Up, up and away!

I’m off again after being home for just over a day.  I’m looking forward to the warmth of the Midwest region of Carnarvon, our agricultural region, mostly fruit and vegetables.  Probably too early for mangoes at the moment, but one can only hope!

DSCN8303.jpgThis is the main street.  Yes, that’s it folks!  Finding a parking spot is always a cinch!DSCN9385I remember seeing this male zebra finch in the scrub while driving 80 km/hr.  My ability to see birds in unexpected places, still amazes me!  But like I’ve said before, if you look for it, you find it.DSCN8169.jpgThe skies here are awesome.  During a storm or …DSCN8315.jpgon a clear day, as Barbra sang, “you can see forever”.DSCN8345I found this outside the public toilets at Pelican Point, a favourite place for locals to do a bit of kite surfing.  It always makes me smile!

I have so many enjoyable memories of places I visit that I’m always happy to visit again.  My hobby of photography has taught me, enjoy and keep what brings joy … which brings me to my goal next month.

My goal is to wean myself off headlines about ‘world leaders’.  I no longer want to scratch my head and wonder how and why.  The exasperation this brings, I can live without.

As a child I remember we heard the news twice a day on what was then Radio Ceylon; the BBC World Service.  You could hear a pin drop during the news as my parents would insist on this.  Then we got the newspaper from the city.  It was still news when it arrived a day later.  I watched an elderly man in Esperance recently who was walking home from the corner shop, with a newspaper rolled up under his arm.  A rare sight I thought.  The habit of clicking news headlines is now in our fingertips, it would seem.  How quickly times have changed.

I want a simpler life.  Am I returning to where I started from?  If I am, that’s okay with me, because I came from a happy place, where I keep my memories.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird




Batten down!



I tried to leave home before the storm hit.  The weather bureau predicted it was severe and one of two such storms in a given year.  The message was simple.  “Batten down!”  For once, the prediction was correct.  The rain, a deluge, forced me off the road and forced me to seek shelter at a petrol station off the highway, as did the 100 km/hour high winds.  I got to Bunbury just before it got too dark.

DSCN8407.jpgThis sunset at Back Beach in Bunbury, did, however, salvage the day for me.  It was cold.  It was wild.  It was magnificent.DSCN8353.jpgThe storm passed over night.  The next day I went to Big Swamp after work.  There seemed to be more swamp hens than I’ve ever seen before.  I love them!  Usually shy, this one was bold and sounded a raucous warning of my presence.DSCN8366.jpgThe path to the water is decked with winter colours.DSCN8359.jpgThe purple pea flower was prolific winding over shrubs and trees.DSCN8371.jpgI’m not sure what this plant is called but it is unusual.  Flowers grow on stalks that are on both sides of the leaf.

I returned home with the knowledge, it is spring next month.  Until then, one can only hope, rain means more wildflowers this year.  My work will be taking me to them.  I can’t wait!

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird


What is balance?

Early Sunday morning, coffee in hand, I listened to the rain in the dark.  Although winter has some special moments, I couldn’t help but smile to see it was getting lighter, earlier.  Spring is on the way.

On a recent trip to Esperance it was cold, too cold, to do much else other than stay indoors and warm.  I decided to do what I did years ago and went into the cyclical pattern of work, back to hotel to write reports, work again.  One and a half days of this and I was exhausted.  Something was missing in my life.  I went for a massage after work at the end of the second day.  The young Chinese girl worked hard at my poor “too tight muscles”.

The next morning the sun shone for a short while.  I dressed and went to Esperance Bay to catch daybreak.  Half an hour outdoors, and I was myself again.

DSCN8300.jpgI watched the sun rise beyond my favourite seat on the Bay.  DSCN8288.jpgAs day broke, I noticed the few days of storm surge had muddied the Bay, but did not steal the beauty.  DSCN8304.jpgAlthough I love this sculpture, I’m always disappointed, someone did not have the foresight to position this in a better place.  No matter which way you photograph it, there is always something that should not be in the background.  Beauty, misplaced.DSCN8320.jpgBut not at Woody Lake.  I found a wild clematis (I think) vine starting its journey across shrubs.  Yes, spring!DSCN8322.jpgAnd among the grass, scores of tiny yellow rumped thornbill, too quick, except for one.

I learned during this trip.  I’ve become accustomed to the mindfulness moments.  My body and mind needs this to function effectively.

And when I’m home, reflecting on these moments, does the same for me.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird



Inflight angel

She is slender with skin like ebony, smooth and dark.  Her eye lashes are naturally long and curled.  Her long hair is captive in a netted chignon.  Her bilingual skills are evident in her faint French accent each time she says, “attentsheeon”.  In a noisy plane, I watch her lean closer to the elderly man and say, “Monsieur, would you like some coffee?  Tea?”  Her sparkling teeth framed in a smile, floods the small plane with light.  He beams back at her.  “Tea, thanks, love”, he responds happily.  Her light, her aura, is generous.  We all share this during a short flight.

The small plane shook and rattled.  We are flying into a very strong headwind, punching through big angry clouds.  I catch her eye, me from the back, and she in the front.  She smiles.  I, do, too.  Secretly, we both know, we are serene as ducks on a pond, each hiding the anxiety that wells inside.  We laugh nervously when saying goodbye.  No more words needed.  We are safe.

I’ve taught myself to be less anxious on these flights.  I focus on taking photographs or visualize my return home.

These are some of the pictures I keep in memory ….DSCN7519.jpgA musk duck trying to look cool while expelling a blast of bubbles when attempting to attract a mate!thumb_IMG_3282_1024.jpgPerth Airport, just before I flew out the other day.  thumb_IMG_3310_1024.jpgI’ve come to know the Midwest is gorgeous in winter.  This hill is on approach to Geraldton.thumb_IMG_3308_1024.jpgIf you wake early enough, you’ll find frost on desert flowers in the mining region.thumb_IMG_3276_1024.jpgAnd when I return home, it’s time to stop and smell the roses.thumb_IMG_3273_1024.jpg

No medication can match the effectiveness of these strategies, for me.

Part of the journey was letting go of what I knew and stepping into the unknown.  I found it was not a bad place to be!

I’m no longer a nervous traveller.  A stormy sky no longer makes me anxious.  I’ve learned to trust.  It is as big a step, as learning to forgive.  I found when you do, you give yourself an amazing gift.

You start to live.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird


“Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes” is a quote by Carl Jung that resonates with me.

As I wrote in the previous post, as a child I merely looked through a window at a world that was and may have been.  I did not really experience it.  I do now.

While bush walking there is much to see, hear, smell, taste and touch.  It makes one alert to the sensory experience of being in the natural world.

Although this is big country with magnificent landscape, I’ve learnt to look for small things too.  So I’ll share some with you.DSCN8230.jpgI found a cluster of bell-like gum nuts at my feet.  Although they will not bloom like other similar blossoms, their beauty is more accessible, close up.  This is how it is meant to be, for some.DSCN8169.jpgI look for solitary things in nature.  Things that should belong together, but somehow fall away.  Their beauty is undiminished, in isolation.  For some, it takes effort to believe in this but when they do, the rewards are endless.DSCN8252.jpgI prefer not to touch an object before I photograph it.  I feel I need to respect the space where the object has come to rest.  It was there for a reason.  Things happen for a reason.  It is something I’ve come to respect about life, too.DSCN8243During this walk, I followed a trail of clover.  It was a delicate wreath that wound itself around a massive rock.  The dichotomy of strength and fragility, written in simple lines.  And, yes, they can co-exist, each not detracting beauty from the other.DSCN8233.jpgI know now, even green leaves fall away and come to rest until they disintegrate in the wind.  This is their journey, not mine.  The moment shared was finite.  So is life.DSCN8232.jpgSome are plain, beige, but sparkle best, when it rains.  I’ve come to learn some people rise to their adversity, and can land softly, among rocks.DSCN8076.jpgSome fade with a kaleidoscope explosion of colour.  The message is clear.  I was here once.DSCN8253.jpgWhile others, are golden, among green.  They signal season.  A time for everything, and everything, in time.

