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.



Monday, 23 March 2020

Spending quiet time away from the crowds

Hi everyone, and here we are in the fourth week of March and it is a very different world to what we had at the beginning of the year when many of us had plans for the year ahead. Every day the situation changes and it is affecting us all. How are you all fairing in the face of the Corona Virus? I hope you and your families are staying well and finding ways of getting through the months ahead. This thing is not going to go away quickly. And the world needs to pull together to get through this.

Australia has been slow to start, but numbers of infections are increasing daily. Australia has shut all it's external borders and it's internal borders - ie between states - for instance Western Australia where I live has closed borders with South Australia and Northern Territory, other than essential services and trucking supplies - Western Australia is a very isolated state - with only three road accesses. These are now closed.    

 But this post is not about the Corona Virus, we have enough of that on the news every day, every hour, every half hour. I know we have to keep up with what is happening but it causes stress and anxiety too.  Mental health in the face of social distancing is so important right now for ourselves and our families.  Especially when our social activities are being cancelled - sporting events, gatherings, entertainment, cafes, club meetings etc etc - the list goes on.
So what can we do? Here are a few ideas - I am sure you will have many others if you would like to add to my list.

draw a picture... dig in the garden... put all your photos in a photo album... knit something... hand make a pile of Christmas cards... press flowers... ring up all your long lost friends and family.... finish those projects you never finished...sort out the photos from your last trip...print them in a book....learn how to play an instrument or practise if you already play.....go bush walking or walk along the beach... sit in the garden or under a tree....escape in a book....turn the music up loud and dance....or sing.....play with fun new projects... finish that on-line course you never finished.... take it as a good opportunity to stop and take a breather....stay connected with the phone or social media groups....write letters.....write your memoirs....

As my son said to his boys.... it makes us stop and think about how lucky we are to have all the things we have and perhaps be more grateful for the small things. Even more so when we come out the other side of all of this.

I know the negativity and bad news is affecting me and my level of anxiety, so over the weekend I decided to start a photography project - one photo a day, for the duration of the Corona Virus. I went back through my photos and started last Monday 16 March, and here they are so far....

Monday - 16 March 2020 - Roses

Tuesday - 17 March 2020 - empty supermarket shelves

Wednesday - 18 March 2020 - laying out the leaves for eco-printing

Thursday - 19 March 2020 - a sunset with roof tops and power lines is still a beautiful sunset

Friday - 20 March 2020 - The Green Depot - supporting small local businesses whiles we still can

Saturday - 21 March 2020 - my patio sanctuary garden

Sunday - 22 March 2020 - quinces growing in my garden - the netting is to keep the parrots off!
Thank you so much for stopping by. How are you fairing in these troubled uncertain times? What have you been doing to stay connected and active? Perhaps you would like to tell us about it in your comments.  Take care everyone.

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!

Hello there! I love reading your comments. If you scroll down to the bottom you can comment too! I would love to hear from you.

Monday, 16 March 2020

Wombling with Wombats - Tasmania, Australia

Hi everyone, this week for a change of pace, and to get away from news of "the virus", I decided to go back to Tasmania - that little island off the eastern south coast of Australia - and go wombling with wombats.

I wrote about Great Short Walks and searching for platypus in Tasmania on my blog way back in 2012. You can see it here - Searching for Platypus - Great Short Walks in Tasmania

Tasmania is an island of stunning scenery and a long, not always happy, history. 

Here are a few scenes from Cradle Mountain - Lake St Clair National Park where we stayed in a cabin for a few days. We were thrilled during our visit to see and walk in snow - as we don't have snow in our part of Western Australia.  There are lots of great walks in the park, and a shuttle bus to drive you around, and we didn't mind the snow a bit!  
The walks are varied in terrain and distances, you can walk right around the lake, and there are these cute tunnels kid size with pictures for littlies to learn about birds and animals in the park.   That green mossy walk you can see second row below, looked like something from "The Hobbit".

Cradle Mountain and Dove Lake

Australia has some amazing unique animals - including the platypus and wombats - both of which we saw in Tasmania in 2012.

We had only seen wombats before in zoos - bored and sleepy - like in the photo below, and never in the wild until we went to Tasmania.

My apology in advance of the quality of these wildlife photos.....

 My son will tell you that it was the "wombat's fault" that I broke my arm at Cradle Mountain. 

We went on a late afternoon "wombat womble" guided walking tour along a board walk with a park ranger guide. The wooden board-walk was narrow and raised above the tough tussocky grassland and we were walking one behind each other because of the narrowness of the boardwalk - and it didn't have railings.  

A wombat was up ahead of us and the guide stopped to tell us about wombats. She then turned and said "where is our wombat", and I stepped sideways to get a better view - silly me forgot I was on a boardwalk - and I stepped off the boardwalk. I fell of course and my hand went out and I broke my wrist. Thankfully I managed to keep a good grip on my camera. 

I convinced myself it wasn't serious though it was very sore! and continued with the walk. Unfortunately I didn't take any photos of that wombat womble - or should I call it the wombat wobble?  I strapped up my wrist when we got back to the cabin and it wasn't till a few days later when we returned home that I had my wrist X-rayed and found that I had a small crack in one of the bones. My son will never let me forget that story!


I have just finished reading Jackie French's fascinating book "The Secret World of Wombats", illustrated by Bruce Whatley.

Jackie French is a much loved Australian author of childrens, teens, adult and non-fiction books. 

According to her web page  Jackie's writing career spans 25 years, she has studied over 400 wombats, written over 200 books, published in 36 languages, and has over 60 awards in Australia and overseas.

 So I guess after having met her first wombat over 30 years ago and since then studied over 400 wombats both in the wild and in her garden, she is well qualified to impart some of that knowledge through this book. Mixed with delightful short tales of wombats she has had living in her garden, it is a very enjoyable book.

Here are are few fast facts: 

* Diprotodon optatum (a megafauna - two metres tall and living thousands of years ago) is a close relative of modern wombats.  

* Wombat fur is coarse and stiff and was used by indigenous Australians to make string.

* Southern hairy-nosed wombats live only in a few places around the Nullarbor Plain and in South Australia. The northern hairy-nosed wombats are nearly extinct, surviving only in one colony in mid-north Queensland.

* Bare-nosed wombats - the common wombat - can be found in forested land in south-east New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania.  

Wombats can weigh up to and over 40 kilograms, are about a metre long but stand only about 30 centimetres tall. Their coloring can be grey, black, brown, or golden, depending on where they live and their age. 
Wombats in Tasmania - sorry for the not great photos!
* Wombats live in a burrow and sleep during the day.  Wombat holes usually have several bedrooms - chambers with soft, dry dust or a bed of dried grass or bracken. These rooms are usually big enough for the wombat to sit up in. They usually go to sleep on their side, and when they roll onto their back they are very sound asleep.  Wombats take over abandoned burrows and renovate them.  These burrows could be over a hundred years old.

* Female wombats have a pouch for their baby, with the entrance facing backwards so sand doesn't go in when they dig. They have a baby about every 3 years. A baby wombat is twenty days old when it first crawls as a hairless pink creature into the pouch and will normally stay in the pouch for 7-10 months. They stop drinking milk around 12-15 months. The mother may discourage them by laying flat on the ground. At about 18 months they take off on their own and by 2 years they are independent.

* Wombats leave hundreds of droppings in a night to mark out their territory.  During a drought when there isn't much grass, or the grass is tough and brown, wombat droppings will be dark brown or black and will be square.

* Wombats dust bathe in dry dirt or sand to clean their fur and help get rid of ticks and mites.  Wombats love freshly dug dirt. Wombats are built for borrowing with tiny eyes (to keep out the dirt), small ears, broad dry leathery noses with big nostrils (great for smelling), a short neck, a strong stocky body and powerful shoulders and legs. They have two giant lower teeth and two big upper teeth, five front claws and four back claws on each foot. The front feet dig and the back shovel out the dirt behind them.

 * Wombats see and learn about the world by the way it smells.  They also hear very well, but it takes them a while to work out what they are hearing.  Evidently this accounts for why they are often killed by cars on the road, because it takes them a while to work out a car is coming. Sadly we saw many dead wombats by the road during our trip through South Australia last year. I imagine hitting a wombat would do a lot of damage to your car.

* Wombats love lush green grass, but can also chew tough sedges and tussocks, bark and dig up roots. Hand reared wombats also like carrots, sweet potato, corn on the cob, rolled oats and 'wombat nuts' - a bit like a grain and lucerne biscuit. 

* Wombats love to scratch and will rub up against posts, trees and rocks.  

Wombat scratching on a post in Tasmania

* Wombats live in the burrow by themselves but they don't have territories and will feed together as long as they stay two metres from each other. (they have obviously heard about the social self isolation policy LOL)

* Wombats do make a few sounds but mostly don't use sounds to communicate, though they do growl or snarl and can be vicious fighters. They know each other by their smell and the smell of their droppings.

These are just a few wombat facts. You can learn more about wombats, living with wildlife and Jackie French's books over on her web page -  Jackie French
A few of Jackie's illustrated children's books about wombats, beautifully illustrated by Bruce Whatley, include:  Diary of a Wombat, The Hairy Nosed Wombats, How to Scratch a Wombat, Baby Wombat's Week, and Christmas Wombat.
Jackie has also written many other books including historical fiction, sustainability and ecology and gardening books.  I might have to order this "A Year in the Valley" from my local library. 

 You can learn more about wombats here - Australian Museum

Recently I heard a very interesting interview on the radio with Jackie French, and late last year I read her adult novel "Clancy of the Overflow" - inspired by Banjo Patterson's poem by the same name. There was a wombat in that book too! I'll be on the lookout for more of Jackie's books. 

 Thank you so much for stopping by. I hope you have enjoyed this post today and it has taken you for a little while away from the news of the Corona Virus that is currently plaguing our earth. I value your comments and look forward to hearing from you. I will try to visit your blogs in return. Have a wonderful week. 
Also by Jackie French

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!

Hello there! I love reading your comments. If you scroll down to the bottom you can comment too! I would love to hear from you.

Sunday, 8 March 2020

Multi-cultural Festival

Hi folks, and welcome to another week. 
Last week I brought to you some images from the Bunbury Multi-cultural Festival Night Under the Stars concert and the dancing of my Spanish dance group - Sol y Sombra Spanish Dance Company -  

I promised you a few more pics from the festival and here they are.  Unfortunately I didn't take any pics of the delicious foods that were being produced in the food-trucks! 

The evening started with a flag parade of flags from all around the world, and then the traditional "welcome to country"  by Noongar elder Troy Bennell and a group of young dancers. It is good to see the indigenous traditions being passed onto the younger generations.

Following this were members of the Burundi Peace Choir, The Narthanalaya School of Indian Classical Dance and Bhangra Rulez, Ngaru Pou Maori group and a Filipino Song and Dance Group from the Bunbury Filipino community. 

We were then treated by a spectacular dragon dance by the Chung Wah Association. I have seen many dragon dances in the past but this one surpassed the others. I loved the way the background was in darkness and only the dragon was lit and the dragon performed intricate patterns across the stage. I have lightened some of the background in these images so you can see the dancers.

and Taiko Do Japanese drumming - their energy and timing was amazing!
During the afternoon there were various stalls and demonstrations. In all a fabulous cultural afternoon and evening. 

Last Saturday we had another opportunity to be immersed in culture with the Chinese New Year Festival in our city.  Unfortunately we only had a short time to browse the displays and entertainment. And we missed the dragon dance - you can see the dragon in the bottom pic.
Here is a list of lucky foods consumed during Chinese New Year

 How to say happy New Year in Chinese -from China Highlights

新年快乐 / 新年快樂 (Xīnnián kuàilè)

'New Year happiness!'
  • In Mandarin: /sshin-nyen kwhy-ler/ 
  • In Cantonese: /sen-nin feye-lor/

I enjoy living in a rich multi-cultural environment - especially the food and entertainment - and the opportunity to get to know people from other nationalities and learn something about their background.

 Thank you so much for stopping by. Have you been to a cultural event in your region lately. Perhaps you would like to tell us about it 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!

Hello there! I love reading your comments. If you scroll down to the bottom you can comment too! I would love to hear from you.