Spring in the South-West

Although they grow profusely everywhere you look, there are two regions in Western Australian synonymous with wildflowers at springtime, the South West and the Midwest.

This time in the South West I went looking for flowers in new places.  New for me.  They were always there.  DSCN8239.jpgI stopped by Minninup Pool, just outside Collie.  DSCN8133.jpgHow many shades of yellow can one find?  DSCN8278.jpgI had heard the underside of the blue enamel orchid is beautiful.  It is.DSCN8298.jpgIn nature, when differences come together, it creates nothing but spectacular beauty.  DSCN8314.jpgA wild orchid.DSCN8328.jpgA bottlebrush waiting to bloom.DSCN8396I found hundreds of these white and pink lily like flowers in Margaret River.DSCN8399.jpgThe flowers were growing on stalks a few feet high.DSCN8402.jpgAnd these poms of white found a place in wooded areas too.

I’m off again in a few hours, this time to the Midwest.  I’m hoping I’m not too late for the flowers there.

Will be back with more to share with you.

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!

 

 

 

 

Switching on and off

DSCN7736

This is St Georges Beach in Geraldton, north of Perth.  It is one of my favourite spots in Geraldton to sit quietly and enjoy all that I see and hear.  The day I took this picture, the sunset was silver, the waves lapped gently and everything sparkled like I’ve never seen before.

I’m off to the South-West today for a few days of work.  From the warmth of the outback, I’m shifting gears.  I’m expecting the nights to be zero degrees and from the stark beauty of the outback, winter will be lush.

My work days promise to be busy.  But, I know I’ll find time to bush walk, take pictures, eat good produce, curl up near a roaring fire.  Write.  Read.  Dream big.

Take five is promoted for well being.  I practice this every day wherever I am.  I’ve found, if you look for it, you’ll find it, no matter how busy life is.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

 

 

 

The path taken

I was offered my first job just after I completed my clinical placement at the agency.  I was given permanency and after years of being a ‘struggling single mom’, I thought I would never leave the security.  But, life had other plans for me.

I was tapped on the shoulder by another agency and offered a six month contract.  Having bought a new car a month earlier, I was reluctant to give up my permanent status so I asked my manager if I could take six months leave.  My request was denied on the grounds they did not think I would return.  The new agency paid 20K pa more.  The agency had a point.  But I was furious.  I wanted to extend my skills and saw the refusal as an obstruction to my career development.  I went back the next day and resigned.

At the end of the six month period, there was a job freeze and I started to panic.  I had a mortgage and a car loan!  Plus two little children in tow.  I did what I usually do in times like this, I placed my trust in a higher power.  I started a very limited business, just to ensure there was some income coming in.

In my last week of my contract, I was offered three jobs.  The path I took was not of my choosing.  I worked in an environment where I had to deal with unpredictable people but the pay was excellent and I had more freedom with my hours of work.  Although they were very young, my children recall those days of stress with dread.  But I learnt so much about my profession, people and myself and I developed a degree of resilience I didn’t know I had.

I reduced my work in government over the years and focused on my business.  I looked at templates and did a five year plan.  In three months, my business expanded to cover the whole state of Western Australia.  On reflection, the path I was given, is one I was meant to navigate.

As I come to the end of another financial year.  I’m so grateful for all the opportunities the past year has given me.  I’ve met amazing people, worked with great teams and seen so much more of this beautiful country I call home.

DSCN7486.jpgI’ve criss-crossed the Wheatbelt, a region of some 155,000 sq km.  I’ve been further north east and further east of east, than before.  The resilience of folks in farming communities is something that strikes me each time I visit.  It must be difficult under circumstances where the pastures are green with rain and then 50 kilometres down the down, they are still waiting for it.  People think in terms of community.  What can they do, to make a difference.  They are quick to minimize the role they play, often with a matter of fact, “Well! that’s what one does!”DSCN8710.jpgThen there was the Kimberley region.  Beautiful Kimberley, an area that covers some 422,000 sq km of ruggedness.  Broome, is a favourite town but there’s a special place in my heart for Kununurra, a place I want to visit again on holiday.  I’ve experienced joy in this town in the company of birds and the excitement of spotting my first freshwater crocodile.  There are gorges and ruggedness to explore, and when standing still, blue dragonflies to observe.thumb_IMG_3092_1024.jpgI’ve visited the Midwest more frequently than I have ever done in previous years.  It is larger area than the Kimberley at 472,000 plus square kilometers.  The stunning landscape of the Coral Coast is memorable.thumb_IMG_2342_1024The mining region of the Pilbara, in the heart of Western Australia cover over 500,000 square kilometers.  It is harsh, hot, and humbling country.  Oh! how I love that red dust! Driving across it in summer was a highlight for me.DSCN0757And who can forget the South West, nearly 24,000 sq km of beautiful food, wine, trails, forests and coastline.DSCN9797Last but not least, the Goldfields Esperance region, covers over 770,000 sq km.  Esperance is where I spend three consecutive nights each month, so naturally, it is my home away from home.thumb_IMG_3174_1024.jpg

Life on the road is rugged and unpredictable.  I can stay in a 5 star hotel or, like in the Wheatbelt, in a tiny demountable where I tripped onto the bed as soon as I opened the door.

Someone famously coined the phrase, “Life was not meant to be easy”.  Maybe so, but it can be fun and adventurous.  To navigate, you just have to follow the compass in your heart.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

 

 

 

 

 

 

A little break, as good as a holiday

There are some places I visit for work and happy to return to enjoy at leisure, even if time is brief.  Exmouth, about 1200 kms north of Perth, is one of them.  It has the most beautiful beaches and well known for deep sea fishing, swimming with whale sharks and the Ningaloo Marine Park.  For me the charm lies in what others may not see.

DSCN9695.jpgEmus rule here.  On wide empty streets, they slow you down.  They are the traffic jam.  The speed bump.  I love them!  Once at the local school, I even saw one checking out the children’s backpacks that were left outside class!DSCN9629The sun rises over water here.  And, as is true anywhere in the world, each day is always different.DSCN9761.jpgDid I love the vivid colours of one day or the beautiful serene pewter shine, the next?  I really cannot say.  Both were equally breathtaking.DSCN9782.jpgI love visiting Pebble Beach.  The rocks come from the escarpment on the other side.  The sea brings them in, and leaves them polished, and smooth.  DSCN9780.jpgFor me, these are the pearls of the sea.  They are old.  Smooth.  Tactile.  Melded.  You feel the story in one’s hand.DSCN9684.jpgThis time I visited Jurabi Point Beach.DSCN9687.jpgWas it worth it?DSCN9683.jpgYou bet!DSCN9604.jpgAmong the pebbles, knowing they are there, I always search for heart shaped stones.  Why does the sea shape them so?DSCN9584.jpgThis one is for meditation.  When adrift rudderless, at sea, it is a reminder.  Like the tide, one always returns to shore.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

 

 

Look away!

via Daily Prompt: Blush

I was a different person in early childhood, yet in many ways, I remain the same.

I listened.  I observed.  I must have done it well.  Friends and family know me for my silence and invisibility.  Not finding a place under their sun of accomplishments, I searched and found my own.  So I share this space with you on what life has taught me.

DSCN2051.jpgDriving through the Midwest, I realised, why settle for a bunch of flowers when I can have a paddock.  DSCN8346.jpgI’m always amazed to find pink in tough, mining towns.  On reflection, given the volatility of the industry and profession, perhaps it is Nature’s way to symbolize hope. DSCN8545.jpgEvery time I return from a trip, a neglected garden reminds me, it will continue to bloom, with or without my presence.  A helpful reminder for ego, so I take notes.thumb_DSCN8950_1024.jpgThere are no words to describe finding one’s first enamel orchid along a bush track but I’ll try.  They look shiny and plastic.  The crick in the neck from the double take was worth it!  They are breathtakingly beautiful.

thumb_DSCN9253_1024Likewise discovering that shaggy bush in Esperance, turns into a gorgeous waterfall acacia came as a surprise like no other one spring.thumb_DSCN8378_1024.jpgIf one summons enough courage to visit Lesueur National Park early mornings, when there is no one else there but Nature, the drawcard is easy to see.

thumb_DSCN9245_1024.jpgI found ‘kebabs’ of flowers there, too, so the gnawing hunger pangs make me return again and again.thumb_DSCN8971_1024.jpgPom poms along bush tracks brings out the inner cheerleader, I never knew resided in me.thumb_DSCN9490_1024.jpgThere’s infinite joy when a small bird allows you to keep it company.thumb_DSCN8906_1024.jpgIn a still moment, unadorned simplicity, is where Nature does it best.thumb_DSCN8959_1024.jpgThere’s a certain beauty to waiting before bloom.  (I wish I knew this in my youth).thumb_DSCN9004_1024.jpgRice crackers are found on the beach, if you look for them hungrily.thumb_DSCN9016_1024.jpgThe sand dunes are not an obstruction between me and the ocean.thumb_DSCN9022_1024They are made from tiny shells and quartz.  Each piece infinitesimal and exquisite.thumb_DSCN8641_1024.jpgA pesky weed is beautiful too.

These are things I didn’t know then, but do now.  The thought makes me blush with shame.

So look past my ignorance.

I’ll be back once I’ve found focus and share life, as I know it, through my lens again.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I want it now!

via Daily Prompt: Patience

They say patience is a virtue.  In my youth I rebelled against this concept.  I wanted it (whatever ‘it’ was), and I wanted it now!  I stood at various platforms waiting for the train that never arrived.  Yes, in my haste to find it, I missed the journey.  (Sounds cliched, and it is intentionally so, because that’s how pedestrian life can be, unless you start to view it differently).

Surviving a major accident in my twenties, I scrambled through therapy to become functional again.  Yes, I had to get back to the platform, for that train, thinking it would get me Somewhere.

I am There. That place I yearned for in my youth and find, I often flip back the pages tracking back to Somewhere.

I now know.  Somewhere was always Here.

I’m not sure how I got Here.  Here, was where I always should have been.  How did I get here.  Well, let me track the journey.

I woke one day to find …

DSCN5416.jpgA snail will climb steadily until it reaches the tree top.  It’s all about pace!DSCN5432.jpgAny cut, words or blade, can leave ragged edges.DSCN5589.jpgI’ve found youth (mine!) and wisdom (my children’s!) can co-exist on the same branch of a tree!DSCN5445.jpgSometimes, you just have to stand still and allow the storm to pass, and it will, if your roots are strong.DSCN8141.jpgI’ve learned the solitary fisherman on the rocks who wets the line at dawn, has done this many times before.  He does it for the pleasure, not because he expects a bite.DSCN8199.jpgLikewise the surfer, as he strides out board under arm, to the open sea.DSCN9771.jpgThere he’ll sit, with like minded folk, waiting for that set to arrive.DSCN9784.jpgAnd when it does, he’ll take me with him on that magic carpet ride.  DSCN8190.jpgI found some mornings when the sea is muted, wild dolphins will weave their way through the calm and leave my knees weak with sheer delight of it all.DSCN5759.jpgI’ve found in small mining towns, when there’s not a soul to be seen at midday, even a kangaroo can stop by and crack open a can, to chill with you.DSCN8235.jpgAnd, if you don’t drink.  You can still see double.DSCN9721.jpgIn winter, when all else has faded away, a fig is vivid with colour.DSCN9158.jpgA beach is a beach.  It does not need a me and a you, to tell a story of romance.DSCN5993.jpgI don’t need to travel to Mallee country.  There are times when the ringneck will visit me to check out how I live.DSCN9591.jpgNo longer a lead foot.  I slow down and enjoy the curves that life throws up at me now and then.  I’ve learned those are moments, to see past the obstruction and see the forest, as it is meant to be.DSCN6047.jpgYes, I found patience.  It was always at my feet, in the Here and Now.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird