Welcome to Life Images by Jill

Welcome to Life Images by Jill.........Through my writing and photography I seek 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!

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Allowing time to sit in my winter garden

One of my favourite poems as a teenager in high school was this one by TS Eliot. The words easily conjure up the pictures in my mind. See if you can see the pictures too.

Prelude

The winter evening settles down
With smells of steaks in passageways.
Six o'clock.
The burnt-out ends of smoky days.
And now a gusty shower wraps
The grimy scraps
Of withered leaves about your feet
And newspapers from vacant lots;

The showers beat
On broken blinds and chimney-pots;
And at the corner of the street
A lonely cab-horse steams and stamps.
And then the lighting of the lamps.


I can't bring you images of gusty showers, chimney-pots, and lonely cab-horses, but I can bring you withered leaves and a few images from my winter garden. 


A month or so I blogged about life running too fast - Is life running too fast?
and I must tell you that life hasn't slowed down since then, if anything it has sped up even more. Amongst a full day yesterday of a couple of hours paid work, a quick visit to my writer's group, a meeting with a care agency, and dance class, I took time out to visit my dear artist friend who is an alternative therapist.... no I am no sick, I just needed time out. What came out of it all is that I need to give myself permission to let go of what does not work for me anymore and to not feel I have to be everything for everyone. That I have a choice about what I take on. When I left my job in April, I relished the idea of having time to contemplate who I was, what I wanted, and to start along the creative path that I wanted to go. But since then I have had people clamoring from all different angles for my time and energy, which is actually taking me away from what I want to do. It feels a little self-indulgent and selfish, but I need to give my self permission to say no, to only do what works for me, to be who I want to be, to take much needed time out to sit in my garden and nurture who I am. Then I will be a much happier person.

So today I bring you time out in my winter garden..... enjoy! 


 On my way home from seeing my friend I stopped for a short while at Crooked Brook Reserve in the Ferguson Valley.  It is a lovely place for a walk in spring when the wildflowers are out.  I found that the Prickly Hakeas have started to bloom. I love the way the leaves are wrapped around the stem and the flowers nestled in each leaf.



Bring on the rain.
It's been a strange winter. We don't have snow in my corner of the world, but we haven't had any where near the amount of rain we should have had by this stage. I hope we get some soon. Our farmers are in desperate need of it.



I blogged last week about our stay at Wooleen Station on the Murchison River. (please go to the link if  you missed it -  Camping at Wooleen Station
It rained the night before we left, and in the morning we had to pack up in the rain. All our canvas was wet and so were we. The track was awash with water on the way out turning it to red mud and the Murchison River was flowing over the cement crossing. In the pics below you can see the sign which shows the 2006 flood levels. This is an amazing amount of water when you consider it is flat country around here.


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.
I hope you make time for yourself and let go of what is not useful to you anymore - you don't need it. Be happy 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
Our World Tuesday

Image-in-ing
Wednesday Around the World at Communal Global

Agent Mystery Case
What's It Wednesday
Travel Photo Thursday


Monday, 20 July 2015

Murchison River camping at Wooleen Station, Western Australia

We have just returned in the last few days from our latest camping trip through Western Australia's midwest. 


We stayed for a few days at a river front bush campsite at Wooleen Station just south of the Murchison Settlement, 690kms north east of our capital city Perth.

We had heard about Wooleen when we travelled through Murchison last year, and were keen to experience their station stay. Covering over a quarter of a million acres of picturesque outback, Wooleen Station is a cattle station that is playing a leading role in preserving and sustaining the unique ecology of the region.

Located in mulga shrub land, Wooleen Station was founded in 1886 when James Sharpe bought the lease of about 90,000 acres.  The Pollock family bought the lease of the property in 1989 and is today managed by David Pollock and his partner Frances Jones. 

As well as cattle grazing, David and Frances run an eco-tourism business on their property. 

We loved the private river frontage bush camping on the Murchison River at Wooleen Station with absolute quiet and a million stars overhead at night.



There are 4 riverside campsites - Bagaa (white-faced heron), Birdiny (water chooky). Gurulhu (Black swan) and Warrbi (fish).  Below are two pics of our camp with views over the Murchison River. Gurulhu means "Black Swan" in the local indigenous dialect.   

There are also bush camps near a rocky outcrop and under some Gidgee trees. These are all unpowered sites with no facilities other than a long drop toilet and a firepit. You are required to bring your own composting toilet for camping at the Gidgee tree. There are also unpowered campsites at the homestead where you have access to a basic camp kitchen, toilet and showers. 

Or you can book a guest house or stay at the homestead.  Please book in advance.




sunrise



sunset 



It can be very dry out here. Wooleen's managers David Pollock and Frances Jones are carrying out a radical plan to regenerate Wooleen's landscape and bring it back from years of over-grazing. The Pollocks say that the rangelands are a renewable resource, but only if the land is managed so it is able to renew itself and is healthy enough to withstand the normal cycles of climate.


In 2007 they completely destocked the entire property for 4 years, and started a program of re-establishing vegetation. Their second stage for sustainability is to discover a way to run stock in a way that does not start the landscape back into a downward spiral.
To achieve this they periodically rest the landscape to allow it to recover from grazing, especially during dry times and now only run cattle for around 8 months of the year during the wetter months.  The Pollocks say this is working well ecologically but is very tough financially as we are not realising the full economic potential of our herds. 

A bold and economically costly plan - you can only admire their commitment to regenerating and preserving the land. 





Wooleen is home to hundreds of different plants and animals unique to the outback. We were a little early for the wildflower season but there were still wildflowers to photograph.





my favourite Mulla Mulla family of wildflowers. The one in the top LH corner is a variety I had not seen before. From my research at Flora Base I think it is Ptilotus beardii Benl - Low Mulla Mulla.  Flora Base is a great online resource if you want to identify wildflowers.
 


A river to wander along - amazingly there were even black swans. I never expected to see black swans on the Murchison. The Swan River in Perth is well known for them, and we see them other places in the south west too, but I was amazed to see them up here.

This is Gradagullya Pool which was only a few kilometres from our camp and a great place to wander along the river. I just love those twisted river gums.





My husband likes to take bird photos. Below you can see clockwise from Left Top corner - a Little Falcon, Kingfisher, Pink & Grey Galahs (they were nesting in one of the river gums), a nest (probably a hawk nest), a Crested Pigeon, and Black Swans.


This one is for you Redz Australia - the amenities might be basic at the bush camps - but this "long drop" had a polished wood seat and a mirror! 



a loo with a view - 



 with a river front like this and the beautiful quiet peacefulness I wasn't complaining about the lack of facilities at the river side bush campsite




If bush camping is not your style you can stay in the beautiful Wooleen homestead, built in 1918 from handmade bricks, and listed by the Australian National Trust.  Or stay in one of their self-contained rammed earth guesthouses.




 Other things to do at Wooleen are visit the Bowerbird museum, go out to the site of the Wooleen woolshed that was blown away in a "cockeyed bob" (the cooks quarters and bunkhouses remain - but that's another story), visit Wooleen Lake which only fills once every 10 years (this year was the year), visit the Sharpe family cairn, and take in the views from Cow paddock Mill hill. 
There are also morning, sunset, and walking tours that can be arranged. And hiking and mountain bike trails. Or you can kayak in the river.



 Thank you for stopping by. If you would like to know more about Wooleen Station as a place to stay or to read more about their history and their regeneration and conservation plans, please visit their website - www.wooleen.com.au

Wooleen Station is located 690kmns north east of Perth, Western Australia, and 37kmns south of Murchison Settlement.  Access is via bitumen and gravel roads. 4WD recommended. Fuel available at Murchison. Wooleen is open for camping and accommodation from 1 April to 31 October. Bookings are recommended.





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
Our World Tuesday

Image-in-ing
Wednesday Around the World at Communal Global
Agent Mystery Case
What's It Wednesday
Travel Photo Thursday




Monday, 6 July 2015

The Wildflower Hunter

Image result for how many bird's of paradise did Ellis Rowan paint?I have just finished reading "The Flower Hunter - the remarkable life of Ellis Rowan" by Christine & Michael Morton-Evans published by the National Library of Australia. 

It is indeed a fascinating read about the life and times of Ellis Rowan - an intrepid woman adventurer and wildflower painter 1848-1922.  During her lifetime she painted over 3000 works, not only wildflowers across Australia but also New Zealand, New Guinea and America, and included 45 of the 52 known species of New Guinea's birds of paradise. 

Today Ellis's work is largely forgotten. The Australian National Library in Canberra has the largest collection of her works - 970 paintings, mainly watercolours. 

The book, The Flower Hunter, was recommended to me by my friend who is a "florist" extraordinaire. Actually to say "florist" is not enough to describe the beautiful floral art she does, exhibits and teaches. Flowers are her life! 

Any of you that have been following my blog will know that I am a bit of a flower hunter too. I love wandering through the bush with my camera looking for wildflowers.



 I was thrilled last year when "Wildflower Country" got in touch with me about using some of my wildflower images in their new edition of their free tourist guide - "Exploring Western Australia's Wildflower Country".  I was even more thrilled when my images appeared on the front and back covers as well as inside the magazine. Below is the front cover. 


Tourism Western Australia at  Explore WA's wildflowers  - says - There are more than 12,000 species of wildflowers in WA, making it the world’s largest collection. It’s a staggering sight to behold, especially when you consider 60% of Western Australian wildflowers are found nowhere else on Earth. What’s more, you can enjoy their glorious carpets of colour and curious blooms for six months of the year, as the season begins in June in the north, and sweeps down the State to finish with a flurry on the south coast in November. 

 I feel so incredibly lucky to live in Western Australia with all these wildflowers.  
Today in celebration of Ellis Rowan, my friend "the florist", and my own wildflower hunting, I through I would bring to you some of the amazing wildflowers of Western Australia.
There is always something flowering somewhere in the Australian bush. 

















And orchids 


 And wildflowers in our little patch of bush near our home in suburbia.


 You can read something about the Rowan Collection at the Australian National Library by clicking here - Australian National Library

And if you "Google" Ellis Rowan under "images" in your search engine you can see some of her amazing work.  

You can pick up a copy of Exploring Western Australia's Wildflower Country in Visitor Information Centres in WA's midwest region.


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
Our World Tuesday

Image-in-ing
Wednesday Around the World at Communal Global
Agent Mystery Case
What's It Wednesday
Travel Photo Thursday



You might also like:
How to take great flower photos
Western Australian wildflowers
Flowers that bloom in the red rock of Mt Augustus



Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Let the sun shine in


Let the sun shine into your life.

I took these images at my friend's Macadamia nut farm yesterday at Roelands near Bunbury, for her new Facebook page. 
Nuts are available to purchase at the Boyanup markets the fourth Sunday of every month. 


 roasted before shelling



Don't you just love that light! 



 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
Our World Tuesday

Image-in-ing
Wednesday Around the World at Communal Global
Agent Mystery Case
What's It Wednesday



Sunday, 21 June 2015

Is life running too fast?

Do you find sometimes that life seems to be running a little too fast? This is what seems to be happening to me at the moment. It has only been two months since I took redundancy (early retirement) from my day job (wow that went by quick!), and I wonder how I ever had time to work. I distinctly remember that first day of my "retirement", as I watched all the workday people in their cars going to work while I was taking a lovely morning walk along the river. I couldn't help smiling to myself - the feeling of freedom from work was so sweet. But then at times the days seemed to loom empty before me. I even said to my lunch-girl-friends that not going to work was a little isolating... But now it seems other things have come into my life to fill the space. I have so many thoughts of things I want to do, new things to try, and lists of things to do, sometimes I feel pulled in many directions at once. And I still haven't decluttered my house! How easily that has moved down the list! 


 So I have decided to give myself a little blogging break this week, and just bring to you a short post, a snapshot of my world this past month. 

Morning walks along the river and estuary, biscuits (cookies) to bake, flowers in my garden to enjoy, coffee lunch and a good chat to share with girlfriends, food photography to play with (I wish I knew if I could make a career out of this, at least in a small way), volunteering in my local school library and helping a little boy in kindy (so much more rewarding than office work!), my grandsons' Saturday junior sport (don't forget the thick coat or raincoat), rainy days to enjoy by the fire with a good book (ha! well there's been rainy days but I don't have time to sit and read during the day!), and my creative side to explore.  
And no, my list of possibilities and pathways to explore doesn't stop here. But I hope that the right pathway will soon become clear. My mind is open.


 I'm loving this time I have been given to fly free, to explore new things, to find out who I really am.
 To step outside the square of retirement and to be open to the possibilities. To be true to myself. 


To finish my post for today -  my orange and lemon tree in my backyard are producing a bountiful crop. There is nothing like oranges freshly picked and eaten straight from the tree.  Hmm...add to list...make marmalade....



Have you recently retired or been made redundant? Are you filling your days with new experiences? My friend Jo Castro over at Lifestyle Fifty wrote a fabulous blog post in May about Retirement Ideas-The Art of Protirement. She was much more eloquant than my blog rambling, so pop over and have a read by clicking here - Lifestyle Fifty - the Art of Protirement. You'll even see me and some lovely, generous and creative ladies I know over there. Thanks Jo!


So while life seems to be in a rush these days, I need to take time to sit on the verandah (porch).... and give myself time to reflect..... meet you there?
 

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
Our World Tuesday

Image-in-ing
Wednesday Around the World at Communal Global
Agent Mystery Case
What's It Wednesday


You might also like -
And that's a wrap - 2014 & my 365 project
A forest of sunflowers