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!

 

 

 

 

The Marlgu Billabong

I’m travelling but had to submit a post today when I saw the RDP was ‘Oasis’. This billabong is the closest I have come to an oasis. The memory is an oasis, as well.

A Shared Space

The visit to Marlgu Billabong  was a magic carpet ride.

Three women piled into one 4WD.  I sat in the back of the other, while two of the men in the group sat in front.  Often forgetting I was there, they talked candidly about love and life.  In silence I listened to their sensitive and meaningful perspectives.  How similar we all are!  We all hurt.  We all regret.  We all dust ourselves off and try again.  We all seek meaning to where we were, where we are and where we want to be.  The cycle of life.  I listen in silence and feel grateful for the opportunity to be where I am.

During the usual bone crunching ride we stopped intermittently.  The traffic and views are different here.  We let the yellow spotted monitor cross the road.  The shark was perfectly preserved in fierce heat on the salt flats.  Crisp…

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In spring, my steps are slow

Yesterday I spent the first three early hours of the day in Foxes Lair in Narrogin.  I barely walked two kilometers as there was so much to see.DSCN9972.jpgThe Lair was a florist shop.  There are thousands of flowers and different species every few steps.  Instead of rubber necking, I decided to explore one side of the track before exploring the other.   I also decided to look for the smaller flowers that the eye can barely see.DSCN9998.jpgI found tiny purple tassle flowers.DSCN9949.jpgBlue lechenaultia blooming in some corners.DSCN7060.jpgWhile others responded more slowly to sunlight.  Blue and purple flowers are more difficult to see in dense bushland where white, pink and yellow are dominant colours in spring.DSCN7079.jpgI spent a lot of time with the exquisitely tiny paper everlasting flowers.  They are barely visible to the naked eye.DSCN7090.jpgThey love the sun and open at first rays before one’s eyes.DSCN7092.jpgHow cute is this?DSCN7089I loved the white flowers too, interspersed among the pinks.DSCN9992The tiny pink fairy orchids were scattered here and there.DSCN7084.jpgThe sundew were less frequently seen this month.  I love these flowers.DSCN9953.jpgThe hakea tassle flowers were frosting large bushes, white with pink tips.DSCN9990.jpgI found this beautiful white orchid, demurely blooming behind a log.DSCN7029.jpgI thought this was moss but it looks like a succulent of some kind.DSCN9979.jpgThis was the only pimelea I found during my walk.  Beautiful!DSCN7036.jpgI heard a squawk above my head, only to find a young redcap parrot, all ruffled to greet the day.DSCN7056.jpgWhile another young parrot groomed nearby.DSCN7051.jpgOn the ground, the red breasted robin kept me company.

I’m now off to the Great Southern region and when I return, I hope to have, more of the same.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

 

 

Orange, is more than a fruit

In India we did not have oranges.  We had sweet limes and mandarins (that we called oranges).  Perhaps decades later, things have changed.

My mother came from a region well known for oranges.  We would get big woven baskets of fruit around Christmas time, the peel crystallized for Christmas cake.  My father would make the most delicious orange mousse, peeling pith off each segment so carefully, for decoration.  I loved the fresh smell of orange peel, and the leftover segments that was shared equally.  So, naturally, it is my happy fruit.

Orange makes me happy for other reasons.

DSCN8258.jpgWho doesn’t love a roaring, orange campfire burning in a ten gallon drum, like one I experienced at a cattle station in the Kimberley.  Just add billy tea, cowboys and music, and I’m in a happy place again.DSCN7179.jpgA blazing sunset at Cable Beach, Broome.  One of my favourite beaches to visit.DSCN5901.jpgThe orange sands of Cemetery Beach, in Port Hedland, where we waited for turtles hatchlings, patiently.  Yes, the beach is across from the town’s cemetery!DSCN9043.jpgThe beautiful ranges in the far north Kimberley that erupt from the ground.  The light play is stunning at sunset or dawn.DSCN8257The delicate wings of a dragonfly, etched in gold and orange.DSCN9249.jpgThe silent full moon that creeps up at night, unexpectedly.DSCN9232The soft sage like eyes of an emu.DSCN8528.jpgA lantern at dusk, that signals, this is home.

Orange is no longer just a happy fruit.  It is an experience, for me.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

 

 

 

Grace, by the sea

As a child I would sit for hours on the back landing of my aunt’s home in Mumbai and watch the tides come in and roll out again.  I would watch the fishermen sing in unison as they heaved their heavy wooden boats out to sea or mended their nets on shore.

The lure of the sea has never left me.  It is ironic I feel this way.  A non-swimmer, I’m terrified of the power of water.  Yet, the ocean is as soothing as mother, to me.DSCN7116.jpgI walked along the shore early morning in Exmouth.  I was the only one on the beach.  I usually like it that way.  Every few steps, I stopped and watched the sea trying to figure out whether the tide was coming in or going out.DSCN7101.jpgI stood mesmerised by the grace of movement of this powerful ocean before me as it whooshed at my feet so elegantly.DSCN7115.jpgLeaving behind a bounty of coral, shells and smooth pebbles.

Then the ocean, this mother, drew breath, only to exhale again with delicacy.  So I did the same.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

 

I see beautiful things …

I’m a bird without feathers and wings.  I seem to be more often in the air, than I am on land.  My flights take me to beautiful places.  Importantly, I see beautiful things.

I walked along the shore yesterday in Exmouth, 1200+ kms north of Perth.  The waves are particularly huge at this isolated beach.  With one eye on the tide, I took my time, camera in hand and explored the world at my feet.DSCN7060.jpgWhere the waves crashed, I found a sea urchin unexpectedly.  DSCN7056.jpgAnd another left behind by the sea on the damp sand,DSCN7055.jpgadjacent to seagull tracks.DSCN7054.jpgFurther up, there was another, still beautiful with spikes, left behind by time.DSCN7046.jpgAnd even more beautiful, ‘de-spiked’.DSCN7053Some with a hint of lavender.DSCN7042.jpgOthers buried in sand.DSCN7065.jpgAn artefact of the ocean, on land.

Thrilled with my experience on the beach I headed to the hotel and read up a little on sea urchins only to learn, they are reborn by turning themselves inside out.

Writers do this, too.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

 

 

 

 

Bark

I work with a colleague intermittently and observed she loves trees, especially ancient ones, like boabs.  She reaches out to them and palm on tree, stands silently as if in reverence.  The moment is always so sacred, it forces me to look away to give her privacy.

This post is for her.  She taught me, a tree is more than canopy.

DSCN9451.jpgDimpled.DSCN7918.jpgFlaky.DSCN7728.jpgFrilled.DSCN7873.jpgUndressed.DSCN9882.jpgStripped.DSCN9916.jpgStriped.DSCN9917.jpgPainted.DSCN7910Peeled.DSCN7050Bejewelled.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird