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!

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

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Enjoying the Australian bush

This time of year with crisp cold mornings, it is a delight to go walking in the bush, particularity on days like last Sunday when we had a clear sunny day. Just to wander with my camera trying to catch the light filtering through the trees and taking time to be quiet and at peace away from the usual work-day world.



All these photos were taken with my 100mm macro lens.  I achieved this look below by moving the camera quickly upwards as I took the photo. Do you like it? You can see before and after here.


And slightly sideways with the shape of the grass tree.


 There were no wildflowers flowering yet, as it is mid winter here, but there were opportunities for closeups everywhere, which is the reason why I was using my macro lens.
  
This plant is known as Water Bush (bossiaea aquifolium). It collects rainwater on its leaves and gives you a shower if you brush by. They are covered in yellow pea flowers in spring. As you can see the leaves have sharp points.


  Below you can see the Water Bush in flower in images I took last September.  The branches are weighed down by the weight of the rainwater and flowers.




Do you remember I told you about the Snotty Gobble tree last week. Well here it is again. I found one with green fruit on it. The fruit are edible and were bush-tucker for the indigenous people of the area. But trust me, don't try them in this green state! 
Underneath the outer bark is a gorgeous deep red. 


 Camera or no, don't you think there is something invigorating about walking in the bush or forest? 



  Thank you so much for stopping by. I hope you have enjoyed this walk through the Australian bush with me.  Do you have a favourite bush walking place? It is sometimes amazing what you might see down in the woods......like this chair. It's been sitting here for a few years now. Obviously left by someone.


You never know what you might find! 
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



You might also like:
A walk on the Bibbulmun Track with volunteers
Bush walking at Hoffmans Mill, Harvey
Deep in the Boranup Kari forest





Monday, 8 June 2015

A walk on the Bibbulmun Track with track volunteers

On Saturday we had a fabulous day bushwalking and assisting Bibbulmun Track volunteers on their section of the Bibbulmun Track at Grimwade.

The Bibbulmun Track is one of the world’s great long distance walk trails, stretching nearly 1000km from Kalamunda in the Perth hills, to Albany on the south coast, winding through the heart of the scenic South West of Western Australia
Please click on the link here to read more Bibbulmun Track


 It has been some time since we had been out on the track, and it was great to revisit it with like minded people who enjoy bushwalking. This time however we were not there to just bushwalk, we went along to find out what my friend Wendy does as a volunteer for the Bibbulmun Track. As you would expect for a track which is nearly 1000km long, volunteers are essential to help maintain the track and campsites to a high standard for those walking the track. 

 The section that Wendy and her friend Pat maintain covers about 9 kilometres either side of the Grimwade campsite.  Four of us joined Wendy and Pat on Saturday for the maintenance day. We split into two groups working either side of the campsite. It was enjoyable work and we had plenty of time to chat. Both Wendy and Pat agree that they get a lot of personal satisfaction and enjoyment from their association with the Bibbulmun Track.  Just being out on the Track is rejuvenating. "It's peaceful, and right back to nature. The peace and tranquility is the best medicine for the soul and recharging your batteries. I've had the most fabulous experiences with friends out walking."


Afterward the work was completed we sat together and had our lunch at the Grimwade campsite.  You can see it in the images below. The campsites are basically three sided wooded huts installed with sleeping platforms that can accommodate 8 to 12 people.  (12 people would be very cosy, but you could do it). Nearby there are tenting sites.  There is a water tank which collects rainwater (needs to be boiled to drink), and a long drop toilet.  

You can see the "loo with a view" below. If you missed my post about "Aussie loos with views" last week - you can read it by clicking here - Aussie loos with views
I'll have to add this one to my list! 



The Bibbulmun Track is marked at regular intervals by yellow triangular markers, image below, depicting the Rainbow Serpent, the Waugal, from the Aboriginal Dreamtime.  The markers indicate the direction to be walked, and are a comforting sight when you are walking the Track as there are many intersecting tracks. 

On their website, the Bibbulmun Track has been split into nine sections, with info on each section by clicking on the links. You can also purchase maps and guide books - essential if you are doing a longer walk. There is information on day walks, guided walks, and other events, track conditions, and how to prepare for a walk on the track. It is a really useful site. Several campsites and bridges were destroyed in the devastating summer fires early in 2015, so please check with the Bibbulmun Track website if you are planning a walk. Here is a link -  Trip Planner


My friend was devastated to see a huge section of bush had been destroyed by bushfires in March only 300-400 metres from the campsite. It looked like bulldozes had been brought in to clear a firebreak around the campsite, and thankfully the campsite was saved. It is heartening to see however that with recent rain the bush is already regenerating.



A clump of fungi



Solidified sap oozing from a tree (amazing colour), a dried flower head (possibly Semaphore Sedge), tiny pink Boronia, one of the Bunny Orchid family (Eriochilus dilatatus), and Hibbertia. I was thrilled to see my first orchid of the season.



(below LHS) Banksia and (RHS) Snottygobble (Persoonia longifolia (known as the Long-leaf Persoonia) Yes, you read correctly, Snottygobble - don't you just love that name!
Unfortunately I have never seen the flower or fruit. I should have looked around the base of these trees.

  The Snottygobble flower in summer and have fruit the size of blueberries which ripens in autumn. The fruit ripens and  falls in June to July.  The fruit is edible and very tasty and was used as bush tucker by the Noongar tribe.  
Info from - Roley Bush Care


There is a lot of work to be done repairing the track and campsites following the January bushfires. The Bibbulmun Track Foundation is fund-raising for these repairs. 

Below is some more info about volunteering and a link, here - Bibbulmun Track - to their page for more info. 

 The Bibbulmun Track is divided into 147 maintenance sections, varying in length from 5-10km. Some sections include a campsite. Volunteers adopt a section of the Track and are trained to look after it. Their role is essential in ensuring that the Track remains well-kept and well-loved. Each section is maintained by a team which may consist of one person working on their own, a group of friends, family or work mates.  Sometimes the responsibility for a section may be shared by more than one team.

Volunteers undertake a range of light maintenance tasks including pruning, clearing debris from the Track, replacing missing trail markers, installing water bars, removing litter and monitoring the campsite. All major maintenance tasks are carried out by the Department of Parks and Wildlife.
You can find out more by clicking on the link here - Volunteering



Thank you Wendy for inviting us to go out on the track with you. Stay tuned for the magazine article. I'll let you know when it is published.

And thank you so much dear readers for stopping by. I hope you have enjoyed this walk along the Bibbulmun Track. 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


You might also enjoy:
It's time to be out on the Bibbulmun Track 
Photography on the Bibbulmun Track 
Bushwalking at Hoffmans Mill 


Monday, 1 June 2015

Aussie loos with views

Today 1 June is Western Australia Day when we celebrate, with a public holiday, the establishment of a colony by the British in Western Australia in 1829.

 On June 1, 1829, Western Australia's coast was first sighted from the merchant ship Barque Parmelia. This led to the establishment of the Swan River Colony, the first permanent British colony in Western Australia. Western Australia Day (formerly Foundation Day) is officially celebrated on June 1, but the public holiday is observed on the first Monday in June.

You can learn more about Western Australia Day here - Western Australia Day

We love getting away to go camping, but sadly this long weekend it wasn't to be. 
So for something different today I thought I would follow the lead of my blogging friend - Redz Australia with some camp site reminiscing with my own -  Aussie Loos with Views (Please click on the link to read about Redz book, Aussie Loos with Views, and Redz adventures and Australian travels).  Thanks Red for the inspiration. I am tracking down loos for you Red.  I am sure people wonder what the heck I am doing. 

We've experienced a few loos in our time travelling around Australia. Lets face it, you always need a loo. But if you are out bush camping or bush walking, there will probably not be public loo, so you might have to dig a hole, so make sure you bring your own toilet paper and a shovel. But the bonus is you can choose your own view like those in the pics below.
That's our shower tent on the bottom RHcorner. We have used it as a toilet tent too when the overnight bush camping spot has been a bit too populated. 

The loo below at the Hamersley Gorge carpark in Karijini National Park in Western Australia's Pilbara certainly had a great view.


Whereas the one at the Weano Gorge day area, also in Karijini, was more of your no-nonsense - forget the view -  type of loo. Another thing to note when travelling and camping in some of Australia's more remote locations, is that loos often are the "long-drop" type. Yep, a toilet seat on a pedestal, but with just a hole going into the ground underneath. Not always the best on a hot day.... Make sure you close the lid after thanks! Eco toilets are a bit better on the smell side.


This loo at the Kennedy Ranges camp ground also in Western Australia's Pilbara had a "window" above the door. What do you think of this sunrise view?


For the next loo we are heading across Australia via the Nullarbor for this one at the Baxter 24 overnight stop. Ok, I don't condone graffiti, but I actually liked what the artist had done on the side of the loo. On the way back 6 weeks later it had been painted over.
 You can read more about our trip across the Nullarbor and our bush camping spots by clicking here - Crossing Australia - Eyre Highway and Nullarbor
 As you can see from the road scene there are not many trees to squat behind on the Nullarbor. 
 

In South Australia we travelled north of Coober Pedy to Arckaringa Station. I blogged about it here - Arckaringa & the Painted Desert.
The amenities in this corrugated iron shed at Arckaringa might have been considered basic - but they were clean and the water was hot for a shower. Bliss. 

At Brachina Gorge in the Flinders Ranges National Park in South Australia the loos were very new, and you might even have emus wander by your camp.

This loo at Sceale Bay on the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia was unexpected. You have a view while you sit! No the people outside can't see in. I had to go back to the car to get my camera when I discovered the view.

Can you tell which is the Men's and which is the Women's at this public look at Elliston also on the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia?  Sorry no this is not the view from the loo, but it is not far away. There is some spectacular coastline along this part of the south coast, especially on a wild and windy day.
 

And how about this view of the paddle wheel from inside the women's loo on the Captain Proud paddle boat on the Murray River in South Australia. Neat ay? You will have to book a cruise to get this view, so here is a link - Captain Proud cruises


Back in Western Australia views from the loos on the long distance walking track, the Bibbulmun Track from Perth to Albany, are always guaranteed.

And it would be difficult to get much better than this view at Munjina Gorge on the Great Northern Highway, Western Australia.


So how about you? Do you stuggle with digging a hole in the bush to do your business? I must say sometimes in the Aussie outback the ground can be a bit hard for digging sometimes.  If you have never had the experience you might find this video from Backpacking TV instructional!!!  How to Poop in the woods

Guards' long drop, Aigues Morte, France
 Still, I think we have come a long way from the days of the castles and walled cities. At least our Aussie long drops have doors.
 What do you think?
Yep, down the wall outside the castle. ugh.

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

Image-in-ing 

You might also like - 
Exploring the Kennedy Ranges 
Granite & Woodlines Discovery Trail, Hyden to Norseman, Western Australia 
Camp food, Western Australian wheatbelt outcrops 

And one more loo, from my walk this morning, our very own local loo with a view.