This is my time.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird


The sky, a canvas

Clouds infer different meanings.  For me, they bring joy.  They represent drama and art in the sky, and sometimes, I find clouds just above ground.

DSCN7279.jpgSunrise, Esperance Bay, Western Australiathumb_IMG_0249_1024.jpgSunset, The Fascine, Carnarvon, Western Australiadscn5487Full moon, Wheatbelt, Western Australia

DSCN9861.JPGA cloud of little corellas, home, Western Australia

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird



An open heart, dreams big

I came to Australia as a migrant over 40 years ago, an anniversary I celebrate this month with affection.

This morning, I recalled my youth in India.

A child of no more than eight, I would sit at the window in the bedroom.  It overlooked an open field where water buffalo grazed before returning to their owners at dusk.  I would pretend I was completing my home work while my thoughts drifted to far away places that may or may not have existed on the other side of the world.

I believe from the age of six, I had promised everyone within earshot, I would leave on a plane one day and travel the world.  For a little girl to have such big dreams, I’m sure it caused my mother some stress.  It was a different world then.

That little girl went on to live in Canada and for a brief time, in the UK, too.  She travelled the world, one that existed in her dreams and found, at times, it was as amazing in reality.

But now, she calls Australia, home.

Over the years, I did what most migrants do.  I worked.  I studied.  I raised a family.  I created a home for my children.  Disenchanted with some aspects of being an employee, I travelled my own path and started my own business with nothing but a degree and courage.  I now provide a service I could never have dreamed of, to the wider community.DSCN8131.jpgI woke this morning in cold and frosty Narrogin.  It was a challenge to get out of bed but I could not help but feel so blessed.DSCN8132.jpgThe sunrise was magnificent over the township.  Snuggled deep under covers, I felt I was the only one watching the sun emerge.DSCN8128.jpgI stayed warm in bed, until past sunrise.  I knew it was too cold, even for birds.DSCN8206.jpgI then set off to Foxes Lair, took a deep breath while taking off my sunglasses and settled down to the big experience of the ‘here and now’.DSCN8187.jpgI was there with the usual early morning company.DSCN8223.jpgIt was interesting to see the change of seasons reflected in nature.  The bush is just starting to burst into colour, with striking fronds of flowers.DSCN8270.jpgA little pink, too, here and there.DSCN8255.jpgAnd, tiny flowers of ground cover.DSCN8137.jpgThe dryandra, beautiful but prickly, everywhere.DSCN8141.jpgThe honey eaters love this plant.  Bees, too, but they were not buzzing today.  Perhaps, too cold this morning for them.DSCN8161.jpgThe kookaburra emerged from a hole in the tree.  It started to chortle.  It sounded like a kettle coming up to the boil, before it reached the crescendo that is so typical of its call.DSCN8167.jpgAnd when it stopped, it looked straight down at me!

I charted a path in my youth.  It was magical and filled with dreams of the, seemingly, impossible.

I still do the same each day.

Today, smiling, I stood eye to eye with the young kookaburra and thought, why wouldn’t I?

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

My winter garden

I switched off the lights, computer and TV last evening.  A belated Earth Day, if you like.  I closed my eyes and experienced the storm that was passing overhead.  The rain lashed down as only a Perth winter can deliver.  There was some intermittent hail, too.  I listened to every sound.  It was intense.  As a child I feared storms as my nanny had told me lighting can strike an exposed mirror, so I hid under covers as she threw a sheet over anything reflective.  I no longer cower.  I’ve come to realise storms are a sensory experience like no other.

In the darkness I envisioned my spring garden.  I’m preparing the garden for my son’s wedding next year.  He insists on his groomsmen coming to the home and having some pre-wedding photographs in “the family home”.  His sentiment, warms my heart.

This morning I walked through the back gardens and found winter’s touch everywhere.

DSCN8100.jpgThe mulberry tree is stripped bare of leaves.DSCN8098.jpgThere’s a soft and squelching carpet underfoot.DSCN8099.jpgI sneaked in a quick picture of a nest when there were no birds around.  DSCN8108.jpgI came around the home to the side garden where the geraniums always bloom.  Their vivid colour in winter is an obvious delight.DSCN8110.jpgIn the front garden, the roses defy winter, having found intermittent warmth during autumn.  They are putting up a showy display before pruning.DSCN8109.jpgThis bloom is as big as an infant’s face.  The perfume is exquisite.DSCN8113.jpgI love this rose that starts to bloom with the faintest tinge of pink.DSCN8114.jpgThere is just one pink rose on the front arbor.DSCN8119.jpgWith a promise of another, yet to bloom.

A walk around my winter garden took me from the stark, barren trees to beautiful blooms, and a promise of more to come.  It mirrored life’s journey.

I’m in a good place.  I now know, this is how it was meant to be.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird


This life


Outside is Perth winter.  Wet with splashes of sunlight.

A coffee cup warming my palm, I looked outdoors at the rain and reflected on a poem a friend shared online.  I thought it was beautiful and wanted to pass it on.

My Soul Has a Hat

I counted my years and realized that I have less time to live by, than I have lived so far.

I feel like a child who won a pack of candies: at first, he ate them with pleasure but when he realized that there was little left, he began to taste them intensely.

I have no time for endless meetings where the statutes, rules, procedures and internal regulations are discussed, knowing that nothing will be done.

I no longer have the patience to stand absurd people who, despite their chronological age, have not grown up.

My time is too short: I want the essence; my spirit is in a hurry. I do not have much candy in the package anymore.

I want to live next to humans, very realistic people who know how to laugh at their mistakes and who are not inflated by their own triumphs and who take responsibility for their actions. In this way, human dignity is defended and we live in truth and honesty.

It is the essentials that make life useful.

I want to surround myself with people who know how to touch the hearts of those whom hard strokes of life have learned to grow with sweet touches of the soul.

Yes, I’m in a hurry. I’m in a hurry to live with the intensity that only maturity can give.

I do not intend to waste any of the remaining desserts. I am sure they will be exquisite, much more than those eaten so far.

My goal is to reach the end satisfied and at peace with my loved ones and my conscience.

We have two lives and the second begins when you realize you only have one.

by Mario de Andrade (Sao Paolo 1893-1945)

Through my camera lens, I’ve discovered my second life.  It is one that I embrace.  I did not seek it.  It came to me.  Critical in the exchange was a receptiveness on my part.  Now, it is me who seeks it.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

In the company of robins

Each morning I shivered as I dressed in layers.  The temptation to be among nature overrode the discomfort.  On my last morning my appointment was earlier so I planned to skip my walk and have a leisurely breakfast, pack and check out instead.  The first tweet I heard, changed my plans.  Just like that!

DSCN8033.jpgI went for a quick walk and when I returned to the property, something fell from the tree in front of me.DSCN7863.jpgA pair of white breasted robins.  DSCN8053.jpgOne was friendly and stayed with me.  Or perhaps, I was following.DSCN8054.jpgThe delight of company!DSCN8052.jpgBoth equally curious about the other.DSCN8051.jpgMy hands shook with delight so I tried hard to relax, so did the robin.DSCN7890.jpgIt hopped and flew all around me.DSCN7893The other hid behind pots but managed one shy look, and retreated again.

I spent no more than twenty minutes outdoors.  It renewed me.

I’m back at home in the city.  This morning I went outdoors and wandered in a bleak winter garden.  I found a honeyeater’s tiny nest in a tree.  There’s always something to delight the eye, if you seek it.  That has become my philosophy.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

Vintage, me

I have just returned from beautiful Balingup, in the south-west of Western Australia.  A tiny hamlet of less than 300 people.  The weather was gorgeous.  Sunny days.  Zero degrees at night.  I rented a rammed earth cottage for three nights and used it as my base while I worked in nearby towns.  The self-contained cottage had all the comforts.  There were Belgian chocolates galore in every nook and cranny.  They all called my name!  A bottle of Cab Sav. Freshly baked bread.  A basket of breakfast goodies.  I could not have asked for more.

I arrived at dusk.  I’ve stayed here before and drove in carefully on an unsealed road in darkness.  The owner lit a roaring fire for me.  He promised to leave the newspaper at the door early morning.  When did I last touch a newspaper!  After dinner I climbed into bed, snug with an alpaca rug and awaited dawn.  I smiled in the dark as possums scratched the window.  DSCN7921.jpgThe cottage balcony faced forest.  This was the view I woke to each day.  The sun streamed in through mist.  Kookaburras laughed and chortled.  A smile travelled across my face, from ear to ear, and warmed me on the inside.DSCN7766.jpgEach morning I rugged up warm and headed out to explore with a grateful heart that delighted in all that I saw.DSCN7761.jpgThe pink camellias took my breath away.  Large as a man’s palm.DSCN7915.jpgThen there were double camellias.  The owner had left several in the cottage for me.  Gorgeous!DSCN7870.jpgI loved the white flowers, just as much.DSCN7775.jpgThe sunny jonquils bloomed despite the frost.DSCN7974.jpgThe white ones shimmered, too.DSCN7860.jpgA clump of these, added colour.DSCN7871.jpgEverywhere I looked, there was beautiful, delicate wattle, signalling winter.DSCN7999I walked along country roads. Contented.  At peace.  Empowered.  I have choice.  This realisation, is freedom.

Perhaps, it’s my vintage.  I’m mellowing with age.  Life is now defined by lifestyle.  I yearn for nothing else but more of the same.

This is how I would like my children to remember me.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird


Switching on and off


This is St Georges Beach in Geraldton, north of Perth.  It is one of my favourite spots in Geraldton to sit quietly and enjoy all that I see and hear.  The day I took this picture, the sunset was silver, the waves lapped gently and everything sparkled like I’ve never seen before.

I’m off to the South-West today for a few days of work.  From the warmth of the outback, I’m shifting gears.  I’m expecting the nights to be zero degrees and from the stark beauty of the outback, winter will be lush.

My work days promise to be busy.  But, I know I’ll find time to bush walk, take pictures, eat good produce, curl up near a roaring fire.  Write.  Read.  Dream big.

Take five is promoted for well being.  I practice this every day wherever I am.  I’ve found, if you look for it, you’ll find it, no matter how busy life is.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird




A walk on the wild side

I’ve returned from a trip to the outback.  I visited places I’ve never been to before.  I had planned to go another 300 plus kms further but due to heavy rain, the unsealed roads were closed.  I plan to go again in a few months when the road conditions are better.  This item on the bucket list has not been crossed off.  Yet.

The days were warm in gold mining country, the nights freezing cold.  This region was rich in diversity and bustling during the gold rush of the late 1800s.  I cannot imagine how folks got out here in those days.  It is remote and unforgiving country.  It took us 6.5 hours of hard driving on sealed roads to get here.  We had anticipated another 4 hours of driving on unsealed roads.  But it was not to be this time.DSCN7627.jpgThe wedgetail eagles were everywhere.  This was a juvenile.  The adult wing tip span can be up to 9 ft across.  They are magnificent in flight.DSCN7629.jpgI left the grey and wet of winter in Perth, to winter in the outback.  Warm 18 degrees celsius by day and a brrrr 2 degrees at night.  The hospitality at one hotel was interesting.  “Dinner is from 6-7 pm.  Come early so we can go home early!” was a no-fuss welcome.  Despite this, the dinner was delicious.  DSCN7662.jpgIn the silence, the oneness with nature, was an embrace like no other.  DSCN7694.jpgWe enjoyed the huge vistas.  We explored and wandered over rocks and gullies.  We stumbled upon a field of white quartz.  It looked like water had gone through this part with some force.  It was stunning.DSCN7711.jpgA fuzzy mauve stain in the red dirt caught my eye from across the road.  I walked up to it and found the most exquisite, tiny flowers growing in the harshest country.

I took a walk on the wild side.  I didn’t do everything I set out to do but I did venture outside my comfort zone.  There’s unfinished business that needs tidying up.  Roll on, October!

Until then

As always

a dawn bird