In the company of nature

I found Robin’s Breezes at Dawn on Eliza Waters’ post and thought I’d join in and share my side of the world for Walktober 2020.

Like many around the world, my work has been impacted by the pandemic and, although the regions I used to travel to regularly have been lost to budgetary cuts, I seem to be busier than usual trying to make up the shortfall. Having found someone special (Mr FIFO*) during this period of social restrictions (now that was a hidden bonus!), I realised I was out of sorts frequently, or at least, he drew my attention to this. It made me realise how vital it has become to my mental and physical well being to be in nature every day. So last Sunday I stopped all I was doing and spontaneously decided to visit our city park, Kings Park and Botanic Gardens in the centre of Perth, Western Australia.

Kings Park is large at just over 400 hectare overlooking the Swan River and city. It looks untended to the novice eye but there are grassed areas, botanical gardens and large areas of natural vegetation. When I got there, I realised most other people at home had the same idea of enjoying spring outdoors. I had to park my car a long distance from where I wanted to be and walked a good half an hour in warm sunshine to the trees.

I stood among the tangle of limbs and took a deep breath and let the trees exhale for me.

From above the skywalk my fingertips walked the length of the Rottnest Island tea tree below me.

And among the tall timber trees I looked up when a shadow flitted by.

A kookaburra, silent and watchful in the late afternoon.

I stood at this small pond and watched a honeyeater water bomb and catch tiny insects. I grew frustated at myself as I could not get the picture I wanted, so I put my camera away and just enjoyed the moment. Sometimes nature expects us to do this, I feel.

At the entrance to the banksia grove was a mural at my feet. I’ve learned from walking, there’s always something to see.

Hidden under large shrubs, the most delicate wax flowers.

Open vistas where en masse wildflowers were gorgeous.

And the delight no less in the tiny everlasting flower that stands alone.

Later that evening I was texting with Mr FIFO who was working very remote. After a period of texting he asks me if I’m sitting in my ‘reading room’. Why? I queried. He responded, “You seem calm and relaxed”. I told him I had been in the company of trees that afternoon. If ever I needed proof in the restorative power of nature, this was it.

May October take you to paths unknown and may you delight in the experience of returning to self.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

In response to Walktober

*FIFO (fly in, fly out) usually referred to workers in mining regions who come in to work and return home on rostered shifts.

Spring has arrived

My home is in a small pocket of the suburb. As you enter the area, a large roundabout that circles a pond, dominates. Circling the pond are poinciana trees that are gorgeous in bloom especially when the white heron perch on branches. The ducks are often here waddling across from the protected wetlands beyond the trees. To be part of this neighbourhood one knows this. We slow down. We urge others to slow down. It is a reflex. This area belongs to the wildlife here. Around spring time we are even slower. This year we were anxious. We hadn’t seen any ducklings. It was the talk of the party the other night. What happened to them this year? Perhaps, snakes had eaten the eggs some reflected. Then yesterday I drove in and saw a couple of children running excitedly towards the pond. I knew there was something to see. I parked my car and walked back.

There she was! Proud mum with seven ducklings in tow and in perfect formation. The leader established poll position.

The sun shimmered on the tiny specks of fluff.

These two were inseparable.

I listened to the laughter of the children, and through the prism of their smiles, we watched the arrival of new life.

May you be energised by new life where ever you may be.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

In response to RDP – Saturday – Prism

When stupidity is serious

Social distancing sign at a primary school, Western Australia

As someone who works in clinical settings, it astounds me how quickly children have adapted to the ‘new normal’. Coughing into their elbow comes with ease. Washing hands while singing ‘Happy Birthday’ three times, is the norm, even in the Ladies Toilet at airports, much to my amusement. Elbow bump is a hug. The chorus, “we are keeping our friends and ourselves safe” is common sense. This sign caught my eye. It doesn’t get any more Australian than this!

Today I read our Government is keeping the West Australian border closed possibly until April. Keeping the border closed seemed to have a lot of support. We are living with relatively less fear than in other parts of the country or world. The threat of a deadly virus has kept us alert and cautious. We are now into spring. Interestingly, I did not hear of anyone getting the flu over the winter. Perhaps the social distancing, wearing of masks in confined places and washing of hands, especially after coming home from the community has made the difference. Common sense that did not rob us of our freedom.

Watching world leaders exhibit such recklessness, one can only channel John McEnroe and say, “You can’t be serious man. You cannot be serious!”.

In response to RDP – Wednesday – Serious

Spring shower

I’ve just returned after a short break. A mission to find myself, if you like. This morning I woke early and stayed in bed listening to the unmistakable sound of rain pelting outdoors. For a brief moment I was disappointed. I had planned on doing so much and knew the rain meant I have to change my day’s plans. Then I remembered the blessings of a spring shower which I’m sharing with you today as they all fit somewhere in the wide spaces of my heart.

In the Bunbury wetlands, the colour of spring.
The perfection of a bookleaf mallee frond, in the Goldfields.
Masses of Geraldton wax, in the Midwest, growing wild roadside.
To search is to find, in the Aboreteum in Esperance, the wild orchids.
Spider orchid, Esperance, Western Australia.
The globe banksia, a sunset among green foliage in Albany, in the Great Southern.
A banksia, the colour I have not seen before, in Albany.
Paddocks of wildflowers, growing roadside in the Midwest.
Oh! the yellow canola fields of the Midwest.
And a few kms down the highway, the landscape added purple, with Paterson’s curse, a weed.
The most exquisite tiny succulent flowers in a dry creek bed in Meekathara, outback Midwest.

May today’s rain bring you new growth, new life, new opportunities for transforming your life’s landscape, just like Nature does mine.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

In response to RDP – Thursday – Pelt