Feels like home

I’ve just returned from Bunbury.  If there is no traffic, the drive there is a steady two hours on a straight freeway that becomes a major highway to the South West.  Monotonous if one perceives that to be.  Not me.  I know what awaits me there. DSCN9030.jpgI got to Bunbury just moments before the sun slipped into the Indian Ocean.  A moment of pause for me and others too it would seem.DSCN9079.jpgThis morning I was up early and headed to Big Swamp where the bottlebrush is blooming.DSCN9057.jpgAmong the reedy grass I caught a glimpse of a swamp hen chick, not yet purple, blue and red.DSCN9097The Welcome Swallow chick was a delightful ball of fluffy feathers.  It is so new, it didn’t know fear of me.DSCN8978.jpgThere were chicks every where making a silent call for food.DSCN8996.jpgA young New Holland honeyeater obliged with a moment of stillness.DSCN9125.jpgThen came the Splendid Blue Fairy Wren, in his gorgeous feathers of blue.DSCN9127.jpgAfter a frantic game of chase, he rested with his mate.DSCN9136.jpgOn the other side of the boardwalk, the big cormorant ignored my presence.  I’ve not seen this type of cormorant here before.  It sat on the branch for the whole of two hours I was there.  Probably still there!

I spend a couple of hours here each time I visit Bunbury.  Even the regular walkers now know me by face and update me on what’s new in the wetlands.

As the late Duchess of Windsor purportedly said, home is where the heart is, so this morning, home was here.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

 

 

 

 

Yesterday, today and tomorrow

She comes to the door of the B&B, her smile is 100 watt dazzle.  Slumped over the walking frame, she looks a couple of generations older, but I’m sure she’s not.  Her home is period.  She tells me it was cut and transported piece by piece from Kalgoorlie where it was a boarding house.  It is endlessly large with high ceilings.  She has beautiful taste.  She bought the home for a pittance and renovated it faithful to the period.  Everything in the home was bought for next to nothing.  Huge jarrah posts discarded by a farmer for $8 a piece, she tells me, laughter making her eyes shine.  We both know the posts would cost hundreds of dollars in the city.  Stained glass windows discarded by someone else exchanged or bartered, one is always lucky to find them, we know this too.  She has polished, painted and brushed it all back to life from another century.  She has grand plans for so much more and not allowed pain or limited mobility to dampen her enthusiasm.

My bedroom is blue and white.  The bed, one of the most comfortable I’ve had in a long time.  I was too exhausted to eat, so I lay down in the white warmth and slept fitfully only to wake early evening to water running.  I follow the sound outdoors.DSCN8486.jpgHer garden is a delight.  I stop to take a picture here and there.DSCN8539.jpgThe ornamental almond tree was frosted white.DSCN8543.jpgThe ornamental peach tree bloomed elsewhere.DSCN8528.jpgThere were bulbs bejewelled with bees.DSCN8545.jpgI found this in one corner, my camera sees what she hasn’t in a long time.  “How on earth did that bloom there?”, she asks me, and we both laugh at her surprise. DSCN8496.jpgI loved the white flowers in another corner and asked her what they were.  She tells me, they are English May, a cutting from her grandmother’s garden.  It’s something she cherishes.  Not hard to see why.DSCN8510.jpgShe is seated on a plastic chair, crutches to the side, water hose in hand dousing dirt in front of her with about 15 silver eye keeping her company.  They dig into the damp soil for tasty morsels.  She giggles like a little girl at their antics.

I step away into the background, camera in hand and reflect.

If this is old age ….

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

 

Ballerinas, in the bush

I had never thought to look for wild orchids in Helms Arboretum, Esperance.  I usually park here for a few minutes when I visit the town to enjoy the parrots in the tall gum trees and to catch a few minutes alone.  But having read a blog recommended by Tracy (Reflections of an Untidy Mind), I walked around instead of staying in my car.

Wild orchids love debris of leaves and fallen logs.  So do snakes.  Dugites look like fallen twigs.  They are deadly and agile.  Spring time is their time.  Maybe that explains why I have never walked around here before.  But I was prepared this time for bush walking and dressed in my best protective gear.  I stepped off the plane to here.

DSCN7548.jpgTo the novice, this is just rubble.  Not me.  My heart raced as I walked around.  I anticipated seeing some wild orchids, just as the blog had published.DSCN7108.jpgSoon I found the first orchids.  DSCN7303.jpgTiny bulbs.  I had never seen orchid bulbs before.DSCN7305.jpgThe donkey orchids bloomed, stained like tortoise shells, in their hundreds.DSCN7279.jpgAmong the grass there were spider orchids.DSCN7269.jpgOh! so graceful in bud!DSCN7268.jpgWhen blooming, they danced around, ta da ing their way across grass and rubble.DSCN7275.jpgTheir heart, exquisite.DSCN7124.jpgSome bloomed in trios, each more graceful than their neighbour, in still posture.DSCN7337.jpgI headed over to the Lookout where there is a steep gradient over granite rock to bush land below.  I’ve found white sugar orchids here before, so I went looking.  I wasn’t disappointed!DSCN7549.jpgThere were some that were stronger in colour.  Each detail so perfect in dusk light.DSCN7355.jpgOthers, tinted white.DSCN7360.jpgAnd others, deep in the bush, barely pink.

I have no other words to describe these orchids, other than ballerinas, because they dance so gracefully, in the breeze.

They lit up my heart, eyes and mind.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

PS Thank you Tracy!

 

 

 

 

In spring, my steps are slow

Yesterday I spent the first three early hours of the day in Foxes Lair in Narrogin.  I barely walked two kilometers as there was so much to see.DSCN9972.jpgThe Lair was a florist shop.  There are thousands of flowers and different species every few steps.  Instead of rubber necking, I decided to explore one side of the track before exploring the other.   I also decided to look for the smaller flowers that the eye can barely see.DSCN9998.jpgI found tiny purple tassle flowers.DSCN9949.jpgBlue lechenaultia blooming in some corners.DSCN7060.jpgWhile others responded more slowly to sunlight.  Blue and purple flowers are more difficult to see in dense bushland where white, pink and yellow are dominant colours in spring.DSCN7079.jpgI spent a lot of time with the exquisitely tiny paper everlasting flowers.  They are barely visible to the naked eye.DSCN7090.jpgThey love the sun and open at first rays before one’s eyes.DSCN7092.jpgHow cute is this?DSCN7089I loved the white flowers too, interspersed among the pinks.DSCN9992The tiny pink fairy orchids were scattered here and there.DSCN7084.jpgThe sundew were less frequently seen this month.  I love these flowers.DSCN9953.jpgThe hakea tassle flowers were frosting large bushes, white with pink tips.DSCN9990.jpgI found this beautiful white orchid, demurely blooming behind a log.DSCN7029.jpgI thought this was moss but it looks like a succulent of some kind.DSCN9979.jpgThis was the only pimelea I found during my walk.  Beautiful!DSCN7036.jpgI heard a squawk above my head, only to find a young redcap parrot, all ruffled to greet the day.DSCN7056.jpgWhile another young parrot groomed nearby.DSCN7051.jpgOn the ground, the red breasted robin kept me company.

I’m now off to the Great Southern region and when I return, I hope to have, more of the same.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

 

 

Take Five

It was cold in the Wheatbelt town of Merredin.  I woke to find I was curled up tight in the womb of my warm bed.  I turned the heater on and leapt back into bed while I listened to the freight train roll by, rattling windows in the cabin, and let my thoughts travel too.

I recently stopped at a small cafe run by a retired couple in a small farming town.  She makes the best sandwiches!  And, her lemon curd tartlets are out of this world!  It was too early in the morning when I got there for me to justify buying baked goods, so I chatted to them while they made me breakfast.  The cafe also has a small shop attached to it.  It would appear the locals put things like jams and embroidered napkins there on consignment. So I wandered around while talking to them.

An old boot caught my eye.  It had a tag attached to it.  “$20 donation for Give Cancer the Boot”.  It turns out someone’s daughter was recently diagnosed with breast cancer.  The town has rallied to raise money.  Sprayed bright pink, the old boot belongs to a farmer who brought it in, with flower, to add to the money raising effort.

thumb_IMG_3604_1024.jpgThe boot sits outside my study window.  It reminds me life is fragile, and living in community makes one stronger.  I take time to talk to strangers.  They love to talk about their community, I’ve found.  Like the old boot that no longer dances, but the story of its new life, can still make a heart sing.  So I consciously and mindfully live life closer to the source and Source.DSCN9631.jpgThe clump of snowdrops at my doorstep has grown, having arrived three weeks later than they did last year.  They seem to have survived another year of my old gardener’s enthusiasm for clearing flower beds and his failing eyesight!.  I looked through dozens of flowers and found myself wanting to see what was under the hood.  Now I know!thumb_IMG_3600_1024.jpgIn the back garden the Cape Gooseberry is fruiting.  I love this fruit and they hardly ever stay long enough on the bush without me picking off the lanterns while still green.  I found this one on the ground, encased in gossamer, the detail, exquisite.DSCN9803.jpgI know while bush walking, there are tiny flowers and foliage to search for and delight in.  I also know some folks are intent on the walk itself, and miss what my eyes search for.  I also know that’s their journey, not mine.  So I let them walk by.DSCN9780.jpgWhat I search for in bush country, are the tiny wild orchids that grow in impossible places.  They remind me of a plaque I have in my study “Bloom where God plants you”.DSCN9799.jpgThis year the orchids are prolific.  DSCN9756I love the detail of these delicate orchids that seem to bloom in harsh conditions, with attitude!  If this is not a diva presence, I’m not sure what is!DSCN9819.jpgAnd who can walk past the beautiful banksia and not stop to marvel at this wonderful plant.  I love the symmetry of the prickly leaves too.DSCN9836.jpgThere are tassle plants growing everywhere and after uploading the photograph, I can see the details, hidden to the naked eye.  I’ve come to learn through photography, beauty is often sensed and not always seen, until later.DSCN9993.jpgThese are mallee and gum trees.  The mallee is like a gangly teenager, with out of proportion limbs and leaves.  Or, so I thought.  DSCN9996.jpgWhen I stood under it, I had to ask myself, how did I miss this before?DSCN9913.jpgYes spring is here.  The turnip weed flowers are everywhere alongside roads and highways.  The soft canola, is painted across the landscape in broad strokes of vivid yellow.

This is just a view.  A fleeting view.  Pedestrian, if you like.  Just like life.  Unless one stops long enough to cherish living a full and meaningful one.

So, promise yourself today to take five.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spring, at last!

DSCN9801.jpg

Today is the first day of spring in the Southern Hemisphere.  A time synonymous with memories of love and laughter.

When I was married, on this day, I could count on my husband giving me a bunch of flowers with a funny poem he had written.  This was our tradition, every year.  I’m not sure what I looked forward to more, the flowers or the corny poem.

The father of my children may be absent from my life but the memory of many happier times is inescapable, on the first day of spring.

I am also reminded each year at spring, even the infinitesimally small can push through gravel and clay, to bloom again.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

 

Oeuvre 2/2

To continue with Nature’s oeuvre at this time of the year …

There is no other way to describe finding wild orchids in the bush, except pure delight.  They are delicate and grow in harsh conditions.

 

 

DSCN9693.jpgThe donkey orchid is prolific.  This was was crusted with frost.DSCN9698.jpgThe shy cowslips that bloom in shady places.DSCN9723.jpgTo find a clump of them is special.DSCN9786.jpgThe clubbed spider orchid looks like a marionette.DSCN9817.jpgThe hooded jug orchids are beautiful in their own special way.DSCN9800.jpgThe tiny, tiny pink fairy orchid is in a class of its own.

Australia may have the big iconic landmarks of the Great Barrier Reef, the Sydney Opera House.  I’m here to tell you there’s more to see…

If you ever visit Western Australia, be sure you come in our spring.  If you love flowers, there is no where else on earth quite like it.

I’m off now to share more of Nature’s oeuvre … I’ll be home soon.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird