grass amongst mangroves at the beach
Australia, blogging, Photography

Friendly Friday Challenge- Splendour in the Grass

So often we walk around in nature failing to notice the details, the grass under our feet.

Subtle changes in colour and appearance indicate the passing of the seasons. Many varieties of grass remain invisible, yet are an integral part of the natural landscape.

Senga Grass at Mt Hakone

The theme for this week’s Friendly Friday challenge is:

‘Splendour in the Grass’

grass in close up Australia

Using Grass to Frame a Landscape in Photography

In photographic terms, grass can be used to frame the shot or make an interesting feature in the foreground.

This ‘Moon viewing,’ photo captured during the Tsukimi festival in mid-Autumn, in Japan.

Japanese Senga Grass Fields at Mount Fuji

The Japanese find Splendour in the Sengakuhara Pampas Grass, by strolling along a walking trail, at the western side of Mount Hakone. For it is here that the changing colour of the tall grass offers stunning vistas. In November, the grass turns a shimmering, silvery gold. Wedding proposal and selfies abound at this time of year.

Australian Splendour

In Australia, a country fringed by blue oceans, you will find grass the colour of sunburnt earth, which often makes me yearn for the vivid fluorescent green grass of wetter climates.

Birch Trees and Grass in Helsinki – so green

Australian deserts display different kinds of saltbush grass.

Australian Desert grasses and Saltbush

In the arid conditions of the Australian landscape, plants have adapted to grow under extreme conditions, such as the grass tree.

Grass Trees in Australia

Grass Trees in their natural habitat

A relic of the Age of Dinosaurs, Xanthorrhoeas, also known as the Grass Tree, grow very slowly and are resistant to bushfire. In fact, fire helps the grass tree produce its flowers. They also have a unique symbiotic relationship with the soil. The presence of a mycorrhizal microbe in the soil around their roots allows them to flourish, even if the soils are nutrient-poor.

Grass Trees in the Garden

Grass Trees are highly sought after in Australian horticulture and as such are often illegally removed from their natural locations. They fetch high prices as ornamental plants. Little do the owners realize that if the soil in their garden does not contain the mycorrhizal enzyme, the grass tree that they paid so dearly for, will wither and die.

Imitating Nature in Growing Grass Trees

Here’s a secret that an old-timer once told me. Take a cup of brown sugar, put it in a bucket of water and water your grass trees once a month for two years with that mixture. The sugar feeds the mycorrhiza and gets it going and your grass tree will survive.

Create a Friendly Friday Challenge Blog Post

Everyone is welcome to join the Friendly Friday Challenge with your own interpretation of the theme.

Add a pingback to StPA and tag your post with ‘Friendly Friday – Splendour in the Grass.’ Then return to this post and leave a comment below listing your post’s published link.

There is a full set of instructions on how to join the Friendly Friday Photo Challenge on my blog header. This challenge runs until next Thursday.

Last week’s Friendly Friday Challenge initiated some excellent contributions, with the theme of ‘Markets,‘ over at co-host Sandy’s blog.

Would you like to join in this week?

Friendly Friday

92 thoughts on “Friendly Friday Challenge- Splendour in the Grass”

  1. What a fascinating selection of grasses and trees, Amanda. We’ve certainly reached the withered stage here in the Algarve, and keeping potted plants alive is a major undertaking. 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

        1. Hmm. I had not realized the climate there is so unpredictable and assumed you had a certain time for rains. How silly of me? I suppose it is semi arid climate?


          1. Not silly at all, because our climate is changing, Amanda. In general terms it can rain any time from October to March, but whether it does, and how much, is unknown. Many years we barely avoid drought conditions and this one is no exception. 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

            1. So you are seeing signs there of change too. My own son just told me that children who are 5 years old have already lived through 2 of the hottest ever years of this planet. I had to get to 52 before I experienced this. Sort of puts it into perspective.

              Liked by 1 person

    1. I think you would, Brian. In fact as I was scrolling through my wordpress media library looking for suitable photos to add to this Friendly Friday post, I came across your photos that I re-blogged. (when you re-blog the photos from the post are added to the media library of the person who is posting the re-blog.)


              1. You post a lot of photos so I can imagine that level. I resize everything now – never used to. I got rid of a lot of old irrelevant posts, and any extra photos not needed. They did help somewhat. Can you do the same, or another trick – start a secondary blog. I have four but only two active. You lose your followers but gain extra space.

                Liked by 1 person

              2. Each blog appears to have a new address even though they are attached to the same dashboard. My second blog at the Home by the Sea is which is rather different from my first and main blog
                However, this is what happens with the free plan. A paid plan might be different.

                Liked by 1 person

              3. Thanks Amanda. I don’t think starting a new page would give me the 13GB of space again without a monetary charge. My media page says to upgrade so I guess reducing will be the best way. I have been recycling old photos to stave off doing that as it seem daunting. Two screens would help but I am not that tech savvy or have another screen.

                Liked by 1 person

              4. Perhaps you could keep your domain as you choose yours with a paid plan.
                I just had a quick look at plans and you might be right, though. There used to be a button that allowed one to add a new blog. It has disappeared now, unless I can’t find it. So I am glad I started the four blogs so I can go back to them if I want.
                If you did start a new blog you could export and import the things you want to keep but that is only content, not followers….

                Liked by 1 person

    1. I am happy that you licked the photos PiP, but the two you chose are not mine. I have linked for photo crediting. I assume you would need a very good camera to capture that moon view photo in Japan.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I wouldn’t have thought of the different variations in grass. The landscapes of Japanese grass is something and Australia’s grass trees! I’m always amazed at Australia’s unique flora and fauna.

    So much potential for creativity with this week’s challenge Amanda! I look forward to seeing peoples’ interpretations.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I thought about varying the title so that it could be interpreted in a variety of ways, especially if there is no grass. It might even be a picnic on artificial turf!


    1. The grass trees are rather special, Maria. The Aboriginals call them gins! They are generally a sign of poor soils and because of this, some stands have been saved from development. Thank goodness for that because a grass tree 1 metre high might be as much as 80 years old or more.


    1. The blades of grass are not as interesting as the flower heads which are quite diverse. They seem to have one common characteristic – thin stalks and seeds on a linear stalk, in various forms. Nature is amazing isn’t it? That grass in Japan must set allergies going, but to walk through the grass which is as tall as a person must be special indeed. ( as long as I had taken an anti-histamine first!)


  3. Have to laugh about your Helsinki photo of grasses so green ! Well, I was born in that city opposite it on the Gulf of Finland: Tallinn . . . I can assure you the grasses are abundant and very green there also. I was getting into my teens when I arrived in Australia and have to admit ‘I love a sunburnt country’ was a bit of an ‘ask’ ! Everything seemed so dry, so dull, so same-same !! Oh I grew to love Australia with its freedoms and lifestyle very soon, but driving say from Sydney>Melbourne still seemed same-same for many years. Maturity was slow in coming but now a desert-looking landscape with its saltbush et al is not only home I would never leave but a ‘thing of beauty’ to my eyes . . . the grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence . . .


    1. I am very interested in your comments, Eha mainly because I think that the Scandi and European grass and luminescent green vistas are more attractive than my own dry country with its blue green Eucalyptus foliage and yellow-brown grass. When I return home from Europe I always think like you it’s too dry; it is too boring and yet so many people love it here. Australia’s real treasure is it diversity, in terms of fauna and that makes Australia unique and special and much loved.
      I was entranced by Talliin in 2011-12 with its winter coat. Beautiful memories there but almost succumbed to a large snowdrift falling from the roof onto the pavement where I was walking.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Methinks psychology and individual feeling-worlds enter the arena . . . I am older than you and have been here longer than you. Estonia will always proudly be my birth country but Australia, with all its good and not-so-good sides became home a very long time ago . I have lived practically at the door of one of our national parks for over a quarter century . . . . ‘I’ve grown accustomed to her face’ one aught say . . . I love the kookaburras and King Island parrots in my garden as I wake and shoo the big white galahs in their dozens most days . . . put up with most of the creepy-crawlies, chase the ruddy snakes with the nearest stick . . . and, somehow, feel ‘comfortable’ with the endless grey-green eucalypts . . . smile – ’tis more in the mind than the eye . . .

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I agree – Eha. If what you are saying is that it is an attitude or mindset? I know that I am now one-eyed in terms of Europe and Scandinavia in particular. Everything else will be a poor second or third, fourth etc. Having said that, this is my home so I have found an environment here that is to my liking and I am happy. It is just a bit hot for me, and well, that has to be tolerated. The birdlife in Australia is some consolation, as it is so prolific and so beautifully unique.


        1. I am glad you posted the correct link as I would hate to have missed out on the visual genius of those photographs. The hare peeping behind the grass; the buck behind the tall grass and the first shot – well I was speechless on seeing that!
          You made me laugh at the scorched earth policy of the neighbours. Are they still using power tools in the middle of the night?

          Liked by 1 person

          1. They were quiet for the last 3 weeks until last night when they seemed to be having some kind of party until 1AM which is early for them!

            Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for joining in this week, Joanne. Sandy will have another topic posted today – or on Friday if you are in another time zone to me. I will take a look at your submission.


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