my view of the natural world

Archive for December, 2011

At the tail end

The year 2011 is drawing to its conclusion Downunder, and I can’t say I’m sorry about that.  It’s been a year of changes – most of which were quite unpredictable and some leaving me shaken.  However, I’m still here…..and maybe things are looking up in these new pastures.

I’m not really into New Year Resolutions.  Goal setting is well and good too, but generally I prefer to simply keep learning, and see where it takes me.  It’s always been an interesting journey. :-)  Currently I’m learning how to convert images to black and white, and no doubt that will keep me busy for some time to come.  The more I learn about it the more I realise how much there is to know, and how little I do know.  Just like life really :-)

Thanks very much everyone for your support and comments and feedback – most appreciated!  Hopefully I’ll see you around again next year!  Have a Happy and Safe New Year♥

Blazing through the mist

This morning’s sunrise was a humdinger, with plenty of colour to play in the mist. It was also jolly cold – gloves and jacket in middle of summer is NOT what I’m used to!  Worth making the early start for though, when Nature puts on a show like this.

Heading out to sea

“Ok, who’s going first?

Hullo! Why it’s ……

……..Just Joey smiling in the morning sun!

Ho ho ho ho ho hummmmm

“Well that’s me done for another Christmas! Now I can have a seaside holiday!”

In the bleak midwinter…..

Summer Solstice, Santa and Mary.

What better way to spend the summer solstice Downunder, than with a trip to the beach!

And at Beachport, on the Limestone Coast, Santa took a break from his busy schedule and headed off into the surf!

See for yourself!

Not only that, but when I arrived home, I found out that Mary hadn’t had a lamb but two!

A pretty special day all round.  Fred will have a Big story to write up this week!

Oh yes, and this is my 400th post on WordPress!  I surprise even myself sometimes :-)

Comings and goings…..

This morning I learned of yet another soul who has passed from this earthly realm.

This afternoon I stood at my back door, and watched a large flock of birds riding the thermals in the summer sky.  As they changed direction, they would disappear into the void, and then with yet another turn, they would re-appear.

It made me think that perhaps it’s just like this for souls……always here, just not always visible…..coming and going…..

And so the cycle continues….

Paying attention.

Today, I’d like to quote an except from a book I’m currently re-reading….maybe the words will resonate out there….

The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron.

“My grandmother knew what a painful life had taught her: success or failure, the truth of a life really has little to do with its quality.  The quality of life is in proportions, always, to the capacity for delight.  The capacity for delight is the gift of paying attention.
The reward for attention is always healing.  It may begin as the healing of a particular pain, but what is healed, finally, is the pain that underlies all pain: the pain that we are all, as Rilke phrases it, “unutterably alone.”
Writing about attention, I see that I have written a good deal about pain.  This is no coincidence.  It may be different for others, but pain is what it took to teach me to pay attention.  In times of pain, when the future is too terrifying to contemplate and the past too painful to remember, I have learned to pay attention to right now.  The precise moment I was in was always the only safe one for me.  Each moment, taken alone, was always bearable.  In the exact now, we are all, always, all right.  I am breathing in and out.  Realizing this, I began to notice that each moment was not without its beauty. “

If you go into the woods today…..

If you go into the woods today
The trees will bend and sway

And all the shadows they do say
Will pretend with you to play.

If you go into the woods today
You’re in for a big surprise

For paths will turn and bend and twist
Until the exit sadly you will miss.

Season of goodwill

I’m not into Christmas.  In fact, I haven’t ‘done’ Christmas for many years now.  It is wonderfully liberating.

Here’s some sentiments expressed by a friend of mine on the subject…..

Summer Gold

Digging deep, making the effort, finding the gold.

A wild ride

Life is such a wild unpredictable ride, with change at every turn.  Last night I learned that a friend’s son had died in tragic circumstances.  Last week another friend was having chemo.  I cannot understand how they must feel, not having been in that situation myself.  I can only imagine.  And it must be tough going.  Despite my own beliefs about re-incarnation, other dimensions, and the Spirit world, on a very human level loss is not only difficult to bear, it can rip one asunder.

Each morning when I cycle down my quiet country road, I see many butterflies soaking up the warmth from the road.  As the sun rises, they begin to flutter and sometimes dance with me as I pedal along.    The change from caterpillar through to the chrysalis and emergence as a butterfly is the greatest change in the animal world.

The butterfly is a powerful symbol for transformation,  as it symbolises significant change in the course of one’s life, personality or way of thinking.  While on this Earth, we need to adapt to changing circumstances, and surely, what better way than to follow the lead of the butterfly, and dance lightly be it ever so briefly.

This morning I stopped to photograph the butterflies on the road, and then noticed that one had settled on my bike wheel.  Perhaps it was trying to tell me something…..

Foggy Dawn

Even though it’s summer Downunder, in my neck of the woods, summer is shy and many mornings I wonder at the change from my previous location, which is now experiencing all the heat one expects of summer in Australia.  My early morning bike rides see me donning jacket, gloves, and hat.  Just a few days ago, there was a – I’m learning – typical fog across the paddocks.  Fog can of course, create some nice photographic effects, and I am really enjoying these opportunities.

Black and white photography always interests me, although I’ve only dabbled in it in the past.  But I’ve been reading and studying up about conversion techniques, and this image was the first one I created using that recently learned knowledge.  I put it on my Redbubble Site  and have been amazed at how well it has been received.  Probably just beginner’s luck, but it has me well and truly hooked!  Hmmm….guess what I’ll be doing at nights now…… :-)

Fancy a sea-change?

Last week, Fred talked me into a trip to the coast.  Okay, he didn’t have to do much talking :-) After all, I did the big move a few months ago so that we’d be closer to the ocean, and haven’t given up on finding a place.  Where we are now, is just a stepping stone…..

One of the places we checked out was Boatswain’s Point. not far from Robe, on the Limestone Coast.  Until we went exploring, I didn’t even know the place existed, and at my first views I thought it was charming, a place that time had forgotten. A place where you could be yourself, no frills or fancy, where you could lead a simple life……

A place with little fibro fishing shacks…….a place with no fences…..

But then……as I drove around the tiny township, sans shops sans anything but houses, I could see the upmarketers were moving in.  Mind you, Fred and I did take a fancy to this place, located at the end of a cul-de-sac.

Obviously architect designed. Such are dreams…..

Fred has requested we try a holiday here first.  Here’s a couple of likely pet friendly places…..

Windsong Beach House – WindSong is an absolutely private beachfront house with uninterrupted ocean views and direct access onto the beach.  Yep, that takes our fancy.

Or else there’s Beachside Getaway – A large glass sliding door in the kitchen leads out onto a sheltered rear balcony that looks out to the pastures and sand dunes that hug the Robe, longbeach coastline. The rear balcony has a BBQ & outdoor furniture.  Also quite acceptable.

Well, next step was to find out some more about this place.  Check out the prices.  Golly!  Times have changed!

Sadly, these up market holiday homes are pushing up real estate prices, and soon only the wealthy will be able to afford to live here.  This is only one of many little villages that are being swallowed up by investors, and those looking for a sea-change will need to have a very healthy bank balance indeed.

It leaves the likes of me, needing unpolluted air to breathe, high and dry.  Or perhaps, Fred will gain us fame and fortune:-)

Moving from the edge

It’s quite amazing isn’t it, how life imitates art – or is it the other way around?  I’ve been dealing with a stressful situation lately, and now the pressure is off until late January.   I’m not quite ‘on edge’ any more.

On my morning walk I took a less travelled path, along the edge of the trees, and then came across two larger trees, more advanced than the others and the space around them felt quite special.  So I simply sat.  It’s a great non-doing.

After a while, of this very non-doing, I felt compelled to enter the forest, to delve deeper within.  My pace slowed, as I carefully picked my way over fallen branches and such like.  When we go inwards, the journey cannot be rushed.  It is a carefully considered process, negotiating obstacles as they arise.  Eventually, it was time to find a pathway to lead me to the edge again, out of the dimness, into the light.  And lo, a pathway appeared.  According to my canine companion, it was a trail of most delectable scents.  Again, our pace increased, with expectation hurrying us forwards.  What we expected didn’t matter – in fact, sometimes it’s the very unknowingness that I find most enticing.

Being On the Edge

As I was walking through the forest this morning, my thoughts turned to the edge effect…….According to Wiki:

“The edge effect in ecology is the effect of the juxtaposition or placing side by side of contrasting environments on an ecosystem.

This term is commonly used in conjunction with the boundary between natural habitats, especially forests, and disturbed or developed land.[1] Edge effects are especially pronounced in small habitat fragments where they may extend throughout the patch. Increasing edge effects allows more habitat structure to increase biodiversity within the area.”

As I walked closer to the edge of the forest,  I could hear more birdsong, feel more sunlight, smell a greater array of scents.  Once away from the forest, this dissipated.  It was at the edge where so much was taking place.  In gardening, often the greatest vibrancy can be found on the edges. This is why often a curved edge is used in preference to a straight one, as it covers a greater distance. Then I thought about how this may relate to human activity……

Some people live close to the edge…..  maybe by their risky behaviour, maybe financially, maybe socially.   Each situation has the potential for a different outcome than if they were ‘safely’ in the middle.  There is a potential for creating something new and different.

Next time you find yourself walking close to the edge, in whatever form that is, seize the opportunity to be creative.  It may be the best thing you could ever do.

A moody morning…

Another early morning bike ride found this for me….

What’s in your wildest dreams….?

It’s because….

It’s because……

On mornings like this

On mornings when the air is calm, on mornings when the sun is not far away, on mornings when the road beckons, it is easier to feel grateful for what is.  Please let me be grateful for what is, each and every day, whether the day pleases me or not.

The Champion

Today I had the greatest pleasure to photograph a friend’s horse.  Tigger may not have a pile of champion ribbons to boast of – yet –  but in the eyes of his fans, he’s a champion. :-)


What more can I say…..

International Day of People with a Disability

December 3, 2011 is International Day of People with a Disability,  with the theme for 2011 being -:

“Together for a better world for all : Including people with disabilities in development. “

Check out the United Nations Enable site for events in your country.

Like many others, my life was shattered by circumstances that left me with an aquired disability.

Of course, every dark cloud has a silver lining….I doubt very much I’d have every got around to developing my photography (excuse the pun :-) ) if I was still running my gardening business.  The old adage, about one door closing and another opening certainly holds true.

Just remember, not all disabilities are visible… fact, aren’t we all disabled in one way or another?  That’s why we all need to work together for a better world.

Making herself at home

Lately, I’ve been bringing my horse Sally onto the back lawn so she can have some grazing, and keep the grass down a bit,  and also feel she’s still part of the family instead of away in the paddock.  She’s loving it, and when I spied her laying down for her mid-morning nap, I couldn’t resist taking a snap through the window.  Horses will only lay down if they feel safe, especially if there’s not another horse keeping guard – horses are a herd animal and rely on each other for safety.  I have to take on this role, there not being another horse close by.

So, what is home?  We’ve only been at this location for a few months, and while I don’t feel settled, it is home for the time being.  There’s the old saying -“ Home is where you hang your hat”  –  but is it just this or is there more to it?

Habitat for Humanity (link) asked this question and got many and varied responses. This one caught my eye….

mary lou wrote:
Home is a refuge of joy in the midst of a sometimes fearful world.

What does home mean to you?