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.



Saturday, 11 January 2020

Making animal pouches with love

The images on our nightly news about the devastation and loss of lives caused by Australia's ongoing bush-fires has been heart-wrenching, but the outpouring of help that has come from all around the world to help Australia has been amazing and heart-warming. It really gives us hope for the future when the world comes together at a time like this. Thank you to all those who have helped.

The news of our bush-fires has obviously gone right around the world. Generous help has come in the form of monetary donations which is being directed to aid community recovery. 

The work being done by firefighters, volunteers, armed services, rescue organisations, medical teams, and ordinary citizens in the fire zones has been incredible.  Thank you.

Thousands of our wildlife (they estimate 1 billion) have also been killed, injured or left homeless. People from around the world have been getting together to make much needed items for our wildlife in crisis. I saw a post the other day about a group of 100 in Iceland knitting for our wildlife. Daily I have seen stories such as this.

You can see some of what is happening and how you can help here at Animal Rescue Craft Guild
and also here  Hello Care
And a little video of what carers are doing: Caring for baby joeys

Today I joined a group making joey pouches for baby kangaroos that have lost their mothers. The pouches are designed to mimic their mother's pouch. It felt good to be able to do something practical to help. 

Below are some of what is being made by people all over the world: 
Sewers: Joey and possum pouches, hanging joey pouches, bat wraps, koala mittens, quilts and blankets.
Crocheters: Birds nests, blankets, joey pouch outers, animal jumpers.
Knitters: Blankets, joey pouch outers,  animal jumpers.
Woodwork - possum boxes  

This is one of the joey pouches I made. There are a few different pattern designs. I should have hung it up so you can see it better.  A rod goes through the top part to hang it up.

Here is how they look in action. So cute.

But more help is needed. I have just read:
There is nothing to eat for the surviving animals. Everything is burned.
So we have to keep scaling up. Every month we will be spending $27,450 to get food, medical, and other items to over 140 carers and feeding stations up and down the firezones. Animal Rescue Craft Guild

I'm taking a little blogging break this week, other than to say there is so much heartbreak, devastation and strife around the world today, please take time out to treasure the natural beauty of our world around us before it is too late. And do what you can to safe our fragile earth.

 This week I have borrowed the animal photos from the net. 

Thank you so much for stopping by. Thank you for your thoughts on my blog last week. I really appreciated your kind words of support. 

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!
All Seasons
MosaicMonday at Letting Go of the Bay Leaf
Our World Tuesday
Pictorial Tuesday 
ThroughMy Lens 
My corner of the world through my camera 
Wednesday Around the World at Communal Global hosted by Randomosity.

The Lovin' Life Team over at: Deep Fried Fruit

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, 5 January 2020

Australia is burning

Hi everyone. This wasn't to be my post today. It is the start of 2020, a time of looking forward to the new year. 
But it is hard to be upbeat when Australia is burning and has been for the last few months. 
I want to keep information current and accurate, but the situation is changing daily, so please click on the links to go to news reports.  

Thankfully I do not live in the current fire area, as I live on the west coast of Australia, and most of the fires are on the east coast. But I fear it will be a very long hot summer. The devastation for those directly involved is immense.

Image from - australia-fires-explainer
 The problem has been fueled by exceptionally high temperatures and extended drought in Australia. Many point to climate change and global warming as a major factor. You can see the changes in the environment all around us. 

 "Bushfires are normally a natural process in Australia. But the combination of drought, record-breaking heat and strong winds have contributed to the devastating proportions of this year's fires". CBS News

"Australia is experiencing one of its worst droughts in decades -- the country's Bureau of Meteorology said in December that last spring was the driest on record. Meanwhile, a heatwave in December broke the record for highest nationwide average temperature, with some places sweltering under temperatures well above 40 degrees Celsius (about 113-120 degrees Fahrenheit)" CNN News

And according to the report on CNN there is no end in sight. Please go here to find out more - CNN-Australia's deadly wildfires - I urge you to at least scroll across the pictures to get some sense of what is happening here in Australia.  

Link here to a video - The Guardian - video
And here from the Australian Broadcasting Commission -  ABC Perth

From ABC Perth video
As of 5 January the situation has not improved. Over 200 fires are burning and fanned by strong winds and high temperatures fires are merging into mega blazes. In the worst hit areas the sky is black as night during the day time. For latest updates you can go here - ABC News

Here are some of the facts: from CNN dated 3 January 2020
- Australia is being ravaged by the worst bush fires seen in decades.
- There have been fires in every Australian state, but New South Wales and southern Victoria have been hardest hit.
- A total of 23 people have died nationwide, and at 5 January 6 are missing.
- State and federal authorities are struggling to contain the massive blazes, even with firefighting assistance from other countries. There are 2,000 firefighters working on the ground in NSW - the US, Canada, and New Zealand have sent additional firefighters to help.
- the biggest blazes have been burning for months. 
-  Earlier in December, the smoke was so bad in Sydney that air quality measured 11 times the "hazardous" level.

Image from - australia-fires-explainer

- As of 3 January, more than 5.9 million hectares (14.7 million acres) have been burned across Australia's six states -- an area larger than the countries of Belgium and Haiti combined. The worst-affected state is New South Wales, with 3.6 million hectares (8.9 million acres) burned. In NSW approx 1,300 homes have been destroyed and over 440 damaged. 

The map below may give you some idea of where the fires are burning. 
 I hasten to add that some of these fires have been lit by arsonists.  I won't tell you what I would do with them when and if they are caught.I don't understand why people would do this.
map 31 December 2019
 In the Northern Territory, and northern Western Australia, and central Australia, bush fires are considered a natural occurrence during summer, and many are left to burn if they are in unoccupied land, although they too can get out of control.
The attached link takes you to a list of current alerts at My Fire Watch - Aust.Gov

Bushfires have also ravaged Victoria, Queensland and Tasmania.  Massive bush fires are raging throughout East Gippsland and the Alpine region of Victoria. There are many road closures due the fires, making it difficult for people to leave. The roads that are open are choked with people and vehicles trying to leave. Communications are hindered making it difficult for people to get in touch with loved ones or help.

In Mallacoota in Victoria, 4000 people were evacuated to the beach on 31 December, including residents and tourists who were there for their annual summer holidays.
The Australian Navy is currently evacuating people by sea

Off the coast of South Australia, one third (abut 170,000 hectares) of Kangaroo Island has been burnt and two men who had been working on the firefront have died.  

Image from Washington Post
 Whilst in Western Australia, where I live, although nowhere near as bad as in the eastern states -  the West is burning too – 
- over 12,000 hectares just before Christmas in communities just north of Perth.

- The Kalgoorlie to Esperance Highway and the Eyre Highway on the Nullarbor is currently closed to all traffic due to blazes around Norseman, which have been burning since before Christmas. This fire has closed one of only 2 of WA’s bitumen road accesses (the only other bitumen road access is in the far north near Kununurra). Over 270,000 hectares have been destroyed by seven separate fire fronts. Travellers coming from the east are stranded at Caiguna Roadhouse, 400 kms east of Norseman. Supplies are running low and fresh supplies, including toilet paper are being flown in. There are no towns on the Eyre Highway, just remote road houses. The township of Norseman is isolated by the fires. If people are travelling from the eastern states they are advised to turn back and delay travel plans.

- A bush fire in the Stirling Ranges National Park in WA’s Great Southern region has burnt more than 40,000 hectares since being sparked by a lightning strike on Boxing Day.  Much of this area is an important biodiversity hotspot, which could take years if ever, to recover species which exist nowhere else.

I fear there are more bushfires to come in the West as it is only just the start of the summer season. 

For current bush fire alerts in Western Australia: Emergency WA

My image post 2015 bushfires - Western Australia

And while the bush is burning, the environmental damage and disaster is horrific. Habit and wildlife is being destroyed, including critically endangered species which may never recover. This includes the critically endangered the Western Ground Parrot in Western Australia's far south.

Image from - australia-fires-explainer

 A few months after the massive bush fires in Western Australia's south west in early 2015, we went to one of the bush fire devastated areas. It was heartening to see the bush starting to recover, but I wondered looking at the devastation how do animals escape the inferno, like this young echidna we saw in the fire ravaged area. I fear that endangered species may never recover.
Young echidna - image by JHarrison

What to do in the case of a fire emergency? Here is an interesting article from The Conversation blog -  Where to take refuge in your home 
Sheltering in your home however should be the last resort, with leaving early the preferred action. Take notice of warnings and the advice of fire agencies.

 Unfortunately it is only the start of the summer season. Record high temperatures were recorded in December. Normally, summer temperatures peak in January and February, meaning Australia could be months away from finding relief. No or little rain is forecast. 

Bushfire aftermath - Image by JHarrison
I listen to the radio news every morning and watch the TV news every night, the dominant story is the fires. I listen, hear, watch, see the images, the stories from survivors and firefighters. I see the devastation, the loss, the heartbreak. 
 I have never been in a bush fire so I cannot begin to understand what they are going through. All I can do is watch, cry and pray for them.  There is nothing else I can do. 

If you wish to donate to the Red Cross Bush Fire appeal, please click here - Red Cross - New Years Eve disaster & relief fund  

With all the "hubbub" of Christmas and New Year, I know what is more important than gifts and eating - there is only one thing - the lives of our families. 

Thank you to CNN and ABC News for much of the information and images on this post. 
See more imagery at Washington Post

You also be interested to read: 
Kathy Marris's article - 50shadesofage.com - Australia has been Burning
Little Wandering WrenIt's not a Happy New Year in Australia

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!

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, 29 December 2019

2019 - and that's a wrap!

Hi everyone, and welcome to my last blog post for 2019. And the time of year again to look back over the past year. I don't look too far forward into the future and make New Year resolutions. Do you? Though it is nice to maybe have a bit of a plan about things I might like to do or achieve during the coming year.

2019 was a mixed year of illness, with two bouts of the flue in the first half of the year, and a broken ankle in September. Still it could have been worse. I mourned the loss of two friends whose deaths came far too early for these two wonderful souls. Over the last few months there have been bushfires burning all across Australia, and I send my thoughts and prayers to those battling the bushfires and to those who have sustained losses.  There have been many homes lost, and a few tragic deaths. These things put my life in perspective and make me feel grateful for all I have.

Here is a brief look back at some of my life's happenings over the year. If you click on the links they will take you to posts about these.

In January I attended a couple of Summer School classes at the Stirling Street Art Centre, and spent time with my sister.  I think my watercolour and calligraphy skills have a long way to go.

In February I attended a Fringe Festival performance by local group "The Roof Goats" 

 In March I had a market stall at the Tree Street Art Safari. It was a fabulous day meeting lots of people.

 I also attended a workshop to learn how to make paints and inks from plants. This is something I want to learn more about.

In April we visited the Field of Lights in Albany dedicated to those who lost their lives in World War 1.

In May I participated in a weekend Portrait Photography workshop with the Photography Group of Bunbury

In May we walked a short section of the Cape to Cape track in the Boranup Forest region

In June I danced at the Eisteddfod with Sol y Sombra Spanish Dance Company,
where we won the "Any age - National Troupe" and the "25 and over theatrical style".

I was privileged to provide a piece of botanical eco-dyed cloth to be included in the "Peace Cloth" for the "How Far Does the Hand Reach" project as part of a bigger exhibition in England, Botanical Signatures, by artist Maria Clarke-Wilson.

 The latter half of July, all of August and early September we took off on our half lap of Australia - 13,329 kilometers in 7 weeks and 3 days, 16 caravan parks and 11 free camps. 

 In August we walked on country in Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory, and got up close to the wildlife.

 In late August we continued down the center of Australia and we explored the Yorke Peninsula in South Australia for the first time, and I met a blogging friend, Marion from Redz Australia. We had been following each others blogs for a few years so it was fabulous to finally meet in person. 

After returning home in early September it was wildflower season in our corner of the south west, so we went hunting for wild orchids. Unfortunately I broke my ankle while we were out taking photos, which put an end to my wildflower season.  But we did find some beautiful orchids which we had never seen before.
In late September I ran a food photography workshop at my house for participants from the Photography Group of Bunbury

In October I was involved in a photography exhibition with the Photography Group of Bunbury at the Bunbury Regional Art Gallery
And one of my photos was used as the cover of the South Side Quills 10th Anniversary book. 

 In November I was awarded second place Photographer of the Year (awarded on points earned at the monthly competitions of the club), Highly Commended Mono and Colour Image, and Most Consistent, with the Photography Group of Bunbury.

In December I celebrated the beautiful summer colour in my garden.

 In between all of this I looked after my family and helped out with my grandsons when needed, and volunteered at our local primary school library. I photographed, wrote, had some magazine articles published, held a couple of market stalls and indulged in my passion for botanical eco-printing. 

When I look back over the year it has been a busy one. 

Thank you so much to you all for coming to my blog for the past year, for the link ups to various linky parties, and for your comments. Without you my blog would just be a way of recording our life through my on-line diary. But through your participation I can share some small part of my life with you. Thank you. I hope you have enjoyed it.

Also a huge thank you to my family, friends and members of "Ladies who Lunch", South Side Quills Writers Group, Sol y Sombra Spanish Dance Company, and the Photography Group of Bunbury. You keep my creative juices flowing!  And my dear husband who is my driver across our amazing country, and everything man.

I wonder what 2020 will bring. We haven't any plans as yet, but I am sure the year will evolve. 

As Australia continues to burn, I worry about the future.  The fires started in August and are still burning. Everyday we hear on the news about another flare up, another fire which has started, about the thousands of people that have had to evacuate or lost their homes, about the injuries and death of people, wildlife and ecology. Another firefighter died in the fires yesterday. Our country is so dry. I pray for rain. this is the latest map which I've just downloaded tonight. 31 December.

As I write there are thousands of people sheltering on the beach as the fires engulf their towns. I cry for them. Please pray for them.

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!

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.