Lessons from nature

It’s a beautiful Sunday morning.  It is typical of autumn in Perth.  I went to bed looking forward to the next day and have been up for hours.  I have a list of things to complete before heading off again.  As the end of financial year looms (June), work ramps up with invoices to submit, and extra work to be picked up before the new budget.  Being sick for three out of the four weeks in April has been a drag and I’m behind on most things.  Today is the first day I feel well and myself again.  I hope to make a small dent in what I have to complete.

My home is undergoing the second part of the renovation.  I am project managing this.  I have no idea how I fit it all in.  It is chaos in the home with nothing where it should be.  I’ve had to rely on superhuman resilience.  I take one day at a time and within the day, I have moments where I come up for air.  Like now.  I learnt this strategy from nature.  From the red cap sand plover.

The red cap sand plover is a tiny bird.  I absolutely love them!  They are very difficult to see along the shore because they blend in so well.  I found one in Lake Thetis once and always on the look out for them when I visit.  They are quick on land and scurry at great speed.  I’ve only seen one fly maybe twice in all the times I’ve photographed them.  They race across the sand, stop for a moment, feed and then repeat.  It can cover great distances this way.  If the strategy works for the red cap sand plover, surely it must work for me!

DSCN7023.jpgDuring one trip to Lake Thetis I searched for the tiny bird for over an hour and then reluctantly decided, it was not my day.  I took one last photograph of the Lake before turning around to walk away.DSCN7028.jpgThen an imperceptible movement caught my eye.  By the shore.DSCN7029.jpgIt turned around and looked straight at me!  Joy!DSCN7040.jpgThen turned away, the beautiful red cap clearly visible.DSCN7047.jpgThe stride is quick and effortless.DSCN7048The stop and stare, well, fierce comes to mind!DSCN7061.jpgThis bird is a tiny creature.  Yet, somehow, has the capacity to fill vastness by mere presence.

Some people do this, too.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird


Kindness of strangers

via Daily Prompt: Rivulet

I was headed to a town close to Lake Thetis, some 200 km north of Perth.  I had researched it and was keen to visit.  It is famous for the living marine stromatolites, considered to be ‘living fossils’, some thousands of years old.  It is off the beaten track and the first time I visited, I stayed in the car park and was not game enough to walk around on my own in isolation.  The next day curiosity got the better of me.  I ventured out and started to walk down the path.  A few hundred metres down and edge of the Lake is a viewing deck and I was enjoying the moment alone when I saw four men walking towards me.  I had no way to avoid them.  It is one path way in and out.  As they approached in high viz clothing I realised they were probably interested in what was out there, like me.  But I was still uneasy, with the isolation of the place making me jumpy.  Like me they stood around taking pictures.  I waited for them to move on.  I watched them until they disappeared towards the car park before walking to my car.  When I got there I realised they were sitting in their van.  The first thought I had was “They should have left by now.  Why are they waiting!”

I had to walk past their van to my car.  It’s funny how a white van can conjur up the worst case scenario.  I felt a frisson of anxiety creep in.  A tiny rivulet of perspiration trickled down my back.  I hoped I looked like I walked with confidence, and got into my car.  The men then backed out their van but not before giving me a smile and wave.  In that moment I realised they may have been concerned for me, and waited until I returned to the safety of my car.

I’ve returned many times to Lake Thetis.  I love the place.  The special ecology makes it almost sacred.  I’ve enjoyed many a quiet moment here.  DSCN7024.jpgI love the sound of my hollow footsteps as I walk down the ‘gang plank’ to the viewing area.DSCN0004.jpgThe stromatolites look like giant cow pats.  I come here for the bird life too.DSCN9988.jpgOn one trip the white faced heron was my muse.DSCN7068.jpgSuch elegance!DSCN7071.jpgAnd simple lines!DSCN9997And in the distance, the large cormorant seemed almost fluffy, in comparison.

It has been a few years since that incident.  The kindness of those strangers I remember well.  After all my travel experiences, I know traveling alone is generally pretty safe.

I’m not risk taking as such but the thrill of photographing something new can sometimes lead me astray!  So I continue to rely on the kindness of strangers and bring photographs home to share with you.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird




via Daily Prompt: Bestow

Today is the anniversary of my first date with someone.  It was decades ago but the memory as vivid as yesterday.  It was a hot day (40 degrees Celsius), unlike a cool 24 degrees today.  I was young and foolish.  I jumped on the back of his fast motorbike wearing just shorts, a tee shirt and sandals.  I had just had a pedicure and did not want my feet enclosed.  (Oh! the vanities of youth!)  We rode out of Perth to a small town less than 100 kms away.  We walked hand in hand and then stopped for scones and tea.  I spotted an antiques store and we lingered some more.  Soon the sun was waning, we decided it was time to get back to the city.  The area is teeming with kangaroos and we did not want to come across one at dusk.  Helmets on, we revved up and headed home.

As the sun slipped away lower into the horizon, the tree lined highway was dappled with sunlight.  He was doing the speed limit of 80 km/hour, when he failed to take a bend.  The bike slipped off the hard road into the soft gravel shoulder.  It bounced, twisted and danced in air.  I flew over his head like a stone from a catapult, skidding on bitumen like I was body surfing and then stopped with an almighty thud.  He held on to the bike for a fraction longer, before it bucked and threw him off, continuing for several hundred metres before a tree forced a stop.

He was also injured and could not reach me, but I could hear his urgent pleas, “Get off the road!”  Lying in the middle of a highway frequented by road trains that could not have stopped, his pleas became increasingly frantic.  My body moved in slow motion.  I lifted myself into a seated position and then bent over laughing at the slapstick comedy of it all.  I was obviously in shock.  Then I saw my right arm, or rather, what I could see.  The laughing stopped.

A nurse who lived on a farm nearby heard the crash and saw the smoke.  She raced across the paddock and approached the scene, all sombre, efficient and instructive.  She lay me down on the side of the road.  She fashioned support from the broken fairing and lay my shattered arm on it.  Being Anzac Day, a public holiday, the traffic, fortunately and unfortunately, was light.  Unable to leave me, the nurse waited for someone to come by.  A truckie finally did.  He was unable to call the local hospital.  This was the days before mobile phones.  He finally got someone in Sydney on the CB radio who phoned the hospital.  Being a holiday the staff were all on roster, enjoying a BBQ.  By the time the ambulance staff could be contacted, it was over two hours from the time of the accident.  By then the pain took over.  We headed into Perth with the ambulance wailing.  Still in shock, I complained bitterly about the nail polish being totally wiped off my nails on one foot that had dragged along the bitumen!

I spent months in hospital recovering from my numerous injuries and then another four surgeries and hours of therapy before my arm was functional.

Years later I married my date.  The father of my children.

Because of that day I have love and laughter in my life.  I have family.  I am mother.  I experience motherhood.  The best gift he could bestow.

As the years go by, I know one thing for sure.  I wouldn’t have missed that ride, for quids.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird






“….this moment, is your life”

via Daily Prompt: Vague

It must have been about ten years ago when I first went to Port Hedland.  Not knowing what to expect I researched the area before the trip.  To my surprise there was more to see than just Port, salt mines, and iron ore laden freight transported by rail or sea.  What did surprise me was the vivid colours of the landscape.

There is no way the mining Pilbara region up north can be described in vague terms.  What you see, is what you get.

DSCN7195.jpgIt is hot.  It is red.  It is dusty.  The sky is blue.  It is magnificent.  DSCN7210.jpgThere is a solitary tree at Spoilbank, in South Hedland.  It is my favourite view from across the water.  This is harsh country exposed to cyclones.  I love the statement it makes.  DSCN7161.jpgThe muted shades of dusk.DSCN7163.jpgThe day ends beyond (tidal) Pretty Pool.  It casts an iridescent glow.DSCN7154.jpgThe bird life at Pretty Pool is discreet.  This heron was among the mangroves.  It was barely bigger than a crow.DSCN7152.jpgWith a stretch that was amazing!DSCN9593.jpgThe tide had left a calling card.  DSCN9563.jpgMy favourite place early morning is near a church.  The eagles like it too.DSCN9559.jpgThe magnificent cargo ships glide by, often without sound.DSCN7203.jpgI’ve visited Cemetery Beach before when the turtles were hatching.  (Yes, the beach is across the cemetery!).  This time I found sculptures on shore.  The real turtles in the sea were too quick to photograph.DSCN7201.jpgA beautiful egret.  An Eastern Reef egret, I think.DSCN7207.jpgThe rugged Pilbara shore.

I had lunch with my son yesterday.  I was telling him how hot it was in Port Hedland when I was there.  I got off the flight to temperature that was 17 degrees hotter than Perth.  I was sharing with him the sights and sounds of the Pilbara when he asked how come I am still enthusiastic about work after all these years of travel.  My answer was simple.  I practice the quote from The Rubaiyat by Omar Khayyam:  “Be happy for this moment.  This moment is your life.”

It is the essence of being alive.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird



Feast or famine

via Daily Prompt: Partake

Life is a feast.  Yes, a cliche we have heard many a time.  What does it really mean?  For me, it is how one looks and experiences life.  It is how you partake in it that one can regard it as feast, or famine.

When necessary, some professionals will delve into people’s early childhood to search for ‘thinking’ seeds that were sown early.  The search guides their understanding and practice.  This makes sense.  Yes, it is how people perceive things that is always more interesting because it shapes who they become.  My early thinking was shaped by a strong work ethic by parents, nothing in life is handed on a silver platter.  I know I resented my strict upbringing.  It seemed so unfair when my parents had the means to indulge us.

As my book takes shape, my reflections of early childhood are changing.  The skeletons are not rattling, they are dancing to the beat of the keyboard.  I’ve come to realize my family history is populated with interesting people who saw the world, their way.  I know my life history is enriched by them being in it.

I’m not quite sure when my perceptions started to change.  Perhaps they were dormant for a while, perhaps, not, but I do recall myself as a child who viewed the world with wonder.  And, when the world I lived in had jagged edges, I created my own world of fairies, goblins and magical things in the garden, thanks to Enid Blyton.  It is not what I did that made the difference.  It was knowing when to make a difference.

Not much has changed from early childhood.  I continue to see life as a feast filled with opportunities and wonder.  Perhaps the next two photographs will illustrate this point.

Way up north in Kooljaman, Cape Leveque, about 200 kms north of Broome I woke to a  warm morning.  It is a beautiful place of untouched rugged beauty.  I walked around the grounds where I was staying, taking in all the sights, sounds and perfume of frangipani.  The bird life was prolific.

DSCN6306.jpgI stood under the canopy.  I knew I could choose to be either frustrated or excited at what I could hear but not see.

DSCN6360.jpgYou can imagine my excitement to catch this fleeting moment, high up in the tree!

What I experienced in that moment, was a sense of satiety.  I had feasted on a moment.  I was hungry for nothing else.  It made my day complete.

Yes, I choose to live life …. feasting.  The choice is simple when put into practice.

Where ever you are may you, too, be guided by choice.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird




via Daily Prompt: Authentic


There is nothing more disconcerting that watching yourself in someone’s eyes and seeing what they perceive you to be.  The silent judgement is deafening.  The noise can extinguish life, as you breathe.  Not today, though.

I woke this morning with one thought.  Who I am today, is who I am.  In an instant, I was in the present.  Unshackled from the past,  I was free.  The moment felt delicious.  So I lingered and savoured it all day.

I realised there were so many things I could do today because I was me.  The thought gave me wings!  Oh! the freedom!

I switched off the phone.  Made a list.  Crossed off tasks completed.  I closed doors.  I opened windows.  I let in cool, fresh air.  I gathered up the last of the roses.  I took out garbage and set it kerbside.  I wrote.  I read.  I listened.

I reflected on those who have crossed my path in less than positive ways.  How lucky I am today to be me!  I did not have to dig deep to forgive them.  What I let go, I gained immeasurably. The thought, a gift to me.

I cleared shelves of unwanted objects.  I did the same with thoughts.  Then refilled the empty recesses with the joy, I had the freedom to be me today.

I realised my presence is transient like the tide.  My shadow will always be taller than me.  I know today what I lack in presence, I make up in substance.  I am strong and resilient.  I am me.

As my day ends I know the best gift I have received today, is the ability to accept the authentic me.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird


Love, the unexpected

via Daily Prompt: Song


Those who love photography will know the feeling of an unexpected image.  It generates a visceral response.  A reflex.  The stance is automatic.  Point and capture the moment.  It is rare for me to experience this without a camera.  But I did yesterday.

At the end of the day I felt contented.  I was home with soup simmering for hours in the kitchen.  As it needed a few more hours, I sat down to watch TV.  Flicking through channels of ‘reality TV’ with edited scripted spontaneity not cutting it for me, I was about to turn off and write reports when I stumbled upon it.  A documentary about an American couple.  So why did I sit, spellbound, for over an hour?  Let me share their story as succinctly as I can.

Richard and Mildred Loving fell in love in the 1950s.  They lived in rural Virginia.  He, all American blond boy, who spent weekends drag racing, as other boys of his era did.  She was slender, with long limbs, angular cheek bones reflecting her proud heritage, American Indian and African American.  They married, they claim not knowing inter-racial marriages were a crime in their State.  In an era where the reach of technology was short, being banned from their State effectively starved the young couple with three children, of support from family and friends.  Two young lawyers took up their cause, fired by the civil rights movement of the early 1960s.  They took it to the Supreme Court and won the case, decriminalising inter racial marriage, the waves of that tsunami, hit 16 other States.  I watched the documentary captivated by the story of all the players.  Each had their own agenda, but Richard Loving outlined it best when his lawyers asked him what to tell the Supreme Court.  He said simply, “Tell them I love my wife”.

I know the story of change.  The big players of the time.  Rosa Parks.  Martin Luther King Jr.  The Kennedys.  But, I didn’t know this simple, powerful story of love.

I learned this morning a movie was made about the couple in 2016.  I didn’t know this.  Of course, that’s not too surprising.  I rarely watch anything that comes out of Hollywood, nor will I be rushing to watch this on small screen, even if it was Oscar worthy.

The best images for me were by the photographer who captured beautiful, tender moments of couple and family that were interspersed throughout the documentary.  A man mowing a tatty lawn, doing puzzles with his children.  A lean mother cooking over a stove, her small pots, too small to feed a family of five.  A couple joined in tender kiss.  A burly man leaning his head on his wife’s slender, strong shoulders.  Her doe like gentleness belied the strength she would have needed to cope with this all.  Yes, the photographer caught those unexpected moments, that gave voice to a story.

The love story of Richard and Mildred, has found a place in my heart, like a song.  May it do in yours too.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird



Heaven, helps us all

via Daily Prompt: Deplete

Winter had hit Esperance it seemed.  It was windy, cold and wet when I arrived. Having caught a throat bug on the flight, I headed straight to the supermarket and bought a sachet of chicken soup (ugh!).  Wet cement, would have been more palatable.  Why chicken soup?  For me, it is synonymous with nurturing.  Before I was married I rented a room in a large home that belonged to a Polish widow who spoiled me thoroughly!  A mere cough would galvanize her into action.  I learnt to make chicken soup from her.  Chicken frames, beef bones, root vegetables (carrots, parsnips, turnips), celery including leaves, brown onions with skin, bay leaf and whole peppercorns, all placed in a large pot of cold water and then brought up to the boil.  Simmer, skimming the top, for several hours.  Strain, season, leave in the fridge, skim any residue fat, add freshly chopped carrots and celery, broken up angel hair pasta and bring to the boil again.  You’ve got a delicious, clear broth with vegetables and noodles.  The young adults call it “Mum’s witches brew”.  I swear by it.  It cures everything, for me.  I could hardly wait to get home and get the cauldron out.

The three days in Esperance were torturous.  I struggled into work for a few hours and then returned to bed, my energy deplete.  The boss, concerned at the way I looked, booked me in to see his doctor.  Country folks have big hearts!  Yes, I was too sick to work but not sick enough to crave being outside with my camera.  So it was torture and I was feeling stir crazy.  On the day of my return flight, I headed out to Woody Lake, new camera in hand.

DSCN6719.jpgI watched dawn break and fretted about the clouds.  The small plane would have to punch through these, the thought making me feel sicker than I had been.DSCN6738.jpgAs the sun broke through, I saw a line of birds above.DSCN6707.jpgOn one side were the Cape Barren Geese, large, ungainly birds on ground, but graceful in flight.DSCN6735.jpgDozens on ibis, untidy in formation, also headed somewhere else.  (I obviously need more practice with my new camera!).DSCN6739.jpgFar across the Lake, on my right, was a flotilla of pelicans, dozens of them.  On my left, a solitary white heron, posture perfect, even when alone.DSCN6745.jpgThinking that was my quota for the day, I started to drive out of the reserve slowly when I saw it, sitting all plumped up, large as a hen, a common bronze wing pigeon.DSCN6751.jpgPreening, pretty as a peacock, in an unguarded moment, challenging the notion of “common”.DSCN6682.jpgNear my car, a silver eye feeding.  Usually they swarm in small groups but this one was alone.DSCN6678.jpgEye to eye.  For a moment, it was heaven, right here on earth.

I’ve always found it difficult to explain my faith to my children.  I was raised to follow it, not question it.  I raised my children differently.  I have raised them to question authority.  So when they ask questions, I really don’t know the answers, other than having a faith base, works for me.

But I’ve been reflecting on the concept of heaven and hell.  What if I was taught incorrectly.  What if the message was, this was heaven.  If we recognize it as such, it can be.  Be it suburbia, city or outdoors.  I’ve found it just takes a moment of stillness, a moment of peace to achieve this.  A moment I found heals me, no matter what life throws my way.

My belief has shifted somewhat from my early childhood.  I now believe, if we practice this awareness, whether you are a believer or not, heaven helps us all.

In a world of unrest, this Sunday, my prayer is one of peace.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird



A simple truth

via Daily Prompt: Glimmer

During a recent trip to the Goldfields, my schedule was the usual rush.  Overwhelmed by it all, at lunchtime I went straight to the hotel, lay down on the bed with sandwich in hand, and watched Dr Phil for half an hour before returning to the office.  Big mistake!  Did I feel rested?  Not a bit. All that angst on TV was not entertainment and did not nurture what needed to be nurtured that day.

I finished work at 4:30, returned to my room and was asleep by 8 pm, waking in the morning still tired.  This was not the kind of life I envisaged for myself.  On reflection, what was missing was my usual break in the arboretum.  The next day, I bought lunch before going into work so I could dash straight to the park.

Big breath!  I’m alone!DSCN6659.jpgWell, not quite!  The noisy wattle bird, now silent, was within reach.  Keeping my movements small, I put the sandwich down and picked up my camera.

DSCN6661.jpgEmboldened by the quiet, the bird started to feed.  They are a joy to watch.


DSCN7071.jpgThe wattle bird has ordinary plumage, and blends into the scrub with ease.  But I look for the distinctive vivid yellow belly, when I find them, nestled deep in foliage.

DSCN7099The wattle bird is fascinating to watch when it feeds, with the delicate red wattles dangling on either side of the head.  What is sacrifices in an unattractive metallic cackle call, it makes up in elegance.

DSCN7102.jpgWhen the wattle bird left to feed elsewhere, I found an acacia, the tiny flower, bright as a spotlight. It shone a light on a simple truth.

Collectively these moments add glimmer to my day, otherwise, work would be tedium.  And, that’s not what earning a living, is meant to be.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird






The unexpected mob

via Daily Prompt: Haul

My work in regional areas is always busy.  My appointments run back to back, sometimes with barely 15 minutes for lunch.  So my reasoning is simple.  There is no better reason than this, than to have a bit of fun wherever I am.

The draw card at Narrogin is Foxes Lair.  I go there usually in the mornings.  I love the sounds of the bush as it awakes.  The larger birds – the large Carnaby Black Cockatoos, the Australian ringnecks, the kookaburras, the crows that sounds like they are hurt (aww, awww, awwwww), the pink and grey galahs create a cacophony before the tweets of the smaller birds are heard.  I love them all.

Autumn has arrived in Narrogin sooner than in the city.  There’s fog in the air at night and early morning, with just a hint of chill.  It is also the perfect time to eat breakfast in the reserve with just the birds in the canopy for company.  So I bought myself a coffee and a freshly baked danish and treaded my car through the narrow bush track in semi-darkness and waited for light.

At dawn I realised there were no flowers left in Foxes Lair, so there were no birds, but, the bees were humming up a storm among the prickly dryandra.  Disappointed, I was ready to haul my heavy heart into the car and return home.  My heart skipped a beat.

I know this reserve well now having visited it dozens of times.  I know a novel shape when I see one.  Was that a tree stump?  No!  It can’t be!

DSCN7053.jpgNot far away from my car, was a Western Grey kangaroo and joey.  Aren’t they perfect in the bush!

DSCN7056.jpgThese looked different to the ones in Esperance.

DSCN7059.jpgThe eyes, large and luminous.

DSCN7061.jpgWas that curiosity or a ‘don’t mess with me’ look?  This one was huge, the stance looked threatening.

DSCN7063.jpgWith another joey, much paler than the other one, they were eight in the mob.  They stared at me in silence.  Oh!  I wished my heart didn’t beat so loud!

For me, there’s nothing more beautiful than seeing kangaroos in the bush where they belong.  Their behaviour is different to the ones who are familiar with humans.  The wild kangaroos are shy and elusive.  I know they are here in the reserve but rarely see them, so this was a special treat.

I drove out of the Lair, and headed home.  My smile stretched from ear to ear.

The circumstances in my life have been a gift.  I received it, not knowing what was within it when I did.  Looking at these pictures, perhaps what was within, was being child like, and the ability to delight in the world around me.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird





Keep joy

via Daily Prompt: Churn

I stumbled upon the KonMarie philosophy of declutter a couple of years ago.  Soon ‘declutter’ became the buzzword around my home.  The philosophy is simple.  Keep what brings you joy.  How can one not be attracted to this kind of thinking!  I had to put it into practice!  I’m still loving it.

I took it one step further.  I made a conscious effort to bring joy into my life each day, in one form or another.

DSCN9117.jpgWhen I’m in Esperance, now my second home, I wake early to catch sunrise at the Bay.  I’m yet to see a repeat light show, as the one I saw that day.

DSCN9030.jpgI then head to Woody Lake where the white faced heron is perfect in silhouette.

DSCN9972.jpgIn my garden, I breathe deeply.  The roses are there to remind me.  Life is sweet.

DSCN5398.jpgI’m not big on garden ornaments, but I love this one.  My son used to sleep this way in infancy.  He says it was a reflection of inherited work ethic.  Head down, bum up!

DSCN5399.jpgThis elegant statue I bought in Kalgoorlie.  It is placed under the jasmine shrub.  She waits for it to bloom.  Waiting is good, sometimes.

DSCN5400.jpgI bought these rocks to remind me each day how uncomplicated life can be.  Why make it anything else?

I remember a time when life was simple.  I wish I had a picture to share with you.  In my childhood my mother prided herself on her home made ice cream.  She made an egg custard first and cooled it in a basin of iced water.  The cook would fill the ‘moat’ of the wooden ice cream maker with sawdust and chipped ice.  The sawdust kept it from melting too quickly.  The custard would be poured into a stainless steel bowl, a beater would disappear into it.  There would be furious activity as we took turns to churn the mixture.  Vanilla, peppermint, mango, chocolate.  Who could choose, just one?

This memory is ironic.  I have just about every gadget you can think of in the kitchen and use them all.  The only one I didn’t used and gave away, is an ice cream maker.  I just can’t bring myself to make ice cream, taking short cuts.  So I follow what my mother did.  I make an egg custard.  Then I churn the ice cream mid-way with a fork.


Like all memorable moments, my dried apricot ice cream, is a favourite family treat at Christmas.

I still miss the array of vanilla, peppermint, mango and chocolate ice cream, and the time when we didn’t have to choose just one.  Yes, a special memory and one I’ll keep.  It brings me joy.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird


Better late, than never

via Daily Prompt: Explore

In my twenties I saved madly and went overseas twice a year.  I had few commitments and my budget allowed for this.  I would scan travel brochures, picking out which countries I would visit first.  I travelled most of the places on my list but I have only just started to explore the world we live in.

Early morning in Exmouth I stopped the car kerbside.  To my left was an emu, visible intermittently while she pecked at the scrub, and frustratingly, just out of camera sight.  To my right was the small local cemetery within earshot of the sea.  In this town, a cemetery lives up to what it is perceived to be by those who still breathe.  Finality.  It was still and lonely.

DSCN9774.jpgThere would have been a time in my life when I have would turned tail and run, confronted.  Not this morning.  I felt I had the best company.  The yellow throated miner bird sat still and silent.  Reflective, like me.

DSCN9708.jpgMy galleries and museums are now different.  I look.  Touch.  Feel.  Sniff.  And taste the salt on my lips, and occasionally, cheeks.  Yes, the galleries and museums are more interactive.  I immerse myself.  I don’t want to miss a moment of the experience.

DSCN9682.jpgThese were embedded in rock.  Immovable despite the power of the sea.

DSCN9663.jpgThe tell tale signs of seagull that raided the turtle’s nest along the shore.  What is food to one, is death to another.  The cycle of life.

This Easter was a extra special one for me.  With their partners away, it was just the three of us, my children and me.  (And two eager dogs who wanted to sniff everything within range!).  We chose to sit in the formal dining room.  Their father and I bought the dining suite early in our marriage.  I’m loathe to discard it.  The timber glows.  The shine, is memories.

I listened to my children talk.  They share their lives with each other so easily.  They have conversations.  I have not heard them fight or disagree since their early childhood.  My son has a dry wit.  We are careful not to eat or drink when he’s telling a story, fearful someone will choke.  My daughter’s laughter is like a peal of bells.  She is his ideal audience.

When I travel I explore the world around me.  When I’m home, I explore family relationships with the same searching eye.  What I find is just as pleasing to the senses as a walk along the seashore.  At home the tangibility of the glue that keeps the family together, cannot be photographed.  But I know it will be shared in narratives of, this is how we lived.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird










Kindred spirits

via Daily Prompt: Radiant

There is a certain joy that comes from some memorable interactions.  The word prompt ignited a memory, so I’ll share with you.

Familiar with my circumstances I was told about her, a widow in the neighbourhood, so I visited.  Respective losses presumed to be common ground.  She was distant with others.  No one was allowed in the space she was in.

The carer raised her eyebrows in frustration and left the room.  I walked in.  I found her seated with her back to the window where sunlight streamed in.  The priest had told her to expect my visit.  She stared at the wall ahead of her, but responded to my greeting without looking at me.  I was honest with her.  Told her I was advised to see her because maybe we had things in common we could talk about.  She heard the ethnicity and the relative youth in my voice, turned around and gave me a baleful look silently.  When she spoke, she was haughty, with an Australian accent, rarely heard these days.  We could not have been more different.  Yet, I felt an instant connection, warm as an embrace.

Over the weeks that followed, I told her about my travels.  About the time …

DSCN0003when I drove through a weather cell in the Wheatbelt, frightened out of my wits, the huge road train turned into a road angel that afternoon and illuminated the instant dark.  I found silence and calm in a paddock, some 85 kms down the road.DSCN7196About my work in Moora where I go looking for the butterflies in the garden of my hotel.  She looked at the picture and said drily.  “It’s just a monarch!”  There was a slight thaw around her mouth when I said, “yes, wearing polkas!”DSCN7087.jpgI told her about my work in Bunbury where I found the ocean turns pink at dawn.DSCN9918.jpgAnd about the bees among the prickly dryandra in Narrogin, that look like a long eared bunny, close up.DSCN9631.jpgAbout the filigree found in leaves that remind me of the silver jewellery gypsies wear in Rajasthan.DSCN7771.jpgAnd the single, plain leaf in the sand that caught my eye even when there was so much more to see.DSCN9353.jpgHow the honeyeater’s song in the Goldfields helped me discover ….DSCN9366.jpgamong the tangles, there’s simple beauty.DSCN9342.jpgHow the flowers don’t all burst into bloom at once.  Maybe Nature sets a pace to slow us down.  Wait and see.DSCN7727.jpgI told her about the seagull with the broken foot that probably landed too hard at Walyalup Rocks, but can still fly.DSCN9507.jpgAnd about that time when locals in Bunbury asked each other if they saw the sunset the previous night.

She was visiting town and was returning to her son’s care.  At our last visit she looked brighter.  I thought she was glad to be leaving the city.  But no.  She asked me to give her the handbag that was out of reach.  She pulled out her iPhone.  Yes, iPhone!  She’s 80 plus!  She flicked through the photographs deftly and showed me one of a beautiful young woman in a wedding dress.  The style was post war.  She tells me it would have been their wedding anniversary that day.  They had 62 years together when he died.  He was the only man she had ever known. His work took him around the State, like me.  She was familiar with the towns we had talked about.  My journey, hers.

Her eyes welled up.  It took her by surprise.  She smiled and said softly, “he was my world”.  I told her he must have loved her deeply, because he left the world behind for her.

Her smile was radiant.  She knew exactly what I meant.  She cupped my face in her hands and said, “We are kindred spirits.  I may be losing my memory but I will never forget you”.

My prayer each morning is a simple one.  Lord, show me something beautiful to photograph, so I can share it with others.  I wished her goodbye and left with the knowledge, prayers never go unanswered.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird




The faux pas

via Daily Prompt: Toxic

I always carry a plastic bag with me when I travel, thinking I’ll need it in an emergency.  They are not yet banned in Perth but they are banned elsewhere in the State.

When in Exmouth, I decided I’d take it to the beach with me to bring back my loot of shells and rocks.  My faux pas was highly visible to other beach goers.  I could almost hear their tut tuts over the waves.  Their accusatory looks were understandable.  I was in a heritage marine park.  Using a plastic bag here is obscene.

On my return to Perth I happened to catch a documentary on plastic pollution.  I squirmed in my seat.  Like millions of others, I have contributed to the toxic waste in our seas.

I reflected on my use of plastic.  It is almost unavoidable.  How did we get this way?  When did carrying a plastic bottle of water become an accessory?

The law of supply and demand is simple.  The power of one, irrefutable.  It starts from within, in that place called social conscience, where clever marketing cannot find a foothold.  Something to think about.

So it’s cloth carry bags for me from now on.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird


The Boab Tree

via Daily Prompt: Warning


This boab tree stands solitary at Town Beach in Broome, in the far north of Western Australia.  It is a place I love to visit.  I enjoy it better, on my own.  It is possibly the only place in Western Australia where I can totally zone out and forget everything else. My mind and body needs this, from time to time, so I visit here as often as I can.

I love coming to Town Beach for the sunrise over Roebuck Bay.  As it is usually hot and humid in Broome, it is always a battle to keep the lens clear as one is instantly blinded by humidity clouding it.

Other people come here too but stand facing the Bay, waiting for the rays to burst through.  Once the drama is over, they turn their backs and walk away.

The boab tree grows slowly.  Some are ancient, hundreds of years old.  There is a certain something about it that is irresistible.  Some people are drawn to them, including me.

I have a colleague who never walks away from a boab tree without touching it silently.  The interaction looks so respectful, almost sacred, I tend to avert my eyes, to give her privacy.

This tree is young.  The girth is slender.  A youthful tree.  Perhaps, full of hope rather than wisdom.  I often think it needs a warning sign displayed for all to see.  “Touch it!  And, your life will change!”

It did for me.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird