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. I am a photographer, writer and multi-media artist.
Focussing mainly on Western Australia and Australia, I am seeking to preserve images and memories of the beautiful world in which we live and the people in it.



Saturday 24 December 2011

Wishing you all a Happy Christmas!

Wishing all my blog-land friends from across the world a wonderful Christmas in the company of those you love. Thank you for your support and comments during the past year - it has been wonderful hearing from you.  For my fellow photography bloggers - I have learnt so much from all of you - and it has been wonderful seeing your part of the world through your cameras.  Thank you.

Food photography has been a personal project of mine in 2011 - and with the inspiration and work of Tartlette - Helene Dujardin - and other amazing food photographers out there, I think I have grown and learnt a lot.  You can see Tarlette's link in my link's list - please visit her blog.

Soon I hope to update my index list, so it is easier to find articles, and also my links list. This blog is always a work in progress! Thank you for visiting and for your comments. I love hearing from you. 

And so to Christmas baking - here are some lemon stars......

Below you can see - sausage rolls, lemon starts, little puddings (no baking, but fiddly decorating!), stain-glass Christmas cake, and fruit mince pies. I'm done! Well untill tomorrow when I cook the roast and pudding with brandy cream.  Hope it is not too hot! Madness really for cooking a roast dinner on Christmas Day in summer in Australia - but oh well, you know, tradition.....
Have a wonderful Christmas - and don't forget the Christmas cheer - ummmm....bubbly!

Friday 23 December 2011

Sri Lanka cooking show - SBS Australia

 I love this cooking show with Peter Kuruvita on SBS - so interesting - and the recipes always look so devine!
I just had to post the link - mysrilanka

Look for it on your TV program - not just a cooking show but a very interesting cultural tour around Sri Lanka as well!

I really want to try this recipe that was on last night - Lagoon Prawns with ladies finger sambol -
Lagoon Prawns - it looks like a delicious summer recipe.

When I have cooked it I will come back with a pic!

Happy cooking!

Friday 16 December 2011

Her beauty only lasts one night...........

On Monday night my Moon Flower bloomed - 4 beautiful blooms. They really are magnificent - and the perfume - intoxicating. 

 Unfortunately they only flower for one night and by the morning they are finished. My plant only seems to flower a few times a year, and so I need to take the opportunity to photograph it. 

 So I stood out in the rain with an umbrella sheltering me and my camera (on a tripod) to take these images. You can see the raindrops in this image.  Rain in December? - unheard of! - we really are having a strange start to summer.

 These images are as taken - only a little minor sharpening. The light was from an outside tube light which is on the wall above my plant on my patio. I used ISO 800, Aperture Priority, with camera on a tripod sheltered by an umbrella! 

I decided to search for my moon flower on the web - and I found out it is the Dutchman’s Pipe Cactus.

Epiphyllum Oxypetalum or Dutchman’s-Pipe Cactus, is a large floral variety of cactus native from Mexico to Brazil. Plant can grow as tall as 20 feet (6.1 m) in height. It’s branches are dark green and it requires moist soil. It grows in late spring and early summer, somewhere around May 30th (northern hemisphere). It blooms for only 1-2 days. Individual flowers can be up to 11 inches (27.9 cm) long and 5 inches (12.7 cm) wide. It opens as the sun goes down. It has a very deep and fresh fragrance which spreads as soon as it blooms. 

Click on the link and scroll down to Number 1 - The Dutchman's Pipe Cactus

Because the moonflower flowers only one night, you have to start watching the buds when they start to fill out, and make sure you check after dark to see if they are opening - otherwise you come out the next morning and they have all finished.........

 But there is still beauty......raindrops on petals.......

I hope you have enjoyed seeing my Moonflower - or more correctly - my Dutchman's Pipe Cactus.

I am linking into Mosaic Monday at Little Red House. Sincere thanks to Mary for hosting Mosaic Monday in 2011. Thank you to all my wonderful new on-line friends for your comments and sharing throughout the year. I have enjoyed seeing your work and your part of the world. I wish you all a wonderful Christmas in the company of those you love.

Take care. I look forward to hearing from you.

Please click on the link to see the work of Mary and other amazing contributors at Little Red House - Mosaic Monday at Little Red House

Tuesday 13 December 2011

Slow down and take time to see what is around you

In these busy days as we rush around getting ready for Christmas, working, cleaning, baking, shopping, ticking off lists, writing cards etc, we need to slow down, sit awhile, and take time to see the beauty around us, the little things, and to think about and appreciate those things in your life that are important to you.

