A time for reflection


I worked a long day yesterday.  By night I needed reflection.DSCN8717.jpgI went where I had lunch one afternoon.  There’s a cafe to the right of this with beautiful views over water.  But no, I wanted to be in the scrub!  To my delight the place was teeming with birds.  I know them well enough by the call.DSCN8571.jpgI found a tiny male zebra finch with wisdom in his eyes.DSCN8567.jpgThen there was the female finch.  She flew up, caught the blade of grass in her beak and slid down, showering grass seeds on the ground.  She then fed in privacy in the tall grass.  Clever!DSCN8519.jpgEver watchful, high in thick scrub, were a pair of rainbow bee eaters.  Aloof, silent, predatory.DSCN8584.jpgThe yellow honey eaters, feasted on flowers, their maniacal laughter-like call, harsh, for such a pretty bird.DSCN8618.jpgWith ‘lipsticked lips’ pursed tightly shut, the Pacific Gull was dignified in defeat as silver sea gulls stole lunch and flew away screeching. DSCN8635.jpgThe Brahminy kite (I think), from the highest vantage point, watched all, then flew away silently.

Reflections on my experiences last night gave me a new understanding, life is not the journey we are given, but how we choose to travel.  I recalled this in a poem which says it better, so I’d like to share it with you today …

A Strong Woman vs a Woman of Strength
A strong woman works out every day to keep her body in shape …
but a woman of strength builds relationships to keep her soul in shape.

A strong woman isn’t afraid of anything …
but a woman of strength shows courage in the midst of fear.

A strong woman won’t let anyone get the better of her …
but the woman of strength gives the best of herself to everyone.

A strong woman makes mistakes and avoids the same in the future …
A woman of strength realises life’s mistakes can also be unexpected blessings, and capitalises on them.

A strong woman wears a look of confidence on her face …
but a woman of strength wears grace.

A strong woman has faith that she is strong enough for the journey …
but the woman of strength has faith that it is in the journey that she will become strong.
(Author Unknown) cited in a book ‘The Voice of Silence’ by Oonagh Shanley Toffolo.

May all the steps you take today, make you stronger.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

In the company of robins

Each morning I shivered as I dressed in layers.  The temptation to be among nature overrode the discomfort.  On my last morning my appointment was earlier so I planned to skip my walk and have a leisurely breakfast, pack and check out instead.  The first tweet I heard, changed my plans.  Just like that!

DSCN8033.jpgI went for a quick walk and when I returned to the property, something fell from the tree in front of me.DSCN7863.jpgA pair of white breasted robins.  DSCN8053.jpgOne was friendly and stayed with me.  Or perhaps, I was following.DSCN8054.jpgThe delight of company!DSCN8052.jpgBoth equally curious about the other.DSCN8051.jpgMy hands shook with delight so I tried hard to relax, so did the robin.DSCN7890.jpgIt hopped and flew all around me.DSCN7893The other hid behind pots but managed one shy look, and retreated again.

I spent no more than twenty minutes outdoors.  It renewed me.

I’m back at home in the city.  This morning I went outdoors and wandered in a bleak winter garden.  I found a honeyeater’s tiny nest in a tree.  There’s always something to delight the eye, if you seek it.  That has become my philosophy.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

Check this out!

DSCN8693.jpgCuriosityDSCN6793.jpgAnxiety Curiosity

My work consists of making sense of what I see and what I hear.  Photography has fine tuned my skills in an unexpected way.  It helps me stay in the moment.  Once uploaded, I reflect.

My style of working with people has evolved and moving more towards what I trained in recently.  I attended a very useful professional development event and took part in an exercise.  The exercise was a simple one for a complex problem.  It resembled something a magician would do where the routine would go, “Think of a number ….” and the magician comes up with the right answer at the end of it.  This had a twist.  One person thought of the problem and the other did not know what it was.  By the end of the routine, through the right line of questioning, the person with the problem had solved it on their own.  That’s the hallmark of a good therapist. 

My father went to university but not my mother.  They did not travel the world.  But they had wisdom that is still relevant.  One of their favourite sayings, “a little bit of knowledge, is a dangerous thing”, is something I find useful every day.  My children’s father had something similar to say during my early years at university, “If you are going to work with people, know your stuff!”  It is advice I pass on to our son.  In a world of information (and misinformation), I always find it useful to ask people, “What do you think is happening?”  It defines the map of their journey taken and the one we will take together.

Unless you are trained in what to look for, looking in is subjective and ill-informed.  Without knowing history, one can misread social cues and behaviour.  As Thomas Szasz puts it, “… there is only biography and autobiography”.

A good listener, knows this.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

Just add colour

It’s grey outside.  Cold, too.  I’ve been home for a few hours overnight and headed out again for one of my last trips for this financial year. I have to confess, I’m limping over the finished line so I’m taking a few minutes to myself while waiting for the taxi to arrive.

thumb_IMG_3182_1024 copyIn my garden a lone purple rose is blooming.  The bees are having a pollen spa.  They are fascinating to watch.DSCN5677.jpgIn the backyard the rainbow lorikeet added colour to any otherwise ordinary day.DSCN7632.jpgI’m dreaming of far away places, like Broome.  Time to go there.IMG_2614.jpgBut for now, I’m off to Esperance again.  It promises to be cold, wet and windy.  But always beautiful, even if the only light is an (unknown) berry in the garden, that glows.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird



My winter plans

I’ve been up since 4 am.  I’ve finished one report and hoping to complete another before I fly out again this afternoon.  It’s howling wind and rain outside while I’m enjoying my coffee and short break while anticipating the next few weeks.

I love the South-West region of our state in winter.  I have some work coming up near a tiny hamlet called Balingup.  I love this little place of less than 300 people.  The population is made up largely of retired professional folks who enjoy a tree change.  I always wanted to buy a small holiday home here but somehow never got around to it.  The place is known for its colourful scarecrows and an annual medieval festival.

DSCN8784.jpgRoadside in Balingup where wild freesias grow.

DSCN8791.jpgThen there’s Donnybrook.  Known for apples and orchards.  I have to spend a few days here and so looking forward to it.

DSCN2569.jpgOn the way to Margaret River, our premier wine country, I’m looking forward to a walk along Geographe Bay.  I’ve walked the 1.8 km Busselton Jetty and this time, weather permitting, visiting the underwater viewing area is on my list.

DSCN8579.jpgI always love Margaret River in winter.  A chalet, good cheese, a good red, blanket and book fireside, and I’m happy.  Of course, there’s also the added attraction of tiny wrens!

DSCN3482.jpgI’m hoping to find some time to walk in the Perth Hills.  I’m not sure what’s blooming at this time of year.  I’m never home to find out!  This picture and the next were taken in spring.

DSCN3484.jpgI know the coming weeks will bring moments of sheer joy.

Then, I’ll return home and share them with you.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird



Full circle

via Daily Prompt: Forest

Encouraged in childhood to achieve academically, my parents would tell me to focus on the bigger picture and not get caught up with minutae.  I followed their advice into adulthood.  I saw the forest and lived among invisible trees.

Not any more.

I take time each day to see the smaller things.  They don’t obstruct my goals or views.  If anything, they enhance my thinking and bring joy to my day.  I’ll share some pictures that I’ve shared before to illustrate what I mean.

On a cold and rainy morning in Esperance I headed out to Lake Warden where the sunrise over it is beautiful.  I had about a minute before the sun rose when a ute approached me on a narrow country road.  His speed generated a flurry between the cars and forced me to slow down.  I was annoyed at having lost a few precious seconds when I glanced out the car window.  The delight at what I saw made me switch off the engine and forget about the sunrise.

DSCN8342On the road beside me were several inland thornbill, given their size, they are also affectionately known as ‘button bums’.  Had I not been forced to slow down, I would have missed this beautiful moment of shared joy.DSCN8344.jpgThe rain had left a puddle in the middle of the road.  The birds were thoroughly enjoying a communal bath, undeterred by my presence.DSCN8353.jpgSome immersed themselves fully and then shook themselves fluffy.  DSCN8357.jpgOthers walked away from the puddle with confidence and returned.  Dip, fluff, repeat.DSCN8366.jpgThere was one that tried not to get wet and stretched tiny legs to stay upright.DSCN8367.jpgThe result was inevitable!DSCN8349.jpgWhile another took a break and found me the curiosity.  And, that was just fine with me!

There are times I feel I am raising the child in me to be more aware.  It is in those moments I feel like that is the intention of the reach.  If it is and makes a difference, then I have come full circle.  It is a happier place to be.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird







Bushwalking, in autumn

via Daily Prompt: Laughter

It was 7 degrees Celsius in Narrogin, over 200 km south east of home.  I made a cup of coffee in the dark, pulled the curtains wide open and propped myself up in bed.  Sunrise was expected at 6:52 am.  It was worth the wait.

I wasn’t alone.  There was laughter high in the gum trees in nearby Foxes Lair.  The kookaburras were awake too.  I sat in bed and tried to identify the various birdsong.  The noisy Black Carnaby cockatoos, ringneck parrots, New Holland honeyeaters.  I’m getting good at this!  Or maybe the darkness heightened my listening skills.

DSCN7120The view from my hotel bed is always spectacular.  As soon as it was light enough I scrambled out of bed, bed hair tucked under beanie and headed to the Lair.

DSCN7195.jpgThe fog hung low as I walked alone, taking in every sensory experience.  The crunch of my footsteps, gum nuts showering around me (courtesy of the parrots), the birdsong, the honking of the Australian shelducks that chased each other above the trees, the smell of gum trees.  DSCN7168.jpgThere were boughs of delicate golden wattle, breaking up the grey green of winter that’s only weeks away.DSCN7173.jpgLichen painted limbs strewn carelessly.DSCN7163.jpgWhile other limbs were decorated with frills.DSCN7147.jpgThe occasional splash of colour at my feet.DSCN7200.jpgThen the parrot caught my eye.  It was probably watching me long before I saw it!  It was silent and blended in beautifully with foliage.DSCN7194Soon followed by a shower of red robins that descended on the trees and shrubs around me.  Curious about my presence, they were gorgeous!DSCN7237.jpgAs I was leaving I met a local who knows the reserve well.  He told me he found a bunny orchid the day before, so I followed him like a child.DSCN7251.jpgThe bunny orchids on the stem were tiny.  Each flower the size of a child’s pinky nail.  Exquisite!  My delight was so obvious, he left me alone with them!

Bush walking has taught me a valuable lesson:  Expect to find something beautiful.  It has become my mantra every day.

I know by living this kind of thinking, be it bush or city, my expectations are never set too high.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird