A topsy-turvy world

When living in Canada, my favourite time of year was autumn.  I loved the changing colours of the leaves and what drifted away from the parent tree in the fall.  The smell of burning leaves as chill took over the air is an evocative memory that lingers, as does the shiver as one tried to dig deeper into warmth.

When the Northern Hemisphere prepares for autumn, we in the Southern Hemisphere, look forward to spring.DSCN7753.jpgWhen new life begins.DSCN7974.jpgAnd young ones are nurtured.DSCN7694.jpgWhen one finds colour erupting in unexpected places.DSCN7627.jpgAnd even succulents on beach sand bloom in the warmth.DSCN7690.jpgA time when the mulla mulla appear in their hundreds of thousands across the arid mining country, with mauve spears tipped in pink.DSCN7622.jpgOr one finds a florist shop, roadside on an empty highway, that gave me pause to think.

Unlike nature, what grows unchecked, is not always beautiful. 

This, to me, is an unsettling thought.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

 

 

‘The other voice’

I love the word inspire.  Each year, it brings new meaning.  No longer passive, I seek each day.  I can write when I see, feel, hear or sense something.  It’s a daily awakening.  A daily reminder.  I am alive.

To share the images below with you brings a level of discomfort.  They were always there.  I just never saw them.  Importantly, and sadly, I did not seek them.  I did not seek to use my senses mindfully.

Every day I look beyond what I see.  A tree, is no longer a tree.  A flower is no longer, just beautiful.  A fallen leaf, is more than debris.  A bird is more than feathers and song.  My strides are shorter and slower.  I inhale and exhale more deeply.  I hear small sounds amid din.  A moment lasts longer.

This year, inspire has been synonymous with stillness.  It has been moments when I waited to hear ‘the other voice’.

So I’ll share with you what I’ve found in those moments of dialogue.DSCN7235.jpgA clump of cowslip orchids, found unexpectedly, in debris.DSCN7253.jpgManna acacia blooming below a canopy of gum trees.DSCN7270.jpgA spider orchid, dancer like, posturing mid-furl.DSCN7377.jpgAn emu in the wild, caught mid-stride, long neck perfectly curled.DSCN7348.jpgThe tiny inland thorn bill with yolk egg feathers, singing for mate, in spring.DSCN7556.jpgA Willy Wagtail, with bling in her wing.DSCN7466.jpgSunset in an autumn leaf.DSCN7529.jpgPink ballerina tutus in shrubs, just below the trees.DSCN7445.jpgBallgowns draped on shrubs, more beautiful than found on any red carpet.DSCN7461.jpgA trio of pristine white cornettes.DSCN7588.jpgA gift from and for the sea, left on shore by someone unknown.  But it spoke to, and, for me.

May you seek and find a moment today.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

 

 

Box Man

We called him Box Man.  I had known him all my school years.  From memory, I think he visited the school once a week.  I recall his visits were more eagerly awaited during my high school years.  It was because of what he brought with him.

He came to the school with a large tin trunk balanced perfectly on the back of his bike.  He set up just in front of the school chapel.  During lunch and recess, there was always a steady stream of students and teachers that sought the silence of that domed space.  We would crowd around him chattering in excitement while he set up with a certain deliberate flourish.  He would admonish and set boundaries to step back.  He had some very special things to show us.  We would move barely an inch and with bated breath waited for that tin trunk to be opened.

Once opened it contained a panoply of bling.  Hair clips.  Bangles.  Ribbons.  Hair bands.  Trinket boxes, small and smaller.  We loved every single thing, the shinier, the better!  He would be lucky to make a sale or two each visit.  Everything was over priced for school girls.

One day one of my classmates was bolder than the rest.  She asked him why his prices were so high.  He flicked a scarf in front of his face and missed an annoying fly.  He took his time and then said, because his goods all came from England, with all the haughtiness he could muster.  Cheryl was not going to let him get away that easy.  She held up a trinket box upside down and finger on label said, “Can you read English?  It says, Made in India”.  He didn’t miss a beat and responded, “That one is discounted, because of the misprint!”

I can remember this incident like it happened yesterday!

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

Luxe, I think not!

The Ragtag Daily Prompt today is Posh, meaning high end.  Interesting to note the word comes from Romani language, too.  I didn’t know this before!  It makes my post today more meaningful to me.

A few months ago I had an unexpected wake up call regarding my health.  It made me reassess my life and priorities.  I realised we work towards a future, forgetting about ‘the now’.  As I waited for my results (by the way were all clear), I did not want to share my concerns with my colleague, so I enjoyed the trip as if it was my last one.  It made me savour every moment.  I travelled light.

As it turned out over dinner we talked about books and she recommended Paul Kalanithi’s ‘When Breath Became Air’.  I found the book in the airport bookshop on the following trip and started to read it during the flight.  As I turned the pages, the fragility of life as I know it, felt palpable in my hands.  I promised myself the words, “….some day …” would not be part of my vocabulary unless I made active plans for that day to eventuate.  I came back from my trip and booked a short trip to the Coral Coast.

I fly over the Coral Coast in Western Australia, look down on the stunning seascape and yearn to visit, “some day” and most of all, the tiny airport in Shark Bay is where I wanted to disembark.  Now I’ve heard others who choose to fly Etihad and gush about the luxury of Dubai Airport.  Not me.  I wanted to experience disembarking at Shark Bay airport.thumb_IMG_3694_1024.jpgThere is just a cyclone fence that separates the tarmac from the airport.  I’ve been on flights where the co-pilot stepped out and helped unload the luggage.  Everyone here is, “mate”.  Give me this over luxury any day!thumb_IMG_3743_1024.jpgThis is the arrival lounge.  It is quite possible there was a water bottle dispenser nearby, and some toilets, but that was it.thumb_IMG_3744_1024.jpgArrival/Departure lounge. That’s it!

To say this is a tin shed is adding glamour to the structure.  Posh, it is not! But, I wouldn’t want to see this changed for the world.  I love this airport!

At the airport I met another passenger who was travelling to the same hotel as me so we started chatting as we waited for the car to pick us up.  She was from New Mexico and doing a quick tour of Western Australia.  I was impressed with her ingenuity of researching the areas she wanted to visit.  She had avoided the big tourist icons in Sydney and Melbourne to visit the lesser known in the other side of the world. I, on the other hand, had heard about Shell Beach and the dolphins at Monkey Mia but never found the time to visit.  To be in the same place at the same time was a logistically challenging exercise for both of us.  But, we, two gypsies at heart, found ourselves here and determined to enjoy the experience.  Unfortunately the high winds forced the cancellation of her dive tour, and as I had hired a car, we shared the cost and did some sightseeing together.

I left Shark Bay after a brief break feeling I had been on a month’s holiday.  It is a 8-10 hour drive from my home in the city.  Next time I’m determined to drive up here.  My schedule will just have to accommodate that “some day”.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

 

Shell Beach, Western Australia

This is Shell Beach in Western Australia.  Given my love for beach combing, I was anticipating paradise.  It was.DSCN7586.jpgThe beach is 60km long and the coquina shells are about 10m deep.  One needs sunglasses here!  It is sheer brilliance.DSCN7574.jpgThe sea did not look too far away, but it was a deceptively long walk.  DSCN7577.jpgInterestingly, the wind has furrowed long gullies, so one disappears from sight while walking towards the ocean, dipping and surfacing, like a fun ride.DSCN7607.jpgTrillions of shells as far as the eye can see.DSCN7591.jpgAnd shells within shells.DSCN7599.jpgWe reached the water finally.  The colours of blue, beautiful.DSCN7601.jpgThe sea shimmered like plastic wrap.DSCN7628.jpgOn one ridge, I found spring in a bed of shells.

Another item off my bucket list.  Well, maybe not off my list completely.  I’m going to visit again.  The serenity of this beach, was amazing.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

 

 

The dolphins of Monkey Mia

Monkey Mia is about 900 km north of Perth.  The area is a Marine Park and World Heritage listed.

I love dolphins.  What’s not to love about them!  I experience joy every time I see them out in the wild in Jurien Bay or in Esperance.  Seeing them without warning is always exciting so I had mixed feelings about going to Monkey Mia to see them as a tourist attraction.

The bottlenose dolphins of Monkey Mia are an attraction for tourists and researchers.  The wild dolphins come to shore to feed and have been doing this for decades after the practice was accidentally developed when local fishermen, in this tiny township, threw fish scraps over their boats.  Now, the feeding and interaction is monitored carefully by marine scientists employed by a government agency.  DSCN7828.jpgI arrived in Monkey Mia with a travelling companion on a perfect, picture postcard day.DSCN7869.jpgI noticed the speaker kept one hand in pocket and the other held a tiny microphone as she explained the history, ending with a firm warning, no touching the dolphins.  As she started her spiel, the dolphins raced in from the open sea.DSCN7835.jpgThey lined up for feeding!  Yes, queued up!DSCN7847.jpgWhat do they make of us!  Look at the ‘knowingness’ in that eye!DSCN7850.jpgThe feeding is strictly minimal, more like a small snack.DSCN7843.jpgAnd, when excited hands miss their mark, the dolphin scans the sandy floor, with one eye wide open, the other shut.DSCN7823.jpgI watched one get away and slip under the jetty.  It swam out to the space between the crowds and a small pier.  Then I saw a little girl break away too from her family to watch the lone dolphin.  The dolphin swam back and forth in the small space, while the audience of one watched on bemused.

The area around the Marine Park is now being developed in all kinds of ways to draw people in.  The cynic in me could not resist a smirk.  DSCN7824.jpgBut this moment, between girl and dolphin, certainly made me smile.

A precious moment of innocence away from the crowds.  I needed to see this too.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

 

 

Ballerinas, in the bush

I had never thought to look for wild orchids in Helms Arboretum, Esperance.  I usually park here for a few minutes when I visit the town to enjoy the parrots in the tall gum trees and to catch a few minutes alone.  But having read a blog recommended by Tracy (Reflections of an Untidy Mind), I walked around instead of staying in my car.

Wild orchids love debris of leaves and fallen logs.  So do snakes.  Dugites look like fallen twigs.  They are deadly and agile.  Spring time is their time.  Maybe that explains why I have never walked around here before.  But I was prepared this time for bush walking and dressed in my best protective gear.  I stepped off the plane to here.

DSCN7548.jpgTo the novice, this is just rubble.  Not me.  My heart raced as I walked around.  I anticipated seeing some wild orchids, just as the blog had published.DSCN7108.jpgSoon I found the first orchids.  DSCN7303.jpgTiny bulbs.  I had never seen orchid bulbs before.DSCN7305.jpgThe donkey orchids bloomed, stained like tortoise shells, in their hundreds.DSCN7279.jpgAmong the grass there were spider orchids.DSCN7269.jpgOh! so graceful in bud!DSCN7268.jpgWhen blooming, they danced around, ta da ing their way across grass and rubble.DSCN7275.jpgTheir heart, exquisite.DSCN7124.jpgSome bloomed in trios, each more graceful than their neighbour, in still posture.DSCN7337.jpgI headed over to the Lookout where there is a steep gradient over granite rock to bush land below.  I’ve found white sugar orchids here before, so I went looking.  I wasn’t disappointed!DSCN7549.jpgThere were some that were stronger in colour.  Each detail so perfect in dusk light.DSCN7355.jpgOthers, tinted white.DSCN7360.jpgAnd others, deep in the bush, barely pink.

I have no other words to describe these orchids, other than ballerinas, because they dance so gracefully, in the breeze.

They lit up my heart, eyes and mind.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

PS Thank you Tracy!