My bags are packed …


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

Winter roses

We are nearly a month into winter in the Southern Hemisphere.  I’ve been mostly housebound for the last two days staying dry and away from the winter storms that blew in.  During a moment of brief respite, I walked around the front garden.  It looks like a wedding has taken place with petals strewn everywhere.  There are still plenty of roses, weighed down heavy with raindrops.  I had to take a few pictures, actually I took 112 pictures in a half hour wander!

Although I love roses, I absolutely love ice berg roses.  Usually pure white, mine seem to be tinged with pale pink.  They are prolific bloomers.  These are the ones I love and thought I’d share with you.





It saddens me that people regard roses as ‘high maintenance’ flowers.  Mine just seem to look after themselves and survive my gardener’s brutal pruning.  Maybe what falls away, makes them more beautiful.  Something to reflect on.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird 

In response to Nancy Merrill’s A Photo a Week Challenge : flowers

Faith and hope

I’ve always believed faith is a gift you give yourself but hope is a gift others give you. And, there have been times I was more generous with my gift to self, than accepting a gift from others. Since then I’ve learned, having faith alone can be a closed door and just the opposite of what faith represents.

Hope has a sneaky way of entering one’s life. A gift received unexpectedly, without you knowing it is a gift. Soon you find, it is something you cannot live without. It came to me gift wrapped in brown paper. Innocuous. I opened it up. I’m glad I did. It seemed a good place to start and I found it in the wonderful philosophy of Marie Kondo, the queen of declutter who promotes ‘keep what brings you joy’. I took the declutter philosophy and adapted it to a lifestyle choice. It transformed the way I live. I now travel light. I live with joy.

My garden is a place of joy. Sometimes it is barren, sometimes not, but in all its states, it is like a friend. Always there. Non-judgemental. Forgiving. Offering surprises when I need them most.

Being time poor I’ve had the same gardener for over 16 years. He’s inextricably linked to my garden. He’s elderly and comes by just for a few $ of pub money. He enjoys pottering around comfortable in the space he creates. Like an adorned tree, his face lights up at Christmas when I give him a bottle of his favourite whiskey, and I look forward to his heartfelt thank you that accentuates his unmistakable Mancunian accent. An avid fan of English football, he likes to share his enthusiasm when his team plays. I give him more than a few minutes of my time because I know talking about his footy team, brings him joy. I might add, I know nothing about sport but manage to wing it with him!

There are some flowers I love. Pansies and violas are some of them. I love how they look hand painted and when they bloom I’m always nearby. Instead of being disappointed when they are past their prime, I look forward to their season again.

It’s raining this morning and cool, too cool. A tee shirt seems inadequate. I have to remind myself we are in the middle of summer. But the contrast between winter and summer spurned me to write and immerse myself into a moment that integrates past and present.


I recalled this morning a moment that stays vivid in memory. I had returned from one trip to a garden that was nearly barren. There were no favourite flowers to be found. I didn’t want the company of the vivid geraniums. Emotionally spent from a challenging trip, I wanted something more delicate to bounce off how I felt. From the corner of my eye I saw a pansy growing between rocks. If there was ever a message of hope, this was it. It brought together what I knew to be true in life.  Along with faith, one has to have imperishable hope in one’s emotional tool kit.

A raindrop fell today
it found the driest place to land
and filtered down the earth
past pebbles, stones and sand
The raindrop searched for a single seed
in the dirt, dormant and dry
invisible, unseen
except to The Gardener's eye
The seed did not know the purpose
it lay passive in parched land
unquestioning why placed there
by The Gardener's steady hand.
The Gardener knew when the rain came
the season would be right
the raindrop would seek the seed
the one He buried in the night
The raindrop relentless in search
found the seed, the dormant one
it reached in reconciliation
and the seed, reached for the sun.

a dawn bird


What a difference a week makes

Before I left for a trip, I walked around my garden, coffee in hand.  The ornamental almond was just starting to bud.  I looked at the tree fondly.  The flowers have been late to arrive this year.DSCN8418.jpgI stopped a moment and took a picture.DSCN8416.jpgAnd then anotherDSCN8417.jpgAnd one more …  I felt like a new mother, inspecting every nub, like counting toes on newborn feet.

I thought by the time I returned from my trip today, the tree would be frosted as it does every year.  I was so wrong.

When I was away a storm came through the area.  It destroyed my fence.  The giant Tahitian lemon tree, the mulberry tree and the ornamental almond tree bore the brunt of fierce winds.  The honeysuckle vine is shredded.  I came home to wreckage.  In a week my landscaping plans have been brought forward by a year.  To say I am saddened to lose what has been familiar for the last three years, is an understatement.  The garden, planted by others, grew on me.  What is sadder to watch is the birds.  They fly around confused, nothing is where it used to be.

Perhaps the buds photographed before I left were a premonition.  New life awaits.  I can do nothing else, but embrace this thought.  I will create a new eden.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird



My winter garden

I switched off the lights, computer and TV last evening.  A belated Earth Day, if you like.  I closed my eyes and experienced the storm that was passing overhead.  The rain lashed down as only a Perth winter can deliver.  There was some intermittent hail, too.  I listened to every sound.  It was intense.  As a child I feared storms as my nanny had told me lighting can strike an exposed mirror, so I hid under covers as she threw a sheet over anything reflective.  I no longer cower.  I’ve come to realise storms are a sensory experience like no other.

In the darkness I envisioned my spring garden.  I’m preparing the garden for my son’s wedding next year.  He insists on his groomsmen coming to the home and having some pre-wedding photographs in “the family home”.  His sentiment, warms my heart.

This morning I walked through the back gardens and found winter’s touch everywhere.

DSCN8100.jpgThe mulberry tree is stripped bare of leaves.DSCN8098.jpgThere’s a soft and squelching carpet underfoot.DSCN8099.jpgI sneaked in a quick picture of a nest when there were no birds around.  DSCN8108.jpgI came around the home to the side garden where the geraniums always bloom.  Their vivid colour in winter is an obvious delight.DSCN8110.jpgIn the front garden, the roses defy winter, having found intermittent warmth during autumn.  They are putting up a showy display before pruning.DSCN8109.jpgThis bloom is as big as an infant’s face.  The perfume is exquisite.DSCN8113.jpgI love this rose that starts to bloom with the faintest tinge of pink.DSCN8114.jpgThere is just one pink rose on the front arbor.DSCN8119.jpgWith a promise of another, yet to bloom.

A walk around my winter garden took me from the stark, barren trees to beautiful blooms, and a promise of more to come.  It mirrored life’s journey.

I’m in a good place.  I now know, this is how it was meant to be.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird