The first glimpse of …

It was the first trip of the year and little time for anything except work.  My plans of walking around town with camera, taking pictures of the magnificent heritage architecture in the Goldfields region, were scrapped.  The small mining town felt like it was bursting at the seams with people.  An atmosphere reminiscent of the wild, wild, West.  I just didn’t feel comfortable walking around on my own.  I drove to the sister town of Boulder and it was the same, so I returned to the hotel without taking a single picture.

The next day at lunchtime, as is my habit, I went to the park for a quick lunch and hoped for a longer time with camera photographing the gum flowers and birds.  It was nearly 40 degrees C and no shade.  I had to return to the office, dejected, without a single photograph of my trip!

As I approached the entrance to the building, it caught my eye.  I had seen it the previous day in the garden.  It looked like it was some kind of plastic toy wedged against another plant.  The next day when I returned from lunch, it was still there.  I decided to walk closer to inspect it.thumb_IMG_0983_1024
Echeveria ‘Domingo’

It took my breath away!  In the harshest sun in harsher country, this bloomed with such delicacy.  I have a desk plaque on a table in my foyer, a reminder to self, each time I enter my home or leave it – “Bloom where God plants you”.  When away from home, I needed this to touch base.

I showed the picture to the office staff.  They loved it.  “Where did you find this?” they asked, thinking it was from one of my travels.  “Outside, in the garden, by the front door”.  They looked confused and surprised.  One staff member’s window opened to this and she never noticed it before!  I had no idea succulents are so beautiful.  I learnt something new that day.  It will definitely have a presence in my new garden.

On my return home, the flight was full.  I was seated at the back.  Never a good seat on a Friday night when miners are going home and have had too much down time at the bar.  I averted my body, away from the odour of stale beer, and towards a succulent sky.thumb_IMG_0986_1024My trip, fraught as it was with work, taught me to look beyond the desk and when plans don’t work out, respond to curiosity and look beyond.

I brought the vision home, to share with you.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

In response to Cee’s Flower of the Day Challenge

In response to A Photo a Week Challenge – Work



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 –

Spring flowers in Foxes Lair

Having to take two weeks’ medical leave in October, I’ve had to cram six weeks into the month of September to ensure I met the requirements of my work.  Somehow it did not feel exhausting.  I have travelled through Western Australia at the best time of the year and managed to have a few days R&R as well. How did I do this?  I’d rather not stop to think!

One of the things I have tried during the year is to get to Foxes Lair, a nature reserve in Narrogin, some 215km south east of home, early enough late afternoon so I could spend time here at dusk.  I usually go early morning when I’m working in the town, but I wanted to spend an afternoon here.  I managed to do this in September.

The reserve had more freesia than I’ve seen before and the light breeze wafted perfume in the warm afternoon.DSCN7452.jpg
There were huge shrubs, white as snow with flowers.DSCN7558.jpg
This is a close up of the flowers.DSCN7486.jpg
To say it felt like I was walking through a florist shop is an understatement.  I was a couple of weeks too late for the orchids, but there were a lot of other wild flowers around.DSCN7572.jpg
I love this succulent which is tiny, a Kickbush, I believe is the name and I’ve only seen it in one particular corner of the reserve, so of course, my eye searches for the exquisite, tiny flowers.DSCN7603.jpg
And, this is my all time favourite.  I really believe they belong on a wedding cake!DSCN7480.jpg
And of course the Creamy Candles that waved in the bush and caught my eye.DSCN7467.jpg
The tiny pink paper everlastings were just a pink fuzz early morning, carpets of them everywhere.DSCN7451.jpg
The Tangled Grevilla was prolific.DSCN7516.jpg
As were the Purple Tassels.DSCN7502.jpg
And the most beautiful pimelea.

I should feel satiated, but time in nature has the opposite impact on me.  I feel greedy and want more of the same.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

In response to Word of the Day Challenge – Hunger

Wreath Flowers

It was on my bucket list of things to do but I never got around to taking time off to see these wonderful flowers until this year partly because the timing has got to be right.  This year we got there at just the right time, a week too early, a week too late, and we would not have seen them.

They are known as wreath flowers, a type of Leschenaultia that grows wild in the midwest region, north of Perth.  DSCN7696.jpg
The flowers grow roadside where gravel has been disturbed and we met people from around the world who came to see this iconic, rare flower that grows in Western Australia.DSCN7691.jpg
The colours were from soft butter.DSCN7694.jpg
To infant pink …thumb_IMG_0120_1024.jpg
Deeper pink …thumb_IMG_0122_1024.jpg
To fuschia … the coverted red was elusive.DSCN7695.jpg
Close up they are delicate.

It was a memorable day but I was saddened when I talked to the local lady at the petrol station who told me they are desperately waiting for rain.  Their annual rainfall is 390 mm and they have only had 100 mm this year.  The farmers have been optimistic and planted, looking upwards and sideways for rain.

May Lady Luck and Mother Nature join forces soon.  The farmers deserve a break.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

In response to One Word Sunday – Luck – hosted by Debbie Smyth


Milkmaids (Burchardia umbellata), Manea Park, Bunbury, Western Australia

As the Northern Hemisphere moves into autumn, we in the Southern Hemisphere embrace the warmth of spring.

Nothing speaks more of spring to me than these beautiful milkmaids that grow wild in the bush.  They float on tall stalks among grass and scrub, delicate and inviting.


Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

In response to Cee’s FOTD photography challenge – 29th September 2019

I gave you a garden …

I’ve always had roses in my garden.  In my old house, I had a hedge of 14 iceberg roses and when they shed the petals, it was snow in summer.  I loved them.

Dr T has a green thumb.  He loves native flora.  I regret not sharing his interest when we were married.  He created and kept a beautiful garden.  Never a blade of grass out of place.  I remember a particular argument with me (unfairly) accusing him of never doing anything for me.  He calmly responded, he gave me a garden.  I was so young then to truly appreciate the sentiment.  I do, now.

Dr T and I had made a deal we would plant a rose bush in the garden on the anniversary of our wedding each year.  The first one was Sweetheart and the last, Peace.  Sums up our long relationship and where we are now!  I really wanted to bring the Sweetheart rose bush with me when I moved but was reluctant in case it died.  My former home is around the corner from where I now live, so I see the roses every day.

I’m not a roses girl, but if you gave me tulips … especially white tulips … well, that’s another story.  I much prefer roses in the garden.  The only person who cuts and takes my roses indoors, is my neighbour who has my permission to enjoy them when I’m not home.

The last few days have been gruelling of driving long distances in very poor weather.  This morning I rose at 6:30am.  It was dark and cold in the chalet in the Wheatbelt, … minus 1 degree C I’m told.  I lay in bed for another half an hour trying to warm before the dash to the kitchen for coffee.  While in bed the freight train rolled past.  I felt the rumble through the floor.  A delicious feeling of vibration that travelled up my spine.  I enjoyed the moment thinking I’ll be home for the night.  I felt a pang of wanting to be home and where the roses are.

I left work early and arrived home just before dusk to find my front garden is awash with roses.  Probably the last of them before winter pruning.

Enjoy with me!







Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

In response to RDP – Friday : Rose

Cee’s Flower of the day challenge – 27 April, 2019 – Wild Orchid


Western Australia is renowned for its wild flowers, with many species not found elsewhere.  Among the thousands of species of wildflowers there are several hundred species of orchids.  Often found growing among leaf debris in the bush, the wild orchid is a thing of beauty.

a dawn bird

In response to Cee’s Flower of the Day – FOTD – Challenge

A summer garden

thumb_IMG_0521_1024.jpgSummer, in my frosted garden.

When in bloom, the jasmine rains steadily.  The perfume is almost overwhelming.  The bees and I can’t get enough of it.

I’ve grown to love this garden.  The previous owner was a florist.  She knew what to plant and where.  I lost the honeysuckle vine in the storm, but glad the jasmine survived winter’s wrath.

I’m slowly adapting to this space.  It is special for many reasons, but the most important one being, it is home to me.

Until next time

a dawn bird




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