Welcome to Life Images by Jill

Welcome to Life Images by Jill.........Seeking to preserve images and memories of the beautiful world in which we live and the people in it.
I am a Freelance Journalist and Photographer based in Bunbury, Western Australia. My published work specialises in Western Australian travel articles and stories about inspiring everyday people. My passion is photography, writing, travel, wildflower and food photography.
I hope you enjoy scrolling through my blog. To visit other pages, please click on the tabs above, or go to my Blog Archive on the side bar. Please feel free to leave a comment at the bottom of any of my posts. I value your messages and look forward to hearing from you.If you like my work, and would like to buy a print, or commission me for some work, please go to my "contact me" tab.
Thank you for visiting my blog and helping me "step into the light".

Welcome!

Welcome!

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Where the forest meets the sea

Hi everyone. We have just returned from our yearly few days visiting my Aunt in Denmark on Western Australia's south coast. Denmark would have to be one of my most favourite spots in Western Australia.  

I have blogged about Denmark before - 
Denmark & Walpole wilderness 
Denmark, where the forest meets the sea 
Denmark weekend 

So for today, just a few photos to take you back there. 

It was misty raining for the few days we were there. Below is a photo of the karri forest in misty rain along the Denmark River. I've blurred the image by moving the camera when I took the shot. Do you like the effect?


Denmark is nestled in the towering karri forests which literally come down to the sea or at least the inlet edge. You can see the karri trees below along the Denmark river which flows through the town of Denmark, then into Wilson Inlet, and then beyond to the Southern Ocean. Such a gorgeous setting. We saw a team training in a dragon boat on the river. Yes it was raining, but I don't mind walking in the misty rain as long as I have my rain jacket and a hat and my camera doesn't get too wet!


 You may get a bit of a sense of the height of the karri trees in the images below. Still raining! We always joked that it always rains in Denmark whatever the season. They have had water restrictions this summer so the rain is welcome.


The karri trees constantly shed their bark in sheets. 


There is plenty to do in Denmark - beautiful beaches with clear blue water (I recommend Greens Pool at William Bay - you can see it below), walk trails, mountains to climb (Mt Lindesay 9km return to the summit) and wineries, restaurants, produce outlets, galleries and artisans to visit.  

About 12 kilometres out of town along Scotsdale Road is the Harewood Forest Walk. This beautiful 1.2km return walk (allow 40 minutes) winds upstream through karri regrowth forest. You can see the start of it below left.


This scene was taken over Wilson Inlet just down from our hotel. There were lots of pelicans, black swans and other water birds gliding over the water or feeding.

 
And below taken on a better morning from a previous trip. Or perhaps I just got up earlier to watch the sun kiss the paperbark trees lining the Inlet.


Denmark attracts artisans and you can't help be inspired when you visit the galleries.
While we were there I "discovered" Meleah Farrell -Meleah.Farrell.Abstract.Photographer.
I am in love with her work, so I hope you will take a moment to click on the link to go to her Facebook page or blog to see her work.

Meleah says: "With my photography I like to see the ‘special’ in the ‘everyday’. I like experimenting using unconventional photographic techniques. All my images are created ‘in-camera’ with little or no manipulation in Photoshop. I try to create a photograph to be, for me, an abstract form of expression, and for the viewer, something that challenges their perceptions and expectations of the world around them."

And below a quote I saw in Denmark over an image I took of Canna Lilys in my Aunt's garden. I was inspired by Meleah to take this photo and the one at the top of this post of the karri trees by the river. I hope it encourages you to imagine what could be.



Only a short post today but thank you so much for stopping by. I value your comments and look forward to hearing from you. I will try to visit your blogs in return. Have a wonderful week.

I am linking up to the link-ups below. Please click on the links to see fabulous contributions from around the world - virtual touring at its best!

Mosaic Monday
Travel Photo Mondays

Lifestyle Fifty Monday Linkup 
Our World Tuesday

Through My Lens 
Image-in-ing
Wednesday Around the World at Communal Global
Worth Casing Wednesday
What's It Wednesday
Travel Photo Thursday

The Weekly Postcard



Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Australia Day & Re-Discover Street Art 2016


A couple of weeks ago Bunbury's  streets were buzzing with artists and people out to see the new Re-Discover 2016 street art. This is the third year for Re-Discover, an initiative of the Bunbury based artist run group Six Two Three Zero which "seeks to use street art as a catalyst for urban development and social change by bringing communities together in conversation and creative inspiration." 


I blogged about 2015's Re-Discover last January here - Bunbury Street Art and I was keen to see what the local, national and international artists were bringing to our streets, laneways and buildings this year.


We decided to take a walk around Bunbury late on Thursday afternoon while the artists were still at work, and had a chance to talk to some of the artists and mingle with other people doing the same as we were, following the guide map and discovering the street art. It really added a new dimension to our experience by being able to see the artists at work. There were also offering guided tours late Friday afternoon after the artworks were complete, but we decided to do our own thing.
Last Friday we took friends from Perth on our own walking tour to see the completed artworks. 

Come walk with me to discover some of them. It was interesting to recognise the style of work of artists that had been involved in previous years. I'm not an art critique, so I won't even attempt to go down that path, so instead I will give you a few words from the profiles of each artist. You can click on the links to go to each artist's web page.

Here you can see Gemma O'Brien from Sydney working on her tribute to David Bowie. Gemma is an Australian artist and designer specializing in lettering, illustrations and typography. 


 Next up is Phibs, one of Australia's most respected and renowned artists in Australian Graffiti-Street Art. We spoke to Phibs briefly and watched him create with his spraycan part of this vibrant large scale piece depicting seahorses. 


Anya Brock's painting of birds now decorate the sides of the city music shell. Now resident in Sydney, Anya's strikingly bright and colourful murals decorate many walls in Subiaco in Perth and Fremantle. Anya's earlier street art was my favourite in the first year of ReDiscover in 2014. You can see it at the bottom of this post.



Here is Beastman's latest work on the back of the cinema complex, and lower RH corner his last 2015 piece on the back of the Bunbury Regional Art Gallery. Beastman is a multidisciplinary artist based in Sydney, and influenced by repetitive geometric patterns and organic lines. You can see his style in these two pieces.


Inspired by a love of comics, graphic novels and anime, Gimiks Born 's painting of a dancer appears on a wall in Ron Mort Park.  




Recognised for his attention to detail and search for perfection is a feature of
Vans The Omega's artwork. His piece for Re-Discover can be seen adjacent to the double storey carpark behind Barrett's. 


This amazing photographic-like portrait by Rone is in the carpark behind Koombana Court. We wondered how he managed to get the piece so life-like when it is this size. Rone, who spearheaded street art in Melbourne in the early 2000s, is best known for his haunting, stylised images of women's faces. 


Here are a few more from around the city. I've written the artist's names on each one


Local artists were working in the lane-way behind Souths, and many people were wandering up and down the lane watching them paint.



 Along with aboriginal artists with a message for us. To go on a local aboriginal cultural tour please visit - Ngalan Wongi Aboriginal Cultural Tours




Love them or hate them, Rediscover is bringing art to the people through its street art program. They certainly encourage you to walk around the CBD, engage in conversations, think creatively, brings art to the people and "cultivates a city that encourages and gives room for creatives to develop their respective craft."

If you are in Bunbury I encourage you to walk and look at our street art. If there is street art in your city, take time to go and see it. I will be next time I go to Perth. You might even find a message that speaks to you. 

To find out more about Re-Discover Bunbury please for to Six Two Three Zero's Facebook page by clicking here - Six Two Three Zero


Today, 26th January is Australia Day. This morning we welcomed a new great nephew into our family, and this evening we went into the city to watch the fireworks. Some may consider fireworks are a waste of money and the money could be better spent elsewhere, particularly in light of our recent devastating bush fires in our state, however judging by the number of people in town, the fireworks as a celebration of Australia Day also bring communities together.  so happy AUSTRALIA DAY.  The day we celebrate all that is good about our country, and the wonderful diversity of our land and its people.


 Thank you so much for stopping by. I value your comments and look forward to hearing from you. I will try to visit your blogs in return. Have a wonderful week.

I am linking up to the link-ups below. Please click on the links to see fabulous contributions from around the world - virtual touring at its best!

Mosaic Monday
Travel Photo Mondays

Lifestyle Fifty Monday Linkup 
Our World Tuesday

Through My Lens 
Image-in-ing
Wednesday Around the World at Communal Global
Worth Casing Wednesday
What's It Wednesday
Travel Photo Thursday

The Weekly Postcard


You might also like - 
Bunbury Street Art 2015
Street Art in Penang
Celebrating Australia Day and Waltzing Matilda  

Monday, 18 January 2016

2016 Reading challenge

I recently came across this 2016 reading challenge through Facebook. It came along various paths from its original creator Anne - Modern Mrs Darcy - over on her blog at Modernmrsdarcy.

It is an interesting list so I've decided to give it a go and have already earmarked a few books for my challenge.

I've already ticked off my first book recommended by my sister -  In Love and War by Liz Byrski published in Western Australia by  Fremantle Press in 2015.  Please click on the links to read more. 

in love and war  




Liz's personal memories and experiences as a young child in the final years of World War 2 in the English country town of East Grinstead, and her trip in 2007 to find the England of her youth, are interwoven with the stories and memories of "The Guineas Pigs"  and their nurses. Cronically burned airmen were brought to the East Grinstead hospital where Archibald McIndoe rebuilt their faces, hands and bodies while the nurses and townspeople helped rebuild their self-esteem and lives. In the process of walking familiar paths, interviewing airmen and nurses and writing the book Liz made peace with her memories and banished some of her own personal ghosts.

It was a fascinating read and highlighted how we harbor in the background experiences from our childhood that have a profound subconscious effect on our lives. I recently met up with an old friend who has been battling in the last few years a horrific part of her childhood that had remained buried in her subconscious until her later life. 

However this post is not about that. But this reading challenge list did take me back to my childhood and memories I have of laying on the cool lino of our passageway at home reading during the hot school summer holidays during my Primary School years. In our wood and fibro house it was the coolest spot I could find. 

 

In those days my Mum had a travelling library van come regularly to our house. In the school holidays were were allowed to borrow a book. I remember the excitement as the man opened up the back of his van and slid out the children's books. I probably then lay all afternoon in the passageway being transported to other worlds of the Far Away Tree, The Wishing Chair, the England of Milly Molly Mandy, or the latest mystery of The Secret Seven and Enid Blyton. The book would be finished in a day or two at the most, and I would have to wait another week for the library van to come again. 
Later I would spend hours looking through a particular art book that my Dad had bought through Reader's Digest - Great Painters and Great Paintings. I still have it. 



So this memory started my husband and I talking of other things we did through those childhood summers to keep cool during the 1950s and 60s..... playing under the sprinkler on the back lawn, sucking on cordial iceblocks, swimming in the river, playing in a bathtub of cold water, laying out on a calico sheet on the back lawn in the evenings. My husband said they sometimes slept on their front veranda, and I know my father said they did this too when he was a boy out in the wheatbelt. 

Sometimes as a special treat we could walk down to the shops and buy an icecream. My favourite was a strawberry push-up. It came in a cardboard cylinder; vanilla icecream at the top, and as you pushed up from the base you came to the delicious strawberry syrup at the bottom. Delicious.  My mother used to make icecream with a tin of evaporated milk, and I did this too for years during my early married life when bought icecream really was an expensive luxury to us. 

Sometimes my sister and I were allowed to fill up the bath to play in. We must have made a terrible mess as I remember sliding down the slopy end of the bath into the water. There would have been lots of shrieking and giggling no doubt and water all over the floor. 

For a few years Dad rented a cottage at Palm Beach, Rockingham or Safety Bay just south of Perth and we stayed there for two weeks or so during the summer holidays. I had my first swimming lessons in the ocean at Palm Beach and I remember being too scared to take my feet off the bottom. Later we had swimming lessons at Como in the Swan River in Perth. The Como swimming area was full of huge jelly fish. Ugh. 

My husband's family had an above-ground swimming pool at one stage so no doubt a lot of time was spent out there. Their uncle also had a beach house at Rockingham and they often went down there to stay and walked to the beach from his house. 

The top two photos below here were taken in 1958 at Palm Beach when I was 3. Below are photos taken in 1961 and 1962. I'm the little blondie. Don't you just love our shirred bathers?


 Anyway, I have gotten away from my original idea for this post, the 2016 Reading Challenge.  Here is the list again. I would like to add "a historical novel - fiction, nonfiction, memoir or biography". 
 A few books I have already earmarked to read are - Hemingway's Old Man and the Sea, Graham Greene's Travels with My Aunt, and Anthony Burgess's A Clockwork Orange - I've never read this last book, it has sat on our shelves for over 40 years, and I think it will be a book that intimidates me. 

Do you have a favourite book? What are you reading right now? Will you take up the reading challenge with me? I hope you will. Let me know in the comments, keep a record and we can come back at the end of the year to see how we went. Happy reading! 

It's mid summer here in Western Australia, make sure you slap on some sunscreen, pop on a hat, cover up, and sit under a sun shelter if you decide to sit on the beach to read.


Thank you so much for stopping by. I value your comments and look forward to hearing from you. I will try to visit your blogs in return. Have a wonderful week. 

 Here's a little challenge I did a year or so ago, making a sentence from book titles.....
Rebecca, whatever you do don't run sinning across Spain. Eat pray love in the hands of providence under the Tuscan sun. 


I am linking up to the link-ups below. Please click on the links to see fabulous contributions from around the world - virtual touring at its best!

Mosaic Monday
Travel Photo Mondays

Lifestyle Fifty Monday Linkup 
Our World Tuesday

Through My Lens 
Image-in-ing
Wednesday Around the World at Communal Global
Worth Casing Wednesday
What's It Wednesday
Travel Photo Thursday

The Weekly Postcard
You might also like -
Walking down memory lane 
Went down to the beach to play one day 
On Anzac Day we will remember them 



Sunday, 10 January 2016

Western Australia is burning

It is the summer fire season in Australia and there are devastating bush-fires raging over Western Australia in the Waroona-Yarloop-Harvey area south of Perth and near Esperance on our south coast (Esperance update pm Sunday - has now been downgraded to Watch & Act).

 The bushfire in the Waroona-Yarloop-Harvey area was started by a lightning strike and  even though  the bushfire is over 60kms from where I live I have felt paralysed the last few days thinking about the two men who died in their homes, the infrastructure and over 100 homes destroyed, over 72 thousand hectares of farmland and bushland that has been destroyed, the farm animals that may have been lost, and the wild animals that have lost their lives in the fire. 

We have been glued to the radio and internet listening for emergency warning updates. Even where we live in suburbia we were on an "Alert". Fearing a spot fire caused by flying burning embers, we went out into the yard and swept up dry leaves and cleared out of our gutters. As I worked I felt sick with nervousness. I couldn't imagine what those affected by the fire were going through. 

 Hundreds of people have been evacuated from the area to two evacuation centres, residents and holiday makers at Preston Beach have sheltered on the beach or been taken away by boat. Some people fled their homes with only the clothes they were wearing. Some, in the small town of Yarloop stayed to try and defend their homes, only to watch it burn to the ground before they were evacuated. The historic railway and timber industry workshops and museum in Yarloop were completely destroyed.

The fire crews, volunteer bushfire brigades, pilots, water bombers, drivers, cooks, logistics personnel, Dept of Fire & Emergency Services, Dept of Parks & Wildlife, residents and individuals, have been doing a huge job battling this blaze in the blistering heat and shifting windy conditions, trying to put in containment lines, protecting homes and doing their part to assist. Even down to the grandmother repairing her grandson's fire fighting clothing between shifts. I salute you all. You are our heroes.  

The list goes on - so many doing what they can to assist - collecting donations, feeding and sheltering wandering stock, vets helping injured animals, people supplying firefighters with food, holding fund raising events, comforting those that have lost everything.

As I write, on Sunday afternoon there is still a bushfire emergency warning in place, there is still a threat to lives, homes and property, and people in the path of the fire are being urged to evacuate. 
Update Monday morning 11 January - Fire emergency situation has now been downgraded to "watch & act". The fire is contained but not controlled. There is still a threat to lives & homes, and conditions in the area are still unsafe. 
Mild weather conditions overnight have assisted the firefighters. So the situation is far better than it was a few days ago. 

Here is a short video from the Dept Of Parks & Wildlife which may give you some dramatic insight. 


Below is a copy of a map from the Department of Fire & Emergency Services website. For information and updates please click here to go to their website - DFES Alerts & Warnings



A paragraph from an interesting article from The Bushfire Front

The fundamental message

Crown fires in eucalypt forest remain as unstoppable today as they have ever been.  Once a bushfire is burning through the tops of the trees and throwing a jet-stream of burning embers down-wind, there is no technology on this earth that will stop it.

Water bombers do a great job under favourable conditions, but they cannot operate under high winds, or at night or when thick smoke reduces visibility. 

During the Black Saturday fires in Victoria, water bombers and helicopters had to be grounded because of the high winds around the fires. In 1961 the towns of Dwellingup, Holyoake and Nanga Brook in Western Australia all burnt at night when water bombers, even if they been available, could not have operated.
                                                 ________________________________

  The two major highways leading from Perth to Bunbury where I live have been closed. One of these will be closed for some time as a bridge was destroyed. Luckily there is an alternative route, be-it a long deviation.

Here are some views from my house on Thursday. Yes, I could have probably driven to where I could have got some dramatic photos of the fire and smoke cloud from a safe distance, but honestly this is as close as I wanted to be, especially when burnt leaves started to fall into our yard. The bottom RH corner photo was the sky thick with smoke on Friday.



On Friday evening, with smoke still in the air we went for a walk along the river and estuary near our home. There were not many people about, there was not a breath of breeze, and the atmosphere was eerie. You can see the smoke hanging in these pictures.


By Saturday afternoon there had been a wind shift with a light westerly blowing in from the ocean and sending the fire in a more easterly direction away from farmland and population centres and into the state forest. Here the fire will be more difficult to control but at least it is going away from Harvey and the populated areas south. 

 On Sunday morning, the smoke was clearing from where we live and blowing inland. We decided to go for a walk down Cathedral Avenue along the Leschenault Estuary. This is a lovely place to walk by the water between the paperbark trees. The trees form an arch over the old road, which is now mostly a walk or bike path, hence the name "Cathedral Avenue".
The grey sky you can see here is a mixture of cloud and smoke. 



Some birds and animals along our walk. There are always heaps of kangaroos in the paddocks along here.  The pic middle left shows a big male with a joey. Sorry, the black swans pic is from a previous walk, the swans today were further away. 
These kangaroos, birds and animals are safe - unlike those in the path of the bushfire. 




I love bark textures, there are also some old olive trees from earlier settlement, and we also saw a lot of blackened gun leaves blown here from the fire. 



Lastly today, I leave you with a couple of photos from the beginning of January - a beautiful sunset over the Leschenault Estuary and playing with slow shutter speed on the beach one evening.  All I can do is be grateful, donate what I can and pray for those affected by the fire, especially those that have lost their homes. I cannot even start to imagine what they must be going through right now.  Our bushland will recover, it won't be so easy for families. 

To donate to the Lord Mayor's Distress Relief Fund please click here - AppealsWA




Thank you so much for stopping by. I value your comments and look forward to hearing from you. I will try to visit your blogs in return. Take care and have a wonderful week.

I am linking up to the link-ups below. Please click on the links to see fabulous contributions from around the world - virtual touring at its best!

Mosaic Monday
Travel Photo Mondays

Lifestyle Fifty Monday Linkup 
Our World Tuesday

Through My Lens 
Image-in-ing
Wednesday Around the World at Communal Global
Worth Casing Wednesday
What's It Wednesday
Travel Photo Thursday

The Weekly Postcard

You might also like -
Bushwalking at Hoffman's Mill
A walk on the Bibbulmun Track with volunteers
Paperbark Cathedral, Leschenault Estuary

 

Monday, 4 January 2016

Digital swirling

2016 already. I wish you all health, peace, happiness, and inspiration in whatever path you follow in 2016.
 Today a little fun to experiment with over the summer (or winter) holidays.

In 2009 I completed an on-line digital photography course with University of WA extension Ed2Go

I don't usually play around too much with Photoshop on my images other than a bit of cropping, or cloning out imperfections (though I must say I am doing a bit more now than in 2009...), but the teacher shared this really neat tool which changes your images into what I can see as gorgeous swirling glass balls.

You can see here my original photo, the Australian Native Cornflower, Brunonia australis, and the swirled image below. Stunning isn't it? 

 







The Native Cornflower is one of my favourite wildflowers. It is widespread over Australia. Here is a link - Atlas of Living Australia - Brunonia australis
Here is a pic of it in the wild, taken at Jibberding Reserve along the Great Northern Highway north of Wubin in Western Australia.
 


Here's how to do this effect using Photoshop Elements.

"Open" your image,
"Crop" the image to square,
Go to "Filter",
"Distort",
"Polar Coordinates" and then click the button "Polar to Rectangular",
Click "Okay",
Go to "Image",
"Rotate",
"180",
Click on "Filter",
"Distort" ,
"Polar Coordinates" and click the button "Rectangular to Polar",
then "Okay",
and you're done. 

This technique doesn't work well with all images (ie scenery), but it is a lot of fun. 

I find it works great with flowers and I love the effect with fireworks. It is a great technique if you are wanting to create unique square greeting cards.




If you would like to find out about on-line courses through the University of WA Extension, please click here - UWA Extension and Ed2Go.

 Have fun! 

Thank you everyone for your wonderful support in 2015 and taking the time to stop by, read and comment.  I value your comments and look forward to hearing from you. I look forward to catching up with you and will try to visit your blogs in return. Have a wonderful week.

I am linking up to the link-ups below. Please click on the links to see fabulous contributions from around the world - virtual touring at its best!

Mosaic Monday
Travel Photo Mondays

Lifestyle Fifty Monday Linkup 
Our World Tuesday

Through My Lens 
Image-in-ing
Wednesday Around the World at Communal Global
Worth Casing Wednesday
What's It Wednesday
Travel Photo Thursday

The Weekly Postcard