Counting blessings …

In each town I visit, my schedule often runs the same.  I make time for camera and me.  It’s a priority.

Take early mornings in a small town in the Wheatbelt region of Western Australia.  I prefer the nature reserve in the mornings.  It is filled with sunlight, birdsong and flowers.DSCN9311In autumn, the Mallee gum trees are frosted with blossoms.DSCN9272.jpgI’ve come to learn, the Australian Ringneck parrots, love these gum trees too.  I follow the scatter of gum flowers from one trail to another. DSCN9352There are boughs of flowers, and sometimes, even a neat posy.DSCN9360.jpgAnd the ones that are past their prime, are still beautiful.DSCN9384.jpgSometimes, just a hint of colour in the scrub.DSCN9392.jpgDelicate buds, waiting to bloom.DSCN9345.jpgThe Prickly Dryandra is favoured by the smaller birds, who appear after the parrots have left.DSCN9289.jpgBut not this time.  They were sitting on the tree branches, highly visible to the eye.DSCN9412.jpgThis one took my breath away.DSCN9419.jpgAnd this one did the same.

I remember a time when going to work meant stress, thinking for three, battling peak hour traffic, arriving late.

No more.

When I’m in this town, I wake early and head out to the reserve.  I have time to return to my accommodation, get dressed for work and leave by 8:29 and arrive early for a 8:30 start.

Yes, I’m counting my blessings.

Life has changed.

Or, perhaps, I have.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird




I do now, …

via Daily Prompt: Fabric

We use the phrase loosely, “the fabric of life” but what does it mean?  Is it just a covering, a veneer, or is it something of substance, that gives meaning?

The fabric of my life, as I know it now, is interwoven intricately with family, flora and fauna.  I could not ask for more.

Let me explain what I mean …

DSCN6086.jpgI’ve lived for over 25 years in my neighbourhood and had never stopped to watch a white heron in flight.  I do now.DSCN6243.jpgI never realised, the beige of the Wheatbelt is beautiful at dawn.  I do now.DSCN6574.jpgWho knew a front garden filled with roses, is a welcome like no other.  I do now.DSCN6810.jpgSunlight warms the whitest iceberg.  I do now.DSCN8106.jpgIn a forest, the trees are not green, it is the leaves that make it vivid.  I do now.DSCN8132.jpgPreviously my hiking boots stomped on leaves and stones, ignoring the fallen one, tortoise shelled by age and sun.  My steps are now lighter.  I do now.DSCN8475.jpgMy curiosity was blunted.  I never stopped to wonder why.  I do now.DSCN9900.jpgI didn’t know, the Black Swan raises cygnets, as white as snow.  I do now.DSCN9021.jpgAnd, when I’m not home, snowdrops bloom at the front door.  I do now.DSCN6775.jpgI didn’t know life was meant to be lived, eye to eye.  I do now.

As I reach summit, my steps are now steady and mindful.

I choose to live differently.

The fabric is tactile.

I enjoy the wrinkles when they appear.  They are there for pause.

A crease is a crease, not a crevasse.

Yes, it’s all about perspective.

The colours are sometimes muted, at other times, vivid, perhaps even iridescent, but monochrome will also do.

That fabric is sometimes tangled with endless responsibility.

But I know when I hold on tight at one end, it will unravel,

because my Creator, holds the other end.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird








via Daily Prompt: Messy

I returned home from a quick trip yesterday.  I enjoyed the slight bite in the air while I was in the South West.  I tolerate it less in the city where it always seems to be sharper, maybe, because it is the city.  DSCN9779.jpgI parked my car in the driveway and found the pink roses looked fatigued too.  DSCN9799.jpgStrewn with rose petals, my front garden looked like a wedding had taken place.DSCN2754.jpgWhile climbing roses on the arbor, reluctant to let summer go, clung on. There are ‘pockets’ of garden around my property.  A legacy of the previous owner, a florist.  It is a delight!  Something seems to be blooming somewhere, making it always a garden.  Being home so infrequently and for short visits, I enjoy looking around to see what lies in wait.  I’m never disappointed.thumb_IMG_2793_1024.jpgNo muted shades for this little one in the side garden.  Reflecting the vividness of sunset.thumb_IMG_2796_1024.jpgAnd, there were others, still beautiful, before they fade away.thumb_IMG_2797_1024.jpgThe geraniums always bloom.  thumb_IMG_2798_1024.jpgThey are a welcome splash of colour in winter.thumb_IMG_2800_1024.jpgThis shrub is covered in spokes of purple blooms.


The garden, it seems, is in transition.  After autumn, comes winter, then spring.

There are no messy endings in Nature.  A lesson learned, so I’ll wait, for spring.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird



The little girl in me …

via Daily Prompt: Imagination

The little girl in me had a simple but seemingly impossible dream. She wanted to travel the world.

She visited countries, now most of them have been marked off the bucket list.  She walked through gardens and museums, rich in history.  She shopped for things that had value in the moment and discarded them long ago, without regret.

Yes, she travelled the world, but she had an insatiable yearning … she hadn’t seen anything as yet.

The realisation was a powerful catalyst.  She wanted more than the eye could see.  So she cast aside shackles and started to experience, free.

DSCN0335.jpgShe saw colours more vibrant

DSCN4181.jpgthan any painting in a gallery.

DSCN4446.jpgAnd when colours were muted

DSCN3953.jpgshe found, they still told a story.

DSCN4776.jpgShe searched for the Cape Barren Geese, at every trip to Esperance and found the giant bird, doing the impossible.  Looking elegant.

DSCN4608.jpgHer eyes held a joey’s gaze while it snuggled deep within the mother’s pouch.  It was something she only read about.

DSCN2874.jpgShe walked with waders until they found the perfect palette for her to capture the moment.

DSCN4965.jpgShe delighted in the ice cream pink wave of flowers, she found one day, in spring.

Yes, that little girl had dreams.

But, never in her wildest imagination did she think, Nature could generate this powerful synergy.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird


Starry eyed …

via Daily Prompt: Astral

Years ago a friend introduced me to the work of Theodore Roszak, and a newer, more beautiful world.

Ecopsychology promotes, quite simply, the connection to wider systems that make up life on this planet and beyond.  Ancient cultures practiced this as a way of life.  As we come to grips with the devastation caused by disconnection and dislocation, it is vital to understand this.  Underpinning this, is the yearning for connection.

I set about to find my way through the maze of work-life balance and as I did, my ‘connectedness’ to the world became stronger.  I started to understand the meaning of ‘country’ and, with each step, I returned to mine.

Astronomy left me wondrous with the galaxies, planets and comets, but unattainable.  So I looked elsewhere and found stars within reach.

thumb_IMG_0408_1024I found them in my garden.

thumb_IMG_0124_1024Viola! in the strawberry, waiting to fruit.

thumb_DSCN5145_1024Among bush tracks.

thumb_IMG_0097_1024.jpgAgainst a fence.

thumb_IMG_2583_1024.jpgIn the neighbour’s garden.

thumb_IMG_1668_1024.jpgIn the eyes of the magpie lark, as it picked through the remnants of my breakfast.

thumb_IMG_0193_1024.jpgIn the eyes of a sick dog, who knows she is loved.

thumb_IMG_0850_1024.jpgIn my eyes, when I found the heart I left behind.

thumb_IMG_2688_1024.jpgAnd, when I walked among the ‘sea clouds’.

thumb_IMG_2685_1024I found my very own Milky Way.

thumb_IMG_2735_1024.jpgSo I took it home, and like a child at Halloween, emptied my pockets of loot.

My astral experiences may be different but if they help you seek yours, our lives have been enriched by sharing this space.  Stay starry eyed!

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird





Nature’s jewellery

via Daily Prompt: Encrusted

As a child the word encrusted would conjure up imagery of jewels in a crown or perhaps, sequins on a garment.  I am still child-like.

The word encrusted now conjures up Nature’s jewellery.


At Cable Beach in beautiful Broome, you’ll find me in an area that has a scatter of rocks.  It’s a magic place at sunset when viewed from afar.  It is a magical place at dawn.

DSCN7401The rocks covered with barnacles.

DSCN7398And there are sea creatures, just as encrusted.

DSCN7793I always visit this slab of rock.  It is jewel like with barnacles.

DSCN7426So enthralled by it for several visits, I failed to see one just beyond, and closer to the sea.

DSCN7417There is life in tiny crevices.  The ibis knows this.

DSCN7562So does the heron that walks with intent.  While the seagull photo bombs, also with intent.

DSCN7513Above the roar of waves, I can hear the crunch of footsteps on a shell encrusted beach.

DSCN7431And, amid the noise and beach clutter, the tiny sand plover takes a moment to stand still.

Like me.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird






The task for the week was a simple one but proved really difficult for me.  There were no rules.  Writers were given license to tell lies, break rules, make up words.  They were asked to create in the moment.  Instant writer’s block!  So the facilitator gave us the opening line … “I leave this by your ear for when you wake …”.  Using my senses, immediately centred me.

I sat with my fellow companions in silence while we took the words in, then stepped away for a few moments, at one with all around me.  Far away in the outback, I wrote a poem for my children, the opening lines ….

DSCN8619“I leave this by your ear for when you wake,

DSCN8654The footfall of blue dragonflies, on a lily carpet”

DSCN8609I am home now.  The rainbow lorikeets are in the tree, screeching.  The beautiful sounds of the currawong, echoing.  The flapping sounds of big winged birds as they head for the lake, above me.  The musical fluted call of the Willie Wagtail, outside my window.

DSCN8563I hear them with my eyes closed.

A mindful moment.

And, in that moment, I see the billabong again.  The lily pads.

DSCN8590The big winged raptors in the trees.

DSCN8695The jacana.  Oh! what big feet for a delicate, elegant bird!

DSCN8701The white faced heron, silent and poised.

Yes, I’m home.

‘Billabonging’ to the sights and sounds of the Kimberley.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird





Coming of age

via Daily Prompt: Lecture


My fondest memory of my mother is standing by her side while she dressed for special occasions.  The space between her and myself, is where I came of age.

My mother’s dresser had three large mirrors so she could view her profile.  She never walked away from it until she was satisfied.  A light touch of make up, jewellery, (always real jewellery), her hair a low chignon.  Her back was straight, her shoulders relaxed.  A light spray of perfume.  She was ready for the world.  With one final look, she would say with conviction, “make-up should enhance, not detract”.  I would watch her walk out the door in awe.

The message of my mother’s lecture still makes sense.

Would a plain cockatoo look as spectacular?

Until next time,

As always,

a dawn bird










Monks, do it …

via Daily Prompt: Simplify

Simplify!  The buzz word of modern living.  Declutter!  Organize!  Oh! the irony!  One cannot “simplify” it would seem, without action.

For me, simplify is doing what monks do.  There is enough science behind the philosophy not to practice it for health and well-being.

Every day I seek a solitary, still moment.  It centres me.  It fits in with my faith belief.  I am in a chapel, a church, a sacred place, when I’m out with nothing but camera for company.

Photography has a seductive power.  It can zoom in and fade all else out of sight.  There is an intimacy inherent in that moment, when nothing else, absolutely nothing else, is important.  Just subject and me.  Yes, I have found a way to simplify my life.

DSC_0413.jpgI take roads less travelled.

DSC_0447.jpgI seek illumination in trees.

DSCN4145.jpgI find life where there should be none.

DSCN8692.jpgAnd find a blade of grass, is worth my scrutiny.

Until next time

As always,

a dawn bird




via Daily Prompt: Bewildered

It is early morning.  There is no one in the Lair.  Well, maybe not!

DSCN8386.jpgBreathe in.  Breathe out.  My senses now acute.

DSCN8411.jpgThere is someone having breakfast above me.  I move my lens away from the remnants cast aside carelessly.

DSCN8401.jpgOn the other side, the rhythmic thump on dry leaves tells me there’s a grey kangaroo in there.  Somewhere.

DSCN8403I close my eyes.  I hear the sea in the Marri tree tops.  This, in deep Wheatbelt country.

DSCN8398The tops are crowned with flowers, with some blossoms hanging low, like fruit of the vine.

DSCN8460And, that’s when I saw her.  She looked bewildered at my presence.DSCN8421.jpgBut not as bewildered as me, to find a shiny bauble in this bush country.DSCN8436

Until next time,

As always,

a dawn bird




Posedion, god of the sea

via Daily Prompt: Creature

At sunset, I parked my car and walked towards the ocean.  A gust of wind lifted the sail.


DSC_0026.jpgHe steadied himself, then walked down the stairs.  His dreadlocks streaming behind him, like kelp.

The wind was strong.  It was what he wanted.  Encased, his muscles quivered with anticipation.

DSC_0033.jpgHe faced the ocean.  This, Poseidon.

Without a backward glance, he let the waves take him away.

I stood alone.  The wind wailed with me.

In his element, no longer of land, he became a creature of the sea.

Until next time,

As always,

a dawn bird


Beloved, it’s in our nature

via Photo Challenge: Beloved

In a flock, they know the other.

DSCN4010.jpgAs well as a mother knows her chick.

DSCN4043.jpgBirds often pair for life, each the beloved of the other.

DSCN7377.jpgTwo walk as one.  Well, almost.

DSCN8124.jpgOthers huddle close together to appear as one … to large predatory raptors.

DSCN7354Have you seen dragonflies mate?  In a word, violently.  Finding a beloved, they end the battle, in heart-shaped unity.

DSCN6688.jpgOn weekends, kayaks rest side by side signalling, the beloveds are nearby.

DSCN8219Yes, to be loved and beloved, is in our nature.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird




via Daily Prompt: Stifle

I heard her before I saw her.  I had no idea what the sound was until later.  She was grooming her quills with big sweeping strokes in the dead of night.

Early morning I stepped outside my hut to a soft sunrise in harsh Kimberley country.  She was magnificent!  Instinctively, she stopped.  An icon in iconic country.  I took her picture.


I learn her name over a campfire breakfast.  I had to stifle my grin.  Marilyn!


Some may regard it as an incongruous name for this big flightless bird. But, she is a star. She’s equally beautiful, standing tall on big feet or resting among rocks.


The most graceful thing about her is her walk.  Slow, rhythmic with a deliberate sway that comes from being bottom heavy.


Transported to that moment, the sound of her strides my lullaby.

Until next time,

As always,

a dawn bird