Message from a dragonfly …


It’s that time of year again.  I am looking for respite in all kinds of creative ways.  Five minutes of laundry, a three minute prayer, a coffee mug that needs washing right away.  The reports are being completed, one at a time, each around 20 pages, some longer.  The pressure is intense.  End of school year is three weeks away.  Children who are eligible for special needs funding need people to zone out everything else and commit to deadlines.  I’m trying to stay afloat.

Having flown in this morning, I made a list of things I needed to do before flying out again tomorrow.  My knees did buckle momentarily.  There’s only 24 hours in a day.  On days like this, that is a revelation and surprise.

I can work late into the night, I reassure myself.  I’ll rest in the hotel tomorrow night.  It’s something I tell myself each time, but rest is elusive.  I always find something else ends up with a higher priority.

As the clothes line got busy with wet laundry, she caught my eye …

As much as I love birds and, a friend tells me whenever she sees a bee, she thinks of me, I have always been drawn to dragonflies.  The fact that they fly across oceans with filigree wings, amazes me.  I have photographed them as they fly, mate, and with wings poised, alight on surfaces, but I have never seen one at rest.

As I ticked laundry off the list, I stopped.  I heard the message through my camera.

Rest, fold your wings
balance awhile
tomorrow, we fly again

And, for a moment, as I looked through the lens, the pressure eased.

a dawn bird


In response to Daily Word Prompt – Alleviate – November 30 2019


Do look back … 30 November 2019

I think reflecting on the past month is a wonderful way to take a breath …DSCN8809.jpg
I’ve come to realise in the past few months, it is at home and in my garden is where I find best balance.
Where birds comes to visit me for a change.
I’ve enjoyed a long drive between Carnarvon and Geraldton.  This is my favourite roadhouse along the way.  I found out this area is prone to flooding when it rains, and quite beautiful with numerous billabongs that attract birdlife.  The change between spring to summer has been swift.  It was a hot drive.DSCN7120.jpg
The highway between Carnarvon and Geraldton is long and lonely.  My colleague and I always feel carefree in these parts.  We usually stop here and stretch our legs at a lookout that overlooks Gladstone Beach in the far distance.DSCN8824.jpg
Geraldton has become my second home.  I’ve grown to love this place and the easy lifestyle.DSCN9956.jpg
Returning home from trips I found the gooseberries were turning into jam on the bush from the heat.  What happened to spring, this year?DSCN9961.jpg
The mulberries are plentiful and most out of my reach, except for my zoom.DSCN9988.jpg
In Esperance the wildflowers have disappeared and birdlife is plenty.  This wattlebird was as curious about me, as I was of it.
The wildflowers have disappeared in Foxes Lair too except for a hardy few.  I saw a blur in the bush and found it was the tiny pink trigger plants.DSCN7043.jpg
The pied stilt was gorgeous at Chinaman Pool, in Carnarvon, at sunset.thumb_IMG_0376_1024.jpg
I’ve just returned from being away for nearly ten days and found Perth is sweet home, after all.  Now that came as a surprise to me!

It’s the first day of summer tomorrow.  I’ll be starting it in the heat of the Goldfields.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

In response to The Changing Seasons – November

The sundowner …


As I sat at the window watching
the sun slipped off the horizon
outside, the palm trees rustled
and the frangipani bloomed

The night, young and warm
much like me once
yes, you knew me then, in the dark
like the frangipani, by perfume

Laughter around me, the genie
I see your presence in a fleeting smile
not yours, but familiar enough
oh! those uneven rolled sleeves and crinkled eyes

How near you are, when I’m far
sitting here, sipping thoughts
from an empty glass,
in a noisy bar

If you were with me
I’d say, like before,
bring out the stars
make my jaded heart sparkle again

a dawn bird

In response to Word of the Day Challenge – Sparkle

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas …

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_1732.jpgChristmas Lily, Esperance, Western Australia

Around this time of year, the Christmas lily blooms in the garden of the hotel where I stay in Esperance.  I love the colours and perfection of the flower.  It reminds me to hang in there, the year is coming to an end.

As we prepare for Christmas, Thanksgiving is on the horizon for my family, friends and blogger friends in the Northern Hemisphere.

May you enjoy your celebrations on a day of togetherness and gratitude.

