See, with me

I’m not sure whether it is the case what the heart feels, the eye sees or vice versa.  Both are applicable to my experience of photography.  With camera in hand my world took on new meaning.  Solitary in my pursuits, it drew others in.  Nothing grounds me as much as the focus on photographing something that catches my eye.  When I see something I get a visceral response and photographing it just intensifies the experience of the moment.DSCN5254
West Beach, Esperance, Western Australia
The young fearless surfers at West Beach are a delight to photograph and one of my favourite places to visit in Esperance.  I love reflecting how analogous surfing is to life’s journey – the waiting, the patience, the moment of poise when you stand firm on fluid ground and let the wave bring you to shore.  And then … you go out to experience the same again.DSCN8464
One of my favourite native shrubs is grevillea.  The birds love it too.  To my eye they are perfection, each loop, part of the whole.DSCN9085Pelicans capture my heart as much as sea gulls.  Large and ungainly, I love how pelicans descend on water, with the grace of a perfect flight landing.DSCN8526
Town Beach, Exmouth Gulf, Western Australia
When I retire I want just enough money to enable me to travel to this beach on a regular basis.  Watching hues tint the sky, at sunrise or sunset, is like watching an artist at work.DSCN8709
Paraburdoo, Pilbara mining region, Western Australia
I love the mining regions of Western Australia.  The earth is a rich red, contrasting pale spinifex, ranges and the awesome landscape that demands one is still in it’s presence.thumb_IMG_5421_1024
My front garden is laden with roses at certain times of the year and at other times, there are roses.  After a rain shower, oh, the perfume!thumb_IMG_3600_1024
I use this cape gooseberry encased in the filigree paper like lantern as part of my meditation.  When I want to extinguish an undesired behaviour, I envisage new pathways emerging in the delicacy of my brain.thumb_IMG_3593_1024
Who can resist the attraction of unconditional love?  Not me!  This is the day Kovu became part of my son’s family and like a doting grandpawrent, I was there to document family history 🙂

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

In response to RDP – Wednesday – Visual

What do you see?

The Granites, Mt Magnet, Western Australia

Just nine kms out of Mt Magnet in the Midwest outback is The Granites; a place of cultural significance to the Badimia people where Aboriginal rock art is 9,000 years old (  The cited tourism website has more information about this place.

I absolutely loved visiting here.  While my travelling companion slept, I went by myself early morning before sunrise to experience this vast landscape.  It was silent and inviting.  The previous dusk we could not decide whether we were seeing a turtle or a frog!  We agreed in the end, turtle!

The rock formation is massive but, interestingly, gentle in pose.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

In response to RDP – Thursday – Pareidolia



Journey with me to the outback

Do you recall Newton’s Cradle, those tiny steel spheres that pinged each time they made contact and gathered momentum?  I like using that as an analogy when working with a particular colleague.

As a team, my colleague and I work to this energy, and this post is a recount of our latest journey into the outback …

Buckle up, it is a long post with pictures and my first attempt at posting a video.

The plane to Carnarvon is a small 34 seater and luggage allowance is strictly adhered to.  I needed to take more equipment on this trip, so I was preoccupied with packing as having my luggage off loaded was not an option.  With all the packing and unpacking, I forgot to complete my online check in and to my dismay at the airport, found I was seated over the wing.  The worst possible seat when I’m flying over the beautiful seascape of Shark Bay!  Onboard the crew was someone I’ve known for some years; I toyed with the idea of asking her if I could change my seat then decided against it.  Some seats were empty and no doubt weight distribution was factored in where folks were allocated.  I settled in and slept for an hour of the two hour flight.

On a previous trip to Carnarvon everywhere I went, the locals would say it was too bad I couldn’t stay another day because the river was due to arrive.  I did not really understand what they meant and assumed it was a euphemism for rain, this being an agricultural town, the State’s ‘salad bowl’.  This trip I was in Carnarvon for the event the town anticipates so much, despite having no recent rain.

As we approached Carnarvon I glimpsed a trickle of water in the otherwise dry bed of the mighty Gascoyne River.  It shimmered like burnished copper. But, nothing could have prepared me for the force of it.UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_1900The talk of the day among locals was how high the river had risen every time they checked their phone either in the office or cafe.  A colleague suggested driving out to Nine Mile Bridge where there was a small lookout over the River, so I went with someone familiar with the area at the end of the day.  Their excitement was contagious, but we looked on in awe for different reasons. DSCN7293My excitement was embedded in the fact this water was the rains that came from a cyclone further north.  Muddy red, it carried the heart of the Pilbara mining region, a link that generated a visceral response.  With the Gascoyne River being the longest river in Western Australia (nearly 900 kms or 500 plus miles) from Ranges to the sea, it is a spectacular sight to see in motion, the power of it made me step back and away from it.UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_1a3dDSCN7290The night before we drove out to a cattle station I could not sleep with excitement, and like an unsettled infant, woke every two hours.  The instructions we were given were literally the proverbial ‘mud map’.  There was no phone coverage either for the last part of our journey.  My colleague brought her esky and we filled it with sandwiches, fruit and lots of water.  We wore casual clothing and sturdy shoes.  We grinned at the road ahead and left town early morning all set for an adventure on roads neither of us had travelled before.  Just as well we took food, the station was expecting floods and everything was placed on higher ground.  UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_1a20The road we turned off from the major highway was signposted.  The ink ran dry from there on.  We saw some petrol tins on wooden stakes, no doubt, meaningful to someone but for us it left more questions than answers.  Every few kms we hoped we were on the right track, and track it was, unsealed and deeply corrugated as rain had come through the area but not yet reached Carnarvon.  The last 20 kms was an especially bone-crunching drive as we bounced in the cabin, our voices becoming high pitched or subdued, every time a jolt took us by surprise. UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_1a3aThe family was expecting us and told us if we did not show up at the homestead within the designated time frame they would come out to look for us.  I wasn’t sure if I felt reassured by this!  We were, in Australian vernacular, beyond the black stump.  We did see some cattle along the way.  It is mustering season so we were somewhat reassured, although we could not see anyone or hear any mustering choppers, there were people around some where in this vast landscape.  No landmarks to guide us but the straight track, we reasoned, it had to lead to the cattle station and it did.  Eventually.UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_1a2aThe homestead was a lovely period building, brick, fibro and tin but being a private home, I did not take photographs.  The high ceilings kept the temperature cool indoors and the rooms were dark.  We could not see what we were doing so we sat on the verandah under a tin roof for several hours.  It was hot and beads of perspiration slid down the length of my spine.  I could not help noticing there were several shovels scattered around the verandah.  With no garden in sight, the owner confirmed, they were kept handy and within reach, for killing snakes!  If nothing else convinced us, this did.  We were in the outback.

Concentrating on work for hours made us hungry as we headed back to Carnarvon.  We were told there was a picnic spot en route, closer to town, and we decided to have our lunch there.  Beautiful it was, but in the heat and no shade, we sat in the 4WD on the banks of Rocky Pool and watched the Gascoyne River flow.  We ate our lunch in silence, and took it all in.  I feel lucky to travel to these parts with a colleague who appreciates this in silence, like I do.


DSCN7265DSCN7260It is difficult to put into words what the outback feels like.  It is harsh and unforgiving country.  Yet it is brimming with life of what one can see and it feels like one can experience the unseen.  There is a spiritual ambience to it.  It floats among twisted trees, swirling waters and skims sandy banks, with a softness that is tangible.  This is ancient country.  It envelopes one if you let it.  It is not a landscape one sees.  It is a landscape, a country, one experiences.  It is now part of me as I am of it.UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_1a41Later that evening, back in Carnarvon, we walked to the local pub so we could have a drink or two with our meal to celebrate our adventure.  Sunset looked promising.UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_1a45We walked back to the hotel along the Fascine after dark, where the sunset a couple of hours earlier had been beautiful.  I slept fitfully from exhaustion and excitement.

I’ve had an amazing trip despite the discomfort of heat and persistent flies and we worked non-stop.  I’m even more convinced now than ever before, I’m no city worker.  An office space does not cut it for me anymore.  Give me dust especially the red dust of the north, the stuff that is powder fine and gets into everything.  Wearing white is never an option in these parts.  Wildly patterned clothing hides a multitude of sins.  I know this because I sat on the sofa in the dark and on a plate of cold watermelon!

I woke each morning while I was away convinced I made the right choice years ago to forge my own path.  It is definitely a road less travelled, and now, I’ve left my footprint on it.

This is by no means the last trip.  Yes Newton’s Cradle comes to mind, again.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

In response to FOWC with Fandango – Momentum

Where land meets the sea

Just a small selection of the landscapes that I’ve encountered on my travels.thumb_IMG_0936_1024
Mary Street, Highgate, an inner city Perth suburb.thumb_IMG_0227_1024
The Midwest outback near the mining town of Cue, Western Australia.  There were carpets of flowers in this harsh country in spring.thumb_IMG_0445_1024
The descent over Exmouth, Western Australiathumb_IMG_0602_1024
Between Carnarvon and Geraldton.  Taken from inside the car at 110km/hour.  No, I wasn’t driving!thumb_IMG_0876_1024
Between Morawa and Mingenew, Midwest towns, Western Australia.  From the car window again.thumb_IMG_4434_1024
Geographe Bay, Busselton, Western Australia.  One of my favourite bays.thumb_IMG_0931_1024
Outskirts of Geraldton, Western Australia.  Oh! those summer colours of the Midwest!thumb_IMG_0625_1024
Next month … I’m on the road again.

a dawn bird

In response to A Photo A Week Challenge : Landscape

The things I see …

There was a time in my life when I loved visiting art galleries and museums and would seek them out where ever I travelled.  I am not knowledgeable about art.  I just know what I love.  So it is not surprising when I see a piece of art, my eye is immediately drawn to the aesthetics of it.

The wall sculpture below is huge on a bigger wall.  It is striking and I was drawn to it immediately.  I looked at it from close up.  I stepped away from it.  The beauty was the same.  I would have loved to have touched it, run my fingers on shapes and colours and connect with the artist.  But when I read the plaque, I realised I do connect with that master artist, Nature, in a different way.thumb_IMG_4834_1024
Art in foyer, Crowne Plaza Casino, Perth, Western Australia
“Reverie of Land, Line and Form by Jenny Nayton is the study of the ancient geology of Western Australia.  The artform draws on the distinctive character and connection to place created by the unique colours and shapes of the Western Australian landscape.  The sculptural forms are reminiscent of the fluid curves of eroded rocks, such as the local monument Wave Rock in Hyden.”thumb_DSCN5006_1024
Sooty Oystercatcher, Turquoise Bay, Exmouth, Western Australia
I still love art but it no longer just hangs on a wall or from a ceiling.
Sunrise, Exmouth Gulf, Exmouth, Western Australia
I’ve found the sky, a canvas.thumb_IMG_4921_1024
Bee in flower
I love when still life stills me.thumb_IMG_0713_1024
Succulent, Esperance, Western Australia
And I love looking at the ordinary and find it extraordinary. 

The aesthetics of nature may not be visible to all.  A blindness to be cured for sure.  If it was, would we live differently?

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

In response to RDP – Thursday – Aesthetics

This evanescent life …

“Yesterday is gone.  Tomorrow has not yet come.  We have only today.  Let us begin.”  Mother Theresa

I love this quote.  Time is never fleeting, never wasted if we have the courage to begin, to explore, to re-calibrate from where we are.

This year I spent more time in the Midwest outback than I have in any other year and hopefully this will continue.  DSCN9291.jpg
I’ve worked along the coast from north to the south and enjoyed the intense company of seagulls.DSCN9480.jpg
In the Wheatbelt town of Merredin I found a silent space within me while listening to the raucous squawking of red tail black cockatoos, high in the gum trees.thumb_IMG_0178_1024.jpg
In the Midwest outback town of Mt Magnet I found these beautiful succulent flowers.  The ant and granite sand gives some perspective how tiny these flowers are.thumb_IMG_0217_1024.jpg
I loved this deserted Masonic Lodge (circa 1899) in the outback town of Cue.thumb_IMG_0224_1024.jpg
The pink flower carpet that surrounded the ghost town of Big Bell, just outside Cue, was stunning.thumb_IMG_0238_1024.jpg
We enjoyed dinner here in an outback pub where dusty cowboys propped up the bar.thumb_IMG_0241_1024.jpg
And even in the outback one could not get away from American politics!  This was Herbert Hoover’s bedroom when he worked as a mining engineer in Western Australia in the late 1800s.  This is now a lounge room at the motel where we stayed.thumb_IMG_0253_1024.jpg
There were long drives on lonely highways in the company of road trains.thumb_IMG_0256_1024.jpg
And waking to outback sunrises.thumb_IMG_0607_1024.jpg
This was a big wall of tattoo photographs at the Billabong Roadhouse, in the Midwest outback.  I thought it was pretty cool!thumb_IMG_5303_1024.jpg
I spent a lot of time at airports with miners and where I met Muse.thumb_IMG_4702_1024.jpg
I found I’m patient when faced with barriers.  This forced me to drive between 5-10 kms an hour (speed limit was 110km/hour) for over 40 kms in the eastern Wheatbelt.thumb_IMG_5817_1024.jpg
I visited The Leaning Tree, Greenough, outside Geraldton.  Just because I love it so.

“I am Wirnda Ngadara
The leaning tree
I have grown this way
from too much breeze
My twisted trunk
bowed down to search
and pay respect
to Mother Earth
Stand here awhile
and look at me
I am Wirnda Ngadara
The leaning tree.
Nola Gregory, 2014

I have been brave and adventurous this year.  The next year brings with it promise of new experiences with old loves.thumb_IMG_0696_1024
To embrace the new year I found my mantra on the Iron Balls gin bottle.

“You always have options, if you have balls”.

And, that my friends, I do!

May time stand still for you, for just a moment, so you can re-calibrate your compass for the new year and find the direction you seek.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

In response to RDP – Sunday – Fugacious

Moora, Western Australia

My contracts have been renewed for another year.  End of year is always a time of tension and then relief.  Work does not buy me material things.  It buys me professional freedom to do the kind of work I feel committed to doing, so the relief is always palpable.

One of my last country trips was to Moora, a small town in the North Eastern Wheatbelt, some 160 km (100 miles) from my home.  It has a population of just under 2000 people.  I am yet to see more than twenty people in town in peak hour mid day.  Being farming country, most of the population live away from town.  It is not uncommon for folks to come into town for their appointment having travelled nearly 200 kms.  Children can do a round trip of 100 kms twice a day when travelling in a school bus.  These are hardy, community minded folks.

Check in for my accommodation at the local caravan park is done at the local petrol station!  In such an unassuming town the surprise for me is one of the local cafes and the pub, The Drovers’ Inn.

DSCN9800-2.jpgAt the end of the main street that has no more than ten shops I think, is the pub (on the right).


DSCN9799The Drovers’ Inn, circa 1909, is something out of a movie set.  I learnt the hard way.  To buy a drink, avoid the bar when it is shearing season!  The Bottle Shop entrance on the right with the discreet blue sign is a better bet!  The meals here are amazing.

Around the corner from the Bottle Shop is the entrance to the dining room.  It is opulent indoors and the first time I entered this place I was taken aback.  Now that I am a regular visitor here for meals I aim to get more photographs of the building next year.

The counter is made from wood and curved and belted with this brass decoration that goes all around it.

I just love it!

Across the railway track is the local cafe with a French name and serves French food with Edith Piaf’s wonderful voice infusing the atmosphere.

The cafe has been doing well.  It’s so good to see this in a small town.  It has moved to bigger premises.  This is only part of the extended shop.  There were too many people around and I didn’t want to invade their privacy but I’ll get more pictures next time.  I just love the chandeliers!

The drive to Moora is something I enjoy.  Being in the heart of the Wheatbelt and big road train country, there are huge chicanes that brings out my inner rally driver when I’m not stuck behind slow moving farming equipment.   With my playlist on loud, this is a trip I’ve come to love.  I’m so thrilled it will continue for another year.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

In response to Word of the Day Challenge – Freedom

Do look back … 30 November 2019

I think reflecting on the past month is a wonderful way to take a breath …DSCN8809.jpg
I’ve come to realise in the past few months, it is at home and in my garden is where I find best balance.
Where birds comes to visit me for a change.
I’ve enjoyed a long drive between Carnarvon and Geraldton.  This is my favourite roadhouse along the way.  I found out this area is prone to flooding when it rains, and quite beautiful with numerous billabongs that attract birdlife.  The change between spring to summer has been swift.  It was a hot drive.DSCN7120.jpg
The highway between Carnarvon and Geraldton is long and lonely.  My colleague and I always feel carefree in these parts.  We usually stop here and stretch our legs at a lookout that overlooks Gladstone Beach in the far distance.DSCN8824.jpg
Geraldton has become my second home.  I’ve grown to love this place and the easy lifestyle.DSCN9956.jpg
Returning home from trips I found the gooseberries were turning into jam on the bush from the heat.  What happened to spring, this year?DSCN9961.jpg
The mulberries are plentiful and most out of my reach, except for my zoom.DSCN9988.jpg
In Esperance the wildflowers have disappeared and birdlife is plenty.  This wattlebird was as curious about me, as I was of it.
The wildflowers have disappeared in Foxes Lair too except for a hardy few.  I saw a blur in the bush and found it was the tiny pink trigger plants.DSCN7043.jpg
The pied stilt was gorgeous at Chinaman Pool, in Carnarvon, at sunset.thumb_IMG_0376_1024.jpg
I’ve just returned from being away for nearly ten days and found Perth is sweet home, after all.  Now that came as a surprise to me!

It’s the first day of summer tomorrow.  I’ll be starting it in the heat of the Goldfields.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

In response to The Changing Seasons – November

Wardandi Boodja, sculpture that speaks

Wardandi Boodja, Bunbury Foreshore, Western Australia

In the last couple of years I’ve noticed, along the coast of Western Australia, there has been a focus on making art accessible to the community, and in particular sculpture, one of my favourite art expressions.

I have driven past this sculpture, Wardandi Boodja, on the Bunbury foreshore many times and as many times, photographed it.  There is something very powerful about the sense of ‘connectedness’ this sculpture conveys.

The indigenous culture of Australia is one of the oldest in the world and deeply connected to land and sea.  The indigenous people regard themselves as custodians of the ecosystem.  In all the photographs I have taken, this picture reflects this wisdom in his eyes.  It comes alive when a glint of sunshine, visible only if one is lucky enough to see the light, speaks of this.  The artists Alex and Nicole Mickle consulted with the indigenous people of this region, who decided they wanted the sculpture to represent all families in the face of an elder custodian.  He is not one person, but all.  There is power in this statement, alone.

The sculpture is enormous at 5.5 metres high and weighing 4.2 tonnes of steel, yet it has the lightness of being and, despite being placed alongside a children’s playground, the stillness of silence.  Most of the children who come here to play are too young to read the poem.  And, unfortunately, most adults read their hand held screens these days.  If one lifted one’s gaze they would read what the sculpture speaks to:

Sand and water and time move through our fingers;
damp from the sea, the land clings to us –
salty and healing.
Slow down and listen to that whisper in the trees,
slow down.
Listen to the ancestors, bworan moort, keepers of the land
singing to the silvery kwilena
They leap and call.  Hear them –
they have come to play,
come to listen.
Swim, koolangka, chase the seagulls, laugh in the clean air.
See, where serpent rivers swirl into brine,
where maali dip long necks in living water.
Step gently here.
The earth is under our skin,
and Wardandi boodja keeps a warm fire burning.

NOTE:  Bworan moort: Old people/ancestors; maali: swans; kwilena: dolphins; koolangka: children (original citation found at

This is my first contribution to Sculpture Saturday and I’m pleased to share my part of the world with you.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

In response to Sculpture Saturday – Week 7


A Walk in the Park …

I work all over this big State of Western Australia, so naturally, this vast land is my neighbourhood as I am rarely home and, I post pictures regularly from wherever my work takes me.  It is rare for me to share pictures from my neighbourhood.  I have posted these pictures some years ago and the prompt is a good reminder to explore the world closer to home more frequently.DSCN6149.jpg
My home adjoins Yellagonga Regional Park, some 1400 hectares of protected land of which nearly half is protected wetlands.  This area is four doors down from my home.  The land in this area is laden with cultural significance for the regional indigenous people and is part of their Dreaming.  I only became aware of this some years ago after a walk through the park with an elder as part of my workplace cultural learning.DSCN9900.jpg
I love that this place teems with new life.  I recall the sheer delight in discovering the black swan’s cygnet is white.DSCN7775.jpg
There are spaces where the Australian shelduck and I can catch our breath.DSCN7786.jpg
Ancient gum trees for company.DSCN7789.jpg
As I approach this roundabout in spring, I have to be careful about the Wood Ducks that use the pond as a nursery before taking their family across the road to the Lake.DSCN9771.jpg
This spring there have been many new families that have arrived over the last six weeks. This year I’ve seen school children stop and take pictures with their phone as they walk home from school.  I love watching their discovery through the lens.

This is my little oasis where other birds, too, call home.  Glad I could share this with you.

As always

a dawn bird

In response to A Photo A Week Challenge – In the Neighbourhood

To each, their own …

I woke this morning in Exmouth and felt a sense of elation.  I felt like my own self again.  Focused.  Enthusiastic.  Productive.  And, seeking joy.   It has taken exactly one month for me to feel 100% again.thumb_IMG_0481_1024.jpg
Sunrise, Exmouth Gulf, Exmouth, Western Australia
I found joy watching the sunrise and being early Saturday, Town Beach was deserted.DSCN9795.jpg
I had the whole beach to myself at 5 am.DSCN9787.jpg
I watched the tide recede and as it did, I rummaged through the debris.  I love these gifts of the sea.  thumb_IMG_0478_1024.jpg
I had time to drink champagne and laugh and not take life too seriously.thumb_IMG_0483_1024.jpg
Enjoy the fabulous surrounds of Ningaloo Reef Resort with a note to self, to return in 2020.  Not only is it a beautiful hotel, the staff are wonderful too.thumb_IMG_0486_1024.jpg
Delight in the perfection found in nature.thumb_IMG_0490_1024.jpg
It was too hot to drive to Turquoise Bay, so indoors with air con or leaving windows open for sea breeze, was the best idea.

Good food, good drinks, good company, an empty beach and a feeling that all is well.  That’s my idea of khushi (Hindi for happiness).

It’s a simple recipe, worth repeating.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

In response to RDP – Saturday – Cushy

Nancy Merrill’s A Photo A Week Challenge: Open Topic

I visit the Central Wheatbelt area in Western Australia, on a regular basis.  Although it is only around 260km, it is around 3-3.5 hour drive East of home for me.  The highway is dangerous.  It runs east and west, so some drivers are always driving into the sun early morning or at sunset.  It is a narrow road, and used by roadtrains and with open farmland on either side, there is always danger of fox and kangaroo as well, at dusk.

But the landscape is stunning at sunset.  For years I’ve been trying to get to this region at the right hour to capture it.  I often see the sun setting in my rear view mirror and it takes my breath away.  This month I timed it almost right.DSCN8895.jpg
In a paddock between the small township of Kellerberrin and Merredin a lone tree stands.  I have photographed this tree many times and each time, it speaks the same message loud.  Against all odds, still standing tall.  The message  has become my daily mantra.DSCN8900.jpg
Between Doodlakine and salt lakes at Baandee Lake I had to stop in near darkness and take this photograph.  In the silence, the sky roared in colour, and soon it was dark.

There was a time I did not have the temerity to get out of my car to take photographs on this trip.  It is a lonely drive when the trucks have zoomed on.  I’m anxious to just get to my accommodation.  These pictures are special to me because the landscape, nature, spoke louder than my inner voice of anxiety.  I’m glad I listened to it.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird


In response to:  A Photo a Week Challenge – Open Topic

This, too, is karma …

I’ve just returned from Esperance.  It is probably the first trip in dozens that I did not visit magnificent West Beach.  There was something in the air at Woody Lake that kept me there, something  more than the fact I was on my own at dusk and early morning.  I got there early and waited.  I’m not sure for what.  I just surrendered to the serenity of the moment that lasted two hours this morning.

The kangaroos were too quick to photograph and disappeared into the scrub before I could focus.  Soon there was birdsong.  Nothing I have heard before.  It was a nursery choir with unfamiliar sounds, all tuning up to perfect one day.  But not today.  Today, the off key cacophony made me smile.

The scrub was filled with little chicks.DSCN9080.jpg
Not yet afraid, the Silvereye held on …DSCN9120.jpg
To catch this tiny bird at breakfast with an even tinier spider made my day.DSCN9121.jpg
It was as curious about me as I was of it.  I wandered around for a couple of hours and as I was leaving I spotted something white in the scrub.DSCN9083.jpg
A tiny, fluffy grey fantail chick.DSCN9092.jpg
With sun beaming at, or was it from, her chest.  I was dazzled.DSCN9125.jpg
Another juvenile played hide and seek, with several attempts at spreading the tail.DSCN9095.jpg
There was another chickDSCN9183.jpg
And another, resting after play.DSCN9102.jpg
And my first ever glimpse of a juvenile cuckoo.

Where does this delight in birds come from?  Perhaps it is this …

As a child I yearned to be free.  Free as a bird I would say to my mother who tightened apron strings.  Even birds have to conform to the flock she would caution, or they die. I thought I was invincible, as I threw a “Not me!” over my shoulder and out the door.

I believe I knew what I wanted from about the age of six and every step of my life’s journey has been activated, framed, motivated by that one desire.  To be free.  I’m not sure what I wanted to be free of, but I knew I wanted freedom.

I believe I’ve achieved my childhood dreams.  Is it karma?

I have lived a life of freedom and on my terms.  Every step I have taken, every decision made, has led  me to this point.  I have not lived life passively or as an observer.  I have lived my life, as intended.  And, I’m not done yet.

Karma is not a b*tch.  It is not life’s punishment for something bad you may have done, or rewarding you for something you have done right.

Karma is not a backward glance.  Karma is filled with hope and is forward thinking.  It is an acceptance, at any point of one’s life, one has the ability to change the course of how one lives, if one chooses to do this.  It’s taken a long time to come to this realisation.  So I start new each day.  Yes, life can be that simple for me.

May your steps today lead to good karma.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

Word of the Day Challenge – Karma

Australian icons …

I know they are not the farmer’s friend and they can cause chaos on country roads at dusk but to me, an unexpected encounter with a wild kangaroo is a delight.

I’m always careful early morning in Foxes Lair, Narrogin, in the south eastern Wheatbelt region of Western Australia.  At dusk too, when I drive through.  I usually see a kangaroo or even a small mob.  This morning I was later than usual and got there around 7 am.  The early morning walkers had already gone through the reserve except for one.  I often see him with his dog and he’ll say a few polite words.

I inched my car through the narrow pathway heading to the car park when I heard a gentle rustle.  A joey!DSCN8958
It hopped in front of the car and then went behind a small shrub, yet so close and within reach.  Oh! that look!  I melted just like that.  DSCN8965
The joey hopped away, stopped and looked around as if searching DSCN8967
… this is a quintessential Australian bush scene.DSCN8969
Then I saw mother.  I’ve only noticed the third kangaroo (to the left of centre) when I uploaded the pic.  They blend in so well with the bush and being shy creatures they can slink away into the scrub very quickly.DSCN8977
All three crossed to the other side of the reserve.  As the mother and joey hopped away, the male stood upright, his stance unmistakably, don’t mess with my family.  I respected his guard and waited until they were out of sight.DSCN8992
When I could no longer see them, my gaze scanned the ground.  Since being in the Murchison, I’m now interested in animal tracks, too.  I don’t believe I have ever seen tracks made by a kangaroo tail, before.  A first for me!

I’m home overnight and leave again tomorrow.  As the year is winding down, I feel a bit fatigued.  I know I’m not comfortable in my skin when I feel this way.  Besides, today has not been a good day.  What a difference 12 hours make.  I drove home with roadworks and big farming machinery on the highway slowing my trip only to find a hotel has messed up my booking.  I accept people make genuine mistakes.  But when one tries to cover up with a lame excuse, that’s something I find hard to accept.  I feel I let myself down by losing my cool.  I wish I had taken a deep breath.  What’s done can’t be undone.  I’m expecting to get the worst room in the hotel when I get there!

But for now, I think I’ll just go and indulge in some comfort food … Vegemite on barely warm toast, a slather of butter and a cup of tea.  I feel better already!

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

In response to RDP – Tuesday – Butter