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Posts Tagged ‘nature’

#LifeintheRaw

The Duck Pond

“The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quite alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature. As longs as this exists, and it certainly always will, I know that then there will always be comfort for every sorrow, whatever the circumstances may be. And I firmly believe that nature brings solace in all troubles.”
Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl

One of the more beautiful aspects of life is, that we are given the opportunity to take “Time Out” periods and recharge. Not that it’s always as easy as it sounds. Life intrudes. Sometimes; Family intrudes. Sometimes; well, sometimes things just don’t happen the way we plan them.

Yet, for all the possibilities of why “Time Out” cannot or does not happen, there are opportunities for it to take place, especially if we look out for them. It can be as simple as sitting in a comfortable chair, or on the grass, in your own garden and allowing the fresh air to blow the cobwebs away.

For all those people who simply find it impossible, to find the chance to take a “Time Out” or small “getaway”, I invite you to take a wander around, what my husband and I call, the “Duck Pond” with me.

Six months ago the pond was crowded with dozens of wild ducks.

#LifeintheRaw

The Cockatoos  are always on the lookout, the Rosellas are a colourful feast for the eyes, and as their babies grow, they become more raucous by the day.  Even the Wagtails are storing up on food for when their babies start to run them ragged,

I’ve counted three water dragons, which means there are probably more. Here they sit watching everything, waiting for the next snack to arrive.

 

#LifeintheRaw

Where is my dinner?

There are at least half a dozen turtles, very hard to identify the individuals, as they risk their pretty necks looking for a morsel.

#LifeintheRaw

Umm, I’m having a quick look.

and yet more turtles.

#LifeintheRaw

Turtles everywhere.

Even a fish or fifty….. hundreds of little fingerlings.

#LifeintheRaw

Yes and fish too.

 

The eels gave me a start when I saw them. We were feeding the ducks and turtles when they surfaced. One was over a metre long…. No wading here for me!

 

#LifeintheRaw

Eels – oh yes!

We have seen a pair of King Quail, but they are s shy and the domesticated ducks chase them off as soon as I spy them. I’m still hopeful of seeing them and getting one photo.

This, then is my little time out and some of the wildlife around the pond. Let’s not forget the exciting find one day when we walked near the “Dead Tree Stump” and found this Pretty Faced Wallaby.

#LifeintheRaw

Pretty Faced Wallaby – isn’t he beautiful.

 

It helps to remind me that life surrounds me, even when I’m feeling a little low. More than this, the time spent wandering around and feeding the locals, getting their photos, brings a feeling of calm and peace to what may be an otherwise rushed and frenetic time.

#LifeintheRaw

Dusk at the Dead Stump

“Time Out”, a breath of fresh air, life surrounding us – as the jingle goes for our health fund………………”I feel better now”.  Enjoy your weekend.

 “A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”
Albert Einstein

 

Blessings, Susan ♥

© Susan Jamieson, 2014

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#LifeCycles

A tree of life

“We trust nature to know what it is doing, but we are not nearly so kind, understanding and trusting of our own rhythms and cycles. It’s ridiculous that we are so hard on ourselves. Can we not trust that the very same forces that created the rhythms and cycles of nature created our own? Of course we can. We often don’t, but we can, if we remember.”
Jeffrey R. Anderson, The Nature of Things – Navigating Everyday Life with Grace
#LifeCycles

The Duck Pond

One of the first things we noticed when we arrived in Redland Bay was the beautiful “Duck Pond”. We have since spent some beautiful afternoons walking around the boardwalk and finding the myriad of life forms the area was teeming with. One of the intriguing sites from the lookout was the trunk of a huge tree. I have since found out it was a giant Jacaranda tree which was covered by a carpet of purple blooms each spring.

However, that was far from the sight I saw from the lookout. It was a huge dead trunk. It seemed somehow sad to see such a magnificent tree slowly dying, branches pointing towards the heavens but still standing tall and proud.

#LifeCycles

The old dead tree

At the very top was an unusual ‘U’ shaped pair of branches, almost like a crown. I could see the tree in its glory days, flowers waving in the breeze like a bejewelled crown on its ‘head’. It didn’t seem to matter what the light was like, the dead tree had a majesty unique to itself.

Deciding to take a different walk one afternoon we walked towards the old tree. There were raucous screeches coming from the tree, more sqawks, strident and ear splitting and occasionally a soft cooing sound.

Walking along and looking into the heavens along a pitted footpath is a sure fire way to turn your ankle, which is what I did. However, perched on a fence post I had the opportunity to really take a good look at the dead tree trunk. Far from being dead the tree was actually brimming with life. Life of a far different kind.

#LifeCycles

Sulphur Crested Cockatoo

There were Sulphur Crested Cockatoos, Major Mitchell Cockatoos and Eastern Rosellas. At the very top of the tree, to the right side were a strange looking pair of birds I was sure I’d seen before. Camera at the ready I saw an amazing sight – a pair of Coucal, nesting in the hollow in the top of the tree. Their long tail made it easy to recognise them from the first time we saw them on the Gold Coast.

#LifeCycles

Rosellas

Each cavity in the dead stump had been claimed by a pair of nesting birds. There was a cacophony of sound as we moved along the path to pass the dead tree stump. Entranced we spent an age simply watching the birds fly back and forth and after taking a careful look around, hopping into their own particular ‘hole’. As long as we were in sight of the tree the sentinel, the Cockatoo keeping watch, made a raucous call to warn everyone strangers were around. The local magpies and crows were chased away quickly by a horde of colourful denizens of the dead tree.

We have been back several times now, and although we can hear the chirping of many babies, my camera isn’t strong enough to get a picture of the babies in their nest. What has been wonderful, for me, is realising that this dead tree stump has as much life in it now as it did in its heyday – just very different.

In so many ways that old dead tree is symbolic of life. Just as it began as a small seedling and took time, food and water to grow, until it reached its full potential, so do we. It went through so many stages in its growth before it reached its mature state, had to stand strong and tall before wind and weather, sun, rain, hail and cold. Yet it survived and produced a magnificent display of flowers year after year. Who knows how it ended its life as it now is? I was unable to find out, but it has obviously been severely cut back and hasn’t recovered.

It hasn’t recovered to its former glory, but has become home to so many other creatures, many more than I could see. There would be bugs and beetles, spiders and ants, perhaps even a tree snake. It is still a wonderful example of life adapting to diversity. As we do during times of crisis or great change.

Like life’s ending when we move on to another sphere of existence as spirits, so too has the tree moved on to another phase of its life cycle. There is a calm symmetry to the rhythm of life as I watch the old tree and its denizens and think on the changes in my own life, in life in general. Nothing lasts in its current form eternally. Eventually everything leaves its current form and becomes something new and different, its next phase of life.

#LifeCycles

The circle of life

During the hard times, painful times, sad times and joyous times, there is a profound truth to the reality of the Cycle of Life. I’m more than happy with that.

“Life can be magnificent and overwhelming — That is its whole tragedy. Without beauty, love, or danger it would almost be easy to live.”
Albert Camus  An Absurd Reasoning

Other photos: http://www.josephinewallart.co.uk, http://www.developmentsolutions.org.uk,
blog.asiantown.net

Blessings, Susan♥

© Susan Jamieson, 2014

 

 

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#Love's Fickle Friend

image from artelartlivejournal.com

Far away

In a place cool and comfortable

Amid trees green and colourful flowers

The air heavy with scents of the forest

Bees hum brings a somnolence to the day

Stray beams of sunlight

Lance down through overarching tree branches

Patterned by the mosaic of leaves

A slowly running brook cheerfully burbles

Drawing travellers to the glade

Deep into the centre of the serene shade

Laughter lightly tinkling

As she flew around the glade

Hid the sadness in her heart

In pieces on the ground

Torn asunder by the one

Who told her

She was the one

The one he’d love forever

And protect from all harm

But daylight now has woken

And dreams are hard to hold

Her lover, he has left her

With a lonely loving heart

Laugh loud and sweetly fair one

Let the musical brook soothe you

Allow the sibilance of the trees caress you

And the downy grass cocoon you

Love’s touch can oft be fickle

A heart is easily broken

But hope must fly forever

If loves game we hope to win.

Blessings, Susan x

© Susan Jamieson 2014

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Picture Perfect

Black Cockatoo pair

 

“We need the tonic of wildness…At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, that land and sea be indefinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed by us because unfathomable. We can never have enough of nature.”   ― Henry David Thoreau,

It’s been a while since I looked through my photos and I realised there were, not just a few, but a lot that I had taken. The term “snap happy” came to mind, but with it came the realisation that I was storing lots of memories of the outings we’ve had. What made it more important was the knowledge that all the excursions didn’t revolve around doctors and tests. Certainly they were there, but interspersed with them were the moments when we could forget that we had been running around “just for that reason.” So I decided to compile a cross section of the things which took me away from the doctors and tests and back into the light hearted day, or night, and revel in the beauty of nature and life.

Yesterday it seemed like a strange way to start the day by grabbing the camera, but Black Cockatoos are not usually seen here, yet there they were sitting at the top of the tree watching us get ready to leave for the day. Since it’s the first time I’ve seen them here it was a great start to the day.

The Top Knot pigeon singing his song on the rooftop was so quirky I couldn’t let it pass. The beautiful Kangaroo Paws have been  providing such a beautiful display for months I thought they deserved to be included, and who can go past the beautiful scent of the gardenias.

The yellow on this Sulphur Crested Cockatoo is so brilliant, like a splash of sunshine on his ‘fascinator’. Our friendly Coucal keeps visiting which is unusual and so he gets two photos. They make the most unusual noise so are very difficult to miss. The honey eater is even weirder, at times he sounds like a dog barking and for a small bird, so loud!  I love the one of the two whales, flippers in the air. I couldn’t decide if they were playing together (probably were) but it looked as if they were waving to us.You know I love orchids and this one has been flowering for months. The yellow is so bright – another reminder of the sunny days.

I mentioned how funny it was watching the magpie attacking the cake at the Crystal Castle Cafe.  He managed to get most of the icing off his beak but he really didn’t want to leave that cake behind. Despite their reputations he didn’t get upset when I moved the plates away from him either. A mixture of photos of flowers from the area and at Crystal castle. With so many nectar producing plants it’s not surprising we see so many honey eaters. I couldn’t finish off without one of our regulars, the Galah. Here he is just waiting to pounce on the feeder. When there is some room it’s everyone for himself, or herself.

“A quiet secluded life in the country, with the possibility of being useful to people to whom it is easy to do good, and who are not accustomed to have it done to them; then work which one hopes may be of some use; then rest, nature, books, music, love for one’s neighbor — such is my idea of happiness.”   ― Leo Tolstoy

This then is my little corner of the world. I hope you enjoy a little peek into it. I am grateful that with a little reminder I have been mindful of my gifts from a bountiful world. Sometimes it’s difficult to realise I am Being present with my world and these pictures show me how much I have changed.

Blessings.  Susan x

© Susan Jamieson 2013

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Sunrise, tranquility hiding a fiery combat

Sunrise, tranquility hiding a fiery combat

The past few days have been quite busy, for me at least. There are times it is difficult to reconcile the reduced activity level from days past. Now I am an observer of life as it passes me by, or as happened today, in front of me.

It had been a quiet day, quiet apart from the cacophony from the building sites and the ever present noise of vehicles scooting past.  The peace and tranquility of the Crystal Castle seemed a million light years past. Ray had just brought a beautiful cup of French Earl Grey tea in for me. It has the most beautiful of aromas if you like the slightly perfumed teas.

Suddenly there was an ear splitting noise from outside my window. It sounded like a cross between a cats howl, dogs growl and a thunderous rumbling from some devilish creature. I have never heard anything quite like it before.  Curiosity drew us to the window to see what was making this deadly racket It had doubled in intensity so we knew two creatures were locked in a fight to the death. The sight that met our eyes was totally unexpected. All the photos of the fight were taken through the window, hence the diffused appearance.

Kookoaburra 1 (Copy)

Here you can see the dominant bird has almost a death grip on his opponent.

The Laughing Kookaburra is well known as a symbol of Australia’s bird life and is also known as the “Laughing Jackass”.  I have seen then sitting atop aerials and tall posts, our balcony rail and flying around. They are territorial birds and the largest member of the Kingfisher family. They have a beak which can reach 4 inches (10 centimeters) long. It has a wicked looking hook on the top beak. They are known for attacking even Brown Snakes. As you can see, at the beginning of Spring, in a fight for territory they will fight each other.

Kookoaburra  2 (Copy)

With a lunge the challenger tried to get away but there was no going until the duel was over!

Kookoaburra  3 (Copy)

Flung back to the ground the noise became even louder.

Kookoaburra  4 (Copy)

One beady eye was all we could see but it had death deep inside its black depths. As the challenger was pushed towards the front porch it seemed a matter of time until there was only one bird left standing.

Kookoaburra  6 (Copy)

With the end possibly in sight I couldn’t stand by and watch it happen. (I know, its part of life in the wild).  Being the brave soul I am, and also wielding the camera, I sent Ray outside to see what would happen. Usually, as soon as humans appear most birds will fly away. The Kookaburra doesn’t seem to have this fear of people. He knows he is the “King”  in his arena.

For the longest moment there was no reaction to a human presence. I was beginning to doubt that there was anything except one end, the death of the loser. The dominant bird must have eased his grip slightly which allowed, with a sudden flurry of feathers, the downed bird to take off. With a squawk of fury, the other bird flew after him. Through trees and round bushes they disappeared into the distance to continue to the struggle or until he had chased his competitor out of his territory.

DSCN3624 (Copy)

Once more secure in his territory he reappeared to sit, keeping a wary eye out for interlopers, on our balcony railing. Once more he was the Laughing Kookaburra, “merry merry king of the bush”.

For those who like information:-

The Laughing Kookaburra gets its name from its manic laughter-like call. Its early dawn and dusk cackling chorus earned it the nickname “bushman’s clock.”

Laughing kookaburras are monogamous, territorial birds that nest in tree holes. Females lay one to five eggs, which are tended by a collective unit composed of parents and elder siblings. Fledgling kookaburras generally remain with their parents to help care for the subsequent clutch.

Who can forget the Children’s nursery rhyme? I might add that this is thew first time I have seen the full lyrics.

Kookaburra sits on the Old Gum Tree

Kookaburra sits on the old gum tree
Merry, merry king of the bush is he
Laugh Kookaburra, laugh Kookaburra
Gay your life must beKookaburra sits on the old gum tree
Counting all the monkeys he can see
Stop Kookaburra, stop Kookaburra
That’s not a monkey that’s me

Kookaburra sits on the old gum tree
Eating all the gumdrops he can see
Stop Kookaburra, stop Kookaburra
Leave some there for me

Kookaburra sits on the old gum tree
He fell down and broke his knee
Ouch Kookaburra, ouch Kookaburra
Glad tha was not me

To end I’d like to add one of my favourite quotes:

I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself. A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough without ever having felt sorry for itself.”
D. H. Lawrence

Ciao, Susan x

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The moon hiding behind drifting clouds

The moon hiding behind drifting clouds

“When I set a glass prism on a windowsill and allow the sun to flood through it, a spectrum of colors dances on the floor. What we call “white” is a rainbow of colored rays packed into a small space. The prism sets them free. Love is the white light of emotion.”
Diane Ackerman, A Natural History of Love

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There is no denying that there are good times and not so good. Times when we feel low and it’s hard to break the cycle. We have to work even harder then to find the beauty around us, let it in and find the gratitude to be able to see, to witness and to share in the miracles we often overlook. Last night the moon was playing hide and seek between the cloud layers and looked mysterious, as though she had a seductive veil across her face. I went to bed dream of shimmying goddesses in layers of silk veils dancing around the moon, fairies, elves and magic spinning in the air.

After a restless and sleepless night I heard the birds caroling the new day and decided to venture out onto the back deck. The dew was heavy on the boards and there was still a chill to the air. Here is the vista which opened my eyes.

DSCN3607 (Copy)Here she is, the goddess of the morning, just peeping over the horizon. The beautiful colours at this time of day are so vibrant.

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As she quickly climbs the sky, eager to enter her domain the colours become golden, the warmth of her light across the earth.

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I couldn’t take my eyes from this beautiful colour, almost sienna but a deep rose-pink also. It really is almost indescribable in its beauty.

DSCN3614 (Copy)The golden hues from the strength of the sun start to drown out the other colours. Her power and majesty are shown clearly for all. The birds were calling loudly, rejoicing in her warmth spreading across the ocean. I love the rose colour spreading towards me from the sun. Goddess of the dawn Greek and Roman

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Too bright to now gaze at directly, this was from my balcony door. Sparkles shining almost like visiting spirits to welcome us after the night and sunbeams dart across the land and sea.

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The Kookaburras were loud this morning, singing their distinctive song. This fellow looked pleased he had his perch to himself. There is often a scramble to get somewhere to bask in the sun. You can catch a glimpse of a Rosella streaking past as I took the photo.

DSCN3600 (Copy)Caught in mid song, such a beautiful cheerful way to begin the day. This Butcher Bird banishes any heaviness in the heart with its joyful song.

DSCN3522 (Copy)

The scent from this adorable King Orchid was strong on the early breezes. It is huge in the centre of the Poinciana tree. There are more than a dozen flower spikes, each as large as this one in various stages of developing. It is a glorious white colour. I am waiting for my golden-yellow one to bloom, always later than this one.

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The birds box nest, already inhabited by the Rosellas. It must be nice to have the large Staghorn around their nest and surrounded by the orchid. What a beautiful way to start the life cycle.

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From the other side of the garden the strong and heady scent of the Jasmine was wafting along the breeze. Encircled by natures perfume and the glorious colours of the dawn, I went back inside and fell asleep dreaming of the beauty of spring.

I know that the other side of the world is heading towards their autumn so I hope you enjoy the beginnings of our spring.

“The alchemist was dazed and dumbfounded, as the true meaning of the magic was revealed: *The dead will rise from glade to glen and ancient will be young again*. The dead had, after all, risen. From dead and dry things there was growth, and new life everywhere. And the endlessly long winter had at last turned to spring.
From life to death and back again to life. It was indeed the greatest magic in the world.”
Lauren Oliver

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Blessings for a new day.

Susan x

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Stormy Seas

Stormy Seas

There’s a change coming in

Not so slowly, it’s quite fast

Letting us know

That it’s here, not gone past

There are white caps foaming

In the ocean blue

And the whales are frolicking

As they’re passing through

The wind is keening through

Any open window or door

The trees are rustling loudly

Their own particular song

It’s more like Nature is talking

For everyone to hear

Just open your ears and listen

The sounds are far and near

Silly boats should be moored tight

If you hold them dear.

Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating; there is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather.”   John Ruskin

“I’ve lived in good climate, and it bores the hell out of me. I like weather rather than climate.”
John Steinbeck

 Rain, hail or shine, have a beautiful weekend. Let those cobwebs blow out. There is always something to be grateful for. I’m all for hot chocolate and a Ray Muffin, then curling up in a warm bed with a book and some soft music. Hmm.

Ciao, Susan

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