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!

Sunday, 24 April 2016

Anzac Day - we will remember them

25 April is an important day on the Australian calendar. It is the day that Australians and New Zealanders across the world commemorate Anzac Day at dawn services, marches, vigils, commemorative services, by visiting grave sites and getting together with friends and family.  Not to glorify war but to remember those who served their country in wars or who lost their lives and gave the ultimate sacrifice.

The words below are from The Ode -   from the poem For the Fallen, by the English poet and writer Laurence Binyo. Please click here to learn more Traditions - the Ode

 "They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them."
 


Every year we go to the Dawn Service at our town War Memorial, and each year I have noticed the numbers attending grow.  Those of us who were born in the 1950s were brought up with the stories of the World War Two years as our parents, uncles, aunts, grandparents had lived through that era.  We heard about life on the home front and about their family members who served through WW2. My husband's uncle died as a prisoner of war in Burma, and my father's uncle died in the first days of the Gallipoli campaign in WW1. After going to our Australian War Memorial in Canberra a few years ago, and putting a red poppy next to their names these two young men became more real to me, and every year at the Dawn Service I shed some tears.



  This morning's Anzac Day dawn service was no different. As we stood amongst the crowd in silence in the drizzling rain and watched the returned servicemen march down the street to the war memorial, listened to the speeches, songs, the single rifle shot, and the bugle playing the last post, my tears fell. This combined consciousness as we stood with bowed heads in silence as the rain fell was a powerful feeling.

Not only should we remember those that gave their lives, but also those who have returned home broken in body and spirit. Today there is a new generation of returned servicemen and women, battling their memories of what they have seen and experienced on modern day war fronts.

You can read more about this here - ABC Net- Young Diggers share their PTSD struggle
and The Bravery Trust


Today there is also a new generation of children who are learning about the Anzac tradition, through more recent conflicts like Vietnam, Afghanistan, the Middle East, and the ongoing war against terror. I think it is important that they learn about this history and the sacrifices that are made. Not to glorify it, but hopefully to learn about the futility and tragedies of war. Perhaps they will strive for a better way to solve international conflicts.


There are many books written about the war years. Recently I picked up two books about Anzac Day for children in our school library - 


Anzac Biscuits by Phil Cummings, with illustrations by Owen Swan, is about a little girl who makes Anzac Biscuits to send to her father on the war front. 

This is a touching story of a family torn apart by war but brought together through the powerful simplicity of Anzac biscuits as it delicately entwines the desolation of life on the frontline of war with the tenderness of life on the home front. 


And 
Reflection - Remembering Those Who Serve In War by Rebecka Sharpe Shelberg and illustrated by Robin Cowcher 

"Left! Left! Left! Right! Left! We make our way in the dark. A family journeys through the early morning darkness... A group of young men huddle in a cold muddy trench."


 This picture book is a great way to introduce children to the history of Australia and its role in various conflicts around the globe as readers connect to the story as the family attend a dawn service and Anzac Day march.


When we packed up my mother and father's house a couple of years ago, I found a tin box in my mother's bedside drawer containing letters from her brothers and a friend who served in WW2.  There are letters marked "In Active Service". Letters which have a sticker to say they have been opened by the Censor, and letters marked "Privileged" which were not opened by the sensor but the writer had to sign to say that the letter only contained private and family matters. In their letters home service men and women could not talk about where they were, where they were going, or what conflicts they had been involved in.

My mother's friend who was in the RAF based in England had handwriting which was very difficult to read, so most of it is illegible to me, but I did read at the beginning of one letter that he apologised for his hand writing and saying there was no typewriter he could use. I also noted that it took at least two months for letters to be sent from England to Australia. So a four month turn around from when the sender in Australia received a return letter.  In these days of instant communication can you imagine waiting for four months to receive a letter from your loved one? So much would have happened in that time. I know letters from home meant a lot to those serving overseas. These letters must have also meant a lot to my mother for her to have kept them all these years. 



On Sunday we went to an open day at the South West Rail and Heritage Centre Boyanup There were various people demonstrating traditional crafts such as blacksmithing, spinning, and book binding.  We saw a demonstration of Morse Code. It was fascinating to see one man transmitting messages on the Morse Code machine, and another man on the other side of the room typing the messages on a typewriter. 
This method of communication was very important throughout the two world wars.


 Morse code is a method for encoding text into a series of dashes and dots, that can be sent (transmitted) by means of sound, light or radio waves, and that can be decoded be a skilled listener without special equipment. The system is named after the American artist Samuel Finley Breese Morse who co-developed an electrical telegraph system at the beginning of 1836 . From: Cryptomuseum

Below you can see the Morse Code alphabet. If you look on the Cryptomuseum website, you can see how this alphabet was devised. (see second image below here). It really is amazing how people can learn and use this system at speed and very often under extreme circumstances. 
Can you work out the code for SOS ? 


Will you be attending an Anzac Day Service this year? Perhaps you would like to tell us about your Anzac Day in the comments.

For more information:
Australian Army - Anzac Day Tradition
Australian War Memorial 
Cryptomuseum - Morse Code
Reflection - Rebecka Sharpe Shelberg
Anzac Biscuits - Phil Cummings and Phil Cummings
 South West Rail and Heritage Centre, Boyanup
  
 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 

Life Thru the Lens 

Lifestyle Fifty Monday Linkup 
Our World Tuesday

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

The Weekly Postcard

You might also like: 

Anzac Day 2015 - 100 years 
Anzac Day goes beyond the landing in Gallipoli 
Making Anzac Biscuits 

 

Monday, 18 April 2016

Those magnificent men in their flying machines

"Do you know what is on the end of the Busselton Jetty?" the pilot asked. We knew the jetty well, or thought we did. 

Built in 1865 the Busselton Jetty is the longest piled wooden jetty in the southern hemisphere. I've blogged about the jetty before, including here  - Busselton Jetty & the Equinox Cafe  and Busselton Jetty swim

We had walked out on the jetty for years, and fished and squidded from it many times in our younger years. In more recent times we had taken our grandsons in the little train out to the end to see the underwater observatory.  Yes, we knew the jetty well.

But wrong! Here is a view we had never seen before..... there are whales painted on the end of the jetty! 
 The paintings, completed in December 2015 by Dunsborough artist Ian Mutch, include paintings of a humpback whale and calf, a southern right whale and a blue whale. You can read more about them here, including a short video  - Whale Wonder at the end of the Busselton Jetty


How did we come to see this view? On Saturday we enjoyed a joy flight over Busselton, Dunsborough and Cape Naturaliste. 

In March I had gone down to Busselton with my son and grandsons to the Busselton Aerofest Air Show. I blogged about it here - From paddock to city. At the show we had all bought raffle tickets. My eldest nine year old grandson had one of the winning tickets - a ride in a 1930′s vintage open-cockpit Tiger Moth biplane with Tiger Moth Adventure Flights. Unfortunately for him he was too young to take the flight, and he was very disappointed. So my son, his dad, went in his place, and organised a joy flight for the rest of us in a six-seater Cessna from Busselton Air Service.

First off, the owner of the Tiger Moth showed us his plane, and allowed our grandsons to sit in the cockpit. He had heard the story of how disappointed our grandson had been not to be able to take the flight. Then he went through the safety info with my son, and they were off. Here you can see him in his flying cap and goggles. Don't you just love the colour of the plane!


We met our pilot Roger, and piled into the Cessna. My grandson sat in front next to the pilot. 



First we flew over Busselton and the iconic Busselton Jetty, and then it was down the coast over the Dunsborough beach side town, vineyards, farming land, and Cape Naturaliste.



Unfortunately for me I was sitting on the left in the plane, and most of the views were on the right, but I managed to snap some shots of the coast. 

That is Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse you can see bottom right. I wrote about Cape Naturaliste Way and the Cape to Cape Trail back in 2010 here - Walking Cape Naturaliste
I think it is time I went walking along the Capes again now the weather is getting cooler. 
Top left is Canal Rocks. They don't look much from this shot but they are spectacular on a windy day with the waves crashing over the rocks.



Some more coastal views. The lovely blue cove you can see bottom right is Meelup Beach, which is a very popular beach for families in summer. I talked about Meelup on my blog here - Australia Day on the Beach


All too soon, it we were back flying over Busselton and our flight was over. Below you can see the new, well fairly new, marina.



It was a cloudy morning, and I didn't enjoy the bumps as we passed over the coastline, but we had a wonderful flight.



 For information on scenic flights over Busselton - please click here -
Busselton Air Service 
 Tiger Moth Adventure Flights

Thank you so much for stopping by. I hope you enjoyed this little flight over Busselton and Cape Naturaliste. Do you like flying in a small plane? Perhaps you might like to tell us about your last flight in your comments. 

 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

Life Thru the Lens 
What's It Wednesday
Travel Photo Thursday

The Weekly Postcard

You might also like - 
  Lazy Sunday vineyard lunch
10 things to do in Yallingup without going to the beach
Oceans Edge - Yallingup and Smiths Beach


Sunday, 10 April 2016

Lilly Pilly Jam - a delicious Australian bush tucker delight

When we moved to our current home about 20 years or so ago we found a Lilly Pilly bush in our front yard.  This is a plant native to the eastern states of Australia, but which grows well in the west too. It has very fleshy leaves and a very attractive small flower, which you can see below, but which withers almost immediately if picked.  The bees love them.


Following flowering a small red fruit forms, about the length of your thumbnail. We have tasted them from time to time over the years. They have a crisp flesh, not unpleasant taste, though slightly acid, and probably an acquired taste.  They have a small stone in the middle. You can see my bush and the fruit below here. 


The origin of the name Lilly Pilly is unknown. The first recorded sighting of a lilly pilly in Australia was Syzygium paniculatum. On May 3 1770 at Botany Bay botanist Joseph Banks stated in his journal: They "found also several trees which bore fruit of the Jambosa kind, much in colour and shape resembling cherries; of these they eat plentifully and brought home also abundance, which we eat with much pleasure tho they had little to recommend them but light acid."
From:  Australian Plants OnLine 

There are several varieties of Lilly Pilly, belonging to the  Myrtaceae family. 
The Lilly Pilly was a bush tucker for the Aboriginal inhabitants, and was prized by early European settlers for making jams and jellies.  It seems to have been used soon after the establishment of Sydney town in New South Wales. 

Jam making is a tradition in my family and I have been intending to make Lilly Pilly Jam ever since I discovered the plant in our front garden, and yesterday I did. My husband wanted to prune the bush as it had got quite big and was starting to develop a scale infestation as it had the previous year. So I picked about a kilo and a half of fruit and made the jam on Saturday morning. 


 The recipe I used came originally from the National Trust of Australia, New South Wales, and is in my Australia's Home Made Jams and Preserves Book compiled by sugar company CSR. I have used many recipes in this little book. 

The recipe was actually for jelly, but I adapted it to make jam. 

Lilly Pilly Jam 

Remove stalks and stones from the fruit and wash well. Place in the pan with a little water. I used 2 cups of water to 1.245kgs of fruit. Cook until fruit is tender (about an hour). I also added one lemon cut in half to the pan as the lemon will help with setting. 
When the fruit is tender add the same weight of sugar as the weight of fruit. 
Boil till jam sets when tested. This took about another hour, but will really depend on the quantity you are cooking. 
Remove the lemon halves, bottle the jam in sterile jars and seal immediately. 


The jam is a beautiful deep pink-red colour and I think tastes a little like a mix between plum and strawberry jam. Delicious! I made scones this morning so my family could taste the jam. They all enjoyed it, so I think I will from now on be making Lilly Pilly jam every year. 



Another reference to the Lilly Pilly can be found in May Gibb's children's book, The Complete Adventures of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie, an Australian classic about the gum nut babies first published in 1918. I told you about the bad Banksia Men from the book a couple of weeks ago. Please click here if you missed it -  Celebration of the Australian Banksia

Here is an illustration from the book of the characters Lilly Pilly and Ragged Blossom. In the book Lilly Pilly is an actress.  You can see here below on the left with the lilly pilly fruit forming the skirt of her dress. 
For more about May Gibbs click here - May Gibbs



I hope you have enjoyed my blog post about the Lilly Pilly. If you are in Australia and you have it growing in your garden, I hope you will make some Lilly Pilly Jam. 
Is there a native fruit that you make into jam? Perhaps you would like to share with us in the comments.

Here are a couple of references on the web:
Burke's Back Yard
Australian Native Plants Society
Evergreen Growers - scale pest on Lilly Pilly
Taste Australia - Bush Food


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 
 Life Thru the Lens

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 - 
Quandongs, delicious Australian bush food
And slices of quince which they ate with a runcible spoon
Tamarillos, lost food of the Incas 


Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Fishing trip with Pop

I am way behind on my blogging this week, so I am just going to share some pics from our fishing trip on the weekend with our grandson. If you don't agree with pulling fish out of the ocean then look away now! 

But seriously it was nice to be out on the water soaking up the autumn sun.
I think the pelicans were enjoying the sun too. 


We were not the only ones out on the water. These kayakers certainly were enjoying the weekend weather. 

 And yes we did catch fish, and grandson had a drive of the boat under the supervision of Pop. 
 There were lots of other people out fishing too, the boat from the Dolphin Discovery Centre was out on the water with people eager to see wild dolphins, and there were a number of big cargo ships waiting to come into port.


That's it from me for today. I hope you have a fabulous week.

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. 

Here's a few black swans.....

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, 29 March 2016

Celebration of the Australian Banksia

On Easter Saturday we celebrated my nephew's wedding in Perth. Despite the drizzling rain it was a beautiful day. The bride's bouquet was mostly Australian native wildflowers. The main flower you can see here is Banksia.  There is also some Australian eucalypti and South African protea.



Banksia is from the Proteaceae family. 

Spread across the southern hemisphere, it is most commonly found in Australia and the southern regions of Africa. Australian native Proteaceae include Hakeas, Banksias, Lambertias, Dryandra, Macadamias, and Grevilleas, and the Warratah, the state flower of the Australian state, New South Wales. (from the net:  proteaceae - flowers for everyone)

The Proteaceae family comprises about 80 genera with about 1,600 species. There are 173 Banksia species, and all but one occur naturally only in Australia. 
 South western Australia contains the greatest diversity of banksias, with 60 species recorded.  (from the web - Australian National Herbarium)

The presence of the Proteaceae family in Australia, South America and South Africa led scientists to put forward the idea that these land masses were once joined, forming a supercontinent which they named Gondwanaland. Australia has the greatest diversity of Proteaceae. They occur in the rainforests, the deserts, on coastal sand dunes and in alpine regions.  (from the net: ABC gardening)

 Here are two examples:  Ashby's Banksia and the Showy Dryandra. 


I love taking wildflower photos, but I am not a botanist, so I can't absolutely identify any of the banksias below, but I hope you enjoy the images. These have been mostly taken around the South West of Western Australia.

Banksias are named after botanist Sir Joseph Banks who came to Australia with Captain James Cook who, in 1770, discovered and charted New Zealand, the Great Barrier Reef, and "discovered" the east coast of Australia on his ship Endeavor. Sir Joseph Banks made the first European study of Australian flora and fauna and collect specimens of these plants.. (on the web - Sir Joseph Banks)

Acorn Banksia, Banksia prionotes, can reach up to 10 metres in height. This one is near Yealering the the wheatbelt. 



Banksias seen near Kalbarri, along our mid west coast


The Firewood Banksia - Banksia menziesii -  seen near Warradarge, south of Eneabba, also along the mid west coast. 



The Tennis Ball Banksia - Banksia laevigata - seen along the Hyden-Norseman Road south of the goldfields. It flowers from September to January, is noted in my wildflower book as uncommon, and unfortunately not flowering when we saw it. 



  The stunningly beautiful Scarlet Banksia - Banksia coccinea - which we saw in the Fitzgerald River National Park in the far south. My dauther-in-law included this flower in her wedding bouquet.  The plant grows to 8 metres. 



Below you can see the flower forming on the RHS to fully open in the middle photo. In the first photo you can see the red parts of the flower folded over in curls, which open out as the flower matures as in the second photo.



 The Holly-Leaved Banksia - Banksia ilicifolia - which we saw in Manea Park near Bunbury and flowers all year round. It is the only banksia that doesn't produce flower spikes.



Seen at Hoffman’s Mill east of Harvey, my daughter-in-law believes this is a Swamp Banksia - Banksia Littoralis 





Banksias in the karri forests at Shannon near Pemberton. 



 There are some unusual varieties. Seen in the Fitzgerald River National Park, the one on the left I "think" is the Creeping Banksia - Banksia repens - which is a creeping shrub with an underground stem.  Or it could be the Prostrate Banksia - Banksia gardneri.

Whilst the one on the right is Shining Honeypot - Dryandra obtusa - which seems to flower out of the ground and is listed in my identification book as uncommon.  I've included it because it is so unusual and the Dryandra is a member of the Proteaceae family.


Some Banskias, like these seen in Fitzgerald River National Park hang downwards. This "could be" Leemann's Banksia - Banksia lemanniana

 Here are some more from Fitzgerald - an amazing place to visit to see wildflowers in spring. The one of the left is after flowering. The seeds are held in the pods that form on the side of the cone.


 Also seen in Fitzergerald, I am not sure if these are Banksias or Dryandras - both the same family, you can see the similarities. They have the same saw-tooth leaves.



And some banksias from around the area where I live.  I haven't been able to identify this one. 



The Bull Banksia - Banksia grandis - which grows from 2-10 metres high, with the flowers in a cylinder shape 10-40cm long and 8-10cm wide. Very common around my area, flowering from September to January.  Around Christmas they remind me of giant Christmas candles.





Below you can see the different stages of the flower. Birds and bees love them.


 
Australian children grow up with the story of the gum nut babies, Snugglepot and Cuddlepie by May Gibbs, and the bad banksia men depicted by banksia nuts like you can see here.  A scary depiction indeed in the imagination of a child.

(from the net - May Gibbs)


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 - 
The trees are blooming for Christmas
Bushwalking at Hoffmans Mill
Hopetoun & Fitzgerald River National Park