Kovu, our little heir apparent

Yesterday I went straight from the airport to my son and his fiancee’s place to greet the new arrival.  They have two birds, three cats and claim, their family is now complete!

thumb_IMG_3567_1024.jpgThis is Kovu.  He is a chocolate labrador.  To say we are all smitten is putting it mildly.  I could not get enough photographs!

thumb_IMG_3576_1024.jpgWe squealed in whispers.  “Oh! look at those soft ears!”, “What big paws he has for a pup!”, “Oh, look, he just turned over!”.  Everything about him was a magic moment.

We are hoping to enjoy many more.

Thank you RDP!  Today’s prompt could not have been more timely and appropriate.  I could hardly wait this morning to share our joy with you.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

 

Shell middens

Crab Creek is about 20-25 kms outside of Broome, Western Australia.  It is an important region for migratory birds.  I love visiting here!  The road off the highway is now sealed for a few kms, then it is corrugated or soft sandy unsealed roads that only adds to the allure of this remote place.  The bumpy ride often leads to silence in the car.  I like this, too.DSCN9467.jpgThere is nothing more Kimberley than a landscape of red dust, blue sky and soft, grey-green foliage.  To me, these are roads that lead to somewhere special.  Always.DSCN9494.jpgThe walk to the beach has a warning about crocodiles, so this is not water one enters to swim, but it is beautiful to observe.DSCN9478.jpgThe mangroves have the most interesting rocks and stones among the shells.  There is no noise here except the call of birds.  The sea, it would seem, is also silenced by the beauty of the landscape that it shapes.DSCN9486.jpgI’ve photographed this region before but did not know the importance of what I had seen.  My new travelling companion was more knowledgeable and filled me in on the aboriginal history of the region.  DSCN9490.jpgMy companion exclaimed excitedly, “Oh! look! shell middens!”  I had no idea what middens meant and it was explained to me, this is an area where ancient people lived or stopped for a while.  The shells evidence of their presence, long, long ago.  DSCN9489.jpgThere were thousands and thousands of shells, bone white in the blazing sun.  Ordinarily I would have picked up one or two to bring home.  Not this time.  I felt I was in the most expensive art gallery and dared not move, in case I broke or moved something special.  So we stood for a few moments, in silent respect.

We were on ancient ground.  This was Yawuru country.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

 

 

The blues …

For some feeling blue is an expression of sadness.

In Australia, ‘true blue’ is authenticity.  The colour red, is also blue (as in “I like my steak blue” = rare).

For me, the colour blue is my happy place.  Let me tell you why …DSCN8888A cloudless skyDSCN8950A blue rimmed eyeDSCN9106A feathered wingthumb_IMG_3454_1024An open sea, where mermaids singthumb_IMG_3457_1024The blue of Cable Beach with its white frilly shoreDSCN9172Cowboys in blue jeans, at the rodeo.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

 

 

 

 

It’s my first rodeo!

After photographing horses in Wyndham last year, I fell in love with the animals.  I made a mental note to return, thinking next time I would get to Broome for the polo that is played on Cable Beach.  But I missed the date.  So I was thrilled to find I was in Derby the weekend the rodeo was in town.  At dinner my companion noticed a poster on the wall.  I needed no convincing.  We said, “Let’s go!” simultaneously!  With hotel gates closed at 7 pm for security reasons, I had to walk into the bar to get access when I found myself facing a wall of cowboys with beer in hand.  That was a surprise!  I went back to my room and listened to the carousing that went on until midnight.  I could hardly wait for day break while my camera battery charged.

At breakfast the small cafe was crowded and loud.  Orders were being requested for tomato juice and double shot expresso (but sadly for sore heads, ‘hair of the dog’ was not on the menu).

We got to the rodeo late afternoon.  Amid the noise of the caller, shouts and cheering, Jimmy Buffet sang Margaritaville while we cracked open and drank a cold one.  We were in the zone!

This being cattle country, the stations were well represented by station hands, owners and indigenous people (many talked in their dialect).  The spirit of community was vibrant.  Unprepared for the event, I stood out in a white linen top and pale blue linen shorts.  Totally unsuitable for red dust!  Yet, I have never felt more included.

DSCN9227.jpgThe thrill of the gate opening!DSCN9354.jpgThe roar as the bull charged.DSCN9298.jpgI loved how the light and dust moved!DSCN9355This was magic town.DSCN9157.jpgThe teens were just as brave as they hung on as long as they could.DSCN9364.jpgThe bulls were fiesty, and after dislodging rider, came straight for the stands, snorting and grunting.DSCN9303.jpgThere were times the bull kicked up heels, free of rider.DSCN9309.jpgAn exceptional young indigenous man, who punched the air in victory, was clearly a crowd favourite.  His self-esteem glowed at dusk.thumb_IMG_3504_1024.jpgSoon the light faded, but I doubt, my memory will.

I read the rodeo is considered cruel by some folks.  I don’t know enough about it to make up my mind.  I will say this though, the spirit of this gathering of cattle stations that compete, brought together a whole community.  I did not hear a single swear word that one hears so frequently on streets in the city.  Not even in the bar area that was cordoned off.  Nor did I see anyone being anti-social.  These were folks just having a good time, until they meet again.

The memory of my first rodeo will stay with me.  I always knew this region was special but this time I felt the synergy between country and community.  It was a powerful emotion.  I can’t describe what this felt like except to say, for a few hours that afternoon, this city alien felt right at home in cattle country.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

 

Life, precious life

I’ve just returned from a much anticipated trip.  I went to big country to look for small things.  I needed the contrast and dichotomy for my body and soul.

I was thrilled to find the tides at Cable Beach, Broome had left generous amounts of shells and sea debris on the shore.  I’ve visited the town at least a dozen times and found this phenomenon only twice so far.  It is the tail end of winter in Perth, so Broome and the Kimberley region is tourist time for backpackers, ‘grey nomads’ travelling in caravans and the well heeled to get away from the cold.  I belong to none of these groups.

I went because I want to live.

DSCN8799.jpgOn a beach that stretches for 22 kms, I peered through tiny coral windows and found life in minutae is what has added zest to my journey.DSCN8852.jpgI contemplated the fragility of life and the glue that holds it all together.DSCN8801.jpgI reflected on the foundations and layers we create within us, between us and for each other.  Do they support or divide?DSCN8884.jpgI found things that spoke to me.  Much like life, debris was once perfect and whole and …DSCN8876.jpgstill exquisitely beautiful.DSCN8873.jpgWe are given life.  But … it is a finite serve.DSCN8861.jpgI paused to reflect.  What’s my footprint, my legacy, that I leave on shore?DSCN8818.jpgThe glory of sunset at Cable Beach is seductive.  It is promoted as such and people come to catch their breath.DSCN8824But I also know the young boab tree at Town Beach, the opposite side of town at Roebuck Bay, is magnificent at sunrise.  So in Broome I catch my breath, at least twice a day.

I’ve returned home after an amazing trip.  I have more to share with you, perhaps later today, but for now, I’ll leave you with a thought.

We may think we choose our journey.  Not so.  We are given a journey but we are also given choice.  We choose how to travel it.  So, travel well.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

 

Generous Earth

It’s three weeks before spring.  Like me, it feels like the Earth is anticipating this too.  I feel like as joyous as a child on a spiral staircase, slipping and sliding and at times, careening, giddy with delight.  I have planned three short breaks during early spring.  I can hardly wait!  As I countdown …thumb_IMG_3399_1024The canola fields are turning gold in the farming Midwest.DSCN8746.jpgThis picture captures the colours of the Midwest, so perfectly, from the ground.  DSCN8743.jpgThere are expanses of these low growing shrubs, encrusted with tiny flowers growing in the bush.DSCN8772.jpgBeautiful spears of flowers everywhere one looks.  DSCN8775.jpgIn this land even a common weed looks beautiful!thumb_IMG_3413_1024.jpgThere are huge swatches of paper everlasting flowers.  Just breathtaking!thumb_IMG_3418_1024.jpgSeeing them up close, is seeing perfection.DSCN8766.jpgThese purple flowers are scattered among the pinks and whites.thumb_IMG_3422_1024.jpgIn my garden the bees are busy.IMG_3356.jpgAnd, roses continue to bloom.

The Earth is generous at this time of year, so I thought I’d share my bounty with you.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

 

A time for reflection

 

I worked a long day yesterday.  By night I needed reflection.DSCN8717.jpgI went where I had lunch one afternoon.  There’s a cafe to the right of this with beautiful views over water.  But no, I wanted to be in the scrub!  To my delight the place was teeming with birds.  I know them well enough by the call.DSCN8571.jpgI found a tiny male zebra finch with wisdom in his eyes.DSCN8567.jpgThen there was the female finch.  She flew up, caught the blade of grass in her beak and slid down, showering grass seeds on the ground.  She then fed in privacy in the tall grass.  Clever!DSCN8519.jpgEver watchful, high in thick scrub, were a pair of rainbow bee eaters.  Aloof, silent, predatory.DSCN8584.jpgThe yellow honey eaters, feasted on flowers, their maniacal laughter-like call, harsh, for such a pretty bird.DSCN8618.jpgWith ‘lipsticked lips’ pursed tightly shut, the Pacific Gull was dignified in defeat as silver sea gulls stole lunch and flew away screeching. DSCN8635.jpgThe Brahminy kite (I think), from the highest vantage point, watched all, then flew away silently.

Reflections on my experiences last night gave me a new understanding, life is not the journey we are given, but how we choose to travel.  I recalled this in a poem which says it better, so I’d like to share it with you today …

A Strong Woman vs a Woman of Strength
A strong woman works out every day to keep her body in shape …
but a woman of strength builds relationships to keep her soul in shape.

A strong woman isn’t afraid of anything …
but a woman of strength shows courage in the midst of fear.

A strong woman won’t let anyone get the better of her …
but the woman of strength gives the best of herself to everyone.

A strong woman makes mistakes and avoids the same in the future …
A woman of strength realises life’s mistakes can also be unexpected blessings, and capitalises on them.

A strong woman wears a look of confidence on her face …
but a woman of strength wears grace.

A strong woman has faith that she is strong enough for the journey …
but the woman of strength has faith that it is in the journey that she will become strong.
(Author Unknown) cited in a book ‘The Voice of Silence’ by Oonagh Shanley Toffolo.

May all the steps you take today, make you stronger.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird