On pointe, we find balance


Little French inspired cafe in the tiny farming town of Moora, Wheatbelt, Western Australia where I enjoy French donuts, bite sized macaroons to the sounds of Edith Piaf over a coffee.  The incongruity of this experience, in this town, blows my mind every time!thumb_IMG_4711_1024.jpg
Old Perth Boys School, circa 1854, smack in the middle of downtown Perth, Western Australia.  A view I rarely see but glad the city respects heritage.thumb_IMG_4629_1024.jpg
Over somewhere beautiful, and where I spend most of my time.

As always

a dawn bird

In response to Judy Dykstra Brown – To the Point Challenge

Second time around …

At the core
we are we
bones of past,
sculpted on ours, undeniably
moved, and converted
by choice and circumstance
in synchrony, and by it
we offer and accept
with the bravery of the innocent
much like before, nothing else
just the moment in our hearts,
that lifetime
we say yes, again.

a dawn bird

In response to Word of the Day Challenge – Saturday : Propose

Turquoise Bay, Western Australia

I’m home and taking a couple of hours off before I leave again.  I seem to have missed some lovely prompt words while I was away.  I hope it’s okay to make belated contributions to prompts!

I love visiting Exmouth, some 1200 km north of Perth.  I feel relaxed when I’m there, even when I visit for work so I always promise myself I’ll return for a holiday (vacation).  But whenever I have visited Exmouth, something seems to go wrong before my visit, frequently enough for me to think I’m jinxed!

This time I dared not say where I was going, I just wanted to be there.  Despite my silence, the run up to the trip was fraught with managing someone’s crisis, big enough for me to escalate it to another two levels.  I should have been relaxed it was now being managed by someone else, but no, the aftermath was just as stressful.  I sat at the airport with a coffee, unable to write, observe those around me with interest, or even drink my coffee.  I sat with head in hands, feeling utterly spent.  I knew where I had been in the last few hours and I dared not anticipate where I was going.

I got to Exmouth and the check in was a nightmare with Receptionist making mistake after mistake in her paperwork.  Half an hour later, I dumped my bags and knew I had to get to Turquoise Bay and leave it all behind.DSCN7694.jpgTurquoise Bay is one of the three most beautiful bays in Australia.  Who can argue with the rating?  Within seconds, the world fell away and I was in the moment.DSCN7708.jpg
The Bay itself is serene and great for snorkeling but in the distance, huge waves crashed loud enough for beach goers to look over their shoulders.  The waves never seemed to reach the beach.  It summed up everything I had been through in the preceding three days.DSCN7706.jpg
At my feet I focused on tiny things like this crab.  It flew past my feet like a fleeting thought that made me second guess what I had seen.  It burrowed itself with incredible speed and I could only see it with the zoom.DSCN7733.jpg
In the scrub along the beach were tiny flowers, a burst of colour competing with this magnificent place.DSCN7721.jpg
And, tiny sprigs here and there that were exquisite in size and beauty.DSCN7724.jpg
As I drove out of the car park I noticed someone had left a shell.  A little momento, for others to know they were there.DSCN7730.jpgI drove through the national park when I saw the last rays of light captured in a small tree.  At 80 km/hour, I saw it!  I pulled up with camera in hand.  The detail in the leaves was beautiful.  A few minutes later a Kombi van pulled up behind me.  Two young European backpackers greeted me.  They said they noticed the way I was standing and knew I had seen something worth seeing.  They were right.

I’ve returned with hundreds of photographs.  This was the end of the first six months of the year.  This morning I feel blessed and happy.  This was a break I so badly needed.  I am grateful for having a receptive spirit that is able to take these moments in instantly.  The joy of the moment has taken years of practice, but I got there in the end.  It has been worth every step of the journey.

As always

a dawn bird

In response to Word of the Day Challenge – Friday: Vacation


I’m a little late for this prompt but I couldn’t think of a more appropriate word for what I’m about to share.

I’ve just return from Exmouth, some 1200 km north of Perth.  It is one of my favourite places to visit and I’ve grown to love it more than I do Broome.  There’s just something about the place and the people that is different and very appealing.

It is the first time I’ve seen several signs at the airport and in the national park with warnings to be careful not to feed or interact with the dingoes, an iconic Australian wild dog.  The second last morning of my trip, I had to do the airport run, a long straight road of some 38 kms, flanked by scrub and in the distance, ranges.  It was early morning so I was careful of wildlife, expecting emu.  My eyes scanned the sides of the road constantly and I was ever hopeful, at this hour, I would see the magnificent wedge tailed eagle.DSCN8177.jpgHalf way to the airport, I noticed a blond tail flick through tall grass.  I knew it wasn’t fox.  They slink into the scrub.  Was it dingo?  Sure not!  The tail was high, flicking slowly.  This was a hunt!  It had to be dingo!  At 110 km/hour, it took me a few seconds to slow down and I did a U turn, parked on the side of the road and got my camera.  It was my David Attenborough moment.

I have never seen a dingo in the wild.  They are usually in a pack and it is best to exercise caution when they are around.  This one was alone as far as I could tell and totally focused on being a dingo.  I thought best not to distract it and stayed in the car.DSCN8172.jpg
What surprised me was the hunting style.  It had obviously found a small animal that was burrowed down.  The dingo pawed the ground furiously and when the animal escaped, the dingo followed it, jumping high over the grass, all four paws on pointe, cat-like arched back, and stomped on the animal.  My fingers fumbled for the video button and I gave up and settled to taking pictures instead.DSCN8173.jpg
Animal in mouth, the dingo ate breakfast quickly, still oblivious of my presence a few feet away.  DSCN8174.jpg
When another movement caught the eye and a hunt was on again.
The dingo was now alongside my car, still ignoring me.DSCN8176.jpg
It found what it was looking for.DSCN8175.jpg
It then ran alongside the road, a magnificently healthy animal, with a perfect coat, the colours and shading, took my breath away.  The coat was the softest shades of russet and beige, the colours of the bush one sees so often.  Despite the contrast of the foliage roadside, when it went deeper into the scrub, it had disappeared from sight effortlessly.

I have seen a dingo twice before, both times in captivity.  To see one unexpectedly in the natural environment was a thrill and to see it hunt with such intelligence, is a memory I won’t forget any time soon.

So if you see a dingo in the wild.  Sit back and let it be.  It is not a dog.  The joy is watching the animal be, who and what it is, a wild creature, with amazing hunting skills.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird


In response to RPD – Thursday – Ingenuity

Winter roses

We are nearly a month into winter in the Southern Hemisphere.  I’ve been mostly housebound for the last two days staying dry and away from the winter storms that blew in.  During a moment of brief respite, I walked around the front garden.  It looks like a wedding has taken place with petals strewn everywhere.  There are still plenty of roses, weighed down heavy with raindrops.  I had to take a few pictures, actually I took 112 pictures in a half hour wander!

Although I love roses, I absolutely love ice berg roses.  Usually pure white, mine seem to be tinged with pale pink.  They are prolific bloomers.  These are the ones I love and thought I’d share with you.





It saddens me that people regard roses as ‘high maintenance’ flowers.  Mine just seem to look after themselves and survive my gardener’s brutal pruning.  Maybe what falls away, makes them more beautiful.  Something to reflect on.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird 

In response to Nancy Merrill’s A Photo a Week Challenge : flowers

It comes from within …


Despite the frenetic lifestyle, I enjoy moments of peace on a daily basis.  I build these into my day, moments that nurture my spirit and soul.  Being of faith, my instinct is to set aside time to spend in prayer, a communion, a connection, to my Maker.  I don’t ask for anything or express thanks.  I am quiet with a heightened awareness, I am not alone.  It is time when I need to listen, so silence is important.

I listen with attentiveness with all my senses on alert.  It may be to the sound of waves crashing, the crunch of my boots on twigs, the click of my camera, the bounce of the kangaroo in the bush.  I no longer yearn for experiences out of reach.  With camera in hand and laptop before me, I am me no matter where I am.  The authentic me.  In that knowledge, is peace.

I learned years ago there are some experiences I will never experience.  And, I felt the bite of unfairness on more than one occasion.  It took years for me to realise.  Peace comes from within.  If we seek to make peace, we are at peace.  It is a place of rest and recovery.  It is a space where all else falls away, and within that nothingness, is a fullness of spirit that takes up all the space.

So I accept, some things are never meant to be for me.  I may not have found that elusive ‘something special’ that others acquire so effortlessly.  But I have the capacity to experience joy.  And, I make it my mission to seek it every day.

I’m leaving next week headed to the north.  I’m looking forward to wearing less clothes and walking along the beach.  Maybe find a heart again.  Or maybe even someone who wants mine.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

In response to Word of the Day Challenge : Nurture

In response to RDP – Saturday: Peace

Among trees, I breathe …


I love being in timber country.  I find something spiritual among trees, a healing presence.  I love being silent when walking or seated among tall trees.  My earliest memory of childhood is being draped over a low hanging branch of a guava tree and pretending I was a leopard and watched the activity down below me at the water tank.  I believe one is never alone or lonely in the company of trees.   DSCN0742.jpg
This is in the timber country of Collie, in the south west of Western Australia, one of my favourite places to visit in winter/spring.DSCN0757.jpg
I just love this region with eruptions of flowers.DSCN7575.jpg
Have you ever seen ducks in a tree!  Yes, ducks!  (middle of the pic).  I was walking through Foxes Lair early morning when I heard the nasally honking of the Australian shelduck.  I know a pair to live here and often watch them do a circuit over the tall gum trees.  This morning I thought there were more and could not believe my eyes!DSCN7578.jpg
How cool is this?!DSCN7598.jpg
I love the colours of the shelduck.  On a dismal day, they were vibrant.DSCN7592.jpg
I love how a fallen tree offers a place to rest.DSCN7593.jpg
And, gives one a moment to consider a fall can be graceful, too.DSCN7676.jpg
This is one of my favourite trees between Moora and New Norcia in the north east Wheatbelt.

I had gone further north on my recent trip and found myself in beautiful beige country, almost painted in water colours. It felt like I was driving live through Hans Heysen’s art.  Heysen was an Australian artist.  I absolutely love his work.  He knew the bush by heart.  I’m learning how to do this, too.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

In response to Lens Artists Photo Challenge – Trees



I gave you a garden …

I’ve always had roses in my garden.  In my old house, I had a hedge of 14 iceberg roses and when they shed the petals, it was snow in summer.  I loved them.

Dr T has a green thumb.  He loves native flora.  I regret not sharing his interest when we were married.  He created and kept a beautiful garden.  Never a blade of grass out of place.  I remember a particular argument with me (unfairly) accusing him of never doing anything for me.  He calmly responded, he gave me a garden.  I was so young then to truly appreciate the sentiment.  I do, now.

Dr T and I had made a deal we would plant a rose bush in the garden on the anniversary of our wedding each year.  The first one was Sweetheart and the last, Peace.  Sums up our long relationship and where we are now!  I really wanted to bring the Sweetheart rose bush with me when I moved but was reluctant in case it died.  My former home is around the corner from where I now live, so I see the roses every day.

I’m not a roses girl, but if you gave me tulips … especially white tulips … well, that’s another story.  I much prefer roses in the garden.  The only person who cuts and takes my roses indoors, is my neighbour who has my permission to enjoy them when I’m not home.

The last few days have been gruelling of driving long distances in very poor weather.  This morning I rose at 6:30am.  It was dark and cold in the chalet in the Wheatbelt, … minus 1 degree C I’m told.  I lay in bed for another half an hour trying to warm before the dash to the kitchen for coffee.  While in bed the freight train rolled past.  I felt the rumble through the floor.  A delicious feeling of vibration that travelled up my spine.  I enjoyed the moment thinking I’ll be home for the night.  I felt a pang of wanting to be home and where the roses are.

I left work early and arrived home just before dusk to find my front garden is awash with roses.  Probably the last of them before winter pruning.

Enjoy with me!







Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

In response to RDP – Friday : Rose

Courage, in an uneven footing …

DSCN9937 2.JPG
Silvereye, Foxes Lair, Narrogin, Western Australia

It’s just after 6 am as I write.  It is freezing cold in my clean but old motel room.  The ceiling is high, the air con heater sluggish, it will be hours before the room warms.  I’ll be gone by then.

Yesterday I finished work on time, drove into town, just a minute away, grabbed a cup of coffee and headed out to Foxes Lair.  I barely had 20 minutes among the trees before it got too dark to be there on my own.  It was all I needed.  I was renewed.  I am myself again.

I’ll drive home this morning listening to my favourite playlist.  If the roadworks are more accessible by day, I may stop off at The Woolshed in the tiny farming town of Williams and see if they have a jumper or two that I may like.  The quality of their merino wool garments is beautiful, light and warm.  I have an afternoon at home to tidy up some work before I drive to the north east Wheatbelt tomorrow, around 300 km away, where I’ll spend the next few days.  And then … a much needed break, in a warmer place.  The thought, quickens my heart beat.

I’ve been able to survive the rigors of the last few weeks convinced in the knowledge, all days are not equal.  Some days the load is lighter, and others, crushing.  Yes, my shoulders sag at times but thankfully I’ve discovered ways and means to rejuvenate.  A grove of trees, a strip of beach, even an empty paddock roadside, is all I need, to feel energised again.  I reflected on this early morning and found, I don’t resent the load, but I do feel lost when I don’t have the opportunity during a work trip, to be in nature.  I have professional supervision once a month but I feel my spirit needs ‘guidance’, ‘supervision’, every single day.  Without it, I careen under the weight of lifestyle.

It has taken a long time to realise, it is okay for demands of the day to be uneven.  It takes courage, to find core strength.  One just needs to ride it out.  I’d much rather have this, than a predictable lifestyle.  When I think back to the years when Monday to Friday, 9-5, was my compass, was the way to the bank, I’m surprised that I survived.  I guess, one never knows what one is missing out on, unless one has the courage to try it.

I woke up grateful this morning, I had the courage to be curious about what was around the corner, much like the tiny silvereye.  It would have been a life un-lived, if I hadn’t.

May you find and enjoy your moment of gratitude, curiosity and courage, today.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

In response to Word of the Day Challenge :  Equal

Some days are not gold

I’ve not been myself in the last few months.  The end of financial year has been more stressful than necessary, with changes to contracts and the choice of work on offer.  There’s always a degree of uncertainty in change and new management and this in itself brings a degree of discomfort.  I haven’t handled this well.  I’ve been expecting others to be understanding and ‘carry me’.  On my own, I do well.  I can rely on myself to make it to the other side, but when I burden myself with expectations I place on others … well, some days are not gold.

This morning I stayed in bed.  I listened to the laughter of kookaburras in the distance.  For a moment, the sound was mocking.  Fool! came to mind.  I struggled with this thought, berating myself.  I know myself to be someone who is focused when I’m committed to something.  Others may see this as sheer stubbornness. What I see as a strength, can be perceived to be a negative by others.  There is an easy way out.  I could be a home body, sit in an office, have a work day that’s 9 to 5.  But the very thought of that kind of existence makes me shrivel up inside.

DSCN7545.JPGThis morning I watched the day go from grey to grey.  I stared intently outside the window and realised, if I looked hard enough there was colour out there.  The camera was able to fade the grey into the background and I could see the flower.  It was what my spirit needed for reflection.

In the frenetic end of financial year I’ve been asked to do a series of professional development seminars for staff.  It is extra work, without a doubt.  I gave a talk the other day.  The night before my flight was delayed several hours due to poor weather and then we landed after missed approaches.  The stress of crosswinds!  In the morning, to my dismay I realised I was giving a talk that afternoon.  At the end of the seminar, in the privacy of my office, one of the staff approached me.  She hugged me and said she enjoyed the talk and, I was doing what I was meant to do with my life.  She had no idea what the backdrop to my day had been.  She brought colour to a very grey day.DSCN7540.JPGI enjoyed my drive to the Wheatbelt yesterday.  I arrived at dusk.  The winter skies were amazing across a varied landscape.  The moon peered for a moment, before being hidden from sight.  Although weary, the moment made me smile.  As I unpacked my car in the cold I thought every so often I should write about the things I’m truly grateful for.

Today I am.

I’ve found in this fast changing world of Like and Love buttons, and emojis, the ‘button’ best pressed is the one of genuine appreciation … one human being, of another.  I hope I find the opportunity today to let someone know how much I appreciate them.  That’s my mission today.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird