came to a shuddering halt with grinding wheels seeming unwilling to stop in such an unsophisticated place. The stationmaster rubbed his hands and went towards the engine where the locomotive driver looked out of his window. Curiously my eyes wandered along the carriages and I wondered what happened? On the third carriage the door opened slowly. To my amazement I saw a snow-white polar bear around his neck a silken pink ribbon. Clumsily, on his hind legs he tried to descend the couple of high steps, swayed and collapsed onto the platform. My imagination didn’t let me see a lady dressed in a brilliant white fur. The white furry body was utterly still. People’s faces looked with inquiring expressions out of the windows. I was the first kneeling beside her and hold her head covered with a hood of the same white fur; it was downy, soft like a baby chicken. People from the train, the train driver, the train guard and the stationmaster made soon a ring around the prostrate lady who slowly opened her eyes, big pools black and liquid. The train driver sucking his pipe and throwing his hands up was distressed. The stationmaster went back to his office and returned with a bottle of schnapps and a tiny glass, strictly for emergencies he said, and he smiled with his eyes. Very gently he gave her a little of the fiery liquid, she swallowed, hiccupped and her mouth quivered. He gave her a few more sips and she said in French what am I doing here why am I not in my carriage and tried to stand up. The men helped her up the steps and then awkwardly she turned towards me and said merci, ma petite, before she turned I said I actually thought she was a polar bear when I saw her emerging in her white fur, She looked at me and smiled and said:” I will never forget that, and actually I am a polar bear.
Then the train guard helped her up into the carriage and into her first class compartment. Windows and doors were shut the train driver went to his engine and soon it was just like it never had happened, I was left with my thoughts looking at the empty platform.
After that incident it was rare that something exiting happened. The trains that carried the American soldiers through Europe had ceased to run. As long as those trains passed I was well supplied with chewing gum. When a train full of soldiers stopped they threw handfuls of chewing gum.
I had never had it before and had become quite partial to my little store of chewing gum. First the flavour was sweet and minty than slowly the taste became bland and the chewing gum looked like a chewed up rubber band. It usually ended up hidden in a corner in the pocket of my apron. Usually I forgot to remove the small grey ball before the apron was washed and it and remained as a sticky substance in my pocket. Long afterwards I still found rests that I scratched away with my fingernails that didn’t taste of anything anymore.
Copyright T.S.
Photo T.S.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Today's Flowers;



For today's flowers I have chosen Daylily, Salvia and Agapanthus. They are flowering now.
We had our first hot day, but also some nice rain. The flowers had still the raindrops to embellish them for the photos.
For more flowers to admire please go to

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Reading; A Thousand splendid Suns;

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
was first published in 2007.
The story tugs on your heart and your eyes will brim with tears. It is unbelievable what women have to endure under senseless rules. There are always people ready, no matter what country, to create chaos and terror in what ever name.

Page 365 The lines are from Hafez's ghazals

Hovels shall turn to rose gardens, grieve not,
If a flood should arrive, to drown all that's alive, grieve not,

A Thousand Splendid Suns is an unforgettable portrait of a wounded country and a deeply moving story of family and friendship. It is a beautiful, heart wrenching story of an unforgiving time, an unlikely bond and an indestructible love.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Today's Flowers;

It is Jacaranda time. In my garden they are carpeting the lawn with their purple-mauve bells. (Pleas click pictures for details.)
The Blue Jacaranda, Jacaranda mimosifolia more often known simply as the "Jacaranda", is a sub-tropical tree native to South America that has been widely planted elsewhere because of its beautiful and long-lasting blue flowers. Older sources give it the systematic name Jacaranda acutifolia, but it is nowadays more usually classified as Jacaranda mimosifolia. It is also known as the Black Poui, or as the fern tree. In scientific usage, the name "Jacaranda" refers to the genus Jacaranda, which has many other members, but in horticultural and everyday usage, it nearly always means the Blue Jacaranda.
For more pictures please go to

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Song of Innocence... Morning

Morning creeps with long, grey fingers into my bedroom. The approaching day is still invisible and promises nothing. It hovers mysteriously between heaven and earth. I eavesdrop on its murmurs,
Its reluctant rebirth from darkness to the slowly awakening shadows shaping the new day.
I stretch and snuggle deeper under my soft and warm doona. I remain inert, faintly I hear my mother in the kitchen, the busy clutter and chink of cutlery and china arranged quickly for breakfast. My mind fastens on the day ahead, my favoured day of the week because the school library will be open.
I can already anticipate the familiar smell of beeswax, the mustiness of old books and tiny specks of dust settling. The shelves are packed with books ready for me to release all the treasures of a different magical world. My mind lingers on the books I will borrow something unfamiliar exotic tantalising my imagination.
Villas in pink and vanilla washes dozing under a hot sun nestled in gardens fragrant with the scents of exotic flowers with marvellous names like jasmine and frangipani.
Delicate butterflies, silky flecks with papery, brittle wings in the hues of rainbows dance and flirt in the balmy air.
Palms their massive, leafy fronds rustling, softly sighing, and whispering come! Silvery sands hiding treasures of ancient lands. A sea dramatic and secretive eternally conquers her shores. My heart lurches and squeezes makes funny little jumps I long so much to embrace this world.
The voice of my mother startles me. My hands outstretched to reach, my eyes open, it is Saturday morning.

Copyright T.S.

Saturday, October 25, 2008



Epiphyllums are flowering now in my garden;
(please click on pictures to see details)

Epiphyllum ("upon the leaf" in Greek) is a genus of 19 species of epiphytic plants in the cactus family (Cactaceae), native to Central America. Common names for these species include orchid cacti and leaf cacti, though the latter also refers to the genus Pereskia.
The stems are broad and flat, 1-5 cm broad, 3-5 mm thick, usually with lobed edges. The
flowers are large, 8-16 cm diameter, white to red, with numerous petals.
The fruit is edible, very similar to the pitaya fruit from the closely related genus Hylocereus, though not so large, being only 3-4 cm long.

Epiphyllums are very popular house plants, with numerous
hybrids and cultivars produced. In fact, the term epiphyllum is commonly used to refer to these hybrids.
For more Flowers please go to
Photos T.S.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Song of Innocence;

I have a quixotic streak. I am impulsive and sentimental. It was always there a belief and a longing for the fantastic. I rally my senses; I want to be released from this impractical and idealistic pact.
I, was born while a war was in the making. War, the word mentioned every day. To me it was an offensive word, with a threatening, painful sound spoken in hushed voices. Still people like to talk about war. They like war stories, war songs and war movies. Nothing reflects so much glory as a well-fought war. Medals glitter on proud breasts, and the dead lay dead. The word war will always be with us, we won’t get rid of it, it hangs on to mankind glittering and winking in its immoral purpose goes round and round in a never ending circle.
Before the war, after the war rings in my ears. It sounds like thunder, like the perpetual crashing of waves onto the shores of all the oceans.
The survivors are resilient. Hope is their key to everything. When they had a bad turn they recover, look forward to better days. They never give up, and start again it is in their nature. A survival moving force that is face to face with a moving force of power and destruction. Man the inventor of war.
In my veins circulates the blood of Europe. It is unruly, it pulses and broods and leaves my body shivering hot and cold, when I want it to be peaceful and sedate.
My mother, blue eyes in a broad face her mouth wide and generous. Her heritage goes back to central Europe, to the mountains and the rivers the vast, green plains under a changing, open sky without horizon.
My father, a proud man with good looks, mild, golden eyes and olive skin, dark haired, a reminder of the Romans when they marched over the Gotthard. He is a shy man, an atheist; he utterly dislikes the military and also authorities of Governments that hang around in idleness in puffed up self-importance.
I am an only child. For the most part I am left to my own devices. My Mother and my father are both working. I love my mother and I am sure she loves me too. Yet I do not confide in her. I am not invited to talk to my mother about matters of my body and neither do I talk about matters of my soul. She does not hug or kiss me but sometimes she slaps me, when she is tired and has no time for my tantrums what she calls it when I want to talk and find out things.
My father takes me for walks up into the hills and the woods. In spring I collect armfuls of soft blue, delicate flowers called “Leberbluemchen” and bunches of Lillie of the Valley. I must be careful not to tear out the roots because then there will not be any flowers to pick next year, says my father. We always go to the place where a badger lives. It is a little hill thick with trees, where he has made his hole quite well hidden. I always look into the darkness but I can only see just the entrance. He teaches me to shoot with a small but powerful rifle with a beautiful silver engraved stock. It is a poacher’s rifle because he can fold it together and hide it in the inside pocket of his jacket. He does not use the rifle for poaching so; he likes its sleekness and because he thinks it is very neat.

Copyright: T.S. Photo: T.S.

Sunday, October 19, 2008


I am posting Native Flowers of Australia;

Varigated Westringia (Coast Rosemary is the common name.)

Callistemon (Pink Bottlebrush.)

Bottlebrush (Callistemon) is a genus with 34 species of shrubs in the family Myrtaceae. The majority of Callistemon species are endemic to Australia; four species are also found in New Caledonia. They are commonly referred to as bottlebrushes because of their cylindrical, brush like flowers resembling a traditional bottle brush. They are found in the more temperate regions of Australia, mostly along the east coast and south-west, and typically favour moist conditions so when planted in gardens thrive on regular watering. However, at least some of the species are drought-resistant. Wikipedia

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Photos T.S.