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

 

Colour, my world

I’m no gardener, but I’m forever thinking about my garden.  I now live in a house where I have planned different types of gardens in small isolated pockets.  My vision is yet to come to fruition, but thinking about this, is a happy place to be.

When I was married my husband and I were constantly at odds with how the garden should look.  Forward thinking for the time, he was insistent on a garden with native trees and shrubs as they are plants that require little maintenance and water.  I, on the other hand, wanted an English garden with lavender, roses, geraniums, hydrangeas, and cottage plants.  He indulged my love for this to a point.  When my marriage ended I had a hedge of 14 white iceberg roses that bloomed incessantly with thousands of flowers.  Far from being a reminder of him, they served to remind me he had worked hard outdoors so I could enjoy the view.  It was a memory worth keeping so I continued to keep it alive with more flowers.  The only time I can remember gardening, is when I decided to turn the upper level into a white garden and that space had only white flowers of all kinds.  I wish I had taken pictures.  It was beautiful.  I looked forward to my alone times in the white garden.  I shed all my other roles when I was here except one, student.  On reflection, it was a space where I gave my body breath each day and where I created a new life.

I moved from that space, in more ways than one and found a world of colour.  I was fortunate to find this in a lifestyle that meets all my needs.  Each day I work towards that life, one that strengthens the core of me.  I make sure I stop each day for a few minutes.  I now see colour and detail.  DSCN8425.jpgYellow everlasting flowers growing roadside in the Wheatbelt.DSCN8431.jpgor growing side by side with blue leschenaultia in dry, gravel soil.DSCN8432.jpgThe beautiful velvety native purple flowers on grey foliage that look extremely ordinary from a distance.  But close up?  You be the judge.DSCN8438.jpgThese interesting flowers are tiny and waxy.  I’ve seen creamy lemon ones in the Goldfields.  They glisten in the sun like dew.  Up close, they are delicate and finely veined, like aged hands.  I’ve seen hundreds and thousands of these, but this time, I saw one in bloom.  Exquisite.DSCN8455.jpgThen there are the tiny everlastings that glow like embers, along the ground.DSCN8464.jpgThe beautiful spears of grevillea that grow wild everywhere.DSCN8469.jpgOr these mops of orange.DSCN8476.jpgand blue.DSCN8478.jpgThe delicate intricacy of the cone flower.DSCN8483.jpgAnd tiny, tiny, butter yellow blooms.DSCN8454.jpgI still find white flowers joyful.

 

They remind me how far I’ve come.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

The pursuit

My presence at Big Swamp in Bunbury is usually announced to the wildlife by the screeching warnings of the swamp hens.  This visit I did not see or hear any.

I was enjoying the quiet when I heard the distinctive noise made by the musk duck.  To me it sounds like a coin dropping in water from a height.  Kerplonk!  The ‘whistle’ is intermittent as the duck moves over the water but on this occasion, it had a frequency I had not heard before, so I walked faster towards the water.

I’ve found the musk duck ignores my presence whether I’m standing by the water’s edge or on the boardwalk.  It goes about its business.  As it did this time.DSCN8120At first the mother duck swam serenely past him with ducklings in tow.DSCN8116.jpgHe watched them glide by and drew attention, the sound a mere burble that made ripples around him, saying “I’m here”.DSCN8117.jpgShe ignored him.  Then his body language changed as he exposed more and more of his chin lobe and moved faster, with a speed that took me by surprise.DSCN8118.jpgHe followed the female duck drawing closer, becoming increasingly relentless in his pursuit.DSCN8119.jpgI thought the ducklings looked afraid as they moved towards their mother.  She stopped and studied the moment.DSCN8121.jpgThen she intervened, putting herself between the male and her ducklings.  She engaged in a dance with him this way as they glided past me, in a back and forth.DSCN8122.jpgHe chased her repeatedly, the ripples around him becoming wider.DSCN8123.jpgShe ignored him.  He arched his body into a bow, chin lobe prominent and brush tail stiffened in a final still moment.DSCN8124.jpgThen he exploded.  The water erupted around him.  In one desperate moment, he put on his best show.  She did what ducks do best.  With ducklings in tow, she paddled on, unimpressed.

I nearly clapped bravo.  But, I couldn’t tell you for whom, because I don’t really know.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

A topsy-turvy world

When living in Canada, my favourite time of year was autumn.  I loved the changing colours of the leaves and what drifted away from the parent tree in the fall.  The smell of burning leaves as chill took over the air is an evocative memory that lingers, as does the shiver as one tried to dig deeper into warmth.

When the Northern Hemisphere prepares for autumn, we in the Southern Hemisphere, look forward to spring.DSCN7753.jpgWhen new life begins.DSCN7974.jpgAnd young ones are nurtured.DSCN7694.jpgWhen one finds colour erupting in unexpected places.DSCN7627.jpgAnd even succulents on beach sand bloom in the warmth.DSCN7690.jpgA time when the mulla mulla appear in their hundreds of thousands across the arid mining country, with mauve spears tipped in pink.DSCN7622.jpgOr one finds a florist shop, roadside on an empty highway, that gave me pause to think.

Unlike nature, what grows unchecked, is not always beautiful. 

This, to me, is an unsettling thought.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

 

 

Shell Beach, Western Australia

This is Shell Beach in Western Australia.  Given my love for beach combing, I was anticipating paradise.  It was.DSCN7586.jpgThe beach is 60km long and the coquina shells are about 10m deep.  One needs sunglasses here!  It is sheer brilliance.DSCN7574.jpgThe sea did not look too far away, but it was a deceptively long walk.  DSCN7577.jpgInterestingly, the wind has furrowed long gullies, so one disappears from sight while walking towards the ocean, dipping and surfacing, like a fun ride.DSCN7607.jpgTrillions of shells as far as the eye can see.DSCN7591.jpgAnd shells within shells.DSCN7599.jpgWe reached the water finally.  The colours of blue, beautiful.DSCN7601.jpgThe sea shimmered like plastic wrap.DSCN7628.jpgOn one ridge, I found spring in a bed of shells.

Another item off my bucket list.  Well, maybe not off my list completely.  I’m going to visit again.  The serenity of this beach, was amazing.

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