Bees’ Paradise, Callistemon Bottlebrush

Callistemon “Violaceus” (syn. Melaleuca “Violaceus”)

The Latin name Callistemon comes from the combination of two Greek words of ‘callis’ meaning beauty and ‘stemon’ meaning stamen, referring to the flowers of the plant.
Callistemon has low water needs. It works well with hot, dry summers and prefers full sun exposure.
Callistemon species have commonly been referred to as bottlebrushes because of their cylindrical, brush like flowers resembling a traditional bottle brush.

These photos show the color difference between the Violet and the Red. Without the comparison the Violet appears Red also, but is obviously different in the street view. The Yellow Callistemon was growing “up the street”.

(The above photos were added after initial publication.)

They are mostly found in the more temperate regions of Australia, especially along the east coast
There were many bees buzzing around the tree when I photographed it. Obviously very popular!
The flowers bloom spring through summer and they attract nectar eating birds, eg honeyeaters and minors, also the colourful lorikeets, and of course, the bees. The minor birds made a nest in this tree early Spring. It was nice watching the parents-to-be feeding on the nectar as they prepared their nest. Sadly, one day when I went to check it, the nest had gone.
There are about 50 species of Callistemon.  Flowers vary in color depending on species, most are red, but some are yellow, green, orange or white, and of course, this lovely violet color.
An attractive nature-strip tree… enjoyable for all, including some other little fellows… the Brushtail possums.

References:   http://www.anpsa.org.au/c-pur.html and Wikipedia

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20/10/2020

Bay Tree

Spring blossom on our Bay tree. Grown from a cutting obtained approx. 10 years ago. I believe it is Laurus Nobilis.
The bay leaf is a powerfully aromatic leaf used today primarily for culinary purposes.
Although there are several varieties of bay leaves cultivated around the world today, the original bay leaf came from the bay laurel tree (Laurus nobilis) native to the Asian region of the Mediterranean.

Laurus Nobilis blossom is very pretty this year.
Laurus Nobilis is recognisable by its 1 to 4-inch long bright green ovular leaves

Bay laurel was used to fashion the laurel wreath of ancient Greece, a symbol of highest status. A laurel wreath is a round wreath made of connected branches and leaves of the bay laurel(Laurus nobilis). It is a symbol of triumph and is worn as a chaplet around the head, or as a garland around the neck.

The symbolism carried over to Roman culture, which held the laurel as a symbol of victory. It was also associated with immortality, with ritual purification, prosperity and health. It is also the source of the words baccalaureate and poet laureate, as well as the expressions “assume the laurel” and “resting on one’s laurels”. Ref. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laurus_nobilis

The bay tree is considered to be one of the oldest cultivated tree species.

Leaves may be harvested at any time but the best flavor can be had from larger, mature leaves. Lay the leaves out to dry and crush them or use them whole but remove before eating. The leaves are a common ingredient in the French seasoning packet, bouquet garni, which is wrapped in cheesecloth and steeped in soups and sauces. It is worth learning how to grow a bay leaf tree for ornamentation and fresh wholesome seasoning. Ref.  https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/edible/herbs/bay/sweet-bay-leaf-tree.htm

Bay leaves are also commonly used in marinades for meat and fish, added to boiling water to cook seafood like crab and shrimp, and used in pickling solutions. In addition to these various savory applications, bay leaves are also occasionally added to the cream mixture for rice pudding, infusing the dessert with a subtle herbal flavor.

Ref. masterclass.com

The Bible speaks of an eternal crown that will never wither like a wreath of bay leaves
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6/10/2020

Protector and friend…..Alpaca & Sheep

Download Canon 60D Supermoon etc 18th Nov 2016 207 ed
Alpacas in Australia are generally farmed for their fine fleece, but they are also used as guard animals for sheep flocks.

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Alpacas are very good at guarding the flock, especially in lambing season and will fend off single dogs and foxes that are approaching the flock.

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Faithful friend…

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Always on guard…

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A beautiful rendition of Bach’s ”Sheep May Safely Graze” by pianist Kathia Buniatishvili:

Sheep may safely graze and pasture
In a watchful Shepherd’s sight.

Those who rule with wisdom guiding
Bring to hearts a peace abiding
Bless a land with joy made bright.

Download Canon 60D Supermoon etc 18th Nov 2016 221 ed

Photos were taken approx. 180kms north-west of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. (After researching the differences between Alpacas and Llamas, Alpaca was selected. Comments welcome.)

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4/08/2020