Where land meets the sea

Just a small selection of the landscapes that I’ve encountered on my travels.thumb_IMG_0936_1024
Mary Street, Highgate, an inner city Perth suburb.thumb_IMG_0227_1024
The Midwest outback near the mining town of Cue, Western Australia.  There were carpets of flowers in this harsh country in spring.thumb_IMG_0445_1024
The descent over Exmouth, Western Australiathumb_IMG_0602_1024
Between Carnarvon and Geraldton.  Taken from inside the car at 110km/hour.  No, I wasn’t driving!thumb_IMG_0876_1024
Between Morawa and Mingenew, Midwest towns, Western Australia.  From the car window again.thumb_IMG_4434_1024
Geographe Bay, Busselton, Western Australia.  One of my favourite bays.thumb_IMG_0931_1024
Outskirts of Geraldton, Western Australia.  Oh! those summer colours of the Midwest!thumb_IMG_0625_1024
Next month … I’m on the road again.

a dawn bird

In response to A Photo A Week Challenge : Landscape

The things I see …

There was a time in my life when I loved visiting art galleries and museums and would seek them out where ever I travelled.  I am not knowledgeable about art.  I just know what I love.  So it is not surprising when I see a piece of art, my eye is immediately drawn to the aesthetics of it.

The wall sculpture below is huge on a bigger wall.  It is striking and I was drawn to it immediately.  I looked at it from close up.  I stepped away from it.  The beauty was the same.  I would have loved to have touched it, run my fingers on shapes and colours and connect with the artist.  But when I read the plaque, I realised I do connect with that master artist, Nature, in a different way.thumb_IMG_4834_1024
Art in foyer, Crowne Plaza Casino, Perth, Western Australia
“Reverie of Land, Line and Form by Jenny Nayton is the study of the ancient geology of Western Australia.  The artform draws on the distinctive character and connection to place created by the unique colours and shapes of the Western Australian landscape.  The sculptural forms are reminiscent of the fluid curves of eroded rocks, such as the local monument Wave Rock in Hyden.”thumb_DSCN5006_1024
Sooty Oystercatcher, Turquoise Bay, Exmouth, Western Australia
I still love art but it no longer just hangs on a wall or from a ceiling.
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Sunrise, Exmouth Gulf, Exmouth, Western Australia
I’ve found the sky, a canvas.thumb_IMG_4921_1024
Bee in flower
I love when still life stills me.thumb_IMG_0713_1024
Succulent, Esperance, Western Australia
And I love looking at the ordinary and find it extraordinary. 

The aesthetics of nature may not be visible to all.  A blindness to be cured for sure.  If it was, would we live differently?

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

In response to RDP – Thursday – Aesthetics

My heart beats, for you …

thumb_IMG_0948_1024With my head on the pillow
I heard my heart beat, loud,
too loud, in the void
still warm from you
lulled by rhythm
of that glorious red
fountain of my being
I drifted forward, bold,
towards the dark
when the yearning, the reality,
that treacherous collaboration
took hold
and woke me from the nightmare
of being feasted on, while alive.

a dawn bird

In response to Word of the Day Challenge – Collaborate

A sure thing …

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The touch was light
imperceptible, except to eye
as I watched him reach,
where battle lines were once drawn
he stopped awhile
and traced the scars
he didn’t ask how, where or why
I let him wander to the edge
his footfall hesitant,
picking his way through sticks and stones
at the juncture
he paused, and tested yield
and in my eyes
the path of least resistance

a dawn bird

 

In response to RDP – Sunday – Wander

Ahhh! Red!

My favourite colour!  Red to me is a colour of celebration, of joy, of anticipation.  It always picks me up.thumb_IMG_0837_1024-2
Tomatoes ready for roasting
I’ve been home for several weeks and enjoying cooking for family and friends.  I love roasting tomatoes before adding them to soups or sauces.  It intensifies the flavour, especially if the stem is left on while roasting.
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Child’s play
Children have taught me, they can make sense of the visual, more than we realise.  They watch and learn.  They categorise.  They learn right from wrong, what goes with what, and where.  They are surrounded by teachers, but none more important and influential than the ones at home. thumb_IMG_0930_1024-2
Hotel art, Geraldton, Western Australia
The HMAS Sydney II was lost off the coast of Geraldton during WWII taking with it the crew of 645, mostly young sailors.  An unimaginable tragedy.  The memorial is one of the most poignant ones I’ve come across in my travels.  Although it is a place of loss, it is also a place of hope, of anticipation, of return.  I’ve written about the Memorial in another post.
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Somewhere over Shark Bay, Western Australia
My commute to work.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

In response to Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #81 – Find something red

A glimpse of me … Judy’s Nosy Questions!

Come and join the fun at Judy’s at lifelessons …

1. Do you like mustard? Yes (Dijon)
2. Choice of carbonated drink? Rarely but when I do Ginger Beer (Australian Bundaberg) or Pepsi Max (glass bottles only)
3. Do you own a gun? No
4. Whiskey, Tequilla, Rum or Vodka? Tequila (in a margarita)
5. Hot dogs or Cheeseburgers? Neither
6. Favorite Type Of Food? Japanese, Thai, South Indian (vegetarian)
7. Do you believe in ghosts? Yes
8. What do you drink in the mornings? Coffee or green tea with mint
9. Can you do a 100 Pushups? Nope!
10. Summer, Winter, spring or fall?? Summer, Spring
11. Favorite hobby? Cooking, reading and writing (indoors); photography (outdoors)
12. Tattoos? No
13. Do you wear glasses? Only for driving.
14. Phobia? Not true phobias but … Reptiles and being immersed in deep water.
15. Nickname? Don’t have one.
16. Three drinks you drink? Champagne, Red wine, Cider
17. Biggest Downfall? I know nothing about cars
18. Rain or Snow? Rain
19. Piercings? Ears
21. Kids? Two (daughter and son)
22. Favorite color? Red
23. Favorite age? 26 (I was in love, I survived a major accident and I bought my first home)
24. Can you whistle? Yes
25. Where were you born? India
26. Brothers or Sisters? one sister and one brother
28. Surgeries? More than 10
29. Shower or Bath? Shower
30. Like gambling? No
32. Broken bones? Yes – numerous
33. How many tv’s in your house? One
34. Worst pain in your life? My divorce
35. Do you like to dance? Yes.  Runs in the family.
36. Are your parents still alive? No
37. Do you like to go camping? Yes

Look forward to your next set of questions, Judy 🙂

a dawn bird

In response to Judy’s Nosy Questions

The unspoken, spoken …

AGE

For some age is a precious commodity, traded in social media likes.  In the real world, it is often an unspoken judgement.  Sometimes, the unspoken is spoken candidly, like the time …

I signalled it was time to leave.  He stood up, pushed himself away from the table and walked across the room.  From his corner, he eyed me silently and then stated with absolute conviction, “You’re old!”  To my surprise, his observation stung me as I had just celebrated a birthday.  It cut close to the bone.  “Old!” I exclaimed.  “Yes, old”, he responded, his face serious with gravity of the moment.  I smiled and tried to diffuse the situation.  I responded in an even voice, “I know I’m old, but how did you know I am old?”  His eyes scanned me while I silently promised myself to check my face more closely, thinking, either my eye sight is failing or I’m getting wrinkles.  Collecting his thoughts, he tells me.  “You’ve got wrinkles on your fingers”.

I invited him back to the table.  With hands side by side, we observe them together.  I share with him, “Your fingers have wrinkles, too”.  He stared hard at my hand and then at his little hand near mine and stated, “Yes.  I’m old too.  I’m four years old.”

May you enjoy a precious moment today.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

In response to Word of the Day Challenge – Unspoken

Look into my eyes …

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Green ant, East Kimberley region, Western Australia

It was early morning in the warm and humid Kimberley region, far north of the State, between Kununurra and Wyndham, when I woke in tree tops, to a wonderland.  There was a Pretty Face wallaby below at the billabong and I watched anxiously, hoping the resident saltwater crocodile was not around.  The birds were waking and the air filled with birdsong.  They were all species new to me, some tiny finches and other large water birds, up in the trees.  I didn’t know where to point my camera.  I didn’t want to miss a moment of the experience.  But, nothing could have prepared me for the next few minutes.

The Kimberley region is stunning country.  The landscapes are expansive and humbling.  The coast, rugged and just gorgeous.  The weather can be harsh.  Extreme heat and tropical storms.  Accessibility to some places can be restricted at certain times of the year as there are some unsealed roads to usual tourist spots.  It is country that demands respect for all that nature delivers.  This is also snake, spider and crocodile country, so I’m instinctively cautious when I travel in this region.  Spiders don’t scare me, but we do have some in Australia that are best left alone.  A quick check around one’s environment, is good practice.  As I stood above the billabong in the shade of the tree canopy, and went to lean on the metal railing, they caught my eye.  A steady stream of ants.  Jewel like, they their bodies glistened like emeralds.  I had never seen green ants before.  I was fascinated.

Have you ever looked into the eyes of an ant?  I was mesmerised.  The intelligence, the awareness of my presence, the guard, all in one tiny creature.  In that moment of connection, I was tiny, and the ant, a giant presence.  An unforgettable moment, a moment larger than life!

May you seek and experience those moments, too.

As always

Until next time

a dawn bird

In response to RDP – Friday – Macro

Lost in reverie …

The morning was warm,
the breeze soft
Beyond the back door, the garden
where I walked happily
when I caught a glimpse of him
in reverie …

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Karijini National Park, Pilbara region, Western Australia

He was tall as a tree
and just as strong
with roots that ran deep,
underground
under my fingertips
his skin ridged and rough
entwined, his hands gnarled,
unlike mine
above ground
his eyes crinkled in sun, in smile
his veins blue, his blood earthy red
amid the midnight rustle,
the softest whisper, come closer
so on the bough I laid my head

a dawn bird

In response to RDP – Thursday – Backdoor

Never too old …

Give me an expanse of water, and you’ll find my footsteps alongside it.  It has been this way for as long as I can remember although, ironically, a non-swimmer, I’m afraid of being immersed in water.DSCN7127
The silver sands of Cable Beach, Broome, Western Australia
I’m always interested in what the tides leave behind.  Sometimes, it is a landscape of trees.  DSCN7132
At other times, exquisite perfection in shells and pieces of coral.DSCN7146
Or stuff that appeals to the child in me.

With photography, I’ve been focusing on ‘inner work’ for some years now to the detriment of every day life, the small stuff, that makes my world go around.  This year I decided to turn my attention to my finances and keep track of where I spend the most.  I’m not into apps at all.  I enjoy spreadsheets.  So started 2020, spreadsheet ready.

On reflecting on my expenditure last year it was an uncomfortable truth, I spend too much on books.  I go into automatic mode at the airport.  I clear security and head to the bookshop.  With several trips a month and books costing around $40 each, it was a hidden monthly expense.  I’ve been able to overcome my habit of buying chocolate each time I buy a book (because one cannot read without chocolate, can one?!).  It was difficult but I was able to achieve it.  I now only eat chocolate from Margaret River and I go there a few times a year.  That takes care of the chocolate habit.

My first trip to the airport this year was torture.  The more I thought of ignoring the book shop, the stronger the desire.  I ‘disrupted the circuity’ by telling myself I would go to the Ladies and then to the book shop, 20 minutes before boarding and I set my alarm for this.  At that particular terminal it is a long walk to the restrooms but it is flanked by two book shops.  I had only a few minutes to spare as I browsed the shelves when I came across the book ‘Tiny Habits:  The Small Changes That Change Everything” by BJ Fogg.  I flicked through the pages and, although the theory is familiar to me, it appealed on a personal level.  I nearly bought it when the message of the book became clear.  I needed this opportunity, a tiny change, not to buy the book.  After all I reasoned, if I really wanted it, it would be on the shelf next trip (delayed gratification).  Late one night I searched for BJ Fogg’s work and found he gave a TED Talk some years ago.  Interesting, on You Tube, and worth having a look.

Since that tiny change, each day before I get out of bed I promise myself I will focus on one small thing.  Call it change.  Call it fine tuning.  I call it behavioural cobwebs that need clearing.  They seem to be there, visible, non-intrusive, and one gets used to them until one spring cleans.

So my apron is on, my reach is long, may 2020 unwrap a new me.

May you find creative ways to achieve what you would like to achieve, and here’s to a shiny, new you.

Until next time

As always,

a dawn bird

In response to VJ’s Weekly Challenge – #80 – Habit

My bags are packed …

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Yes, my bags are packed.  I take my first flight for 2020 today.  I’ve been home since just before Christmas except for driving a quick few days in the South West for work.

It’s been an expensive hiatus getting major home maintenance underway while doing minimal paid work.  I had planned on a few days holiday, doing nothing but writing and photography, but being a fierce fire season, I thought best not to as I had planned on visiting tall timber country.  I’ve rescheduled that for winter now.

Being home has paid off in other ways.  Stationary, I’ve caught up on other jobs.  The one-off maintenance tasks will be completed by the end of the month.  I’ve got a new handyman who I can work with and that’s a huge relief.

This morning I walked around the back garden.  I’ve heard the sprinklers working in the last week and was curious to see how plants are doing.  There’s a sense of relief that the garden will heal from the negligence of my previous gardener.  I plan to keep a closer eye on things from now on.thumb_IMG_0854_1024.jpgLike hope, the pink crepe myrtle is bursting with blooms and buds.  Previously, the flowers appeared mostly in cooler weather when it rained.  While photographing it, I inhaled deeply with delight.  thumb_IMG_0857_1024.jpg
I inhaled the unmistakable perfume of jasmine!  Adjacent to the crepe myrtle, my jasmine ‘tree’ has a few flowers nestled deep in green, yes, green, foliage!  The water is getting through to them!  If you’ve ever nuzzled your face into your baby’s neck and inhaled the sweetness of being, you’ll know what I mean when I say I did the same.  I can’t wipe the smile off my face.  Such simple pleasures to start my day!

I’m off today, flying north, for more complicated experiences!

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

In response to RDP – Tuesday – Stationary

When Dawn breaks …

DSCN0998.jpgThis year
your forever birthday is remembered again
So this morning I woke treading memories
Of where I’ve been
It’s been years
Yet sometimes it feels
I’ve moved on, a day

I wake most mornings alone
While others come and go
Where you once had been
Their warmth is now comforting,
It shouldn’t be, but it is
I’m learning to live guilt free

I recall wrestling with demons was exhausting
they came dressed in well meaning words from friends
in this journey,
life goes on, they said

I’ve found life is not a journey
just as well,
it would had ended long before now
but it didn’t,
somewhere my footsteps faltered
I’m glad they did

I found my home, a new home
to house my body and soul
It has no doors, no gates or windows
The breeze flows
I shut nothing out, nothing in
That’s where, each day, I begin

I reframed the journey,
that common metaphor, into a mirror
it had to be done for me to stand still, and face face
I seek joy in each day
Sometimes in moments like this
finding I now sit comfortably,
in that precarious place
side by side, with pain

And in that moment,
reality takes hold, with each passing day
Grief does not crush
to self, I am true
I am healed, open again
to be loved and to love deeply

Could I have been this brave
Had I not lost you?

a dawn bird

In response RDP – Monday – Daylight

“Ancora Imparo”, Michelangelo

At 87 years of age, Michelangelo said, “Ancora Imparo” (still I am learning).  It is a quote I love.  It guided me throughout my university years and beyond.  As a research student the excitement was not finding the answers, but finding more questions that took me down new paths.  That excitement stays with me in this blogging world when I come across phrases and words that are unfamiliar.  Then there are those that are familiar but have other meanings, new to me.

The word gregarious is not new to me.  It is not a word anyone who knows me would use to describe me.  As luck would have it, I come from a large, loving, accomplished and gregarious family but I never found my place under their sun.  Perhaps that’s why I am quiet, observant, reserved.  I learnt from a very young age, the need for solitude was critical to develop into the person I’m happy to be.

Perhaps from the loss of the family I once knew, oddly enough despite having a reserved nature, I’m drawn to gregarious people, especially men.  I’m attracted to men who laugh heartily, who can tell a joke and hold people captive when they speak, who can say in a booming voice, “how are ya!” and mean it.  Yes, they make me smile long after I’ve met them.IMG_5502.jpg
Son’s wedding, Perth Zoo, Western Australia
So the word gregarious is one I associate with the most is, parties and people. DSCN6777.jpg
I would use the word gregarious to describe this friendly Splendid Fairy Wren, as well.  One that is used to being around people like this one at The Berry Farm, in the Margaret River region.  The little cafe is set in a beautiful small garden where wrens, silvereye, honeyeaters and thornbills are constantly looking for crumbs.  Elsewhere in the scrub, the fairy wren is a shy, timid creature that disappears quicker than I can blink and a source of great disappointment when I cannot get the picture I want.DSCN9954.jpg
My backyard is definitely party time every dusk when the rainbow lorikeets visit.DSCN9949.jpg
They love the mulberry tree where fruit is plentiful when in season.DSCN9927.jpg
Grass Trees, Wanagarren Reserve, near Lancelin, Western Australia

Like I said at the beginning, the word gregarious is one I know well and associate with people and birds.  But I didn’t know until today, it can also be used to describe trees!

I tend to give a wide berth to those who know it all.  To me, that is a sure sign of someone with a closed mind and where learning is stagnant.

So may the new year bring lots of moments of “Oh! I didn’t know that!”.  There’s a sense of excitement in that phrase that I crave.  May you do too.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

In response to RDP – Thursday – Gregarious

This is the year for change …

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At the beach one day I watched a tiny crab push this seed pod along.  I was fascinated by the determination of such a small creature.  It did not seem to have any understanding of the size of the job.  The crab just did it.

So I’ve started my new year with the same determination.  A lot has happened in the past few weeks.  I’m determined to see everything as a positive.  I do believe things happen for a reason.  People come and go out of one’s life for a reason.  I no longer question this.

I’ll start with my garden.  I’ve had the same old gardener for some 16-18 years.  I’ve forgotten how long and cannot remember how I met him either.  He does a good job when he has to clean up the garden so I’ve left the gardening to him over the years.  On the surface everything looks neat and tidy but when home one night, I found the reticulation system did not seem to be working, so I got some quotes.  The highest was $3.5K to fix two stations!  I didn’t give the job to this company.  The other man who gave me a reasonable quote lives around the corner from my home so he is not impressed by the view that seems to jack up the price of any home maintenance.  He not only fixed the two stations but discovered just about every sprinkler and pipe had been damaged.

A also discovered my boundary wall was dangerously unstable, so I had to get a quote for that, too, from someone else.  I asked my gardener to cut down some conifers at the front of the wall so it was clear when building started later this month.  I went inside to get work done and when I returned half an hour later, to my utter dismay, he had also removed a perfectly healthy shrub that was inside the wall and provided me with some privacy.  I was speechless.

Later that night when looking at some old pictures I noticed the garden has reduced by at least 50%.  The shrubs and plants that used to be there, no longer exist.  The jasmine used to rain perfume.  I have not had flowers on it for a year.  The crepe myrtle has bloomed twice in six years.  The climbing roses are gone.  My new handyman found the foliage along the whole back fence has not been watered and I have been losing massive amounts of water elsewhere from leaking pipes.  With trepidation I looked at my water usage.  I have used 94% more water than my neighbours.  The thought of this wastage, makes me feel sick to my stomach.

My old gardener had a habit of coming on my property without invitation and then sending me a bill.  On the surface, like I said, everything looks perfect.  When I queried his last bill, which I have never ever done before, his response was very telling.  “I’m not ripping you off”, the text said.  It was the denial I needed to hear.  As Maya Angelou once said, “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time”.  I’ve had to let him go.

I have put A in charge of the outside maintenance as he has his own property maintenance company.  He’s a lovely man who is professional and thorough.  Like a terrier he sought out the leaks in the garden on his hands and knees in hot weather for hours, and his bill was not crippling either.  Every invoice was meticulous.  He documented every repair.  He is also a carpenter by trade so I can use him for some indoor work as well.  Such a godsend as my old builder fell down some stairs and has been on crutches for months.  I can now get the last of the renovations completed.

Today having returned from my trip to the South West, I was still feeling a bit subdued and tried hard not to think about how much the elderly gardener has cost me in various ways.  Working away from home as I do and having to project manage renovations and ongoing maintenance is a daunting task on my own.

I walked around the garden slowly and felt a sense of comfort.  To my delight, I found the crepe myrtle waving a pink frond in the breeze.  My garden is recovering!  And, it’s only been a week since the repairs.  With the right supports in place, I can do this!

I now have a running spreadsheet documenting all my bills.  Having to pay by direct debit, one can lose sight of expenditure.  Keeping track of money also brings joy much like the joy when stroking one’s clothing and deciding whether it brings joy or not and then discarding (KonMari method).  I feel more in control of everything.

And, that’s how I’m starting the new year.  Celebrate those who come into your life.  Bid farewell to those who need to start new journeys elsewhere, so you can start yours where ever you are.

May your year be blessed with epiphanies.  May discomfort be the catalyst for peace.  May the truth hurt, where it should, because that’s where change will occur.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

In response to One Day Prompt – Conflate – January 9 2020