I hope these images will sooth and calm you.............as you listen to the new play list I have installed tonight on my blog. 
(You might have to scroll down to the application, and click on it to start the music - I haven't worked out how to have it automatically start.)

A palm softly blowing in the wind.....

The petals of a moonflower..........

The new lavender blooms....

A shell found on a beach.........

Fallen petals on the garden path.............

Remember to take time out...........and see the world around you..........

Monday 12 December 2011

The trees are blooming for Christmas

In December around where I live in Western Australia there is a burst of colour before the summer heat dries off everything. Some of our native trees put on a glorious show for us, as you can see here.

This is the Australian Christmas Tree - Nuytis floribunda.  It actually is a parasitic tree and occurs naturally only in Western Australia from the Murchison around to the Australian Bight. Their roots parasite onto the roots of other trees.

Another glorious yellow flowering tree are the Banksia family. I think they look like giant Christmas candles.  The flower cylinders grow up to 10-40cm long and 8-10cm wide. There are many different varieties of Banksias - named after botanist Sir Joseph Banks who came to Australia with Captain James Cook.   Banksias seem to be one of the plants in Western Australia that has been adversely affected by climate change, as many are now dying.

And of course one of the colours of Christmas is red - and here is the Red Flowering Gum - Eucalyptus ficifolia, now reclassified as Corymbia ficifolia. These trees will grow in most areas of Australia, except for tropical and mountain zones

And the Jacaranda -  Jacaranda mimosifolia. This is not an Australian native - it is actually native to Brazil, where they are deciduous, not because of cold winters, but because of the monsoonal wet and dry season. These trees can reach a height of around 10-15m, and a spread of the same size.  They drop their flowers in a beautiful blue-purple carpet, which might be why, in our area at least, you see this tree more in older housing areas, rather than new.  Although not an Australia native, I have included it because it is so beautiful.  Actually they seem to bloom better here in a dry season.

 And with all this colour and intoxicating nectar - the bees think they are in heaven -

I hope you have enjoyed my selection of December flowering trees in Western Australia.
I am linking into Mosaic Monday at Little Red House. To see the work of Mary and other wonderful contributors from across the world, please click on the link - Mosaic Monday

Have a wonderful week. I look forward to hearing from you.

Monday 5 December 2011

December summer colour

December is here and the start of summer. My garden is looking lovely - we have just started watering again, so it might be the extra nutrients coming from the bore water. Today I share with you an update from around my garden.

A few tomatoes are starting to ripen, the grapes are starting to plump up - not ready till January/February, the apricots are green - a few more weeks yet, and lemons - well, I still have lemons hanging on the tree from winter - a sort of living larder.

A few lovely white flowers -

And colour - makes a lovely splash at Christmas - the one on the lower RHS is Coral Bush - it is an Australian native.

I love this time of year when the stone fruit start coming in - how about some fresh peaches and nectarines for the table. No sadly these are not from my garden. The small green plate china serving plate has recently come from my mother-in-law's china cabinet.

 I can make the fruit look like they have come fresh picked from my garden.

I have not done a lot of work with textures - but I had a play around with this image - and added a couple of Textures from Kim at Kim's Cafe - you can go to her link here - kimklassencafe.  Kim has tutorials and a free texture download every week.  The original is on the left and with texture added on the right.
 As I say.....I haven't done a lot with textures as you can probably see here!

 The Ponsettia comes to our Garden Nursery's this time of year in time for Christmas. It is a native of southern Mexico. They make a lovely splash of summer colour to decorate the inside of your house. You can plant it in your garden after it has finished flowering, and it will flower again in winter, or so they say, but sadly I have never had one survive.

I hope you all have a lovely week. I look forward to hearing from you.

I am linking up with Mary and the other wonderful contributors to Mosaic Monday at Little Red House. Click on the link to view their posts Mosaic Monday. Many are from the northern hemisphere, so if you are sweltering in summer heat, then the snow pictures will be a cooling relief.

You might also enjoy -click on the link -

Monday 28 November 2011

May you have a light to guide you........

Do you sometimes feel like you are swirling into the void - that your life is not your own - that you are been pulled and pushed by an invisible thread - that the needs of others have taken over your life - that you are swirling into the void and you cannot see the light?

Take time out and embrace life. Be good to yourself. Life is too short and every moment is precious - both the good and the bad, both the happy moments and the sad, they all make up the wonderful mosaic of life. 

It is just difficult to see it sometimes when you are swirling into the void. 

For those in America, I wish you a happy "Thanksgiving" in the company of those you love.
For those of you that have the "faith" I wish you a peaceful and joyous Advent Sunday. 

And for all, where-ever you may be, may you have a light to brighten even the darkest hours and show you the way forward.

No I am not in Paris - I wish! - This image was taken in Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris in July 2005, only days after purchasing my first digital camera. So many images since then, but some still remain favourites. 

Hand held, cathedral candle lighting, slight sharpening only. 

I am joining up with Mary and the other amazing contributors at Mosaic Monday - click on the link -Mosaic Monday at Little Red House

Sorry, not strickly a mosaic, but my time is limited this week as I am caring for my aged mother while my father is in hospital, but the sentiments are really part of what I am feeling right now.

Have a wonderful week - I look forward to hearing from you

Wednesday 23 November 2011

I wish you enough

Someone sent this to me today and I thought it was beautiful, so I wanted to share  it with you..........

I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright no matter how grey the day may appear.
I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun even more.
I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive and everlasting.
I wish you enough pain so that even the smallest of joys in life may appear bigger.
I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.
I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.
I wish you enough hellos to get you through the final good-bye.

They say it takes a minute to find a special person, an hour to appreciate them, a day to love them; but then an entire life to forget them. 

And here are some beautiful yellow daisies full of sunshine which I capture in my front garden on Monday. 

Monday 21 November 2011

Poppy Seed cake

Spring is coming to a close and summer is around the corner - and the aroma and taste of fresh poppyseed cake is delicious!
First the mixing and baking.......stir in the poppyseeds.........

And then the serving on a delicate tea set from my childhood.

When I walked into the garden this morning, all I could smell was the intoxicating scent of the honeysuckle vine on my patio..........what a simple pleasure it brings.....

Take care and have a wonderful week. I look forward to hearing from you.

I am joining up with Mosaic Monday. To see images and stories from across the world from Mary and other wonderful contributors - please click on the link here - Mosaic Monday at Little Red House

Friday 11 November 2011

Remembrance Day

Today on the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month, we have 2 minutes silence to remember those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice.

This is the State War Memorial in Kings Park, overlooking the city of Perth and the Swan River. It really has a beautiful outlook over the city. This is where they hold the Perth Dawn Service on Anzac Day - the sun comes up behind the memorial. I took this photo when we were there last Sunday. You can walk under the memorial, where are the names of Western Australian's who lost their lives in war.  My Great-Uncle who died at Gallipoli has his name on this wall.

In the front of this image you can see the eternal flame. 

At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them.

I read the poem below in a poetry book "A Show of Colours - Poems of the Yilgarn" by Glen Phillips (CREATEC, Edith Cowan University, Mount Lawley, WA)
I thought it fitted the theme for today and recalls the time when young men full of adventure left their families behind..............

Station 6 - Perth                   by Glen Phillips

Troop trains drew out of arched precincts
where the mightly clock ruled over parallel
platforms, where men with lamps and whilstles
waved flags and kept everything on time.

Mother shepherded our little flock
fortified with penny ice-creams
as bands played stirring wartime tunes,
while girl friends and younger brothers
enviously ran beside moving compartments
where khaki-clad soldier boys whistled and grinned
and stowed their kit bags and rifles clumsily
as their last train drew slowly out.

With surprise we saw real tears run
down our mum's face into her ice-cream cone.
Outside the station, horse-drawn wagons waited
and the street photographer in thin and shabby suit
flashed and handed us his ticket. Later
when we viewed the family snap it was sad
the only one missing the action was our dad.

Monday 7 November 2011

Flowering kangaroo paws

On Sunday we visited Kings Park in our capital city, Perth.
Kings Park is a beautiful park of natural bushland, cultivated gardens, walking paths, playgrounds, waterways, wildflower displays and war memorials. It overlooks Perth city and the Swan River.

We have missed the main wildflower display this year, but there were still a number of kangaroo paws flowering. And I would like to share a few with you.

In the image below, the orange one in the LH top corner is called "Kings Park Federation Flame".
Kangaroo paws are found only in the south west of Western Australia, and there are twelve species. Eleven of these are the Anigozanthos genus, but one of them is the genus Macropidia, the Black Kangaroo Paw - seen here in the top RH corner.

Below is the Green Kangaroo Paw. It flowers in my front garden. Every 5 years or so we burn it (as would happen in the bush) and it regenerates afresh. 
Below is the Red Kangaroo Paw. These photos were taken on our recent south coast trip to Hopetoun and the Fitzgerald River National Park. In the lower LF corner you can see the mass flowering.

and another view of the beautiful "King Park Federation Flame" - anigozanthous rufus -
a variety I had never seen before.

and Western Australia's floral emblem - the red and green Mangles Kangaroo Paw - anigozanthos manglesli - it grows in profusion in the bush in spring in my area

You may have seen this one before in my previous post.  Where-wild-orchids-grow

To see more images of Kings Park - please go to my Tour Western Australia blog - click on the link here - Kings Park

I hope you have enjoyed viewing these kangaroo paws - thank you for stopping by. I look forward to hearing from you if you would like to leave a message.

sharing a special post - Every Time I Fall Back

I just wanted to share with you this very beautiful post from Markus - one of my on-line blog contacts - Tea Cup In the Garden - click on the link to go to "Every Time I Fall Back" -   Teacup in the Garden

You will probably need to click on the translate button to read Markus' beautiful poem. Then take a little time to scroll through his posts about the beautiful country home they are restoring.

Every Time I Fall Back by Markus

Laughing, I walk through rustling leaves and know that this too will pass away someday laugh. But not now.

I sit on a bench and know that someday I'll sit there anymore. But not now.

I breathe the scent of lavender and verbl├╝htem know that I will someday no longer smell. But not now.

Amazed, I look at the colors of the world and know that someday everything will be black and white. But not now.

With an open heart, I love a friend and know that our path will separate at some point. But not now.

With all the strength I cling to life and know that I will release it sometime. But not now.

So I go the routes that are before me and stay in the places of my heart a little longer. Eventually everything will be remembered. But not now. Now it is reality. Take Care, Mark

Rain rain go away

It is pouring with rain here at the moment  - it is November! - the sun is supposed to be shining!  Unfortunately the farmers in our "wheat belt" have lost many thousands of dollars of crops through the unseasonal rain (including my brother-in-law and nephews in Bruce Rock). The rain is ruining their drying crops. I send my thoughts to them.

This crop below - which we saw in early October held so much promise for a bumper harvest.  Since then they have many millimetres of rain which should have come in September. All it will do now is ruin the harvest.

Wednesday 2 November 2011

On the Road in the Kimberley

I am very excited to tell you that I have just had three articles published in the Australian travel magazine - On The Road  -  November 2011 edition - Kimberley Essentials.
You can read these in full in the magazine, but below is the beginning paragraphs. 

"Naturally Outstanding" - my article about Purnululu National Park.

Below is my original image - with the opening spread of my article below it - read on below the image -

Cathedral Gorge is well named. Entering its immense towering cavern is like entering a magnificent natural cathedral, a place steeped in time and history. The red and orange sandstone walls tower above you, and the white sand crunches softly underfoot.  Tiny animal tracks can be seen going across the sand to the central pool which sits still and undisturbed like a mirror. It is a place for hushed voices and to sit quietly with your own thoughts. If you come early in the morning, as we did, you can enjoy the peace undisturbed.  It has the atmosphere of a holy place, a sanctuary.

the cavern of Cathedral Gorge - arriving early morning you can fully experience the atmosphere of this sacred place

Cathedral Gorge is just one of the magnificent gorges within the Purnululu National Park (also known as the Bungle Bungles) in the Kimberley region of Western Australia’s far north west.  Given World Heritage listing in 2003, Purnululu is one of Western Australia’s newest and most spectacular National Parks.  

In the Kija Aboriginal language purnululu means sandstone. The Aboriginal people inhabited the region for thousands of years, however Purnululu was known only to a few Europeans until the mid 1980s.  How it received the name Bungle Bungles remains an intriguing mystery with several explanations including the name of a common Kimberley grass, bundle bundle grass, or the ranges proximity to the old Bungle Bungle cattle station.

Purnululu is located off the Great Northern Highway, 250km south of Kununurra, west of the WA/Northern Territory border. The 53 kilometre unsealed road from the Highway is only accessible by 4WD and offroad campers. It travels through Mabel Downs Station to the Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) Rangers / Visitor Centre within the park. You should allow approximately 2-3 hours for the 53 km drive in (approximately 5 hours total travel time from Kununurra).

sunset at Purnulu
At the end of the day visitors congregate at the Kungkalahayi Lookout, three kilometres from the Visitor Centre, to enjoy the 360 panoramic views and to watch the last rays of sun spread over the Spinifex ridges to light up the ranges changing them to brilliant orange and reds.  
The image below of of Echidna Chasm made it onto the Environmental Graffitti website in an article by Michele Collet about slot canyons - amazing-slot-canyons

"Kimberley Touring" -  my article about touring around the Kimberley......
In this image you can see my original image, and the opening spread of my article "Kimberley Touring".
I thought I did pretty well with this photo considering it was taken through the front windscreen of our vehicle while driving (my husband driving) along the dusty gravel Gibb River Road. The rock you can see in the middle of the image is called Queen Victoria's Head. 

When a choir of Australian children sang “I Still Call Australia Home” in an ancient creek bed in Purnululu National Park for Qantas, and Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman drove a herd of cattle across the outback in the movie “Australia”, they brought the Kimberley into the consciousness of thousands of people around the world.

The Kimberley is raw, hot, dusty, remote and sometimes dangerous. It is also incredibly beautiful and steeped in history and ancient dreamtime stories.  Despite, and perhaps because of its remoteness and rugged untouched corners, it is a magnet to visitors wanting to experience one of the world’s last wilderness areas.

 With good research and planning, many parts of the Kimberley and its magnificent National Parks are easily accessible and there is a wealth of resources both on-line and in book stores to help you.

This magnificent boab tree marks the entrance to the Kimberley
 When we planned our five week Kimberley trip from our home in WA’s south west, we had to include travel to reach the Kimberley – a distance of nearly 2700 kilometres – a three day drive. However visitors can choose to fly to either of the major jumping off points – Broome on the Kimberley’s west coast, or Kununurra near the Northern Territory border – and then hire a vehicle. 

On our way north we bush camped for two nights before arriving in Broome where we stayed for three nights before continuing on a circular route, first along the bitumen Great Northern Highway through Fitzroy Crossing and Purnululu to Kununurra. We rented a caravan park cabin in Kununurra for one week, before returning to Broome via the gravel Gibb River Road.  For a first time Kimberley traveller, I recommend this route as the relatively easy drive along the bitumen first gives you a good introduction to the Kimberley. 

Pentacost River crossing

The image above is classic Kimberley - crossing the Pentacost River on the Gibb River Road. Don't get out half way across - the river is tidal and salt water crocodiles live here!

 And my campsite report - "An Inland Beach - Manning Gorge camp ground, Mt Barnett Station, GIbb River Road"

You wouldn’t expect to find a beach along the Gibb River Road. It’s hot and dusty and crisscrossed with corrugations and creek crossings. But find a beach we did; with white sand, beach chairs, umbrellas and tyre tubes to go floating up the river in. 

310 kilometers from Derby on the Gibb River Road is Mt Barnett Roadhouse, one of only two roadhouses on The Gibb, and the only one selling unleaded fuel. It is also the access point to Manning Gorge, so we stopped and bought fuel and paid our camping fees before enjoying an ice-cream beneath the shady trees at the front of the Roadhouse.

The large campground which is seven kilometers in from the Roadhouse has plenty of shaded sites and facilities include untreated water, toilets and solar showers. You can pitch your tent wherever you like, so we picked a site and soon had our tent up as we were ready to cool off and wash off the dust.  

What we had seen next to the campground on the way in was a beach. At the Lower Manning Gorge at any time of day you will see campers sun-baking, floating down the gorge in rubber tyre tubes, or making their way across the narrow stretch of water so they can walk to Manning Gorge.

beautiful Manning Gorge - worth the walk!

walking in the Kimberley - remember your hat, sunscreen and water!

You can read these articles in full in the November 2011 edition of On The Road Magazine.  
Or you can check out a preview by clicking on the link here - On The Road November 2011
Then click on where it says "more" under "Naturally Outstanding"

The Kimberley is a magnificent part of raw Australia - I hope you will visit one day.