As always

a dawn bird

In response to Cee’s FOTD Photo Challenge –

All wheels lead to home …

MQDChzOCSJGNFWZPKbDdfg_thumb_182a 2.jpgSomewhere between Carnarvon and Geraldton, Western Australia

We left early morning, laughed and agreed, a greasy breakfast is how we would start the day.  We stop at the truck stop, bought a toasted egg and bacon sandwich and coffee, and headed out, the day already warm.  At my feet, icy cold Pepsi and frozen grapes, because we knew, the day was only going to get warmer.  The road trip took 5.5 hours of steady driving.  The landscape, pretty amazing.  The foliage changes frequently.  The earth changes from red to blush pink, to butter yellow.  We take turns in describing our perspective.  The colours hold us spellbound.  There are goats roadside just about for the whole journey.  They are smart!  One never has to be concerned about them running across the road; they run away from traffic.

We chat, share anecdotes, laugh, plan our respective futures.  Twenty years younger than me, I have enormous respect for my colleague.  She is wise beyond her years.  I learn from her each time we work together.  The hours drift and we arrive in Geraldton, safe.

I’ve spent a lot of time on the road this year.  It has spurned me into thinking of other possibilities.  It is the first time in my 20+ years of travel, I’ve started to think about new directions.

My children are living their own lives now.  My daughter and her partner just returned from a big holiday in the US, that included a Caribbean cruise with his parents.  Last night my son and his wife left for a belated honeymoon to Japan.  They have well and truly flown the coop.  My role in their lives has changed.  I am now mum who they check in on to see how I’m doing.  When did this shift take place?

As the year comes to an end, I’ve found myself looking at real estate, looking for my forever home.  It will be small and somewhere between beach and bush in the South-West.  Importantly, my adult children no longer protest when I talk about leaving the city.  It makes it easier for me to leave.

It is now my time to dream.  It’s a good place to be.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird



Shaken, not stirred

DSCN9984 2.JPG
There was a time
when they read each other like a book
turned the page each day
to a new line
as the years rolled into one
the book frayed
the pages became fragile, with weight
and no discernible lines
as they smiled through the cracked veneer
of once hallowed ground
no one the wiser
except his heart that yearned
yearned for what once was
and now knows, can never be
the fairytale, he hoped it could have been
because he couldn’t leave.

a dawn bird

In response to RPD – Monday – Stir

Lens Photo Challenge #72 Waiting

Juvenile bearded dragon at termite mound, Midwest outback, Western Australia

We were out in the outback in spring looking at the wildflowers when my travelling companion urged me closer.

I’m not a fan of reptiles!  This is as close as I was willing to go!  I had to concede, the markings were beautiful.

a dawn bird

In response to Lens Photo Challenge #72 Waiting

Wardandi Boodja, sculpture that speaks

Wardandi Boodja, Bunbury Foreshore, Western Australia

In the last couple of years I’ve noticed, along the coast of Western Australia, there has been a focus on making art accessible to the community, and in particular sculpture, one of my favourite art expressions.

I have driven past this sculpture, Wardandi Boodja, on the Bunbury foreshore many times and as many times, photographed it.  There is something very powerful about the sense of ‘connectedness’ this sculpture conveys.

The indigenous culture of Australia is one of the oldest in the world and deeply connected to land and sea.  The indigenous people regard themselves as custodians of the ecosystem.  In all the photographs I have taken, this picture reflects this wisdom in his eyes.  It comes alive when a glint of sunshine, visible only if one is lucky enough to see the light, speaks of this.  The artists Alex and Nicole Mickle consulted with the indigenous people of this region, who decided they wanted the sculpture to represent all families in the face of an elder custodian.  He is not one person, but all.  There is power in this statement, alone.

The sculpture is enormous at 5.5 metres high and weighing 4.2 tonnes of steel, yet it has the lightness of being and, despite being placed alongside a children’s playground, the stillness of silence.  Most of the children who come here to play are too young to read the poem.  And, unfortunately, most adults read their hand held screens these days.  If one lifted one’s gaze they would read what the sculpture speaks to:

Sand and water and time move through our fingers;
damp from the sea, the land clings to us –
salty and healing.
Slow down and listen to that whisper in the trees,
slow down.
Listen to the ancestors, bworan moort, keepers of the land
singing to the silvery kwilena
They leap and call.  Hear them –
they have come to play,
come to listen.
Swim, koolangka, chase the seagulls, laugh in the clean air.
See, where serpent rivers swirl into brine,
where maali dip long necks in living water.
Step gently here.
The earth is under our skin,
and Wardandi boodja keeps a warm fire burning.

NOTE:  Bworan moort: Old people/ancestors; maali: swans; kwilena: dolphins; koolangka: children (original citation found at

This is my first contribution to Sculpture Saturday and I’m pleased to share my part of the world with you.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

In response to Sculpture Saturday – Week 7



In open landscape or empty beach I am constantly searching for that one thing that speaks to me and when it does, I settle in to listen.

Jurien Bay, Western Australia

This is the smallest shell I have ever found.  To give some perspective, the sand is fine like sugar.  The shell is no bigger than a nail from an infant’s pinky finger and, like a gift offered, filled with scooped sand.

If we viewed our lives as such, moments scooped in a tiny shell, would we live our lives differently?  Be less afraid?  Love more deeply?  Take risks in the knowledge an ending is just a beginning elsewhere.  Maya Angelou, says this well.

Passing Time (by Maya Angelou)
Your skin like dawn
mine like musk

One paints the beginning
of a certain end.

The other, the end of a
sure beginning.

Worth thinking about …

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

Circle of security

A little dewdrop escaped his lips
and landed on my knee
I gasped in exaggerated surprise
catching his smile, with mine

He slid down his mother’s knee
toddled his first steps across the floor
steadied himself, turned and grinned at me

in that brief moment, I knew
this is not how it should be

His mother missed it all
flicking the feed of selfies galore
chuckling intermittently at what she saw
but how I wish she had seen what I had seen
when he checked in with me

a dawn bird

In response to VJWC – # 72 – Wish

A Walk in the Park …

I work all over this big State of Western Australia, so naturally, this vast land is my neighbourhood as I am rarely home and, I post pictures regularly from wherever my work takes me.  It is rare for me to share pictures from my neighbourhood.  I have posted these pictures some years ago and the prompt is a good reminder to explore the world closer to home more frequently.DSCN6149.jpg
My home adjoins Yellagonga Regional Park, some 1400 hectares of protected land of which nearly half is protected wetlands.  This area is four doors down from my home.  The land in this area is laden with cultural significance for the regional indigenous people and is part of their Dreaming.  I only became aware of this some years ago after a walk through the park with an elder as part of my workplace cultural learning.DSCN9900.jpg
I love that this place teems with new life.  I recall the sheer delight in discovering the black swan’s cygnet is white.DSCN7775.jpg
There are spaces where the Australian shelduck and I can catch our breath.DSCN7786.jpg
Ancient gum trees for company.DSCN7789.jpg
As I approach this roundabout in spring, I have to be careful about the Wood Ducks that use the pond as a nursery before taking their family across the road to the Lake.DSCN9771.jpg
This spring there have been many new families that have arrived over the last six weeks. This year I’ve seen school children stop and take pictures with their phone as they walk home from school.  I love watching their discovery through the lens.

This is my little oasis where other birds, too, call home.  Glad I could share this with you.

As always

a dawn bird

In response to A Photo A Week Challenge – In the Neighbourhood

The nature of the sea …

Sunset, Exmouth Gulf, Exmouth, Western Australia

When I’m by the sea I often reflect on relationships.  Is there such a thing as forever?  Or is there more to be enjoyed in those fleeting moments of visitation, like those experienced by the tides’ ebb and flow?

The picture jogged my memory about what Anne Morrow Lindberg wrote …

“When you love someone, you do not love them all the time, in exactly the same way, from moment to moment.  It is an impossibility.  It is even a lie to pretend to.  And yet this is exactly what most of us demand.  We have so little faith in the ebb and flow of life, of love, of relationships.  We leap at the flow of the tide and resist in terror its ebb.  We are afraid it will never return.  We insist on permanency, on duration, on continuity; when the only continuity possible, in life as in love, is in growth, in fluidity – in freedom, in the sense that the dancers are free, barely touching as they pass, but partners in the same pattern.

The only real security is not in owning or possessing, not in demanding or expecting, not in hoping, even.  Security in a relationship lies neither in looking back to what was in nostalgia, nor forward to what it might be in dread of anticipation, but living in the present relationship and accepting it as it is now.  Relationships must be like islands, one must accept them for what they are here and now, within their limits – islands, surrounded and interrupted by the seas, and continually visited and abandoned by the tides.”  Anne Morrow Lindberg, Gift from the Sea (

One day I will find someone who understands, fully understands, and embraces this philosophy.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird