Welcome to Life Images by Jill

Welcome to Life Images by Jill.........Stepping into the light and bringing together the images and stories of our world.
Through my blog I am
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".

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Monday, 4 December 2017

December randomness

It's December and the summer heat has struck and it's beginning to look a little bit like Christmas is just around the corner.  How is your December going?  Today I am going to share a little December randomness from our corner of the world.

Below is the Candlestick Banksia (or slender banksia) - Banksia attenuata - which flowers from October to February in the south west of Western Australia. I always think the bright yellow candlestick shape flowers which grow up to 20-3-cm tall and 5cm across, are very appropriate for this time of year around Christmas. 
I blogged more about banksias here - Celebration of the Australian Banksias



At my brother-in-law and nephew's farm in the wheatbelt the harvest is well under way. They will be hoping to be finished by Christmas.


A couple of weeks ago I went to the launch of a local photo book - Loving Where We Live - Glimpses of Bunbury through the eyes of the locals.  I was very proud to have some of my photos published in this book. You can see me in the bottom photo (me on the left) with my friend Catherine Curnow who put together the book, and above that one of my photos of Sol y Sombra Spanish Dance Company. Many local photographers contributed to the book, which is a fabulous promotion for our town. The profits from the book are going to a local girl who became a quadriplegic in an accident a few years ago. 

More details and to purchase the book, please click here - Photo Book of Bunbury


Last week I started getting together the ingredients for my Christmas cooking. The actual baking I think will be next week's job.


Christmas events and end of year get-togethers with friends and the various groups I belong to have started, and I need to keep a track of my diary! Today I put aside time to put up our Christmas tree. 


Also over the last few days I have made a little gift for my writing group members. This is just a little notebook put together from craft paper and photocopy paper and sewed together on my sewing machine. You can use plain or patterned paper for the cover and embellish it as little or as much as you wish. I made mine fairly plain as they were going to both men and women.


 Very simple - First, just cut A4 photocopy paper in half. I used about 10 sheets for each book.  Cut craft card in half to make the cover. Mine was 30 cms wide, cut in half to make 15cms. Then I made a crease in the middle of the photocopy pages, and sewed the pages together into the middle of the cover. Fold the cover in half and press down the spine - a craft paper creaser is ideal for this or use a ruler. If the craft paper cover is wider than the photocopy paper pages, which mine was, fold over the edge of the cover to the inside on both sides of the booklet. Embellish the cover as you wish.

 As I made these booklets for my writer's group I included this little tip from Roald Dahl inside the cover - 


A story idea is liable to come flitting into the mind at any moment of the day, and if I don’t make a note of it at once, right then and there, it will be gone forever. So I must find a pencil, a pen, a crayon, a lipstick, anything that will write, and scribble a few words that will later on remind me of the idea. Then, as soon as I get the chance, I go straight to my hut and write the idea down in an old red-coloured school exercise book.”


 And I've also been making paper flowers - I shared how to make them last year - How to make a simple paper flower



 Last weekend we had a little reminder that summer also brings bushfire season. Luckily for the homes near this particular fire, which we could see the smoke from our house, the water bombers came in quickly and the fire was put out in a few hours.  I hope the terrible Californian fires are put out soon.


Australian Christmas Tree

And of course we can't forget the Australian Christmas tree - Nuytsia floribunda-  in all its glory!

 How is your December looking? 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.  

You might also like - 
How to make a simple paper flower 
How to make a paper wreath 
December randomosity 2015 

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!
Life in Reflection

Hello there! I love reading your comments. Just click down here to comment too! 

Sunday, 3 December 2017

Summer in my Garden

Hi everyone! Welcome to the first week of December! I don't know about you but I feel like the year has rushed by in a blur. I have been busy yes, but can it be December already? There is so much going on this time of year with school concerts, end of the school year, break-up parties for work places or groups that we belong to, Christmas shopping, Christmas festivities, get togethers with family and friends, perhaps preparing for a summer holiday (summer holidays here in Australia anyways). 

So amongst the rush towards the festive season, I thought I would bring you a few pics from my garden and share some quiet places with you. We need a quiet place to sit to prepare ourselves for the weeks ahead don't you think? 

I only have a relatively small suburban garden, but it always puts on a beautiful show in December, putting on its festive colours - yellows, reds, greens, purples -  though I must say the yellow daisies are flowering a little earlier than I would like. What a love about my front garden is that a lot of the plants here basically look after themselves, except for a little pruning and weeding from time to time. I don't like gardening in the heat of summer, so I am happy they are happy to do their own thing.

So here are some photos from my summer garden.

The bees are loving the yellow daisies, and there are a few summer roses too. 


 The native Australian hibiscus - Alyogyne hakedolia ; agapanthus, and hydrangea





The agapanthus with a backdrop of red coral bush


 The parrots have discovered in the last few weeks that my green and yellow kangaroo paws are great for nibbling off. So I asked my husband to put some stakes in and I strung Christmas tinsel around the plants to try and frighten the parrots away. I thought it was working until this morning when I was in the garden taken these photos a parrot flew in, swung on the silver tinsel for a moment, and then flew off. I don't know if it was the tinsel or my presence that made him fly away.


 We have rather odd weather during November, but my small back garden where we grow a few food crops seems to be relishing in the wet and warmth. 

Here you can see clockwise from LH top corner.... sage, my parsley has partly gone to seed, I gather a small handful of blueberries every few days, the grapes are filling out quickly, my orange tree is already starting on next winter's crop, the lemons are hanging big and juicy, we have bagged our apricots to hopefully keep off fruit fly attack, and the basil is looking fantastic companion planted with the tomatoes which are starting to fruit.


 I discovered this lady bird beetle this morning, the lavender is putting up long spikes, the rosemary is looking lush, the Tropicana Canna from my aunt in Denmark our our south coast is finally producing big colourful leaves, a strapping flowering plant that grows along my side wall, a now empty and discarded little bird's nest, the frangipani is shooting new leaves, a beautiful pink-red pelargonium, and the two hoyas in hanging baskets which I inherited from my parents have more flowers on them than I have seen before.




My patio garden is lush with green plants, a small fountain, two hanging chimes made by my children years and years ago, a few collected rocks, and a Chinese bell. 
And I hope my garden brings with it some places for quiet contemplation as we try to balance the pieces of our lives. 



I hope you find a place for quietness in the ruse of the next few weeks.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.


You might also like -
 Allowing time to sit in my winter garden
Harmony through flowers 
Down in the woods today 

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!
Green kangaroo paw

Life in Reflection

Hello there! I love reading your comments. Just click down here to comment too! 

Sunday, 26 November 2017

Biodiversity Hotspot - Fitzgerald River National Park, Western Australia

Looking back through my travel pics I discovered that it was October 2011 when we last visited the Fitzgerald River National Park on Western Australia's south coast, and I was very keen for a return visit so I could take photos of the iconic wildflowers of the region. So in late October we hitched up our caravan and took off for a week to explore.

In my blog a couple of weeks ago I showed you the Farm Gate Art Trail centred around Ravensthorpe and Hopetoun. You can click here if you missed it - Farm Gate Art Trail 

These two towns, and nearby Bremer Bay, are the gateway to the Fitzgerald River National Park, a world renowned global biodiversity hotspot, bordered by the Southern Ocean to the south and the wheatbelt to the north. 



Monday, 20 November 2017

Be still

Life seems to have gone a little mad the last few days, and doesn't look like slowing down, so I decided to give myself a break from blogging this week, and to try and take some time to..... be still.....
Do you sometimes feel that life is going way too fast, and you just want to stop, to sit, to treasure life, to just... be still....


 I do. I just want to let go, slow down and smell the flowers.


Sunday, 12 November 2017

Farm Gate Art Trail & Wildflowers - Ravensthorpe, Western Australia

"What was that in the paddock back there?" I exclaimed, twisting my head out the window to look back the way we had come. My hubbie "threw out the anchors" (ie stopped the car), turned the car around, and headed back the way we had come. And there they were, Scarlet Banksias, standing tall and proud on the edge of the paddock. 


But they weren't the usual Scarlet Banksias - Banksia coccinea - that were on our list of wildflowers we hoped to see in the Fitzgerald River National Park. These were made of metal and what looked like street sweeper brushes. You can see a closer view of the art work (but of course I couldn't jump the fence) and the native flowers below. The artists had captured them beautifully. 


Monday, 6 November 2017

10 Things to do in Sydney, Australia

Hi everyone, welcome back. Last time I blogged about visiting two of the icons of Sydney - The Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House. If you missed it, please click here - Icons of Sydney

Today I'm going to tell you about some more of the fabulous things you can do in Sydney. A mixture of old and new, Sydney is a vibrant and fascinating place to visit, with something to attract almost everyone. 

My list of 10 thing to do in Sydney is far from a full list of everything there is on offer. Check out Destinations Sydney to find out more. 

I mentioned in my last blog that Sydney has a great transport system - trains, buses, ferries, and we found this the easiest way to get around. Services run very regularly so if you miss your train you won't need to wait long for the next one. You can find out more here - Getting Around Sydney 
And the best way to access this transport is by purchasing an Opal Card which you just swipe as you get on and off transport. You can also catch a taxi, but with the busy traffic in central Sydney it is not really economical. 
Walking in Sydney is also a great way to get around the city centre and you see more that way.  


Monday, 23 October 2017

Icons of Sydney, Australia

In February this year we enjoyed a holiday in Sydney in New South Wales, on the east coast of Australia. I have just realised that I haven't blogged about it yet - so here is Part 1 - better late than never as they say. 

Talk to someone who doesn't live in Australia and they probably have heard of Sydney. It is not our nation's capital, (Canberra is our capital city), but it certainly is a city that is recognised world-wide, particularly through its icons - Sydney Harbour, the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House. 

So for my blog today, I am going to take you for an exploration of the icons of Sydney.

I took this pic from the airplane as we were leaving - can you see all three icons?....



Sunday, 15 October 2017

Wet weather street photography

It is spring in Australia, my favourite time of year especially when I can get out with my camera and go bush walking so I can take photos of wildflowers. But the sunny days are interspersed with rainy days, and the farmers certainly need the rain to finish off their summer grain crops. 


 When it is raining, don't think you have to hibernate inside. Think of it as a great opportunity to practice street photography. If the rain is just a drizzle, a city or town can be a great place to explore with your camera, especially if you can walk under over-hanging verandas. I find my small Canon G11, whilst it doesn't have all the latest features, is a great camera for street photography as it is unobtrusive, and I enjoy not having to carry around my heavy DSLR camera. But please remember to use a water proof camera bag and wipe down your camera with a cloth. 




Monday, 9 October 2017

Puzzle this! - Amaze'n, Margaret River, Western Australia

It's been school holidays here the last couple of weeks, and we have had a few sleep-overs and day stays with our grandsons - aged nearly 9 and nearly 11. Last week we took them to Amaze'n, which is just south of Margaret River in the south west of Western Australia. Amaze'n is a great place to spend the day with children and is great for adults too! There are several mazes, as well as a 18 hole mini-golf course, and other games to play, such as a giant chess game, and indoor puzzles. And beautiful gardens to stroll around. You can bring your lunch, cook your BBQ, and sit at the picnic tables in the shady gardens, or buy lunch at the Cafe. And so everyone can be included, all paths are pusher and wheelchair friendly.

The centre piece is the 3 metre high giant hedge Maze which was planted in 1994, spread over half a hectare and with 1.5 kilometres of paths. We let our grandsons take the lead. I had no idea where I was, so I am glad they were leading the way.



Monday, 2 October 2017

Camping at Potter's Gorge, Wellington Dam, Western Australia


In April this year we went camping for the first time at Potter's Gorge near Wellington Dam, west of Collie, in the south west of Western Australia.  Amazingly in all the 40 years we have lived here, we had never camped at Wellington Dam before. We had looked over the recently upgraded minimal cost camping ground during a day visit to the dam a month earlier, and decided we would go back with our caravan. Located only 45 minutes from home it was ideal for a mid week short break and we were set up in time for morning tea.



Monday, 25 September 2017

September days

This past week seems to have flown by, with a burst of winter weather, a flower designers show, bush walking, meetings, an artist talk, supporting a friend at a fund-raising event, editing a couple of stories, a flamenco dance workshop, spending time with grandchildren, and not forgetting lunch with friends. 

So for this week, I thought I would take the pressure off myself, and just share a few pics.

Here is the rain. We are in spring, but this past few days we have had three rain fronts cross the coast. We are not complaining as the farmers need the rain, but you wouldn't have wanted to be out boating. 



Sunday, 17 September 2017

Kennedy Ranges, Western Australia

This week I am very happy to be guest posting over on Jo Castro's (Lifestyle Fifty) partner blog Zig-a-Zag. Jo's Zig-a-Zag blog specialises in Western Australian travel, and Jo invited me to do a guest post for her. 


I have travelled over a lot of Western Australia, so I chose to blog about a place I only visited for the first time a couple of years ago - the spectacular, and relatively easy to get to, Kennedy Ranges - located in Western Australia's Pilbara region. 



Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Hunting for wild orchids in Western Australia's mid-west

We have just come back from a week in the mid-west of Western Australia where I was able to indulge my passion for wildflower photography. Although this season isn't as good for wildflowers as it was last year - see my post last year here - Once in 40 year wildflower extraviganza - the wildflowers were still putting on a show particularly if you travelled up the coast from Perth to Geraldton.  This most recent trip took us to Lesueur National Park, 30 kilometres east of Jurien, then over to the private reserve, Western Flora, 22 kilometres north of Eneabba on the Brand Highway, inland to Perenjori and Dalwallinu, and then south to the Dryandra Woodland north of Narrogin.  We camped along the way, sometimes in caravan parks, and sometimes just out in the bush. 



 I didn't intend our trip to be a wild orchid hunt, but it became that in a way, as we searched for orchids we hadn't seen before. Wild orchids are often very small, hide under bushes, and blend into their backgrounds, but my husband is a really great orchid spotter to have along. I love adding photos of specimens to my photo library which are new to me. 


Monday, 28 August 2017

Crooked Brook Forest walk, Dardanup, Western Australia

Hi everyone, I hope you all had a great weekend and had a chance to get out in the fresh air and do something enjoyable in the great outdoors. On Sunday we went for a walk along one of the walk trails at the Crooked Brook Forest Reserve, which is nestled in jarrah woodlands, about 10 km from Dardanup off Crooked Brook Road, and 25km (or 20 minutes) from Bunbury, in Western Australia's south west. 

I always enjoy getting out into the bush away from the stresses of life, especially on a sunny winter or spring day.  There really is something regenerating about it don't you agree. 


I was surprised when I discovered that we hadn't been to Crooked Brook for a few years despite it only being about 20 minutes from our home.  We had our grandson with us, and despite him not particularly wanting to go with us, he enjoyed running along the pathways and discovering things in the bush. 


Monday, 21 August 2017

What do Gerald Durrell and Nannup in Western Australia, have in common?

Do you ever have those "moments" when you have been talking or reading about or seen something or been somewhere and then something happens out of the blue that relates to it? I am not sure what you call those moments. 
Not really serendipity .... though the moment can prove truly delightful ...

I've just read that "analytical psychologist Carl Jung referred to it as "synchronicity" - the convergence of events. The universe's way of telling us that everything happens for a reason and there is self-awareness on a cosmic scale". You can read more here -   Wikipedia-Synchronicity

This "synchronicity" happened to me last week - which is why I say that Gerald Durrell and Nannup in Western Australia's beautiful south west have something in common. 


But first the back story.....


Saturday, 12 August 2017

Winter days & an Energy Bar recipe

It's winter here down under in Western Australia. We had a slow start to winter this year. It was only a couple of months ago in June that I was rejoicing that the rain, and winter, had finally arrived and I celebrated by bringing you a soup recipe - you can see it here if you missed it - Winter Warmers

Since then we have had a very wet July and the start of August has been much the same. We had a rain front cross the coast on Friday night, and another one is due on Sunday.  In winter many of us hibernate, so it feels good to get out when we have some sunshine, or to meet up with a friend in a cafe.  

Too cold to sit here on the waterfront.....